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)