Our Cox Family of Pennsylvania
ot #41 of the Union
Church cemetery in
"John Cox Sr. born
This church was begun in 1818 and church records begun in 1856. Whitemarsh was founded in 1704 and was William Penn's land in 1688.
Page 40, "Historical
Among the largest operators in lime burning in Whitemarsh fifty or sixty years of
age was John Cox, Sr., who lived upon and owned the property of Robert
Lancasterville, in its palmiest days, was known by the name of "Wrangletown," from the frequent quarrels and fighting's which would take place at elections, sales, or after paydays. Frequent pugilistic encounters, produced by the too frequent use of liquor, would take place at such times among the operatives in the quarries. But in this respect the village of "Wrangletown" is changed in morals as well as in its name."
From an article dated
COX FAMILY LONG ACTIVE IN LIMEBURNING BUSINESS
Four generations of the Cox family were identified with the lime burning business in Whitemarsh township which was recently sold at a receiver's sale. While the financial trouble of the firm which culminated in the receivership may be in part due to changing conditions in the limestone business, yet the direct cause was a disastrous fire at the Cox plant some years ago entailing a loss of $25,000 on uninsured property.
The Cox lime business was founded early in the 19th century. Limeburning was for
many years one of the leading industries of the county, and the kilns of
In early times one man usually was satisfied to operate one kiln or at most a small group of kilns. In the quarry he had half a dozen men who loosened the stone. One team of horses conveyed it to the kilns. There two men broke the stone to the proper size and placed it in the kiln and two others tended the fire which converted the stone into commercial lime.
At first wood was the fuel. Then bituminous coal was used. Eventually the more enterprising lime burners divised ways of using anthracite. A pioneer in such experiments was William Lukens, whose kilns were in Upper Dublin township and who as early as 1831 produced 100 bushels of lime daily by burning anthracite and was able to work his kilns with less labor, no night watching being necessary.
John Cox, first of the Cox family of limeburners, established the business about 1820 on his farm, at Lancasterville. He began with a cart and a horse, doing all the work himself. It used to be said he was so poor that storekeepers would not trust him to a pound of tobacco. However, his business prospered, and by 1830 he was the largest lime operator in Whitemarsh.
Lancasterville, on the western slopes of Militia Hill, where the road to Cold Point
Above the gap in Militia Hill, where now there is nothing but wild woodland, there was a hotel in those days, where the limeburners and quarry men congregated. John Cox owned this hotel and many acres of the surrounding land.
He had 17 children. One of these, Charles Cox, continued the lime business after
his father's death. He was the first operator to ship lime by railroad from the Whitemarsh
region. This was possible following the construction of the
In the third generation Charles A. Cox
had control of the lime business. He was one of those badly hurt in the disaster on the
His son, B. Wilson Cox, became general manager of the lime business and subsequently when the Cox Lime and Stone Company was organized and the lime plant was rebuilt and modernized, another son, Charles C. Cox, was the manager."
John Cox, Sr. married twice. He rests in the above cemetery with first wife
Sarah and his second wife
JOHN COX, GRANTEE:
Sarah is listed as his wife. (Deed book 44, page 340).
4-11-1838: John Cox, yeoman, of Whitemarsh Twp. granted messuages or tenements and three adjoining lots of land containing 1) 3 acres and 61 perches, 2) 2 acres and 83 perches and 3) 3/4 acre of land for $3,000 from John Shaffer, yeoman, of Whitemarsh Twp. and Ann his wife (deed book 54, page 563). Mentioned are quarry lots and kilns.
listed as his wife. (Deed book 58, page 318).
JOHN COX, GRANTOR:
probably John Jr.
Note that no land transactions occurred during the time that the estate of John Cox Sr. was tied up in Orphan's Court. The last transaction may have been a "sheriff's sale" to help pay for the "bonds".
Chronology of Letters of Administration for John Cox Sr.:
Howell and Pillort prepare an additional inventory of estate, including $600 "cash in
8-20-1850: Petition of
Reuben Cox presented in Orphan's Court of Montgomery County in Norristown before David
Krause Esq., President, Ephriam Fenton and Joseph Hunsicker; Justices. A. Reuben stated that his father died intestate on
Sarah "intermarried with Jacob
Angeline "intermarried with Charles Keisel"
Elisabeth "intermarried with Charles Dunnett"
Amanda "intermarried with Michael Snyder"
B. The petition stated,
""the last named eight of whom are minors vis Elias for whom _____ Gilbert is
Guardian Salathiel, Sylvester, Julia, Emanuel, Anna
C. Reuben stated his father's estate consisted of a tavern and a tract of land in
Whitemarsh Township situated on or about the road between Plymouth Meeting House and the Broad Axe Tavern (appears to be Butler Pike on modern maps). Reuben stated this land was sold to John Sr. on 4-4-1835 by Barbara Coler (deceased), Deed book 51, page 148. Reuben's petition "further shows that he is a lineal descendant" of John Cox Sr. "having an interest" in the tavern and tract of land and that "no partition thereof hath yet been made among the widow and lineal descendants" of John Cox Sr.
D. Reuben then petitioned the Clerk of Orphan's Court to award an inquest to
make partition or valuation of the estate. This was granted and an Order for Inquest was
ruled by the Clerk for
the Sheriff to get 12 jurors (bailiwick) for this task and report to the Orphan's Court on
9-27-1850: Inquisition of
12 jurors before Montgomery County Sheriff Philip Hahn High. Inquisition stated "that
the property or premises cannot be parted and divided without prejudice to or spoiling the
whole." As a result, the estate valued at $5,906.32. Widow's "part or third of
said premises" valued at $1,900.
10-14-1850: Judges Krause
and Fenton present for this session of Orphan's Court. The Sheriff's Return of Inquest of
Partition and Inquisition annexed. Judges rule that the estate was valued at $5,906.32.
The Rule also states that the "partition thereby made be firm and stable
forever" and (court?) costs be paid. Reuben and John Jr. represented by Nathan R.
Potts Esq., attorney. Court rule that all interested parties appear in Orphan's Court at
10am on 11-18-1850 to accept or refuse this valuation and give cause why the estate should
not be sold. No actual details of the "partition" is mentioned.
11-18-1850: John Cox
states that he served the Rule of Court (estate valued at $5906.32) on the other heirs.
11-4-1851: 2nd account of
estate filed in Phila. Co. Registers Office by appraisers.
10-15-1855: Office of the Clerk of Orphan's Court: John Jr. "accepted the real estate" of John Sr. at the valuation and "signed bonds" to "secure the payments of the respective shares coming to the rest of heirs." Elias Cox appoints J. B. Davis of Norristown his attorney to "enter satisfaction on the records of the said bonds."
Thanks to Drew Techner, the 3rd great grandson of Mary Cox and Jesse Leister, for this information. May God protect and keep him safe as he serves our country in Iraq. 12.2003