Rev. William M. Coats
Died at his home in Miller township Monday evening, Sept. 20th 1897, about 6:30 o'clock of heart failure. He had during the day, been as well as usual--ate a hearty supper and made no complaint until a few moments before his death when he placed his hand over his heart and exclaimed Oh, and expired.
Mr. William Coats was the son of Sanders Coats who emigrated with his family from Shelby county Tenn. to Bradley county, Arkansas and settled on a track of land bordering on Big creek in the winter of 1848 or 1849. It was in the neighborhood that the subject of this notice grew from childhood to man estate and where he was united in marriage to Miss Ann Elizabeth Ryburn. Since coming to this state he has lived in the section of country now embraced in Cleveland county.
In early life he professed religion and joined the Baptist church. He afterward became a minister of the gospel and was ever ready to assist the ministers of his church in holding meetings and in doing good wherever he could, though he did not devote himself active to the ministry having a large family most of his time was required to provide for their wants. He was an honorable member of society and during a period of 50 years in this section he was never known to be engaged in a neighborhood brawl. His ideas of honesty, sobriety and virtue were high and no one ever had anything hard to say against him.
He leaves three sons and seven daughters to mourn his death, but they weep not as those without hope for they have every reason to believe that he has passed into that land that _____?______ sorrow and from______?_______sympathize with the____?_____ _________?_______friends.
Submitted by Belinda (Brown) Winston
Source: Cleveland County Herald, 23 Sep 1897