When I was a child, growing up in Oklahoma City, my dad purchased a second house on SE 15th Street in Oklahoma City, and my Hanks grandparents left their home in Hartford, Arkansas and moved into it. During the hours my Mom and Dad worked at the family grocery store, Billy and I stayed with our grandparents. Grandma had an old picture of our Hanks’ ancestors hanging on a bedroom wall that intrigued me, and I used to lie on the bed and look at it and wonder where those people came from. My mother, Anna Devota Hanks, and Grandma Hanks would tell me stories about our ancestors and how we were related to Abraham Lincoln. I really wanted to know about the Cox family, too, but they would only say it was "unknown."
When I was about thirteen years old, Papa Cox (my grandfather) was doctoring my smashed thumb. We were alone, so I started quizzing him about his family. He told me that he remembered living with an Indian family in southeast Oklahoma, and fishing frequently on the Blue, the Sandy, the Clear Boggy, and Muddy Boggy Rivers. I’ve been to these rivers and they are well named. The Blue is the prettiest water in Oklahoma. At the time of Papa’s childhood, the area around these rivers was located in the Choctaw Nation of Indian Territory.
"Papa" said that he had a sister named Lizzie and a brother named Major. They were told that they "fell off the wagon," and their folks kept right on going, obviously an apocryphal story. Papa was pretty sure he had already moved to Texas when he got the news that Major had drowned. I questioned my Dad on Cox family history, too, but he couldn’t add anything. They just didn’t know how three little children got to the southern Indian Territory.
When Mother passed away on May 24, 1990, my wife and I were looking at all the pictures and accumulated documents pertaining to my mother’s family history that she had kept so carefully. We decided to finish what Mom and Grandma Hanks had started.
We took a genealogy course at the Mormon Church and then we started digging for nuggets of truth. Little did we know what a long journey we were beginning. We were amazed at how fast we uncovered information about our families--with the one exception of Papa Cox’s branch. How did Papa, Lizzie and Major get to Oklahoma? Where did they come from originally? What happened to Lizzie—and Major? Thorny problems like these hadn’t been covered in our course!
William Newton Cox attended the "Red Oak" Neighborhood School of Boggy Depot during the school year of 1895-1896. Red Oak school was one of the few in the Choctaw Nation and because of this, only one child per non-Indian family was allowed to attend.
Boggy Depot was a very important town during the 1830’s and again during the 1860’s but was almost nothing by the 1890’s. Most of the townsfolk had moved to Atoka, Oklahoma. When the east/west railroad was built south of Boggy, the town was moved closer to the railroad. William, or Will, as he was called as his age progressed, lived with an Indian family whose name we have not learned. Uncle Allen remembered his dad saying the Indian man was a chief or an important government official of some kind, and had a simple last name. Perhaps it was Willis Nathaniel Jones.
In December of 1903, when William Newton Cox was twenty-one years old, he took a bride of fourteen. I’ve asked each of my uncles if they have any idea how Papa met his wife. Her name was Frona Ann Maxwell of Van Buren County, Scotland, Arkansas. Her parents were George Allen Maxwell and Cora Ann Hawkins Maxwell. William’s new father-in-law, G. A. , was a farmer as well as a peddler of general merchandise. Perhaps Papa worked for him on a farm or met him on the trail. Or perhaps G. A. found him after the wagon fall.
Two sons, Emanuel V. (referred to as E. V.) and Allen Virgil, were born to William Newton and Frona in Arkansas. In 1906, when Allen was only six weeks old, William and Frona moved to Texas. The Maxwells also moved to Texas. Large land owners needed small farmers to work their land and advertised for them, offering a "house place" of 40 to 160 acres to any family who would come and work. The owners promised to meet the family at the train, and furnish tools, seed, food, and anything else the family needed to get started. When harvest time came, the land owner was given his share of the crops.
According to Uncle Allen’s memories, Papa may have been a cook for a while in Trenton, Texas. No one is sure how they got to Texas, or why they went, but Papa soon had a "farm place" to cultivate. He hired many black workers and was a successful farmer in Fannin County, Texas.
Frona’s parents, G. A. and Cora Ann, were living at Blue Ridge, Collin County, Texas. The Maxwells seem to have stayed close to their daughter. Another daughter, Sammy-Lou Alma, had married Robert C. Ellis, and their daughter, Vivian Maurine was born the 19th day of March 1914, in Bonham, Texas. Sammy and Robert died of "swamp fever," leaving their 18-month-old daughter an orphan. Maurine then went to live with the Maxwells, but G. A.’s life style of peddling made it difficult for her to stay in school. So Aunt Frona and Uncle Will Cox took her into their household when she was about five or six, and she became a sister to the Cox boys.
