Coker Cemetery Association, San Antonio, Texas

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Coker Cemetery History #10

by Bob Battaglia

About 157 years ago Amos Dickens Jones, his wife, Jane Maria Coker, and their first child, Marion Taylor Jones, started their move from Talladega AL to Texas on Nov. 30, 1846.

This is the beginning of the diary that was kept during the journey. The first line reads, “We this day left a great many friends. Traveled today 12. Campt at the fork on Talladega Creeke”. With them was Amos’s brother William L. Jones, whose wife, Harriet Elvira Coker, died about three weeks prior to this trip. I’m sure she was involved in the planning that preceded this important change of location for everyone. The Joseph Coker family is not mentioned in this diary during this trip, but they are mentioned shortly after Amos arrived in Texas. This leaves open the question as to when Joseph and James Coker arrived in Cherokee Co. TX; they could have arrived earlier than the Amos’s wagon train. Amos records in his diary that he arrived in Texas Jan. 9, 1847. The Cokers are not mentioned until June 17.

The diary leads up to Amos’s move to the Cokers in the following sequence of entries:

“June 11, (1847)

Today Joseph (Jones, his brother) got home from Bobs (Bob McRight) with the wagon to move me to Cherokee Co.

June 12.

This day we went to Mr. Polks and got some corn and plowed out the orchard corn.

June 13.

I this day went to Augustine and got a letter from A.L. Long, J.F. Jones. (not clear here where J.F. Jones fits the statement)

June 14.

The State of Texas, San Augustine Co. We this day started to Cherokee Co. James McRight is agoing with us. We crossed the Toaac (Attoyac) river, then in to Nacogdoches Co. then threw Melrose. Traveled today 25.

June 15.

We this day traveled threw some sandy road, passed threw Nacogdoches town then threw Douglas. Traveled today 25 mi.

June 16.

We this day crossed the Angelean River, then by Cooks Fort. We camped this knight in Cherokee Co. Traveled 25 mi.

June 17.

We this day traveled over some good land and got to Mr. Cokers. Traveled today 10 mi.”

This is the last entry in Amos’s diary.For some reason he stopped keeping it on June 17. It would have been wonderful if Amos had continued the diary during those days spent with Joseph Coker’s family. The Cokers were living right about where Jacksonville is today. It is probably worth noting that a book in the Texas State Archives, “Guide to Texas 1846 – with Maps” mentions Jacksonville in this way: “Jacksonville: 130 miles east of Austin. Thirty people”. I imagine that the Coker families had to have been at least half of the population. As a side note, this book mentions Nacogdoches as follows:

“Nacogdoches: located on several small streams that flow into the Angelina River after six miles. Formerly occupied as a military post by Spain and then Mexico. Contains courthouse, Catholic Church, 10 stores and one thousand people. Univ. of Nacogdoches was incorporated 1845. Weekly newspaper published.” Obviously Jacksonville was just beginning to be settled in 1847.

Amos Dickens Jones obituary is listed as follows:

San Antonio Gazette Newspaper Dec. 27, 1906, page 8, 4th column:

“Amos D. Jones, a resident of Bexar Co. for past 61 years, died yesterday afternoon at his home on the Salado, about seven miles north of the City, aged 80 years. He was a confederate veteran and an old member of the masons. He is survived by 9 children, as follows: Taylor Jones, John Jones and Henry Jones of this City, Lee and Ed Jones of the Salado and Seaborn Jones of NV; Mrs. Kate Van Riper, widow of the late Capt. James M. Van Riper; Mrs Martha Shannon of this City and Mrs. Jennie Nicholson of Glasscock Co. Another daughter of the deceased was the late Mrs. W.H. Van Riper. The funeral will take place this afternoon from the family home on the Salado, interment being in the Cemetery at that place.”

His wife, Jane Maria, had died ten years earlier in 1896.

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