Part 4: Chapter 13
Curiously, Lizzie’s obituary indicates that she was born in Caddo, Oklahoma, but we now know with certainty that she was born in Dalton, Ohio. Another strange point: Otho’s obit reads that he was a longtime resident of Pauls Valley, and died while he was visiting relatives in Dallas, and his wife resided in Sherman Texas. Why was Otho buried in Pauls Valley and Lizzie in Sherman?
Apparently, Lizzie and Otho never told their children any family information, or they didn’t know themselves. After reading all the Choctaw Indian History books and articles that I could find, I searched the pre-statehood U. S. Court records of southeast Oklahoma for any clue that would lead me to Lizzie and found a marriage record for Lizzie Cox and Otho Vaught of South McAlester, February 15, 1897. Lizzie was from Boggy Depot in Atoka County.
The 1900 Census shows an Otho Vaught of Eufaula, Creek Nation, Indian Territory, with a wife Lizzie (born in Ohio) and daughter Bertha, age 7, born 1899, (this must mean seven months, as her birth date was Nov 1899) and a brother-in-law, Major Cox, age 16, born May 1884, in Ohio. Lizzie must have lied on her marriage record as the 1900 census states that she was 19 years old, had been married for three years and birthed two children, with one living. She gave her age as 18 on the marriage license when in fact she was 20. Walter Vaught age 13 and Fred Vaught age 62 were living in the house. These two individuals were respectively: Otho’s brother, and his dad, whose complete name was Otho Fred Vaught.
The 1910 Census of Eufaula, McIntosh County, Oklahoma did not show a Major living with Lizzie. I’ve never found any other records of Major. I’ve concluded that he must have drowned, as my grandparents always said, between the years 1906 and. 1910. In a search of the Eufaula Cemetery, we discovered the graves of Lizzie’s father-in-law, Otho D. Vaught and her brother-in-law, Walter and his wife Maggie.
With the tiny Ohio clue, I was sure I’d be able to find them soon, but it was not to be. The 1890 Census for the entire United States burned in a major fire. A few records do exist, but none that help. I thought that the 1880 Census of Ohio should at least show Lizzie as a baby. I searched it, but found only older children named Lizzie Cox. I wrote to all 88 county courthouses in Ohio to see if they had any records of Lizzie and two younger brothers. Eighty counties used my sase to reply "sorry". The other eight counties were searched by using hired local historians, but no records were found.
It seemed apparent that Lizzie was a nickname. I tried Elizabeth, Mary E, Susan E and various other combinations. In the 1880 Census of Wayne County Ohio, a Celestial E., age 4/12 (i.e. four months old) was found with her father, listed as Newton Cox. The girl was the exact right age, as the census was taken in June of 1880. Going backwards to the 1870, 1860, 1850 census, we found her father was named William Newton Cox—the same name as my grandfather, Papa Cox!
It was Darlene Guerra, then living in Victoria, Texas, who suggested looking at Texas probated birth certificates. When Social Security was set up, folks had to have a birth certificate. Texas allowed people living there who could prove where and when they were born—no matter where it took place—to apply for a Texas Certificate. Darlene sent me a list of all Vaught folks who had applied. It included three of Lizzie’s children. Lizzie signed these applications giving her full name as Celestial Elizabeth Cox Vaught.
I sent for a certificate for Edward Vaught. His mother was Celestial Elizabeth Cox, born in Ohio. Edward was born in Eufaula, Oklahoma in 1902. This proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Lizzie was the daughter of William Newton Cox of Wayne County, Ohio.
When I opened the mail and found that name I was very excited. My yelling woke up all the sleeping welfare folks on my block. It was surely difficult to wait over the Memorial Day Holiday until Tuesday to get to the library.
Celestial E. Cox was found in Wayne County, Ohio, 4 months old in June of 1880. Her father was "Newton" on this 1880 record, but turned out to be "William Newton Cox" on older records. This meant that my grandfather was a Junior. A courthouse record gives us February 6, 1880 as Lizzie’s birth date. There is no record for Will Newton, nor for Major. This indicates that they were born elsewhere.
How the three Cox children got to Boggy Depot, Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory is still a mystery. Some clues have been found, but not enough proof to be sure of. I suspect they may have got there with the help of the peddler, G. A. Maxwell.
Photos graciously contributed by Margie Vaught.
Facts found in records: Lizzie stated that she was born in Ohio; Otho stated that he was born in Missouri and his parents were born in Kentucky. Apparently they never told their children any family information or they didn't know themselves. Otho's obit reads that he was a longtime resident of Pauls Valley, visiting relatives in Dallas, wife in Sherman Texas. Which son is the Tom reported living in Pauls Valley? Why was Otho buried in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and Lizzie in Sherman, Texas?
This site's address is:
Our website is hosted by