When she married, Frona gave her a one-piece, orange pair of pajamas to wear on her honeymoon. The only buttons were at the shoulders. She and Bob drove to Lexington to get married at a small Methodist Church.
Aunt Maurine, ran a hot dog stand in the Capiltal Hill business district of Oklahoma City in the 1950s and. 1960s. For fifteen cents you could buy the world’s best hot dog made with Wonder buns, Williams’ wieners, Schwab’s chili, and topped with number-one white onions! Only the best was good enough!
The Lord must have sent Maurine to Grandma Cox for a good reason. Maurine was there at Will Newton Junior’s birth (Grandma was 38 years old), and she was there at G. A.’s death (this was Grandma Cox’s father). Maurine was the glue that held that family together. Aunt Maurine was always there when needed — every birth, every death, every sickness, for every one of us. She was always there.
Marvin Wesley, my dad, and his brothers Claudie and Alvie were born during the period of 1906-1919. Alvie died as an infant and is probably buried at the Direct, Texas cemetery.
Papa Will was always moving and finding something better for his family. G. A. and Cora’s children were about the same age as the Cox children, so I’m. sure with their combined efforts, there was always plenty of food on the table.
Uncle Allen told me that Papa supplied a good horse and new buggy for trips to and from school. E. V. was the tractor driver and Allen was the fastest and best cotton chopper and lead man, even though he wasn’t yet a teenager. Marvin and Claudie were old enough to bring drinking water, and to run and fetch. Perhaps they played marbles and helped around the house, too. Their last Texas home was on the Joe Goss plantation, now owned by the Pilgrim Family.
About 1919, something happened that caused them to head north across the Red River to Bennington, Oklahoma (near Blue). By late 1920, they were in Garvin county, Oklahoma, (Pauls Valley) where they farmed in at least five locations. At every place they lived, they always had the biggest, sweetest watermelons. Papa Will became the "Watermelon King."
It was during this period that Lizzie, Will’s sister, and her husband Otho Vaught moved to the Pauls Valley area from Eufaula, Oklahoma. I’m. not sure how long they lived there, or exactly when they moved on to Sherman, Texas. We do know that Papa and Lizzie wrote letters. Uncle Will has them.
Time rolls on and the good times are gone. Great-grandparents G. A. and Cora Maxwell divorced. Cora remarried a man named Tom Ellis, but this marriage did not last.. I found her divorce papers on one of my trips through Purcell. It seems that she tried to be a good wife to him, but his mother lived with them as did his daughters. The women began to make trouble for Cora. Unfortunately, Tom treated her cruelly as well, and told Cora that if she couldn’t get along with his daughters, she would have to leave. Cora was forced to live with her children. All she asked from Tom was $25.00 for attorney fees.
Tom Ellis must have been quite a character. His first wife died at Norman Central State Hospital in 1923. She and Tom were the parents of Uncle Allen’s first wife, Bulah. I located divorce papers for Tom’s second marriage which was dissolved in 1924. So Tom had remarried twice before marrying great-grandma Maxwell. Stella and Ella were from Saint Louis.
There is an interesting story here. It is quite probable that Ella was a mail-order bride. Tom had only seen her on one occasion before their marriage. Ella claimed to be a resident of Missouri, and, became acquainted with Tom through letters in the mail. They were only married two weeks when she began to receive letters "clandestinely." She asked members of Tom’s family to resist the urge to tell Tom about the letters. However, the facts came to light. On investigation, Tom discovered the letters were from men, and many contained money.
He confronted Ella and she confessed matter-of-factly that she often visited men and was probably not the sort of woman he should have for a wife. Within a few days. Ella left the house to go to a man who had sent her money to defray her traveling expenses.
Meanwhile, great-grandpa G. A. Maxwell, had married the widow Nancy Whitehead. They moved to Wills Point, Texas in 1928. G. A. came back to the Pauls Valley Area to visit on Decoration Day in 1928. He took sick and died. They buried him in the Whitebead Cemetery. Years later, great-grandma Maxwell married again to a Mr. Bleer of Wichita Falls, Texas. She came back to the Pauls Valley area just to visit, got sick and died. And so, they buried her next to G. A.
