HOW NED COKER WANTED THE MOLES DESTROYED
By S. C. Turnbo
The old Ned Coker farm which is situated on the right bank of White River in Crocket Township in Marion County, Ark. was settled very early. Ned Coker and Aunt Winnie his wife settled this land before 1824. Mr. Coker was a son of Buck Coker and was quite an intelligent man. The writer learned a great deal of information from him relating to the pioneers settlers along White. When I was a young man I took much delight in listening at Mr. Cokers early reminiscences. I have heard him recite a number of strange and interesting incidents that occurred in the upper White River Valley in the years gone by. He was well known as a man that kept his own councils and run his own affairs one day while he and others were conversing together one of the men remarked, "Mr. Coker can three men keep a secret". and he quickly replied, "Why certainly they can if two of them are dead."
Soon after Coker and his wife settled this bottom they built a small log house on the bank of the river and cleared a few acres, of land and planted it in corn in the spring of 1824. But the moles were so numerous that they devoured every grain of it almost before it come up. This was all the seed corn or any other corn the man had that spring and there was no more in reach of him to buy at any price and the man was terribly wrought up in temper at the hundreds of moles which destroyed his seed corn he had planted. And in his anger he called on the great God of heaven to cause a flood to come in White River big enough to submerge all the bottoms deep enough to drown all the moles from the head of the river to the mouth of it. In the latter days of August and the first few days of September of that year when the gates of the nimbus clouds were opened and let down blinding sheets of water which filled the channels of the creeks and hollows to overflowing and the rush of this water into White River soon caused this stream to be a roaring and foaming flood of water which rose so rapidly that Mr. Coker and his wife were driven from their cabin and they sought safety on higher ground. As they were leaving their hut Mrs. Coker reminded her husband of what he had said and prayed for in his wicked way of calling on the name of the good God of Heaven what he wanted him to do when the moles eat up the corn he had planted the spring before "and now Mr. Neddie" says she "I guess your prayers are answered but God cannot drown all the moles in this bottom without giving you trouble. The water went on rising and spreading over the bottom until the couple were compelled to remove their camp a number of times before the water began to recede. Mr. Coker began to think that it was going to be another universal flood that the Bible, spoke of and repented of what he had desired the Lord to do and become restless and uneasy and quoted the word of God as saying that God had promised that the earth would never be destroyed by water any more "but my God Winnie this rise looks very suspicious for I believe it is going to cover the entire earth before it quits. This land is now known as the Alex Pruitts upper farm.
Springfield-Greene County Library