EUGENE R. COKER
That authoritative technical knowledge which is to be gained only through careful training and varied experience makes Mr. Coker an expert in the milling business, with which he has been identified in an active way from early youth, and his ability is attested when it is noted that he is at the present time manager of the Rea & Read Mill & Elevator Company, one of the foremost corporations of its kind in the eastern part of Oklahoma, the well equipped mills and elevator of the company, in the City of Tulsa, being of the best modern type, and the products of the plant including the highest grade of flour from both hard and soft wheat. The mill has a capacity for the output of 500 barrels, and the elevator capacity is 60,000 bushels. The brands of flour manufactured are '' Dinner Party,'' "Main Line Special," "Peach," "Tulsa Star," and "Rich and Rare." Special attention is given also to the manufacturing of "Rich and Rare" kiln-dried corn meal, chop and bran, and all of the admirable products issued from the mills of this representative company find wide and appreciative demand.
Eugene R. Coker was born at McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois, on the 12th of January, 1874, and is a son of William A. and Emily (Davis) Coker, both natives of Hamilton County, Illinois, where the former was born in 1845 and the latter in 1850. Of the four children two died in infancy and the subject of this review is the elder of the two surviving, his brother, Clarence, being a resident of Slater, Missouri.
William A. Coker, a representative of a sterling pioneer family of Illinois, was reared and educated in Hamilton County, that state, and as a young man he became a pioneer in the operation of a flour mill at McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois, where he continued his residence until 1896, when he removed with his family to the City of Paducah, Kentucky. After having there been concerned with the same line of industrial enterprise for some time he removed to Bellfower, Montgomery County, Missouri, where he operated a grain elevator until his removal to Slater, Saline County, that state, where he is at the present time engaged in the operation of a mill and elevator, being also a member of the St. Louis Exchange. He is a stalwart republican in politics, is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The public schools of his native town afforded to Eugene R. Coker his early educational advantages and there also he learned the milling business under the effective direction of his father, with whom he continued to be associated in this field of enterprise after the family removal to Paducah, Kentucky. In 1900 he sold his interest in their business in that city and engaged in the operation of a mill at Shawneetown, Illinois. He finally sold this business and removed to Bellflower, Missouri, where he continued to be associated with the William Pollock Milling & Elevator Company until June, 1913, when he purchased a third interest in the Rea & Read Mill & Elevator Company, of Tulsa, of which he has since been secretary, treasurer and general manager, his technical and administrative ability having proved potent in advancing the prosperity of the enterprise and in bringing all products up to the highest standard, the company with which he is thus identified representing one of the most important industrial enterprises in the City of Tulsa and he himself having secure prestige as an able and progressive business man and loyal and public-spirited citizen.
In politics Mr. Coker is aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the republican party, though he is essentially a business man and has had no desire for political office. He is actively identified with the Tulsa Traffic Association, the Tulsa Commercial Club and the Rotary flub, and is affiliated with Delta Lodge, No. 425, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons.
On the 17th of December, 1900, Mr. Coker wedded Miss Ollie A. Severs, who likewise was born and reared at McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois, and who was his schoolmate in their youth. Mr. and Mrs. Coker have two children, a son and daughter, Geraldin and Haskell.
[A Standard History of Oklahoma Vol. IV and was written by Joseph B. Thoburn and is published by the Historical Society in 1916, Transcribed by Cathy Ritter]