According to inaccurate local tradition, when the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence rode from Washington-on-the-Brazos to spend the night at Coles' Settlement, the name of the village was changed to Independence. The census of March 1826 listed Coles's wife, a son, two daughters, five servants, and four slaves and noted that Coles was building a mill on Yegua Creek. Three other children were later born to the family.
Coles was alcalde of Washington Municipality in 1828 and a delegate to the Convention of 1833 at San Felipe de Austin. On July 2, 1835, he signed a petition for the organization of Washington Municipality. During the Texas Revolution he moved his family east of the Neches and then joined William Warner Hill's company, in which he served from July to October 1836. Coles was elected chief justice of Washington County in December 1836 and represented the county in the Senate of the Fifth Texas Congress, 1840-41. He died on January 19, 1847, and was buried at Independence.
30° 19.720, -096 21.664
Old Independence Cemetery