Had BARTLETT ANDERSON FOX lived seven more months, he would have reached his one-hundredth birthday. He was born 10 November 1825 at Flynn's Lick,Jackson County, TN, and he died 7 May 1925 at Honey Grove, Fannin County, TX.
A story about his ninety-ninth birthday, along with his picture, was published in the Dallas News, Dallas, TX, paper in 1924. At that time, he was called the oldest resident of Fannin County, Texas.
Bart, the son of William and Jane (Birdwell) Fox, married Aletha G. Hale
around 1846/47. Aletha was the daughter of Amon and Lockney (Brown) Hale, also of Jackson County, TN. Bart and Lethe Fox became the parents of nine children. On the 1860 Jackson County, TN, census the family was listed as Bartlett, 34; Aletha, 35; Amon, 11; William, 10; Margaret, 9; John Dudley, 7; Joshua, 5; Julia, 3 and Jane, one month. Two other children were born later: Aletha Emma in 1663, and a boy who died young.
Bart and his two oldest sons, Amon and William, served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Bart was a private in Company K, 8th Regiment of Tennessee. He enlisted, 13 July 1861, at Gainesboro, TN. His enlistment papers say he was thirty -six years old, five feet eleven inches tall, with dark complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair. He was given a meddical discharge on 28 February 1862 at Poeataly Station, SC. The reason listed for this discharge said, Inflammation Rhermotis. What that was, I am not sure, but it could not have been too serious, as he lived to such a ripe old age. He was granted a Confederate pension, #17642, in Fannin Co., TX, in 1910.
Their second son, William Fox, returned from the war. But their first son, Amon Fox, did not. The family never knew where or when he died; he just never returned home after the war.
During the Civil War Bart Fox was often fighting around his home area in Tennessee. When possible, he would slip in to see his wife and children. Once when he had been gone only a short time, some Yankee soldiers entered their home. They questioned the family about the father's whereabouts, and left after jerking rings from the fingers of Aletha and her girls. Aletha had been so afraid that one of the younger children would tell that their father had just left, but none did.
When Aletha knew where her husband's detachment would be camping, she sent John or Joshua, who were yet very young boys, on horseback with food for their father. Once when Joshua was stopped by a Yankee patrol, he talked himself clear by telling them that his mother was sending food to a neighbor family.
Bartlett and Aletha Fox, along with their children, left their Jackson County, Tennessee, home after the Civil War to begin a new life in Texas.The trip by wagon was long and perilous, as there were no roads or bridges. Rivers were particularly troublesome since they had to be forded.
Bart bought good farmland near Honey Grove for a dollar an acre. He built a home and began farming. The lumber for their home came from Jefferson City, Missouri. After farming for many years, he gave this up and began a horse and buggy peddler's route.
Bart stocked his wagon with staples for the kitchen, sewing notions,dress material, ribbons, pots and pans, etc. Either weekly or biweekly, he would make his rounds selling his wares. Few paid in cash; most bartered with hens or other farm produce. Bart would then take his gains to the town merchant and restock for his next trip. Often he took orders for delivery the next trip. The children of Bart and Aletha Fox married, but remained in Fannin
County. William (Billy) Fox, Josh Fox, and Emma Slack did venture across
the Red River into Oklahoma in later years. But Billy and Emma returned to Fannin County before they died.
William (Billy) Fox married Mahalia Spelce, 27 December 1869, and they had five children: John, Bee, Aletha, Tommy, and Nan.
Margaret Ann [Maggie] Fox married 3 November 1867, Hiram C. Darwin. The Darwins had ten children: Charles, Mary, William, John, Lena, Elizabeth, Lonnie, Bessie, Jessie, and another whose name is unknown.
John Dudley Fox married Harriet Othello Bowman at Dodd City, TX, 17 July 1881. Their children were Dudley, Van, Florence, Othello, Julia, and Emma.
Joshua Hale Fox married Nancy S. Fitzgerald, 14 February 1878, at old Ft
Inglish, now Bonham, TX. They had seven children: Della, Virgil, Cora, Audrey,
Jay, Joe, and Edith. Joshua married second Frances Sally (Fanny) Goding, 6
September 1906. They had one child, Aletha Lydia Fox.
Julia Fox married Joseph Baldwin in July of 1879. They were parents of Zoe Lottye, Alvin, Luther, Jake, Bart, and Gabriella. This family lived at Windom.
Jane [Jenny] Fox married Augusta (Proctor) Brock. They had one child,
Mary, who died soon after birth. They lived at Dodd City.
Aletha Emma Fox married James Slack in October of 1878. They resided at Dial, near Dodd City. They were parents of three sons, William, Bart, and Oliver as well as identical twin daughters Effie and Ethel.
After the children were all grown and married, the old home burned down.
Bart built back on the same site and lived there many more years.
It is said that Bart was always very neat in his dress. Each day he wore a clean, starched shirt. Even after passing his ninetieth birthday, Bart, a jolly and companionable person, would challenge friends to footraces.
Aletha died about twenty-eight years before Bart. I've often wondered
if all that washing and ironing by hand hastened her death. In his last years, Bart made his home with his daughter, Jenny, and her husband, Proctor
Brock. When Jenny became ill, and could no longer see to her father, Bart moved to the home of his daughter, Emma Slack.
On 17 March 1924, while trying to walk on slippery ice, Bart fell and
sustained a broken hip. He was confined to his bed for thirteen months before his death. Both he and Aletha are buried at Windom, Texas. Their daughter, Julia, and her husband, Joseph Baldwin, are also buried there.
Lora B. Tindall
RESEARCH LOG: William Fox Bible records extracted from the TN State Library dated 1830; Jackson County TN 1850 & 1860 census records; Joshua Hale Fox
Family Bible (Lora B. Tindall-1997); Obituary for Bartlett [Bart] Fox; Grave
Stone readings for Bartlett and Aletha Fox; Newspaper article re Bart Fox's
99th Birthday; Fannin Co. Folks and Facts 1977 PP 184 & 338; Bart Fox's Confederate Soldier's Pension # 17642 approved 1910 Fannin Co., TX; United Daughters of the Confederacy, Lora Tindall's Membership papers #1448; Bart's
Confederate War Records, Adjutant General's Office, War Dept. #1619937; Our Town Windom, TX, by Windom Book Club, 1972, p 127-DeJarnett, p 219-Slack, PP 76 & 268-Baldwin, p 278-Fox, p 296-Slack