Nathan Cole attended the common schools and then studied intermittently at Shurtleff College in Alton (Illinois ). Later he worked in St. Louis in the trade. Cole has been renowned in the banking industry for 43 years and was a board member as well as now vice president of the local commercial bank. He was also a director of several insurance companies and other companies. In 1876 he was president of the local Mercantile Exchange.
Politically, Cole member of the Republican Party. From 1869 to 1871 he was the successor of James S. Thomas, mayor of St. Louis. In the congressional elections of 1876 he was in the second electoral district of Missouri in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he succeeded the Democrats Erastus Wells on March 4, 1877. Since he lost in 1878 against Wells, he was able to complete only one term in Congress until March 3, 1879.
After his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives sat Nathan Cole continued his earlier activities. He died on March 4, 1904 in St. Louis, where he was also buried.