Wednesday, November 30, 2016




February 24, 1838 - September 30, 1931

June 1, 1844 – February 7, 1903

James William Cox, the son of Thomas Jefferson Cox and Susannah Leach, grew up in Ohio County, Kentucky, as his father had done before him. His parents named their first son for his paternal and maternal grandfathers, James Cox and William Leach.  Family and friends mostly called James by the familiar nickname of “Jim.”  His paternal grandparents were James Cox and Elizabeth Leach; his maternal grandparents are believed to be William and Aley Leach, all of whom were among the first newcomers to Ohio County.  Tax records prove they arrived in the county in 1801, having migrated with other settlers from Maryland and Virginia to Kentucky, about three years after the county was first established, December 17, 1798.  Deed records provide additional proof of their entrance into the county. 

Kentucky became the fifteenth state to join the Union on June 1, 1792.  By the time James William Cox was born in 1838 at his parent’s home near Cromwell, Ohio County, the original thirteen states had been expanded to twenty-eight.  The U. S. population had grown from 3.9 million in 1792 to approximately 17.0 million.  Martin Van Buren was serving as the eighth President of the United States (1837-1841).   James Clark, a Whig, former lawyer and judge, was governor of Kentucky (1836-1839), known for creating the State Board of Education, and establishing a public school system in every county.


James Cox had an older sister and two younger brothers: Elizabeth Mary, born about 1832; Leonard Thomas, born May 3, 1843; and John T. B., born in 1848, died at age five of fever, November 4, 1853.  Little John Cox is buried at East Providence Cemetery, near the graves of his parents, Thomas Jefferson Cox and Susannah Miranda (Leach) Cox.

Elizabeth Mary Cox, the only sister of James Cox, married Allen W. P. Pool on January 27, 1851. Allen appears to be the son of Augustus P. and Susan Pool, found in the 1850 Breckenridge County, Kentucky census, where Allen was listed as thirty-four, born North Carolina.  Records are sparse for this man, other than a mortgage from Allen P. Pool to J. F. Paxton on two cows and ten head of hogs and furniture in the sum of $150.   This document is recorded in Deed Book M, page 6, in Ohio County court records. 

Elizabeth Mary and her husband had at least two known children, a daughter, Elvenure I. Pool, born in July 1853, and a son, L. S. Pool, born 1856, who, according to the death records of Ohio County, died August 12, 1857, of typhoid fever.  Because this family was not found in the 1860 census lends speculation that someone in the family may have been ill - perhaps with typhoid fever, since this seemed to be a commonly reported illness in Ohio County.  New cases were reported nearly every month in the Ohio County newspapers on a regular basis.  Deaths were reported frequently, especially among young children and older people.  Perhaps the census taker didn’t want to stop by to get a census report if he had heard there was illness in the home.  Possibly they were just skipped.  All spellings were investigated. 

No further record of Allen W. P. Pool, born 1816 in North Carolina, husband of Elizabeth Mary, has been discovered.  He is not to be confused with the older Allen P. Pool born in 1812 in Kentucky, who married Elizabeth Cox, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Leach) Cox on November 29, 1836.  Both men are shown in the 1850 census; the younger one in Breckenridge County, and the older man in Ohio County.

In the 1870 census, Eliza Pool, thirty-six, widow, and her daughter, Elvenure, age fifteen, were living at Pincheco, where Elizabeth Mary was shown with real estate valued at $150, probably the lot given to her by her father, Thomas Jefferson Cox. 

Elizabeth Mary, at age forty-seven, was last found in the 1880 census, living with her daughter, Elvenure, and son-in-law at Pincheco near Cromwell.   Her land boundaries were mentioned in several deeds after 1885, so she probably died sometime between 1885 and 1894 when her daughter moved to Indiana.  

As far as is presently known, only her daughter, Elvenure Pool lived to maturity.  She married James H. Maddox and over a period of twenty-nine years, they had eleven children, eight of whom lived to adulthood.  The Maddox family left Ohio County in 1894 and moved to Greene County, Indiana, where their last child was born in 1895.   It is believed they lived out their lives there.


When he was eighteen, Leonard Thomas Cox, younger brother of James, became a member of the Cromwell Home Guard, later mustered into the United States service as Company H, 17th Kentucky Infantry, on January 4, 1862, at Calhoun, Kentucky.  The Seventeenth was immediately placed on active service and took part in six major battles.  Leonard remained in service until his regiment was mustered out at Louisville three years and four months later on January 23, 1865. 

That same year Leonard T. Cox married Emma E. Iler on December 21, 1865.  They had three daughters, Ola T., who married L. C. Leach, Mary “Mollie,” who married Musker L. Heavrin, and Ada, who married Cicero Maxwell Heavrin.  L. T. Cox became a pharmacist and lived at Rosine for many years.  After Emma’s death in 1871, he married his second wife, Frances E. London on March 12, 1872, and they had five children, Arthur L., Elmer Oscar and Bertie (all three died young) and Carrie E. and Emmett.  Emmett died at eighteen.  “Fannie” died September 8, 1885, in Ohio County.  On July 3, 1887, Leonard Cox married Mattie B. Layton. 

            While still a pharmacist, Leonard began the study of medicine and after attending lectures at the Medical University of Louisville during 1883 and 1884, he became a physician.  He and Mattie moved to Daviess County where he practiced medicine until his death, June 21, 1906, at age sixty-three.  He and Mattie were buried in Elmwood Cemetery at Owensboro.


 Seasons and Working on the Farm

In 1838 when Jim Cox was born, it was an agrarian society.  Farming was the occupation of seventy percent of the families in America.  Jim Cox grew up working on his father’s farm and when he could, he attended school at Cromwell in between crops. No matter how early the chores started, whether dark clouds prevailed or a blazing sun shone down, there was always plenty to do around the Cox family homestead.  The family, like many others of that day, found a certain satisfaction in working the fertile soil and reaping its harvest.  

Usually, in February, Ohio County farmers were making use of any fair weather that came their way and were starting to farm again.  They were busy plowing for corn, sowing oats, buying their seeds, and getting ready for another year of farming with big preparations for a large crop.  Farmers who grew tobacco were hard at work burning plant beds and getting the burn beds ready for the new tobacco seeds.

How much tobacco Thomas Jefferson Cox produced on his farm, if any, is unknown, but he probably cultivated at least four or five acres, maybe more, to be sold for cash.  For some farmers, tobacco was a mainstay. 

The rewards of living and working on the farm were many – the taste of sweet cider, a herd of healthy cows, and reaping good crops. Of course, throughout the coming years, the Cox family experienced good times, hard times, and everything in between.

NOTE: This article is Part I of several.  It was written by Janice Cox Brown, an expert genealogy researcher whose ancestry is from Ohio County. Janice now lives in Texas. We thank her for her work and her desire to share her family research.

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