FROM: The History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887).  P. 687

          William A. Coker was born in Hamilton County, March 28, 1845, the son of Joseph and Harriett (Richardson) Coker, natives respectively of Tennessee and Ohio.  (See sketch of the father elsewhere).  Our subject was reared and educated in this county, and when seventeen accompanied his father in the war a year or so, and later went West and Northwest with a company of soldiers; he was not a soldier however.  In 1867-68 he worked with a surveying party under Gen. Wilson, assisting to locate locks and dams on the Illinois River.  In 1868 he returned home and taught school several terms, then engaged in the stock business dealing until 1874.  He built the city mills in company with Andrew J. Guill.  They operated the mill four years, since which our subject has operated and conducted them.  August 28, 1867, he married Emily J. Davis, a native of this county.  Their two children living are Eugene R. and Clarence.  He is a Republican, but no aspirant for office.  He is a Master Mason, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is one of the reliable business men and citizens of McLeansboro.  His  residence is one of the most tasteful and homelike in the city.

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