EDWARD COKER. This gentleman is one of the active stockmen of West Plains, Missouri, and an influential and progressive citizen of the same. He is a product of Arkansas, born in what is now Boone County, at Lead Hill, August 30, 1856, to the marriage of William and Margaret (Holt) Coker. The Coker family is probably the oldest in north Arkansas. The mother of our subject was a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of William Holt who moved from Tennessee to Marion County, Arkansas, in the thirties. Mr. Holt was a farmer and a prominent man in his section of the State, and he and wife passed their last days there. Our subject was fifth in order of birth of six children, as follows: Sarah, died young; G. W., a merchant of Lead Hill; Winnie; Sarah and Mary.
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He grew up in Lead Hill, attended the public schools of that place and in 1875 started out to make his own way in life. He first opened up a store at Isabella, Ozark County, Missouri, and continued in business there until 1881, when he moved to Gainesville. Later he went from there to West Plains, embarked in general merchandising by himself, and continued this successfully for six years. After that he engaged in the stock business, buying, selling and shipping, and is now one of the foremost business men of the place. Fraternally he is a Mason, a member of Lodge No. 327, and Chapter No. 108, and also Commandery No. 48, at West Plains. He has represented the chapter in the Grand Lodge. Mr. Coker has ever been prominent in politics and is a stanch supporter of Democratic principles. He has made a success of the enterprises in which he has engaged and as a business man stands second to none in the community.
He was first married to Miss Jennie Wofford, daughter of J. W. Wofford of Mississippi, but who at one time resided in Arkansas. Mrs. Coker died in 1876, leaving one child, Viola. Mr. Coker’s second marriage was with Miss Jennie Noe, daughter of H. J. Noe, of Yellville, Arkansas Mr. Noe was an old pioneer of that State and was a merchant for many years in Marion County, Missouri Mr. Coker owns a nice home in , an addition to West Plains, and is a popular citizen.