Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 505] an extensive land-owner and progressive citizen of Wilmington township, Lawrence Co., Pa., is a descendant of one of the men who, coming into this country when it was comparatively uninhabited by white men, with wide forests covering what are now fertile and productive plains, infused their energies and ideas of thrift into the very life of the community. That Lawrence County is to-day one of the leading counties of the Kevstone State, in all things that count for true prominence, is primarily due to the sort of men who founded it. That it maintains its pristine dignity and enjoys unexcelled prosperity is because the sons of those older men have the true kind of material in their composition.

The grandfather of Thomas Cox bore the same name as his esteemed grandson, the subject of this history. The older man was born in England, the son of sturdy and thriving parents. His early education was received in the English schools. When still a young man, stirred by that British spirit which has made the Anglo-Saxon race the power it is in all countries by its colonists, he came to this side of the water with his young wife, and located near Pittsburg, buying a farm on which he remained sixteen years. He then went to Lorain, Ohio, where he remained until his death at eighty-six years of age, occupied in agricultural pursuits. He gathered about his fireside seven children: William; Joseph; Robert; John; Thomas; Sarah; and Catherine. This family was reared under the goodly influence of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics the boys were Republicans, and all became worthy and reliable citizens. William, the eldest son, was the father of our subject. He was born near Yorkshire, England, and came with his father and mother to this country. After finishing his education, he went into the salt business, owning and operating a salt works for many years. Being drawn toward agricultural pursuits, he finally leased the salt plant, and bought a farm of 125 acres near Pittsburg, which he successfully conducted for several years. He then leased the farm, and moved to Homestead Pa. His first wife was Hannah Ford, daughter of Joseph Ford, and this union resulted in eight children, who were as follows: Sarah; Catherine; Joseph; Elizabeth; Thomas, the subject of this writing; William; George; and Robert A. A few years after the death of his first wife, Mr. Cox was united in wedlock with Anna Whittaker, and to them one child, John F., was born. Mr. Cox lived in Homestead until his eighty-sixth year, when the inevitable summons came, and he obeyed the call. Political and religious matters were on the same lines as in his father's home before him.

Thomas Cox was born Jan. 1, 1837, on the old farm in Allegheny Co., Pa. His first training was in the home and in the excellent schools of his native section. As soon as he had attained the requisite strength, he began working on the home farm for his father, continuing to be employed in this manner until he was twenty-four years of age, when he came to Lawrence County. At that time he married and bought a farm of 125 acres. To this tract of land, which was very little improved when he took possession of it, he has been constantly adding everything in his power that would bring it up to his idea of what a model farm should be, so that now Mr. Cox has 215 acres of most fertile soil, all carefuly looked after and brought into the highest state of cultivation. Good, substantial buildings, splendid orchards, wide-reaching meadows, and golden fields of waving grain all show Mr. Cox to be a farmer who loves his work, and appreciates fully the importance of that calling which furnishes to mankind the real necessities of life. Mr. Cox has a shrewd, discriminating eye for good stock, and in his pastures graze some of the best specimens of high-grade animals that may be seen in many a day's journey. The orchards on his farms are in full bearing, and produce about every variety of fruit that can be successfully raised in this latitude.

The beloved wife of Mr. Cox, whose maiden name was Anna Layton, is now dead. She bore to her husband three children, named: Ida M., Anna C., and John W. Ida M., became the wife of Frank McClure, and they have two children, Thomas Z. and Francis L. Miss Anna is living at home and keeping house for her father. John W. married Susan Foster, and has one son, Lawrence F.

Mr. Cox has through life been an all-around, valuable citizen. He has served his townsmen in various offices faithfully and well, having at one time and another been supervisor, school director, collector, auditor, and judge and inspector of elections. Whatever he does, whether for himself or for the public, he believes in performing to the best of his abilities. Carelessness or laxness have no place in his make-up. He has reared his family in the M. E. Church, and his boys like himself are all good Republicans. The inhabitants of this section of the State all know Mr. Cox as an honest, reliable, and progressive citizen, and respect him accordingly. His prosperity is due mainly to his own industry and to the care he has taken of the worldly goods entrusted to his judicious management. He is a very approachable man, and is always a willing listener to anything that tends toward human progress and enlightment.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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