Wednesday, July 29, 2015


DR. LEONARD THOMAS COX was born May 3, 1843, near Cromwell, Ohio Co., Ky., where he was reared to manhood, and in 1870, located at Rosine, becoming the first merchant of the place. In 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry, and remained in the service until the regiment was mustered out at the end of three years and four months. His father, Thomas J. Cox, was born in Ohio County, February 25, 1811, and is now living. He is the son of James Cox, a native of Maryland, and a Revolutionary soldier, who came to Ohio County in 1801 and died about 1840. Thomas J. married Marinda, daughter of William Leach, of Ohio County, born May 15, 1807, and died June 7, 1859, and their offspring are Mary E. (Pool), James W., Leonard T., and John B. (deceased). Dr. Cox was first married, December 24, 1865, to Emma E., daughter of Henry L. Her, of Ohio County; she was born February 9, 1847, and died September 21, 1871, and to them were born Ola T., Mary M., and Ada. March 14, 1872, Dr. Cox married his second wife, Frances E., daughter of Henry and Louisa London, of Butler County; she was born February 8, 1847, and this union has been blessed with the birth of two children: Carrie E. and Emmett. Dr. Cox is now the police magistrate of Rosine. He was for thirteen years engaged in the drug business, in the meantime applying himself to the study of medicine. In 1883-84 he attended lectures at the Medical University of Louisville, and has now been engaged one year in the practice of his profession, with encouraging success. He served as Master of the Masonic lodge, and is a member of the I. O. O. F. His first vote was for Abraham Lincoln for president, and he still has faith in the tenets of the Republican party.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Dr. Cox is buried in Rosewood Elmwood Cemetery, Owensboro, KY.

Note:  The following was furnished to me by a descendant of  Dr. L. T. Cox:

"As a young man, he became a member of the Cromwell Home Guard and later volunteered for Civil War service in Company H, Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry.  He remained in service until his regiment was mustered out three years and four months later.  

According to Leonard T. Cox, while he was still in the army, he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln against George McClellan, when Lincoln ran for a second term as President of the United States in 1864.  He took great pride in relating the story about casting his first vote at age 21 while serving his country as a Union soldier.

Like his brother, James,  Leonard Cox and his bride chose Christmas Eve for their wedding day.  On December 24, 1865, he married Emma E. Iler, the daughter of Henry L. Iler.  They had three children:  Ola P. who married L. C. Leach; Mary M. who married M. L. Heavrin; and Ada Cox who married Cicero Maxwell Heavrin.

About 1870, Leonard moved his family to Rosine and became the first merchant of that community, specializing for thirteen years in the drug business there, compounding his own medicines.  He proved both the safety and palatability of each bottle by shaking it briskly and tasting it a bit himself.  In that day and time people had herb gardens and used home remedies when trying to cure themselves; when they could not, they called on the local drug merchant.  

While a resident of Rosine, Leonard also served as a police magistrate and was active in the Masonic Lodge and a member of the IOOF.  Shortly after moving to Rosine, his wife Emma gave birth to their fourth child.  What should have been a happy event turned very sad when both Emma and her infant child died on September 21, 1871.  She and her newborn babe are buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on the Rosine-Mt. Pleasant Road, about two miles south of Rosine.

After Emma’s death in the fall of 1871, Leonard Thomas Cox found a wife and a mother for his three motherless young daughters.  He married Frances “Fannie” E. London the following spring on March 4, 1872.  They had five children of their own:  Arthur L., born 1873; Elmer Osker, born 1874; Bertie, born 1881; Emmett, and Carrie E.  The first three sons died when they were less than two years of age.  Emmett died May 7, 1897.  Carrie E. Cox later married Lyman B. Rosenfield and they had one daughter, Carolyn.  Fannie Cox, second wife of Leonard T., died September 8, 1885 and she and three of their sons are also buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Ohio County.

While still operating his drug business in Rosine, Leonard Thomas Cox became interested in the study of medicine.  He attended lectures at the Medical University of Louisville during 1883 and 1884.  Later, he became a physician and served the Rosine community for a number of years.  

Leonard Thomas Cox was an old-fashioned doctor who packed his saddlebags and rode horseback in all kinds of weather to ease his patients’ pain.  His bag contained a variety of powders, pills and potions.  In inclement weather, he used his horse and buggy; on cold nights when he was called out, he hitched up his rig by lantern, covered his legs with a heavy robe, and trotted off into the frosty air without a grumble.   He was often late coming home at night or in the early morning hours, even when it was raining and cold.  

Dr. Cox brought several hundred babies into the world.  During a childbirth, he might spend the night, depending on how the patient got along.  He never turned anybody down; whether or not they had money didn’t matter.  If they needed something done for them, he treated them the best he could. He cut and sutured when needed; he allayed symptoms and fears alike.  There were many hardships in that day and time - scarlet fever and typhoid fever were common.  He always claimed that he treated his patients, but God healed them. 

In those years, physicians accepted goods for services, and more often than not, Dr. Leonard Cox often received produce, meat, and labor in return for his administrations. There were debts in his ledger that were never collected, but most patients tried to pay something - by cash or barter. Bushels of peaches, a quarter of beef, shoeing horses, garden work, hoeing…were just some of the items or kinds of labor he accepted from patients for his services.  These methods were the only way some people had to pay their debts.  

After his second wife died, he married Mattie B. Layton.  They had no children.  Leonard Thomas Cox eventually opened a drug business at Stanley, nine miles northeast of Owensboro in Daviess County, where he lived for several years.  His name was listed in an 1878 business advertisement in the Souviner edition of the Owensboro Examiner."   Author:  Janice Brown 

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