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Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 8a by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1888.  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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HON. WILLIAM B. HOKE, judge of the Jefferson County Court, Ky., is a son of Cornelius and Jane (Dunbar) Hoke, and was born August 1, 1837. His father was of German descent, was a farmer by occupation, a progressive man, and knew the value of educating his children. His mother was a woman of fine intellectual endowments, and of Scotch-Irish parentage; both of his parents were natives of Kentucky. Judge Hoke spent the early part of his life on a farm and in the schools of his native county of Jefferson. But, displaying a taste for literary pursuits, he was sent to college, where he remained three years. Being impatient to commence the study of the law, his chosen pursuit, he entered the law office of Hon. James Speed, attorney-general under President Lincoln, and after sufficient reading attended lectures in the law department of the University of Louisville, graduating as valedictorian of his class. He was admitted to the bar, in Louisville, before reaching the age of twenty-one years. He commenced the practice of his profession in the office of Hon. S. S. English, an uncle of Hon. William H. English, of Indiana, and one of the old and leading members of the Louisville bar. He rose rapidly to public favor, and in August, 1866, was elected judge of the Jefferson County Court, a position he has filled with distinguished ability ever since — now nearly a quarter of a century. Judge Hoke is a man of fine judgement, of great strength of memory, with a superior faculty for making his knowledge available on any emergency, and is justly regarded not only one of the first lawyers, but as one of the most clear-headed, upright and able judges of the State. A recent writer said of him: “Full of the milk of human kindness, and always ready to yield to the dictates of humanity, Judge Hoke is firm as a rock against any attempt to swerve him from the path of right and duty. To the appeals of a friend he is like melting wax in the mold, and his heart and hands are ever open to relieve the distressed, but to the threats of any he is as unyielding and intractable as the fortress of Gibralter.” Judge Hoke is a writer of more than average ability, and is a clear and forcible speaker. His bench decisions are rarely reversed, and he gives the greatest interest to the minutest details in his court; he is universally admired for his official courtesy, dignity and conscientious exactness. He was one of the originators of the Knights of Honor, and in 1878 was elected to the highest office in the body, that of supreme dictator, which he filled with honor and credit; when he retired from the important and exalted station, it was the largest benevolent institution in the world. He is a prominent Mason, and has filled many important positions in the order. He is an active Democrat, and, though not a politician in the full sense of the word, takes a strong interest in the political questions of the time. In 1859 Judge Hoke was married to Miss Whartie English, daughter of Hon. S. S. English, a family distinguished in the history of the country.

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This family biography is one of 195 biographies included in the Jefferson County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 8a published in 1888 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 8a

View additional Jefferson County, Kentucky family biographies here: Jefferson County, Kentucky Biographies

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