Coker Cemetery History #9
by Bob Battaglia
Joseph Coker and family lived in Cherokee Co TX at least 7 years before moving to Bexar County. Here is some of his activity before arriving in San Antonio area:
Cherokee Co., TX, Court Records: District Court minutes Vol. 2, case 132, page 19: John W. Craft, plaintiff asking judgment against Joseph Coker to recover monies owed - May 2, 1849. Proceedings continued on and off until Oct. 30, 1849 when Craft won by jury.....$56.78!
Deed records: Book C, page 312...........Joseph Coker, for Love and affection for son, James H. Coker and $10 in hand all rights to my goods, chattels, leases, and personal estate to have full possession at time when ready speaks of delivery of whole of provisions here granted. (Recorded Apr 3, 1850, meaning of this is not clear, maybe a will of sorts due to illness).
Book D, page 202........Liberty Co., TX, estate of John Pinckney; Sept 24, 1849, case #32. Joseph Coker purchases a block, part of an 8 league survey in Cherokee Co., formerly Nacogdoches Co., granted José Pineda, called the western 4 league. Coker's purchase for 1,111 acres with cost of $1,111. (A dollar per acre!) This was filed for record Oct 7, 1850 and recorded Jan 8, 1851.
Book D, page 385.…..continuation of above, Joseph Coker signs promissory note payable in 12 months after date of Nov 6, 1849.
Book G, page 584......Joseph and Melinda Coker paid $836 by Henry Click and S.F. Donley, executors of the estate of John Bass for all land north of Jacksonville, block 9, western league - José Pineda survey.
Jan. 8, 1853.
Book H, page 304......Joseph and Melinda Coker paid $836 by Samuel Gover for part of block 9, 2 miles north of Jacksonville, in western 4 league granted to Frost Thorn, assignee of Jose Pineda.Jan 8, 1853.
This deed activity establishes Joseph and wife Melinda in Cherokee as late as January 1853. The tombstone for Melinda, buried in old Jacksonville Cemetery, establishes her death as May 24, 1853. It appears that Joseph Coker and unmarried children, plus the married sons and daughters moved to Bexar in late 1853 or early 1854. Those children already married were Jane Maria to Amos D. Jones; James Harrison Coker to Sara Jane Gann and Eliza Caroline Coker to Hyram Carroll Rogers. The first marriage in Bexar Co was daughter Sarah Pamela Coker to Marshal Molton Seay July 22, 1854.
In the 1880 Bexar Co Census, Joseph Coker was living alone. Interesting note – census taker spelled it Cocker. Next to him in one direction was Neill B. Coker and family, William L. Coker and family, Michael and Sara Maltsberger (no family). In the other direction F.George Davidson and family, George Schwalle and family, John Finto and family. Schwalle family was from Alsace-Lorraine area and Finto was from Hungary. The Coker Community was already taking on a worldly picture.
James Hampton was in the area in the 1880 Census with his large family. Children all born in TX. His neighbors on one side were: George and Roxana Maltsberger & family. On other side James & Melinda Van Riper.
The 1880 census shows James Hampton 45, born in TN and wife Melinda Coker Hampton 37, born in AL. Children: Jane 23, Sarah 21, Nancy 18, Melicy 12, Melinda 10, Elmira 7, William 5 and Wade 2.