Samuel W . Cox, one of the older residents of Yellow Springs, was born in the township of Miami, in the first house that was built within the limits of what is now known as the village of Yellow Springs. His natal day was December 5, 1833. and his parents were Samuel W. and Elizabeth (Jones) Cox. The latter's father, Dennis Jones, who was born in Wales, and emigrated to America, married in Loudoun county, Virginia, and came to Ohio at a very early day, locating in Clark county, where he lived and died, He had followed merchandising in Virginia The father of our subject was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. The parents were married in Georgetown, D. C, where two children were born unto them. The father was a blacksmith by trade and followed that pursuit throughout his entire life. He was employed on the Chesapeake & Ohio canal during its construction and in 1827 he came to this state, spending his first winter in Clark county. later becoming a resident of Miami township, Greene county, his home being near the springs from which the village received its name. His farm is now known as the Kneff place. There Mr. Cox lived for seven years and on the expiration of that period he purchased a place near the village, upon which he remained until called to the home beyond, when he was seventy-seven years of age. At the time of the war of 1812 he joined the army, but remained at the front only a short time. He served as postmaster of the village of Yellow Springs, under the administration of James K. Polk, for four years, and was a stanch advocate of the Democratic party and its principles. His wife survived him for twentv years, passing away about seven years ago. Both were consistent and faithful members of the Methodist church and Mrs. Cox, the mother of our subject, was one of the twelve who organized the first Methodist church in Yellow Springs. In their family were ten children, five of whom are yet living.
Samuel W. Cox learned the blacksmith's trade of his father, and followed that pursuit at Yellow Springs for forty-five years, when he retired. This in brief is the history of his business career and one must read between the lines in order to learn of the untiring activity, the good workmanship, his honesty in all trade relations and his unfaltering perseverance. All who knew him recognized these sterling traits in his business life and thereby he won a liberal patronage and eventually secured a comfortable competence which now enables him to rest from further labor in his pleasant home in the village of Yellow Springs. He has been a prominent factor in public life here and for the last fifteen years has filled the position of treasurer of the village. He has also been a member of the school board and for seventeen years has been treasurer of Miami township. In matters of citizenship he has always been loyal and faithful and this has been manifest not onlv in pub!ic office, for at the time of the Civil war he joined the army for one hundred days' service as a member of Company A, One Hundred and Fifty- fourth Ohio Infantry, and on the expiration of that term he re-enlisted as a member of Company K, One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Ohio Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He participated in a number of battles and skirmishes and was at length discharged in Colimibus. Ohio, holding the rank of sergeant at the time he was mustered out.
Before he went to the war Mr. Cox was married. It was on the 4th of December, 1855, that he was joined in wedlock to Mary J. Rice, a daughter of Edward and Alviza (Sparrow) Rice. By this union were born four cliildren. all of whom are deceased. Cora J. having died at the age of eleven months, Edward W. at the age of nineteen years. Mary F. when nineteen years of age, and Franklin R. in infancy. Mvs. Cox was born in Maine, and in 1851 came with her parents to Ohio. Her father was superintendent of the construction of Antioch College, and afterward became treasurer of the institution, continuing in that position for about three years. He then went to Oxford and built an addition to the college there. Throughout the greater part of his business career he was a carpenter and contractor, successfullv carrying on the work which he had chosen as a life vocation. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Cox. when about eighty years of age. and his wife passed away about twenty-two years ago. Both held membership in the Christian church and were people who enjoyed in a high measure the confidence and respect of their fellow men.
Mr. and Mrs. Cox have long been members of the Methodist church, in which he has served as trustee for many years. They have a large circle of friends in Yellow Springs and thrmighout the surrounding country, and are highly esteemed by all with whom they have been brought in contact. Throughout his entire life Mr. Cox has resided in this locality and at all times his allegiance to public welfare has been a marked trait in his career.
From History of Greene County, Ohio, by George F. Robinson (S. J. Clarke Publishing Co, 1902)
Samuel W. Cox, a veteran of the Civil War and formerly and for many years a blacksmith at Yellow Springs, this county, now living retired in that village, was born there and has lived there all his life. He was born on December 5, 1833, the site of the house in which he was born later being occupied by the old Yellow Springs House, the scene of great activity during the days when Yellow Springs enjoyed wide fame as a watering place and which later was destroyed by fire. His parents were Samuel W. and Elizabeth (Jones) Cox, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter, of Virginia, who were among the earliest settlers in the village of Yellow Springs and whose last days were spent there.
The elder Samuel W. Cox became early trained to the trade of a blacksmith and as a young man went to Georgetown, D. C, where he became employed on the Chesapeake & Ohio canal and where he met and married Elizabeth Jones, who was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, and their first two children were born in Georgetown. Later he came to Ohio and settled at Yellow Springs, in this county, where he set up a blacksmith shop and where he and his wife spent the rest of their lives. During the administration of President Polk in the '40s Samuel W. Cox served as postmaster of Yellow Springs. He and his wife were the parents of ten children, of whom but three are now living, the subject of this sketch having a brother, George Cox, also a resident of Yellow Springs, and a sister, Mrs. Juliette Vose, of Cincinnati. The others of these children were Chapman, Sarah Ann, who married Doctor E. Thorn; Mrs. Elizabeth Runyan, Horatio, Joseph, Charles and Chauncey.
Reared at Yellow Springs, where he was born, the younger Samuel W. Cox received his schooling there in a little log house on the hill, what is now known as the Neff place, his first teacher there having been Adam Kedzie. When eleven years of age he became an assistant to his father in the latter's blacksmith shop and thus early became a worker in iron, a business which he continued to follow at Yellow Springs all his active life, or until his retirement about fifteen years ago, an injury received about that time having necessitated his retirement from active labor. Mr. Cox was working at his trade during the time of the Civil War and upon the call for the hundred-days service enlisted and went to the front as a member of Company A, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Upon the completion of that term of service he re-enlisted and served until the close of the war as a member of Company K, One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Ohio.
On December 4, 1855, at Yellow Springs, Samuel W. Cox was united in marriage to Mary Jane Rice, who was born at Lincolnville, Maine, and who had come to this county with her parents, and to that union were born four children, Cora, Edward, Mary and Frankie, all of whom are now deceased, the first-named and the last having died in youth. The mother of these children died on March 15, 1907, and on July 30, 1909, Mr. Cox married Susan Ault, of Yellow Springs. Mr. and Mrs. Cox are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a Republican and a member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Good Templars.
From History of Greene County Ohio, Its People, Industries and Institutions, vol. 2. M.A.Broadstone, editor. B.F.Bowen & Co., Indianapolis. 1918