This home is the birthplace of James Lide Coker, son of Caleb and Hannah Coker. He was born in 1837 and served in the Confederate Army, commanding an outfit as Captain and rising to the rank of Major. His sister, Anne Coker, was the second wife to my 4th great-grandfather, Jesse Hudson. They had three sons, (Thomas, Jesse, Robert) who all died in the Civil War serving under their first cousin Captain James Lide Coker. There is more about their story, here.
Caleb Coker owned a merchant store to the left, which was started in 1828. It was called Coker & Rogers and from the sign in the photo, it looks like they sold groceries, work clothes, farm & garden equipment, hardware, paint, plumbing and electrical supplies. My 5th great-grandfather's son, Robert A. Hudson, worked here for his uncle before the Civil War.
Caleb served as the Director of the Cheraw & Darlington Railroad, Librarian of the Society Hill Library Society, and was a charter member of the Darlington Agriculture Society. The first original library has been restored and is shown in the photo below to the left.
Major James Lide Coker was the founder of Coker College. It first began in 1894 as Welsh Neck High School. In 1908, the school was converted to Coker College for Women. Until after WWII, it was the only college between Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1969, the school officially became co-educational. Today it is a private, liberal arts college.
I have a copy of a deed dated 1845 between Anne Coker and my 3rd great-grandfather, William Wesley Hudson, son of Jesse Hudson and his first wife Elizabeth Galloway. He sold 710 acres to Anne Coker and there is a note stating that it was hand delivered to C. Coker. We believe this is Caleb Coker, who as her brother must have been handling Anne Coker Hudson's business transactions after the death of her husband, my 4th great-grandfather, Jesse Hudson.