On The Trail of - Colonel CHARLES COCKE
LIFE IN ARKANSAS (1829 - 1838?)

In 1829, Charles, Charles S. and Jester Cocke appear in the Sheriff's Census for Clark County, Arkansas. On November 20, 1829, "Charles Cox" was appointed a magistrate of Clark County. Charles Cocke and Jester Cocke are listed in the 1830 Federal Census for Antoine Township, Clark County, Arkansas. Also listed in the household of Charles Cocke is a female, aged 70 to 80, which indicates that Ellender was still alive and well. Jester Cocke is shown as being aged 50 to 60, which indicates that he is probably the son of the Jester Cocke who accompanied Charles Cocke to Wayne County, Kentucky (and who may have also moved to Madison County, Alabama and Monroe County, Mississippi).

Charles Scott Cocke also moved to Clark County, and ended up on trial for murder. Once again, he was defended by some of the leading personalities in the area. But, this time, they were unsuccessful in saving Charles from being convicted. The trial is discussed more fully in The Trials of Charles Scott Cocke.

In 1837, Charles Cocke and Jester Cocke are shown receiving grants of land in Clark County, Arkansas. It appears that these grants involved sales of land pursuant to an Act allowing the Government to sell land in former Indian lands, including other states, such as Illinois. In his 1838 Pension Application, Charles Cocke refers to himself as a resident of Greenville, Clark County, Arkansas. From the instructions that he left, there is every indication that he intended to return to Greenville.

Towns of Clark County, Arkansas (Charles Cocke owned land NNW of Burtsell).

Greenville, Arkansas

Although Charles Cocke gave his address as Greenville, he may not have lived there.  Greenville was near Hollywood.  However, the land that Charles bought in 1837 was closer to Okolona, which is about 5 miles SW of Hollywood.  The land that Jester bought was about 7 miles ENE of Charles' land.

In his 1838 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Charles Cocke gave his address as Greenville, Arkansas.  According to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture:

The town of Greenville served as the Clark County seat from 1830 to 1842. The only physical remnants of Greenville’s existence are some foundation logs from a grist, saw, and cotton gin mill, which are visible beneath the water’s surface in Terre Noir Creek.

A historical marker one mile west of Hollywood (Clark County) describes the location of Greenville as “1 & ½ miles south of this point.” The site sat on the Southwest Trail (later called the Military Road), and Greenville was one of the earliest towns in Clark County.

The origin of Greenville’s name is unknown, though a store operated by Green Hughes in 1824 was in existence before it became the county seat. The town became Clark County’s seat of justice in 1830 after Moses Collins, who served as legislator, postmaster, and later coroner, offered thirty acres of land near his home for the town where a jail and a courthouse were to be built, relocating the county seat from Adam Stroud’s home, which was approximately one mile east of Hollywood.

* * *

Greenville lost its county seat status because of lobbying efforts by a group of Arkadelphians. In 1842, Arkadelphia (Clark County) citizens hosted a picnic for a large number of people from surrounding areas. A spokesman boasted about Arkadelphia and its population of 250 residents, the town’s central location in the county, and its position on the Ouachita River. The orator asked that the county seat be moved to Arkadelphia. Acceding with the public’s excitement, the Quorum Court officially moved the county seat from Greenville to Arkadelphia.

Shortly after the county seat relocated to Arkadelphia, the Military Road [now highway 26] was re-routed, bypassing Greenville, and the town ceased to exist.

Joining Friends and Family

Charles Cocke may have moved to Clark County to join his relatives.  Jester Cocke (II) appears to have settled in Clark County, Arkansas by 1815.  (At the time, it was known as Lawrence County, Missouri.)  He lived in an area known as Wolf Creek, which may have been across the Antoine River in Pike County.  It appears likely that Jester's granddaughter Elizabeth also lived near Wolf Creek in Pike County with her second husband Elijah Kelley.  She appears to have been the daughter of Jester's daughter Rebecca who married James Fitzgerald.

1820 Reconstructed Census
Clark County, Arkansas

Cock, Jester

Clark County was created by an act of the Missouri Territorial Legislature approved December 15, 1818 and effective March 1, 1919.   The 1820 census was enumerated by Tandy Glaze, but has been lost.

Kelley, Elijah


1829 Sheriff's List
Clark County, Arkansas
Name County Township page
Cock, Jester Clark Antoine 012
Cocke, Charles S. Clark Antoine 012
Cocke, Charles Clark Antoine 012
20 Nov 1829 Appointment of Magistrate Judge
Clark County, Arkansas
Date of
Last Name,
First Name
1829 Nov 20 Cox, Charles Clarke Magistrate
Territorial Papers for Arkansas, Part 7 "Executive Register for the Arkansas Territory, 1819-1836", pp. 789-874
1830 Census
Clark County, Arkansas
(Antoine Township)
Charles Cox
1 m age 70-80
1 fe age 70-80
5 slaves
Jester Cox
1 m age 50-60
1 fe age 20-30 [Cynthia]
1 fe age 05-10 [Matilda]
3 fe age 00-05 [Nancy, Elizabeth, Lucinda]
1835 Sale of Land
Clark County, Arkansas Charles Cocke sold land to Elijah Franklin for $200 to be final as soon as the patent shall issue.
Letter dated 15 Jan 1995 from Gertrude Rains to Ann Hicks
1837 Purchase of Land
Clark County, Arkansas Cocke Charles- 1837/04/10 - NE corner of SE corner of Section 13 Township 9S Range 22W (40 acres)
Cocke Charles- 1837/04/10 - NW corner of SE corner of Section 13 Township 9S Range 22W (40 acres)
Cocke Jester- 1837/08/01 - SE corner of SE corner of Section 6 Township 9S Range 20W (40 acres)
Cocke Jester- 1837/08/10 - SW corner of SE corner of Section 6 Township 9S Range 20W (40 acres)