The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

In the long ago when Joe Coker the famed character lived in the neighborhood where the town of Lead Hill Ark. now stands he was accused of living an immoral life or in other words he was charged with having too many wives.

Mr. R. S. Holt, a resident of Lead Hill and who was personally acquainted with Coker for many years said that while Joe was living with Miss Margarette Phipps sister of Ben Phipps he pretended to keep her for his house keeper and that he had hired her to stay there and care for his house hold goods but most everyone knew that he was violating the law and kept the girl there as a wife and refused to marry her. Every time court was in session at Yellville Coker would make an effort to evade the law but in this he was put to a great deal of trouble in trying to shun the courts and beat them. The girl was industrious and good looking and Coker kept her dressed very nice. On a certain time just before court convened Coker hired a young man to take the girl away like he had stole her from him and keep her away until after circuit court was dismissed. Unfortunately for Coker the young fellow did not make a mock of stealing her but fell in love with her and she returned his affections and he did steal her sure enough and left the country with her and never did come back which almost broke the old mans heart.

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