Coker, J. W.
The following data is extracted from Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region, pub. Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago 1894.
J. W. COKER, county sheriff. Connected with the history of the elections of Marion County, Arkansas, no name is more prominent or has borne with it more eclat than that of Coker. This gentleman is admirably adapted to the position he fills, for he is courageous, energetic and wide-awake, yet he has at the same time a pleasant and affable manner, is full of business, and attends to his duties very promptly. As he was born in the county January 29, 1852, and has lived here all his life, the people have had every opportunity to judge of his character and qualifications, and naught has ever been said derogatory to his good name. He is the eldest child born to his parents (see sketch of Dr. J. M. Coker), and his early education was acquired in the district schools, where he gained an excellent knowledge of the "world of books " through that energy and push that has been so characteristic of him. After reaching manhood he began farming some ten miles southwest of Yellville on Hampton Creek, and there still owns a good farm of 640 acres, some of which is exceptionally fertile, and as it is located in the great mineral belt it is prob-ably rich in minerals also. In 1893 he was elected by the Democrat party, of which he has always been a member, to the office of county sheriff and county collector and is discharging the duties of this office. He held the office of justice of the peace for some ten years in Hampton Township, and has been notary public some years. He has always been active in political mat-ters, is one of the leaders of his party, and is well known for the interest lie takes in the welfare of his section. He is a member of Jefferson Lodge of the A. F. & A. M. of this county. Miss Josephine Methvin,a native of this county, and daughter of John and Cora Methvin, the former of whom died while serving in the Confederate Army, became his wife and by him the mother of the following children: Nancy B., John W., Alonzo C., Eliza, Edward, Arthur, Ansel, Garvin, and James R., who is the eldest, is married and is engaged in farming south of Yellville. Mr. Coker belongs to the Baptist Church, and his wife to the Christian Church. Since 1893 they have resided in Yellville. JAMES M. COKER, M. D. He whose name heads this sketch is a successful practicing physician who has no pet theories to demonstrate at the risk of his patients' lives, and who is prouder of the confidence reposed in him by the numerous first-class families whom he counts among his patrons than he could possibly be of any fame that could come to him through the following of any fancy calculated to move him. He was born in Marion County, Arkansas, April 28, 1853, the second child of William L. and Elizabeth (Hudspeth) Coker, natives of this State, and grandson of William Coker, one of the first settlers of Arkansas from Alabama. He was a farmer as was his son William I.., and the latter accumulated a fair competency by tilling the soil as well as by fol-lowing mercantile pursuits and stockraising. He died in Boone County, Arkansas, in 1871, and his widow in 1892, they having become the parents of four children: John W., the present sheriff of Marion County; J. M.; Margaret, who died after her marriage with Thomas Raidsbeck, and Martha, who is the wife of James Gilley and lives in Texas. Mrs. Coker was a daughter of George Hudspeth, one of the early settlers of Arkansas, and she was an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Coker was a soldier of the Confederacy, was with Price on his raid through Missouri and was a par-ticipant in numerous fights. He was afterward a strong Democrat and became well known throughout northwestern Arkansas as a man of shrewd and practical business views and in the immediate section in which he lived for his jovial disposition and his ability as a raconteur. He was a great lover of music, was expert as a violin player and was the life and soul of every pub-lic gathering. The Doctor passed his youth on the home farm near Yellville and when twenty-two years old began the study of medicine with I)rs. Jode and Newton and about 1880 began practicing the "healing art " near Yellville, continuing until 1887, when he opened an office in the town and has since devoted his attention to all branches of his Profession with marked success. He is a member of the State and County Medical Associations and socially is a member of Yellville Lodge of the A . F & A. M., in which he has been an official. He is the owner of a farm of eight acres four miles south of Yellville, which he has rented, and was at one time engaged in the drug business. Martha, the daughter of W.P. Cantrel1, became his wife and the mother of his eight children: Edna A., Ewalttus A., Virgina E., Chrarles W., John M. and James H. William died at the age of five years and Bertha at the age of three years. Mrs. Coker i. a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and politically the Doctor is a Democrat, and has held the office of mayor of Yellville several terms. He is one of the active men of the county and is liberally patronized profesionally.
Source: Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region, pub. Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago 1894