A PART OF AN ACCOUNT OF THE COKER FAMILY BIOGRAPHICAL
By S. C. Turnbo
The following is a biographical sketch of Buck Cokers children and grandchildren as far as we are able to obtain the information, nearly all of which was furnished me by Bill Trimble son of Allin Trimble, the last named was a child of Mrs. Sallie Trimble daughter of Buck Coker. The Coker family belongs to the oldest Pioneer race of people in Northwest Arkansas. We have mentioned elsewhere that Buck Coker settled at the lower end of the Jake Nave Bend of White River in what is now Boone County Ark. in January 1815. Joe Coker was Buck Cokers eldest child. He married a white woman in Alabama and two daughters, Betsey and Sallie were born of this marriage. Soon after the death of this woman he married an Indian woman of the name of Ainey and the issue of this marriage were "Prairie" Bill, Herrod, "Little" Joe, Daniel the fiddler, Laferty Coon who was a confederate soldier and was killed at Port Husdon. The daughters were Rebecca, Jane and Mary Ann. Joe Coker brought this Indian wife with him to White River in 1814 and as we have mentioned elsewhere he lived in the Sugar Loaf Country in Boone County, Ark. After Mr. Coker come to Northwest Arkansas he taken unto himself another Indian woman by the name of Cynthia. By this illegal marriage there were born John, George and Randolph. George was killed by Jake Nave in the Jake Nave Bend of White River and Randolph killed sheriff Billy Brown near the village of Dubugue. Herrod married Miss Polly Orr. Sallie married John Carter. Betsey married "Squirrel" Bill Wood. Rebecca married Bill Daniels. Jane married George Hogan. Mary Ann married Bob Trimble. Ned Coker another son of Buck Coker married Winnie Yocum daughter of Solomon Yocum. Their offsprings were "River" Bill whose first wife was Peggie daughter of Wm. Holt and Sallie who married Jake Nave. Among "River" Bills Cokers children by his first wife for he was married the second time are George who was born in 1850 and is one of the leading merchants of Lead Hill Ark. and Winnie who married Bill Magness son of Sam Magness and Nina who married Eph Kelly who was postmaster at Lead Hill many years. William Coker another son of Buck Coker was also married and had several children but his wife name is forgotten. His children were "Yellville" Bill a noted fiddler and a confederate soldier and the first merchant of Lead Hill Ark. and Ned who was a volunteer in the American Army and fought through the war with Mexico and returned back home. There was also another son named Charles. The daughters were Sallie who married Tom Brown and he died at the foot of bluff on the east side of the mouth of Trimbles Creek in Marion County, Ark. Some years after the death of Brown she married Allin Trimble and Malinda who married South foot (Will) Bill Woods who built a mill on Georges Creek 6 ½ miles north of Yellville and Nancy who married Lize Wood who settled the Arch Anderson farm near Dodd City Ark. and Jane who married "Rosin" Bill Wood and Abbie who married Jim Churchman and John Coker killed him and while Sheriff Billy Brown made an attempt to arrest him for this crime Randolph Coker shot and killed Brown. Charles Coker another son of Buck Coker married a daughter of Shawnee Berry Jim Trimble. Her name is forgotten. Their children were "Wagoner" Bill and Lenard who was another fiddler and Ned who went to Texas in an early day and Joe who was the youngest and also was a confederate soldier. After the death of Charles Cokers first wife he married Betsey Friend daughter of Jake Friend and a sister of Peter Friend. The issue of this marriage was Lucinda who married Henry Nipps and after his death she married Tom Boatright and Mahala who married "Dock" Boatright and Polly who married Henry Wiggins, and Betsey who married Bill Manley, Tom Boatright and his wife went from Marion County Ark. to Missouri in time of the Civil War and I was told that they both froze to death one bitter cold night. Henry Wiggins died in the cane bottom on White River a short distance above the mouth of Little North Fork during the war and was buried by women at the foot of the bluff and lies buried there in a lone grave. Three of Wiggins children Joe Robert and Billier buried in the Asa Yocum graveyard opposite the Bull Bottom. Katie daughter of Buck Coker married Girard Leiper Brown who was killed on the Arkansas River. Their off springs were Tom, Alex, Robert, Becca, and Catherine. The latter married Tom Magness son of Joe Magness after the death of Magness she married Pew C. Anderson and she died leaving little Tommy Anderson who was reared by his aunt Beeca who lived at the mouth of Beccas Branch on White River just below the mouth of Trimbles Creek. Little Tommy was a school mate of the writer in 1854. He died in 1867 and is buried in the graveyard opposite the Panther Bottom. Katie the widow of Girard Leiper Brown died in the same house that stood at the foot of the bluff as mentioned where her son Tom Brown died.
Sallie another daughter of Buck Cokers married William Trimble in Alabama and they moved to White River in what is now Marion County Ark. as early as 1814. The issue of this marriage were Dicy the oldest who married Jim Wood and after his death she married John Nave. I am reliably informed that one day during a continued spell of sickness she sank so low that the family supposed that life was extinct and they laid her out for dead but to their great joy she revived, and Mary Jane who married Aba Nave, she lies buried in the graveyard at the mouth of Brattons Spring Creek, and Allin who we have mentioned so often in these sketches elsewhere will not be repeated here. Soon after William Trimble was killed on White River Mrs. Sallie Trimble married Mike Yocum and the fruit of this marriage were Asa, Jake, Harve, William, Mike and Sallie. Asa was the oldest and was born in 1819 and was killed during the Civil War and was buried in the cemetery on his old farm on White River opposite the Bull Bottom and 3 miles from Peel Ark. The place is known now as the Bill Treadway land. The graveyard is on a beautiful low ridge like formation of land between White River and a little shallow valley of a hollow, and is just across from where the lane was from the old Asa Yocum dwelling, the house and lane of which has been done away with many years ago. Asa Yocum married Miss Elize Denison, the fruit of this marriage were Mike, Sallie, John, Harve, Nancy and William. I remember that Sallie married John Piland in 1860 and lived on Little Creek In Ozark County, Mo. and both died there during the war. Nancy married H. H. Perkins who served two terms as sheriff of Marion County, Ark. A few years after the death of Asa Yocum his widow married Pew C. Anderson. She is dead now: on the 7 of November 1907 I visited the graveyard at Peel Ark. where she lies buried, to read the inscription on her tombstone which reads "Eliza Anderson Born September 9, 1822 died March 2, 1906. She died in her 85th year. Mrs. Anderson is the oldest person that lies in that cemetery up to the present writing. The next oldest is Andrew J. Langford who was born September 22, 1814 and died July 17, 1894. Refering to some more of Mike Yocums children again Sallie married Calvin Hogan, and William who was born January 12, 1829 and married Miss Nancy Keesee who was born November 11, 1834. They lived on White River In Marion County Ark. William died one day in May 1861 and lies buried in the Asa Yocum graveyard. His grave is boxed up and roofed with slabs of native stone. Jane., the oldest daughter of Buck Coker married Charley Sneed in 1824 which we have mentioned elsewhere.
Springfield-Greene County Library