The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

On the opposite side of White River from the mouth of Shoal Creek in Crocket township, Marion County, Ark., is the old River Bill Coker farm which was settled by Jess Yocum. A-large number of sugar maple trees were on this bottom and in the bluff when Mr. Yocum came here and he and wife made plenty of sugar and syrup out of the sap of these trees. Yocum collected the sap from the troughs and vessels that he had placed under the spouts to catch the water in by using a one horse sled and barrel. During one winter season he and wife filled three 50 gallon barrels with nice cakes of sugar made from the sap of the sugar maples. When Yocum left here he was succeeded by Jack Nave, son in law of Ned Coker. One morning before breakfast while Nave lived here he shouldered his gun and started up to Ned Cokers on urgent business. He ‘had not more than got out of sight of his cabin when he spied a family of bears composed of a mother and three cubs. A shot from Navels gun and the old bear fell. The cubs stayed with their dead mother until the man reloaded his rifle and shot and repeated it again and two of the cubs lay dead at the side of their mother. After reloading his gun again he shot and wounded the other cub but it made its escape. This was bear enough for one breakfast spell and he postponed going to Coker’s that morning and he and his wife fell to work taking the hides from the game and dressing and carrying the meat to the house.

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