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John Cofield's Oxford & Ole Miss: Faulkner's Mules


William Faulkner raised mules on his 320-acre farm about 17 miles northeast of Oxford. With the help of his brother, John, he bred mules and grew corn to feed them. In some of his works, he gave the mule a significant role as a symbol of strength, endurance and humility. 
J.R. Cofield recalls, “Bill saw Phil Mullen’s closeup picture of a Mississippi mule in my studio one day — I had attached to the print a clipping of his writings in praise of the lowly mule.

‘Father and mother he does not resemble, sons and daughters he will never have; vindictive and patient (it is a known fact that he will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once)’
“Faulkner said, ‘Looks good off by itself’ – meaning his description of the mule – ‘Want me to sign it for you?’ And he autographed it right there. Only time I ever saw Bill autograph something without being asked.”
Photo by Phil Mullen (c) the Mullen family/UM Libraries


JohnCofield
John Cofield is a HottyToddy.com writer and one of Oxford’s leading folk historians. He is the son of renowned university photographer, Jack Cofield. His grandfather, J.R. “Colonel” Cofield, was William Faulkner’s personal photographer and for decades was the Ole Miss yearbook photographer. Cofield attended Ole Miss as well.
Stay tuned for more information on Cofield’s forthcoming book: Oxford, Mississippi ~ The Cofield Collection — a pictorial history book with John’s writing on the history to go along with the photos.
Contact John at Johnbcofield@gmail.com.
Follow HottyToddy.com on InstagramTwitter and Snapchat @hottytoddynews. Like its Facebook page: If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss…

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