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William David and Cora Belle (Gloer) Presley

William David “Dave” Presley was born on September 10, 1876 in Coldwater, Baxter County, Arkansas. According to John Quincy Wolfe in his book Life In The Leatherwoods, Coldwater was four miles from his home in Calico Rock, Arkansas. Dave was the son of John and Mary “Mollie” (Mathis) Presley. John Presley died sometime between March 1876 and Jan 1882, and Dave was therefore, by culture, considered an orphan. Mollie Presley remarried Tandy Bomer approximately in 1881 and died between January and July, 1889. Mary is said to be buried in Buckhorn Township, Baxter County, Arkansas. Dave spent his childhood traveling from farm to farm doing work such as cutting firewood.

Sometime in these early years, he met Cora Belle Gloer. Cora was the daughter of William and Lucy (Payne) Gloer, being born December 18, 1881 in Baxter County, Arkansas. We don’t know anything of Cora’s childhood. It was, however short. On December 22, 1895, at the age of just barely 14, she married Dave.

To this union five children were born: 1) Robert Wilson born June 18, 1897, died December 14, 1971, and married Lillie Gertrude Webber on August 07, 1918. 2) Alvernia born December 16, 1900, died May 30, 1904 3) Clarence born June 15, 1903, died March 15, 1906 4) Edgar born October 18, 1905, died February 19, 1969, Edgar was unmarried and 5) Nina born January 27, 1907, died April 17, 1970 and married ?? Hale.

Over the years, Dave had a variety of occupations. While living in Carthrage City, Missouri, the 1900 census list him as a railroad labor. He was said to be a prosperous farmer running a gas station and grocery store on his own property in the north part of Mountain Home. Their Property was at what is now known as the “Y”, being the intersection of Highways 5 and 62. This property remained in the family until approximately 1965 when Edgar and Nina sold it. A Conoco gas station now stands there. The Presley land was very near what was used for the Mountain Home Picnic (a major, major event of the time). People would use the grounds as they came in their wagons and camp there. Dave built a house which still stands although not at the same location. It was a one story house consisting of a front room, bedroom, dining room, another bedroom, and then the kitchen which a “back porch-storage area.” The house had a big front porch and of course the family swing. Cora was a spot-less housekeeper.

Another of Dave’s money-making attempts once went a bit sour. Dave would drive his Pierce Arrow car down to Corpus Christi, Texas, and buy cotton. Returning to Baxter County he would sell it for a nice profit. This once, after his trip, he found no buyers for the cotton so he put it out back of the house. As the months past he built a shed to cover it and try to protect it. Still no buyer and the cotton stayed out there until it wrotten. I’m told he lost quite a bit of money that time.

Dave and Cora were members of the Christian Church, but most of their entertainment involved the family. Nights sitting around talking, telling stories and eating homemade ice cream were always fun. “One particular night, “according to Coy Presley, “’we’d gone up to Dave and Cora’s. Cora had two brothers, Johnnie and Chester Gloer – big fellows and bald headed. They’d said, ‘Your cow been in the green onions and can’t bring you some milk.’ We’d make ice cream. Uncle Chester and Uncle Johnnie would sit and see who could eat more bowls of ice cream and this one time we ran out of ice cream. Probably said they could eat more because we couldn’t make more cuz the women said they didn’t have any more sugar. Well Nina said she knew where there’s some sugar under the cabinet. I think Hazel and Nina got this sugar but it had little read ants in it. They said we’ll make a batch and those old men won’t know the difference.” They didn’t and ate the whole batch !!

Dave had been sick for some time before his death at home on August 13, 1937, at the age of 60 years old. Bob Presley used to say he could remember he and Coy taking turns riding a bicycle to get the doctor before Dave’s death. Dave died of heart failure. Cora lived approximately five years longer. She died of heart failure after fifteen years of problems with rheumatoid arthritis, at home on March 3, 1942. Dave and Cora are buried side by side next to the east road in the Mountain Home Cemetery, Mountain Home, Arkansas.

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