Coker Community book
We are happy to announce that the Trustees of Coker Cemetery Association have reached an agreement with
Gayle Brennan Spencer to write a book about Coker Community. You may recognize Gayle’s name as she recently wrote the book, Last Farm
Standing on Buttermilk Hill
about longtime Coker Community residents, Max and Minnie Voelcker [click here for details]
. Gayle is
beginning her research and would welcome your help in gathering information. See her request below along with a blog she has started about
Coker Cemetery Association
Butch Gerfers, President
A page recording births and weddings in a family Bible. A brand registration from the late 1800s. A class photo from the old Coker
schoolhouse. A tax return from the 1920s. A long-forgotten diary or letters tucked away in a shoebox. Memories your grandfather shared with
you about your family’s arrival in San Antonio or life on the farm.
We are looking for chards such as these to piece together a story of the lives of the hardworking dairy farming families who lived just
north of San Antonio, clustered around what is now Loop 410. These families were unified by school, church and graveyard into a tightly
knit community – the Coker settlement, and the Coker Cemetery Association plans to reunite these families in a book.
A walk through the Coker Cemetery reveals some of the names of the farming families populating the settlement: Coker, Gerfers, Hampton,
Harrison, Jones, Marmon, Smith, Tomerlin, Autry, DeKunder, Gulick, Harper, Isom, Maltsberger, Pipes, Tomasini and Voelcker. While their
dairy farms in the area known as Buttermilk Hill have been swallowed up by the growth of San Antonio, the nonprofit association
maintaining this historical cemetery knows their stories merit preservation.
As family members have scattered away from their farms, remnants of the area’s history have scattered with them. The Coker Cemetery
Association wants to bring these back together as a gift to the descendents of all who rest under the tombstones behind the old Coker
Charged with the task of weaving bits of historical information together into a book illuminating this oft-forgotten portion of San
Antonio’s rural heritage, I am asking you to introduce me to your ancestors from the Coker community. Please search your study, basement
and attics and dust off the cobwebs in your mind to share memories and artifacts that will help with this project.
Please contact me with anything you find at Gayle@CokerCemetery.com, and thank you for this opportunity.
Gayle Brennan Spencer
Coker Book blog