Ellis Cocke, lawyer, was born in Grainger County, September 1, 1850, the son of William M. and Sarah Cocke, both of Scotch, Irish stock, and natives of Grainger County. The former born July 6, 1815, and the latter March 5, 1818, and died in Asheville, N.C., November 30, 1866. They lived in Grainger County until 1859, then moved to Knox County, near McMillan Station, when they lived until February, 1864. Their next residence was where the mother died, and in 1872 the father married Amanda Grigsby, and settled at Winchester, Ky. The father is a lawyer, and has represented the Second Congressional District several Terms. The speech he made in Congress on the Mexican war was published in the Southern Orator. Our subject, one of a large family, graduated from Davidson College, N. C. in 1873, and at once began the study of law under Col. Frank M. Fulkerson, of Rogersville, and was admitted in 1874. In 1875, he was elected county superintendent of public schools, and while in the office he gave his spare time to the law, and today few lawyers in upper East Tennessee are better known in the criminal and Federal courts. He has distinguished himself in several cases in the last few years, and given much attention to practice in the Federal courts at Knoxville, Chattanooga and Asheville, N.C. His family has always been illustrious in East Tennessee as lawyers and politicians. He has been an active and prominent Democrat.
Transcribed by Betty Mize from Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee, 1886.