The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 390
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
present, just as in life. The face denotes strength of self-confidence for
which the senator was noted. But the chemicals have transformed the
flesh into stone almost, and the body looks like it would last for all
time to come.'5
Senator Coke is said to have had the first metal casket in Waco.
It was bought from Fall and Puckett and is reputed to have cost
twelve hundred dollars.l Billy Fall remembers his father's telling
about it and remarking, "Imagine anyone having a funeral that
cost more than one hundred and fifty dollars."" The coffin was
made of aluminum which was so highly polished it looked like
solid silver. The lid of the casket was glass from the center up.
When the body was placed in it, the face of the dead statesman
could be seen "tranquilly sleeping, looking as if he were at last
resting entirely to his liking and enjoying his sleep with no dis-
The remains of the patriarch lay in state in the parlor of his
residence, at 805 South Eighth Street, until Sunday morning. The
... on a catafalque in the middle of the floor of the main parlor,
the walls of which are hung around with ancestral portraits some of
them dating back to colonial times when Sir William Berkeley was
governor of the territory of Virginia. The book case is in the corner,
filled with volumes the senator has been collecting since early man-
A guard of honor watched around the coffin and friends called
in great numbers to pay their respects.
Mrs. Coke was consulted by the close friends of the senator
with regard to plans for the funeral service and her wishes pre-
vailed. The service was non-denominational, but was held in the
Baptist 'Tabernacle. Senator Coke had been baptised in infancy
in the Episcopal Church of old Williamsburg, Virginia, and had
grown up an Episcopalian; but in manhood he had attended
church without regard to denomination, preferring to select the
15Galveston Daily News, May 16, 1897, p. 2.
'oLilian Wallace Breustedt Riley to M. M. D., signed statement, September 15,
1959 (MS., Archives, University of Texas Library).
17W. W. (Billy) Fall to M. M. D., signed statement, September 15, 1959 (MS.,
Archives, University of Texas Library).
18Galveston Daily News, May 16, 1897, p. 2.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/490/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.