b. 1829 – Virginia
Coke studied civil law at William and Mary College before moving to Waco. He was appointed to a judgeship in 1865 by Governor Hamilton, who valued his integrity, despite their political differences. Although he was elected to the Texas Supreme Court, General Sheridan removed him from office.
Coke won the Democratic nomination for governor, defeating the Republican incumbent, E. J. Davis. He tried to restore financial stability, but the campaigns to secure and combat Native Americans on the western frontier off-set any savings. He vetoed a bill to subsidize a railroad, decentralized public education, and was burdened with pleas for pardons, job applications, and gun permits. Texas A&M opened for vocational education during his term. He was re-elected governor in 1876 but resigned when he was elected to the Texas Senate.