Perhaps it was a lack of money that deprived them both of headstones, or perhaps it was because both were so darn ornery. Thanks to cousins and brothers, they now have markers, although the rumbling ground may have those markers turned upside down by now. Both George Allen Maxwell and Cora Ann (Reynolds) Maxwell-Ellis-Bleer were real characters!
Map 16: Ten Cox Generations’ Westward Moves Across America
Frona Ann Maxwell & William N. Cox
He would always tickle you and ask if you had "garments on your back," or "ants in your pants." I still use them today. Grandma and Grandpa Cox had a cabin at Lake Texoma. One weekend, we were all going to the cabin. He came over to our house and picked up my bicycle. He hauled it to the cabin in the trunk of his car so I could ride it. I think of him everyday since I’m. named after him and my other grandfather.
Emanuel V. Cox, b. 06 Feb. 1905, Scotland, Van Buren County, Arkansas
d. 13 Sep 1971, Oklahoma City, buried in Resthaven Cemetery
m. Jewel Heaster Harper 18 Jul 1925, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
(For more information on Jewel’s family * click here *.)
b. 04 Nov 1906 Johnsonville, McClain, Oklahoma
d. 12 Oct 1994 Oklahoma City, buried in Resthaven Cemetery
Six children: Colleen, Albert (died in infancy), Jimmie, Gerald, Dale, and Linda
Goldia Colleen Cox b. 30 Apr 1926, Whitebead, Garvin County, Oklahoma
m. Francis "Bud" Gosling, Oklahoma City, 12 March 1946
b. 21 Mar 1926, Manchester, Iowa; d. 08 Sep 1974
F.G. "Skip" Gossling b. 24 May 1947, m. Joyce Butler Ray
Steve Allen Gossling b. 01 Feb. 1951,
m1 Carla Geist 13 June 1971
m2 Vickie Lee Parker 1 July 1977, b. 22 Jan 1953,
Lee M. Gossling b. 07 Apr 1978
Matthew S. Gossling b. 06 Feb. 1980
Susan Lynne Gossling b. 01 Feb. 1964,
m1 Andrew Franke
m2 Ronald Robertson 24 Dec 1995
Albert Val Cox, b. 13 Feb. 1928, d Apr 1928
|Jimmie E. Cox,
b. 23 Sept 1930, Guthrie, Logan County, Oklahoma
m. Barbara Cummings, 22 Dec 1951, Oklahoma City
b. 01 Dec 1931, d. 11 Jan 2001
|1||Cynthia Lynn Cox b. 11 Aug 1956, Sumpter, SC
m. Dale Mathis, 06 Oct 1973
Jason Mathis, b. 17 Oct 1975
Brandon Mathis, b. 20 Apr 1979
|2||Eddie Van Cox, b. 01 Mar 1958, Oklahoma City, OK
m1 Helen Lorton, 20 Aug 1976
m2 Karen Elizabeth Booher
m3 Laura Jones, 22 Dec 1995, Chickasha, OK
Sarah Cox, b. 20 Jul 1979
Emerald Cox, b. 18 Mar 1982, d. 28 Nov 1998
Jimmie Cox, b. 01 May 1984
|Gerald Lee Cox, b. 24 Aug 1933,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
m. Shirley Jean Seagraves, 31 Aug. 1956, Oklahoma City
b. 28 Nov 1933, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Christi Ann Cox, b. 05 Feb. 1960, m. Wm. David Eischeid
Jessica Blair Eischeid, b. 24 Sep 1987
William Andrew Eischeid, b. 19 Jun 1990
Barry Andrew Cox, b. 11 Nov 1963,
m. Angela Cuddeback, 29 Oct. 1988
Baylor Cox, b. 17 May 1994
Lawrence Lee Cox, b. 21 Nov 1998
Dale Austin Cox,
Linda Ann Cox b. 05 Apr 1944, Oklahoma City,
Allen Virgil Cox, b. 27 Apr 1906 Scotland, Van Buren, Arkansas
d. 07 Apr 1993 Enid, Oklahoma
married1 Bulah Ann Ellis 16 Mar 1926, Maysville, Oklahoma
(click here to go to the chapter on the Ellis families)
b. 03 Nov 1909 Asher, Oklahoma
d. 23 Mar 1970 Enid, OK buried in Memorial Park Cemetery
children: Geneva, Theda Jo, Bobby, Leva (see below)
married² Mary Grimes
Photographs 52a and 52b:
Allen, Bobby, Theda Jo, Geneva, Leva, Bulah
Allen, Theda Jo, Bobby, Bulah
|Geneva Francis b 8 Jan 1927, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
married1 Elbert Fremont Stubbs
m2 Donald DuFour,
m3 Royce Newell,
m4 Jesse Gant
three children by first marriage:
