Golden Coles

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Portrait photograph of Golden Coles, taken by Rufus W. Holsinger in 1916. Reproduced from the Holsinger Studio Collection.

James Golden Coles was a Black citizen from Charlottesville whose portrait photograph forms a part of the Holsinger Studio Collection.


Coles was born in Charlottesville in 1897 to William and Addie Coles. As of the 1900 Census, he had three brothers and two sisters. He completed his first year of high school but dropped out afterwards. He later took up work as a janitor for government buildings as well as a butler for private residences.

On June 12, 1916, Coles had his portrait photograph taken by Rufus W. Holsinger, with this picture later forming a part of the Holsinger Studio Collection.[1] In the years following, he registered for the World War I draft and later married Martha C. Brookins in 1920, with the couple making their home on Gospel Hill. Coles worked for the University of Virginia throughout much of his adult life, beginning as a janitor and eventually becoming a laboratory technician at the UVA Hospital.

Coles died in Waynesboro, Virginia in 1975. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

External links


  1. Web. Golden Coles, University of Virginia