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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James Allen Cocke, planter, Arkansas. That a life-time spent in pursuing one occupation will, in the end, result in substantial success, where energy and perseverance are applied, cannot for a moment be doubted, and such is found to be the case with Mr. Cocke. He was born in Monroe County, Miss., on February 10, 1837, and is the son of Jester and Eliza C. (Atkins) Cocke, whose marriage occurred in 1828. The father was a native of Virginia, of English ancestors, who came to America prior to the Revolutionary War. To Mr. and Mrs. Cocke were born four children: Mary E., John B., James Allen and Sarah E. The father died in Monroe County, Miss., in 1841. After his death the mother married John M. Smith, and in 1845 came to Arkansas. James Allen Cocke was reared to agricultural pursuits, and received a limited education in the subscription schools of Monroe County. On November 6, 1866, he was wedded to Miss Nancy A. Youngblood, a native of Alabama, and a daughter of Ephraim A. and Mary A. (Bagby) Youngblood. The fruits of this union were three children: Jester Andrew (born June 28, 1868), John Benjamin (born April 26, 1870) and Lucy Adaline (born October 26, 1871). Mrs. Cocke died on November 10, 1871, and on May 8, 1872, Mr. Cocke married Miss Elizabeth Virginia Hess, a native of Alabama, and the daughter of David and Louisiana (Kerr) Hess, the father a native of Holland, and the mother of Scotch-Irish descent. To this marriage six children were born: Sarah F. (born March 10, 1873), Thomas (born January 7, 1875), Ada Beulah (born December 5, 1878), Helen Bertha (born December 9, 1880), Anna Laura (born March 5, 1882) and David Hess (born October 12, 1885). During the late war Mr Cocke enlisted in Company A, Fifteenth Regiment Arkansas Volunteer Infantry (the first company organized in Monroe County), and participated in the battles of Shiloh, Richmond, Perryville, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga. He was captured at the last-named place, on September 19, 1863; was a prisoner for about two months before finally reaching Camp Douglas, Ill., where he remained for eighteen months. On May 28, 1865, he was liberated at the landing below Vicksburg, and left on the first boat for home, where he arrived June 4, 1865, just a month from the time he left Camp Douglas. After this he rented land, and also carried on the carpenter’s business until 1871. He then bought 160 acres of land, and now has forty-five acres under cultivation. He and wife, and his children, Benjamin and Sarah, hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Cocke is a member of Kerr Lodge No. 195, Holly Grove, A. F. & A. M.; Chapter No. 16, R. A. M.; Blakely Council No. 19, Clarendon, Monroe County, Ark. He was made a Mason in 1866, and united with the Chapter in 1869, the Council the same year, and has served his lodge as W. M., the Chapter as Capt. of H., and has also served in all the offices in the Council.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Monroe County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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