JAMES MADISON COX. The owner of two hundred and twenty acres of productive land in Macoupin county, James Madison Cox has made ample provision for himself and family for the years to come and as a result of his energy and foresight enjoys the confidence of his neighbors and the respect of all with whom he comes in contact.
He was born in Mount Olive township, December 4, 1852, a son of Emanuel and Eliza G. (Biggs) Cox, the former of whom was born in Stewart county, Tennessee, and the latter in Nashville. The parents were married in Kentucky, to which state they had removed earlier in their lives, and in 1837, having decided to cast their lot in the promising region north of the Ohio river, they came to Macoupin county, Illinois. This was in pioneer days when roads were few and accommodations such as we have at present for travelers were unknown. Mr. Cox files upon government land in Mount Olive township and set himself industriously to work, becoming as the years passed the owner of six hundred acres of good land in this county. For a number of years he lived near a mound on a farm which he rented as a pasture and this mound is known as Cox's Mound. He was a worthy representative of the early settlers of this section and performed his part in its upbuilding. He died at the old homestead, one and one-quarter miles south of Mount Olive, and his wife is also deceased.
James M. Cox was reared under favorable conditions in a country home and early gained a love for nature and for the agreeable pursuits of agriculture which he has never outlived. He acquired his education in the district schools and assisted his father on the home farm until twenty-one years of age. He and his brother Ezekiel were then given by the father eighty acres of land between them, which they cultivated to good advantage, also assisting on the home place. After arriving at the age of twenty-five mr. Cox of this review was married and soon following that event located on one hundred and eighty acres in sections 7 and 8 of Mount Olive township, which he purchased from his father. He also owns forty acres in Staunton township. He is industrious and highly energetic in his work and his well-tilled fields have returned abundant harvests. He also raises stock for the market and spares no pains to secure the best results possible from his labors.
On the 3d of February, 1878, mr. Cox was married to Miss Luella Purdy, a native of Staunton and a daughter of W. C. Purdy. The father was born in Madison county, Illinois, and has now arrived at the age of eighty-five. He makes his home with his children and his stories of pioneer life are interesting reminders of experiences of which the present generation has little conception. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cox: Maud, who married Charles Irwin, an engineer on the Big Four Railway and resides at Mattoon, Illinois; Winfred, a farmer of Mount Olive township; and Hallie, the wife of Stephen Fisher, storekeeper of No. 3 Mine at Gillespie.
Mr. Cox cast his first ballot for the democratic party and has never wandered from the party to which he gave his early allegiance. He has not sought political honors, but has served very acceptably as a member of the school board of his district. He has proved enterprising in his calling and entirely trustworthy in all the relations of life, thus reflecting credit upon himself and those with whom he is associated. He is largely a self-made man and as he can always be relied upon to do as he promises, he fully merits the esteem of his fellowmen.