From Vol. I of the Biographies and Portraits of the Progressive Men of Iowa, 1899.
Three-term Iowa state representative Craton Cortice Colclo lucked into receiving an amusing tongue twister type name--Just try and say his full name three times fast! Aside from his intriguing name, Colclo was for over sixty years a man of wide repute in Carroll County, Iowa, being a postmaster, county school superintendent, newspaper publisher, and Democratic National Convention delegate in addition to his legislative service. A native of the Buckeye state, Craton Cortice Colclo was born in Findlay, Putnam County, Ohio on November 25, 1851, the son of James H. and Hannah (Cretsinger) Colclo.
The Colclo family resided in Ohio until 1854, when they relocated to Winterset, Iowa, and two years later made a permanent home in Carroll County. Young Craton would attend the district schools of that area and graduated from the Carroll high school. In 1873, Colclo sustained a work-related injury to his left arm that left it "terribly mangled", losing his left hand as a result. He engaged in farm work during his youth, taught school, and in the mid-1870s enrolled at the Iowa Agricultural College, graduating in the class of 1877.
Following his graduation, Colclo returned to teaching and served as assistant principal of the Carroll County schools in the late 1870s. In 1881 he won election as county school superintendent, holding that post from 1882-85 and again from 1890-91. In between those terms Colclo was appointed as U.S. Postmaster at Carroll by President Cleveland, serving from 1885-89.
Craton C. Colclo married in Carroll in November 1889 to Sadie Eloise (Kail) Snyder (1863-1937), and the couple remained childless through the entirety of their marriage. In 1891 Colclo entered into newspaper publishing, purchasing a half interest in the Carroll Sentinel. Taking J.L. Powers as a partner, the two men ran the paper as a daily issue until its discontinuation around 1898, whereafter it was a semi-weekly. Colclo would sell his interest in the paper upon his election to the legislature in 1902, but returned to the publishing business in 1906 when he purchased the Sentinel printing plant, and until 1911 served the Sentinel's editor and publisher.
A staunch Democrat, Colclo served as part of the Iowa delegation to the Democratic National Convention of 1896 in Chicago that saw William Jennings Bryan nominated for the presidency. In 1901 Colclo entered into the race for Carroll County's representative to the Iowa legislature and in November of that year won the election. During the 1902-04 term, he sat on the committees on the Agricultural College and Farm; Appropriations; the College for the Blind; Fish and Game; Printing; Roads and Highways; and Telegraphs and Telephones.
Colclo during his time in the legislature.
In November 1903 Colclo won a second term in the house and during the 1904-06 session was named to four new committees, those being Constitutional Amendments, Municipal Corporations, Schools and Text-books, and Senatorial Districts. Colclo was elected to a third term in November 1905 and from 1906-08 continued service on the Appropriations, Fish and Game, Printing, and Roads and Highways committees. After the completion of his term in January 1908, Colclo returned to editorial work and remained busy in the civic and fraternal life of Carroll County, being a member of the Signet Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, the Royal Arch Masons, and was a past president of the Citizens Commerical Club of Carroll.
C.C. Colclo was called back to local politics in January 1912 when he accepted the appointment to the post of County Treasurer, succeeding William Langenfeld, who had died in office. Acknowledging Colclo's past services in state government, the Carroll County Times and Sentinel lauded the appointment, stating:
"We believe that Mr. Colclo will be entirely capable and efficient. He is a man well conversant with uptodate business methods and is absolutely honest. While Mr. Colclo in years past has held several offices for the county, this is really the first one that is really worth while from every standpoint....He has proved a good man in evey position he has held and we believe that his appointment will meet with the general approval of the citizens and tax payers of the county."
After leaving the treasurer's office Colco succeeded to the post of state examiner for Carroll County accounts in 1913, a post under the auspice of the auditor of state. He continued in that post until his retirement in January 1925 and as he entered his seventh decade remained busy, accepting the post of secretary of the Carroll Commercial Club in 1926. Colco would attend the 55th anniversary of his college graduation in July 1932 and in May 1937 suffered the loss of his wife of nearly fifty years, Sadie. In the final years of his life, Colclo served as a custodian of rooms for the Carroll Chamber of Commerce, continuing in that role until retiring in December 1939.
Craton Colclo died on February 4, 1941, several months short of his 90th birthday. He had been a resident of the Evor Morgan home in Carroll at the time of his passing and following funeral services was interred alongside his wife at the Carroll City Cemetery.
Craton C. Colclo, from the Carroll Times and Sentinel, Jan. 11, 1912.