Biography - William Cox

WILLIAM COX, who owns and operates a farm of one hundred and fifty-three acres on section 8, Rockbridge township, is one of the native sons of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Greene county, upon what is known as the Robert Hardcastle farm, on March 14, 1840. The family is of German lineage, and the grandfather was Isaiah Cox. David Cox, his father, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in the town of Brownsville, about 1810, and spent the days of his boyhood and youth in that state. He was married there to Anna Dawson, who was also born in Fayette county. He followed farming in Pennsylvania, and two children were born to them during their residence in the east. Removing to Illinois, Mr. Cox located in Greene county in June 1840, establishing his home in Linder township where he rented a tract of land for a number of years. He had been a resident of this county for only a brief period when his wife died, passing away in 1842. He afterwards married again, and he spent the last years of his life in Rockbridge township.
William Cox was reared in Greene county, living upon the home farm and assisting in the cultivation and development of the fields. He had little opportunity to attend school and is largely a self-educated man. In his youth he had to earn his own livelihood, and he worked by the month as a farm hand for several years. Throughout his entire life he has carried on agricultural pursuits. After his marriage he rented land for several years and then located where he now resides in 1864. After renting his place for a year, he purchased the property and began to cultivate and improve it.
On the 23d of June, 1862, Mr. Cox was married in Greene county to Miss Nancy Ann Stringer and they lived happily together for about twenty years, when, on the 11th of May, 1872, Mrs. Cox died. Of their two children, one died in infancy, while the other, Lucy R., was reared to womanhood, married, and had a family of her own. She died in Greene county, August 7, 1890. Mr. Cox was again married May 3, 1874, his second union being with Mary C. Tucker, a widow. Her death occurred January 17, 1881. There were three children by that union, of whom one son died at the age of six months. The others are John H., a resident farmer of Rockbridge township; and David P., who is also living in Rockbridge township. On the 1st of March, 1883, William Cox wedded Mrs. Margaret Saunders, a widow, who was born in Jersey county, Illinois. They are two children by this marriage: Mabel, the wife of William Dougherty, who is engaged in railroading and resides in St. Louis; and William, a young man at home.
In his political views Mr. Cox is a stanch Prohibitionist, having supported the men and measures of that party for a number of years. He was formerly identified with the Republican party, and cast his first ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He has never sought or desired office, preferring to do his public duty as a private citizen. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church and take a very active interest in its work, doing all in their power for its upbuilding and the advancement of the cause of Christianity. For a number of years Mr. Cox has served as a deacon in the church. Throughout his entire life he has lived in Illinois and is well known in Greene county and this section of the state as an honorable and upright man who merits and receives the confidence and good will of all with whom he has been brought in contact.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois, by Ed Miner, published in 1905, pages 453-454.

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