Joshua Hale Family ca 1905
JOSHUA HALE FOX, a son of Bartlett Anderson and Aletha G. [Hale] Fox, was born 23 May 1855, in Flynn's Lick, Jackson County, TN. His father moved the family to Texas after the Civil War. They came by covered wagon and settled near Honey Grove, Fannin County, Texas, where his father was a farmer. Joshua, following his father's footsteps, became a farmer also.RESEARCH LOG: Fox and Fitzgerald Family Bible Records; Fannin County, TX,
At Bonham, Texas, on 14 February 1878, Joshua married Nancy S. Fitzgerald, daughter of William Patrick and Emily Belle [Downing] Fitzgerald. They became the parents of seven children, but only three of them reached adulthood.
Della, their first child, was born 30 Nov. 1878, and was seven when her brother Virgil was born. Then there was Cora Ada, who died at six months of summer complaint in 1888. Della was her father's favorite child, likely because she was the first and only child, for so long.
Only Della and Virgil were living when Audrey Nora, the fifth child, was born 25 June 1892. A family portrait shows Joshua and Nancy Fox with Audrey at about eight months, Virgil as a lad and Della as almost a young lady. In 1893, soon after this picture was made, Della and Joshua contracted typhoid fever. Della, aged fifteen, died, but Joshua slowly recovered. Virgil, aged eight, died the following year of appendicitis.
Audrey Nora, their fourth child, was now their only living child. Then came Joshua Bartlett [Jay] born 15 July 1894, followed by Joseph Elzy [Joe] born 17 August 1897. Their last child was Emma Edith Fox, born 8 July 1899.
Jay Fox married Sarah Matilda (Tillie) Tadlock, and Joe Fox married Alwilda [Burris]. Joe Fox died 22 February 1962 at Havertown, PA. Jay Fox died 1 August 1972 at Sherman, TX, and is buried in Durant, Ok.
Joshua Fox played the violin and was always welcome at the community gatherings. He did not read music, but with a little practice could play anything he heard. His favorite tunes were the old break down tunes such as Turkey in the Straw. He was quick tempered, strict with his children, and demanding with his family. Yet, he was well loved by them all.
Nancy Fox suffered from cancer several years and finally had surgery,
which was a new treatment. She died 8 June 1904, at Bells, Texas, and was buried at Willow Wild Cemetery, Bonham, Texas. Her children, who preceded her in death, are also buried at Willow Wild.
While Nancy was ill, the family and neighbors helped the Foxes by coming in during this time. Frances Sally Goding, daughter of George Goding, and her sisters were among those who helped Joshua care for his wife and children.
When Nancy was dying, she begged Joshua not to marry again. He told her he could not promise that. He had four children to raise and he would have to decide later what was best for him to do.
After Nancy died, Joshua moved his family to Caddo, OK, where he continued farming. He built a house and wrote letters to Frances Sally [Fanny] Goding. His sister, Emma, and her husband were often in the Fox home. Joshua's brother, William [Billy], was helping build the house. Audrey, now about thirteen, and her Aunt Emma, would if they got a chance, "steam open" the letters from Fanny, read, and reseal them. Usually Joshua was none the wiser.
But in one letter, Fanny expressed her concern about Josh falling while
putting the roof on the new house. She had written, "Mr. Fox, [She always called him Mr. Fox] you do the low work and let Billy do the high work." Audrey and Emma thought this was hilarious, and they kept laughing and repeating her words once too often. Josh had come in and had overheard their joking about his courtship. As his temperament was of an uneven nature, you can imagine the scene that followed.
Finally, the house was ready and Josh went back to Bells to marry Miss Fanny Goding. They were married 6 September 1906 at the Goding home, and returned to Caddo by train the same day. Emma and Jim Slack, Billy Fox, and Joshua's children, Audrey, 14; Jay, 12; Joe, 9; and Edith, 7, awaited them with a delicious wedding supper.
From the beginning Joe and Edith, the younger children, welcomed their new mother, but it took time for Jay and Audrey to accept her. Jay was a reserved child and slow to show his emotions. Audrey, who knew of her mother's request that Josh not remarry, resented her stepmother at first. But it did not take them long to realize what a blessing Fanny was to the Fox family. This was a stepmother who was kind to the children and was an excellent cook and homemaker.
Aletha Lydia Fox, Joshua and Fanny's only child, was born 19 November 1909. Edith, a sweet unassuming child, was ten when her little sister was born. As the weather was cold, Aletha would be left in her crib near the heater in the front bedroom, while the family gathered around the table for a meal. Once while at the table, Edith insisted that she be allowed to see about Aletha, who was crying unusually long and loud. She was told to remain at the table, but finally disobeyed by running to the crib. She arrived just in time to rescue Aletha from an almost certain death. The crib had been left too near the stove and the blanket was afire. Edith looked at her parents and said, "You almost burned your baby up." Needless to say, they were very thankful that Edith, an obedient child, had disobeyed them.
When Aletha was four months old, Edith died of pneumonia and was burieda t Gethsemane Cemetery, Caddo, OK. Edith was the only child buried with her father and her stepmother.
After Audrey Fox finished all school in Caddo, OK, she began Normal
School at Sherman, TX. This would allow her to teach during the school term, but she had to return to Normal School each summer. She taught in rural schools of Fannin County until her marriage to Claude Vernon Whiting of Bells, in 1920. They were parents of four children. Audrey died 3 January 1967 at Sherman, TX, and is buried at Bells, Texas.
Joshua's health began to fail; so in December of 1910, he gave up farming and went into the general merchandise business at Kemp, OK. Jay and Joe began school at Kemp, but were soon sent back to Caddo to finish their schooling. Joe later went to Bonham to work and then moved to Philadelphia, PA. Jay worked in Denison and elsewhere for a time, but came back to Kemp and took over his father's business.
Aletha Fox married Homer Turner 16 April 1919, and they became the parents of six children. She died 30 April 1996 at Wichita Falls, Texas, and was buried at Kemp, OK.
Joshua died 15 April 1937 and Fanny died 24 November 1965. She made her home with Aletha and her family from 1942 until her death. Joshua and Fanny are buried at the Gethsemane Cemetery, Caddo, OK.
Compiled by: Lora B. Tindall
Marriage Records, Vol. C, p 483; Tombstone readings from Gethsemane Cemetery,
Caddo, Bryan Co., OK, Row 23; Willow Wild Cemetery tombstone readings, Bonham,
TX; Tombstone readings from Bells, TX, Cemetery; Obituaries for Joshua, Nancy
& Fanny Fox; Obituaries for Audrey, Jay, & Joe Fox; Personal memories of Aletha [Fox] Turner, Audrey [Fox] Whiting, Jay Fox & Joe Fox; Goding Genealogy by Frederick Webster Goding (1906) PP 108-110; History of Grayson Co., TX, 1981, Vol. II, the Grayson Co. Frontier Village Inc., p 156; 1860 & 1870 Jackson Co., TN, Census records; 1880 Fannin Co., TX, census records, District 24, p 358