The USGenWeb Project
Benton County, IAGenWeb Project
The IAGenWeb Project

History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 489-490

JONATHAN COKELY has retired from active life, but still resides on his well improved farm of eighty acres in section 14, Jackson township, Benton county, Iowa. He was born in Ritchie county, West Virginia, August 27, 1840, and is a son of Edmond Cokely, who died March 7, 1907. Edmond Cokely was born in Alleghany county, Maryland, November 3, 1815, of Irish and German parentage. He was a son of Elijah and Christina (Crofuss) Cokely. Elijah Cokely died when Edmond was but seven or eight years old, and his widow, who was left with one daughter and three sons, reared and educated the children. She was born in Germany, and came to America with her parents when two years of age. In her later life she came to Benton county, Iowa, where she died in 1864, at the age of seventy-six years. Elijah Cokely's grandfather served in the American Revolution from Carolina.

Edmond Cokely was the second of the four children of Elijah Cokely, and outlived the others by many years. He followed farming practically all his life. He worked a farm several years for his mother in the part of Virginia which is now West Virginia, and in 1860 he brought his family to Benton county, Iowa, where he resided until his death at which time he owned some four hundred acres of land. He served in minor offices in the township and was a Republican politically, always very strongly opposed to slavery. Edmond Cokely married, in Virginia, in 1838, Eliza Wagner, a native of that state, grand-daughter of a Revolutionary captain who was a very scholarly man. She accompanied her husband to Benton county and died here in 1882, aged about sixty-four years. They brought eight children to Benton county, of whom but three survive, namely: Jonathan; Mrs. Margaret Winner, a widow residing near Garrison, Iowa; and Mrs. William Eick, residing at Flandreau, South Dakota.

Jonathan Cokely was reared in West Virginia until nineteen years of age, and there received a common school education. He has always successfully followed farming, and since coming to Benton county in 1860 with his parents he has been located near his present home. His farm is well improved, and until a few years ago, when he retired, he has followed farming and stock raising. He has a comfortable residence and modern conveniences. Politically he is a Republican, and he has served as school director and in other local offices. He has acquired success through his own efforts, having small capital to start with in this county, and is a self-made man.

Mr. Cokely married, at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in February, 1879, Melvina Cokely, who was born and reared in Ritchie county, West Virginia

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