Biographical Encyclopedia: Successful Men of New Jersey
Frederick W. Ricord, Librarian of the New Jersey Historical Society
Volume 1, Page 47,
New Jersey Historical Publishing Co., 1896
Joseph Coult was born in Frankfort, Sussex County, N. J., May 25th, 1834. He is descended from an old English family which settled in Connecticut in the early part of the Seventeenth Century. It was not until about the middle of the Eighteenth Century that any of the Coult family removed to New Jersey. In Sussex County they first settled, and here the father of the subject of our sketch acquired land and became a successful farmer and an influential citizen. Joseph, the youngest of a family of ten children, enjoyed, like the others, the advantage of education. He received a thorough preparation for a college course, but after much delay in entering thereupon, it was finally abandoned. All the inducements held out to him to devote himself to mercantile pursuits were of no avail, for his habits of study had become fixed, and he determined to study the law. Accordingly, in 1858, he became a student in the office of Thomas N. McCarter, Esq., then a young lawyer at Newton, Sussex County. Subsequently he entered the Law School at Albany, N. Y., and , having thence graduated, he was admitted into the courts of New York State, and began the practice of law in the City of New York. In 1861, he was admitted as an Attorney at Law in New Jersey, and at once opened an office at Newton, in his native County, where he continued to practice with great success during a period of thirteen years. It was sin 1874 that he removed to the City of Newark. Here, for a time, he was in partnership with his law preceptor, Thomas N. McCarter, Esq. Subsequently he entered into partnership with James E. Howell, Esq., who had been a student in his office while in Sussex county. Thus was formed the law firm of Coult & Howell, now one of the oldest, best known, and most successful in the State.
Mr. Coult was Prosecutor of the Pleas in Sussex County, and from 1884 to 1892 held the office of City Counsel of the City of Newark. It was due very much to his efforts that the project of securing a new water supply for the City of Newark was accomplished. In Politics Mr. Coult is a Republican, and has been commissioned many times to represent the party at important conventions, State and national. He was a delegate to the Baltimore Convention at which Lincoln was nominated for a second term; to the convention at Philadelphia, which nominated General Grant, and at the convention in Cincinnati, which resulted in the nomination of Rutherford B. Hayes.
Mr. Coult enjoys, to a high degree, the esteem of the Bar, who generally place him among the most sagacious lawyers of the State. Of late years, he has been often called upon to act as counsel by prominent lawyers, who recognize his special powers.