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Cox Characters
Conclusions to Confusions

Part 3: Chapter 13

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Family History
of Dorothy Wilkin Clark

by Kenny Ray Cox

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Dorothy has been researching her Cox ancestors for years. As we were, she is faced with a barrier: Who was the father of William H. Cox, her great-great-grandfather? Was he a descendent of our Peter Cox or of a certain Thomas Cox? The answer after years of research is that nothing can be proved. Neither she nor I could ever find where that Thomas came from. Both Dorothy and I have really scrubbed Stark and Wayne Counties. But we have not solved the mystery yet.

I favor Peter as her William’s father, which would make him the uncle of our William Newton (#1) because of the obituary of one of our kin that mentions Kendalville, Indiana as where some of our folks went. Also Seitz folks were not found either. So going round about did not work. Dorothy’s William Cox could have very well been a son of Peter and Magdalin. But neither of us can prove or disprove it.

We are including snippets of her genealogy in the hopes that other researchers might take up the challenge of finding who William’s ancestors were. Her work is very pro, very meticulous. She has checked records on land grants, births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, wills, deeds, abstracts, guardianships, military records, newspapers, probates and orphans, ships’ passenger lists, Pennsylvania immigrants, German pioneers, surname card indexes, etc.

In one of her letters to us, she wrote: "It’s highly possible that my William was related, probably a son of one of Peter’s brothers. Samuel Joseph listed above was three years older than William, would be a cousin and the likely person to have taught William the tailoring trade."

In January 1998 Dorothy speculated that William’s father was likely to have been a certain Wayne County Ohio resident named Thomas Cox: "My gut feeling is that Thomas is really the one to look at because he was listed in the 1820 and 1830 Census records for Wayne Co. (Wooster Twp.) with a son the age of William; William joined the Wooster Baptist Church in 1831 at age 16; William and Mary named their sons William J., Thomas J., and Andrew (no Peter)."

William H. Cox died tragically in 1897. He committed suicide at his son’s home in Kendalville, Indiana. Here are excerpts from the Kendallville Standard. His death made the front page of the March 19th issue of the Indiana newspaper (pages 1 and 8):

W. H. Cox, an old and Respected Citizen Ends His Life

The city Friday was startled with the news that Mr. W. H. Cox, one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of this city, had ended his existence by cutting his throat with a razor, at the home of his son, T. J. Cox, on Diamond Street, during the noon hour.

For some months the old gentleman has been in poor health which caused his mind at times to be unbalanced, and during one of these spells he took his life.

After eating his dinner he went up stairs and in a few minutes called to his daughter-in-law. She immediately went to the head of the stairs where a sad sight met her eyes. The father was lying upon the floor, with some old clothing under his head for a pillow and was covered with blood.

A messenger was immediately dispatched for Mr. Thomas Cox, who had left but minutes before to resume his work up town. Drs. Williams and Gilbert were summoned but ere they arrived death had claimed the unfortunate man.

Mr. Cox was a gentleman highly esteemed by all who knew him. He had many friends who keenly regret his tragic death and who sympathize deeply with the sorrowing relatives. The deceased was 82 years of age and left seven children, Mrs. M. F. Bowen of Avalon, Missouri, Andrew Cox of McPherson, Kansas, Mrs. E. B. Creditor of Wichita, Kansas, Mrs. Jennie Hayward, Mrs. L. V. Lewis, T. J. and W. J. Cox of this city, aside from other relatives, who mourn his sudden departure from them. The funeral took place from the Baptist Church, Sunday morning at 10:30.


William H. Cox

William H. Cox was born in Wayne county Ohio, April 19, 1816, departed this life March 12, 1897, aged 80 years, 10 months and 21 days.

He united with the regular Baptist church in Wooster, Ohio on the first Sunday in May 1831. He married Mary A. Sites in Massillon, Stark county, Ohio, Feb. 10, 1838. To them were born three sons and six daughters. Two of the daughters died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Cox moved to Indiana in 1843 and settled in Peru, Miami county. From there they moved to Miami, which town Mr. Cox helped to lay out, and in 1856 they moved again and settled in Kendallville, which, with the exception of a few months residence in Bryan, Ohio, became their permanent home.

Mrs. Cox died April 15, 1883.

Mr. Cox has been a man of sterling qualities all through his life and was one of Kendallvillle’s best known and most respected citizens.

During his residence in Indiana he has always been closely identified with the Baptist denomination and has been a leader of the church in this city, being one of the founders of the church in 1857.

He leaves behind him three sons and four daughters to mourn the loss of a kind Christian father.

The funeral was held from the Baptist church Sunday morning at 10:30 o’clock and the remains were laid to rest in Lake View cemetery.


Dorothy Wilkin Clark’s Mother’s Line of Descent from William H. Cox

Dorothy is the daughter of Edith Harriet Story and Fred Wilkin. Dorothy’s mother’s maternal grandmother was Jennie Jane Cox, daughter of William H. Cox of Wayne County, Ohio.



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