Martha Evelyn Cox
Martha Evelyn Cox (1877-1961) was the daughter of James William Cox (1838-1931) and Mary Elizabeth (Mitchell) (1844-1903) and granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson Cox (1811-1892) and Susannah Miranda (Leach) (1807-1859) and of Joseph Martin Mitchell (1822-1904) and Susannah (Acton) (1826-1878). Family members say that Martha Evelyn Cox and Birch Shields eloped and married at Rockport - Aug 22. 1895.
From the Hartford Herald, Jan. 20, 1904, under column for Select community:
"Jewel, the infant and only child of Mr. and Mrs. Birch Shields, died last Thursday at 1 o'clock. The little one had been in good health from birth and death was unexpected. He was laid to rest in the Green River burying ground after funeral services by Rev. A. B. Gardner. "
Source: "A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church, 1836-1986" written and compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr. for the 150th founding of the Church, 1987.
" Brother Shields married, probably around the year 1895, a lady named Miss Evelyn Cox -- born in August, 1877, according to the 1900 and 1910 Census Reports of Ohio County Kentucky. She was, therefore, about eight years his junior in age. The above Census Records list no children. She, too, was baptized into the Church's fellowship by pastor Jarnagin, in November, 1888. She was lettered out in 1911; in and out 1920-1922. She survived him. And, after the deaths of their respective mates, she was united in marriage to Rev. J. J. Willett, in 1940. She became a widow for the second time, in 1944, upon his death."
Source for below: "A HISTORY OF THE DAVIESS-McLEAN BAPTIST ASSOCIATION IN KENTUCKY, 1844-1943" by Wendell H. Rone. Probably published in 1944 by Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, pp. 425-426.
"Brother Willett was married to Mrs. Birch Shields, the widow of Rev. Birch Shields, in the early part of 1940, and since that time has made his home at Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky. He is also a member of the historic Beaver Dam Baptist Church. Even though he is now in his eighty-third year our brother can still tell you why he is a Baptist and can preach to you a very able sermon. The ministry has been blessed and enriched by the life and labors of James Joseph Willett. He gave much encouragement and counsel to the author during the early days of his ministry and he will be forever grateful for it."
On April 2, 1961, Martha Evelyn (Cox) Shields Willett, at age 83, departed this life; and her remains rest alongside his remains (1934) interred in the Green River Cemetery, where his paternal parents and grandparents are buried, as well as other relatives.
Obituary of Martha Evelyn:
MRS. EVELYN WILLETT
Beaver Dam -- Evelyn Willett, 83, of Beaver Dam died at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Ohio County Hospital in Hartford, following an illness of several months. She was the widow of J. J. Willett. She was born in Ohio County on August 31, 1877, and had lived in Beaver Dam most of her life. She was a member of the Beaver Dam Baptist Church.
Survivors include two sisters, Mrs. Mary E. Christian, Cromwell, and Mrs. H. T. Crowder, Rosine; two brothers, O. C. Cox, St. Louis, Kentucky and J. N. Cox, Troup, Texas.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at the Casebier Funeral Home chapel, the Rev. Dale Holly, officiating. Burial will be in Green River Cemetery.
The body is at the Casebier Funeral Home in Beaver Dam.
Submitted by Janice Cox Brown, Coppell, Texas