|1.||Carol Joy Stubbs b. 1951
m1 John Montemayer
m2 Wendall Thomas
Lisa Thomas b. 1980
Lester Thomas b. 1983
|2.||Lynette Stubbs b. 1952
m. Jerry King
Benjamin King b. 1976
|3.||Don Elbert Stubbs b. 1956
m. Christine Cottrell
Jerry Shane Stubbs, b. 1977
Kara RaeJena Stubbs, b. 1980
Danyka Christine Stubbs, b. 1984
Photograph 53: Theda Jo Browning
Theda Jo Cox b. 18 Sep 1928, Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma
one child by first marriage:
Bobby Allen Cox, b. 21 Jan 1932, Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma
m. Julia Deli Carter, 03 Oct 1954, Enid, Oklahoma
b. 13 Aug 1934, Marian, Arkansas
This couple had six children:
|1.||Jody Allen Cox 31 Jan 1956
m1 Carla Kell Campbell
m2 Christina Lynn Cherry-Wallgren, 11 Feb. 1990
Ashley Christine Cox, b. 05 Oct 1978
m. Robert Hargrove, 4 Sep 1999
Christopher Wade Cox b. 26 Feb. 1980
Jessica Lynn Wallgren Cox, b. 04 Apr 1985
Julia Caitlyn Cox, b. 20 Nov 1990
Christopher L. Williams Cox (adopted), b. 1 Mar 1994
Adrian Keeven Cox (adopted), b. 16 Jun 1997
Lonnie Dean Cox b. 17 Oct 1960, Pryor, Oklahoma
Kelly Joel Cox, b. 27 Jan 1960, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Leva Joy, b. 30 Jun 1934, Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma
m. Ronald William Sorenson
This couple had two children:
Diana Joy Sorenson, b. 05 Jan 1958
Wesley William Sorenson, b. 26 Mar 1963
Claudie Verble Cox
This couple had three children: Claude, Joe Glenn, and Mona Ruth
Claude Carroll Cox b. 08 Jun 1936, Oklahoma City
Joe Glenn Cox b. 10 Oct 1939, Ardmore, Oklahoma
Joe Glenn's second marriage was to Deborah Rhys on 07 Mar
Mona Ruth Cox b. 01 Oct 1941
Photograph 56: Mona Ruth Cox
Uncle Will has been my biggest supporter in this crazy Cox character hunt. Will has been so supportive, contributing money for research at times when I needed it most. He has contributed ideas, stories, and given me so much encouragement.
He attended but did not graduate Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee. He completed college at University of Omaha (Nebraska) while in the US Air Force. The Air Force sent him to Guam, Germany, and the Philippines where he was assigned to be a business administrator for the chaplains. He was a chief master sergeant.
He retired from the Air Force in San Antonio went to work for Texas A&M University as an accountant. He retired after 12 years. He now does tax work. Uncle Will is very frugal; he has invested wisely.
Though he never married Judy Peters, he might as well have, they do everything together except live in same house. She was my insurance agent. Will’s son Kim is a very busy computer whiz. He works for a bank. He has been in Australia often. One of his children was born there.
Photograph 57: Will and Peggy Cox
Will N. Cox b. 14 June 1927, Garvin County, Oklahoma
lives in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
m1 Peggy Louellyn Fox, 11 Feb. 1949 (div. Nov. 1960)
m² Victoria Grace Flanders-Easterwood, Dec 1960 (div. 1972)
Will and Peggy had two children (Kim and David):
Kim Wayne Cox b. 07 Dec 1953 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
m1 Beverly White (div.)
1 Toybe Ann Cox, b. 15 Dec 1970, m. Michael Kernan 19 Aug 1995
2 Jim David Cox, b. 03 Sep 1974, m. Mary Christena Belz Larken 1 April 2000
3 Joe Bryan Cox, b. 24 Mar 1978
m² Linda Jeannine (Brooks) York, 22 Dec 1982
4 Lindsay Nicole Cox, b. 26 Jun 1987
5 Courtney Christine Cox, b. 07 Jul 1989
David Lee Cox b. 03 Jun 1955, died. 11 Feb. 1978, buried in Resthaven Cemetery, Oklahoma, City, Oklahoma
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