JOHN C. COX, one of the representative farmers and highly esteemed citizens of Mount Olive township, Macoupin County, the owner and operator of a fine farm of 80 acres, situated in section 10, Mount Olive township, and section 21, Staunton township, was born January 15, 1845, in Macoupin County, Illinois. he is a son of Andrew Jackson and Elizabeth (Hargrove) Cox, members of old Tennessee and Kentucky families, respectively.
Andrew Jackson Cox, was born January 1, 1817, and was a son of Ezekiel and Mary Cox, the former of whom died in 1815, leaving children as follows: Jeremiah, Mrs. Jensy Stilley, Mrs. Elizabeth Colson, Emanuel and Andrew Jackson. The last named married Elizabeth Hargrove, a daughter of Willis and Rachel Hargrove, born in Trigg County, Kentucky, January 1, 1823, and deceased April 23, 1874. Their children were: Virgil T., who died in 1865; Green, who died in Texas in 1872; John C., of this sketch; Jane, who died of smallpox; Irving, a resident of Missouri; George, a resident of Arkansas; Elizabeth, who died at the age of nine years; and Mrs. Mary Morrison, a resident of Edwardsville, Illinois. Virgil T., the eldest member of this family, was a paroled prisoner of war at the time of his death. He was a member of Company I, 122nd Reg., Illinois Inf., under Capt. Stephen Sawyer, and was taken prisoner at Trenton, Tennessee.
Mr. Cox was reared and educated in Macoupin county, where he assisted his father in farming until he enlisted for service in the Civil War. His father had come to Illinois in 1836 and settled in Mount Olive township, where he owned 265 acres of land, and where he died in 1859, aged 42 years. He built a cabin, 16 by 18 feet in dimensions, with a rock chimney, when he first settled here, to which pioneer home he brought his bride, and here our subject was born. Hard work and exposure occasioned his death in middle life. Politically he was a Democrat. The land which he worked so hard to clear and cultivate is the present site of the city of Mount Olive.
On March 18, 1865, our subject enlisted from Staunton, in Company H, 28th Reg. Illinois Vol. Inf., under Capt. B. F. Cowell and Col. Richard Ritter, 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and took part in the battles of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, Alabama, and then accompanied his regiment to Fort Mobile and Whistler, Alabama. The regiment then encamped for a short time near Mobile and then went to Brazos Island, Texas, at the mouth of the Rio Grande River and thence to Brownsville, where he was mustered out March 8, 1866. He returned to Macoupin County by way of New Orleans and St. Louis. Soon after he married, and removed to Madison county, and engaged in farming there for five years. Upon his return to Macoupin, he engaged in farming near Staunton until 1875, removing then to property in section 10, Mount Olive township, where his residence is.
The first marriage of Mr. Cox was to Mary Cornelius, who died in Madison County, Illinois, aged 23 years, leaving one daughter, Emma, who died in Texas, aged 18 years. On November 24, 1875, Mr. Cox married Matilda E. Hoxey, who was born February 28, 1852, in Madison County, Illinois, and is a daughter of Christopher C. and Elizabeth (Riston) Hoxey, natives of Kentucky and Tennessee respectively, who located in Madison County among the early pioneers. Mrs. Hoxey died in 1872, aged 50 years, but Mr. Hoxey still survives, aged 84 years. The children in the Hoxey family were as follows: John and Joseph, both deceased; Mrs. Nancy White, of Joplin, Missouri; Matilda E. (Mrs. Cox); Sinai T., deceased; James, of Madison County, Illinois; Edward, of Kansas; Henry, of Iowa; and Mrs. Carrie Phillips, of Madison County, Illinois.
These children were born to our subject and wife: Thomas, born February 9, 1877, who was killed in a coal shaft, January 15, 1904 - a distressing accident in which the family had the sympathy of the community; and Carrie, William, Lily, Charles and Christopher, all of whom are at home.
Mr. Cox has been a lifelong Democrat. While taking a deep interest in public matters, he has accepted very few official positions, serving at present as a trustee of the cemetery and for five years was a member of the Board of Education of Mount Olive. The family belong to the Christian Church. Mr. Cox is a man who receives as he deserves the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens.