Pages 440-441, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.



W. D. COX.

W. D. Cox—From the earliest establishment of the town of Elsmore, Mr. Cox has been a representative of its business interests and through the conduct of its enterprises has contributed in a large measure to its substantial upbuilding, improvement and development. A native of Kentucky, he was born in Madison county, on the 31st of May, 1849, his parents being Robert and Jane (Adams) Cox, who were relatives of that State in which they spent their entire lives. The subject of this review was reared on the farm until he was twelve years of age, and in the winter time he attended the common schools of the neighborhood. He then became a student in the Richmond Academy, and after completing the course in that institution he was engaged in teaching in Kentucky, following that pursuit until 1870, when he left his native State and became a resident of Bloomington, Illinois. Throughout the succeeding eight years he was a representative of the educational interests of McLean, Brown and Champaign counties and gained a very enviable reputation as the result of his ability to impart clearly and concisely to others the knowledge he had acquired.

On the 19th of March, 1878, Mr. Cox was married to Miss Gerty Smith, of Brimfield, Illinois, a native of that State. They were young and energetic and wished to gain a good home. Believing there was a better opportunity in the less thickly settled portions of the west, they started for Kansas on the 9th of April, 1878, arriving safely in Humboldt, Allen county. Mr. Cox soon purchased a farm of one hundred and seventy acres about five miles south of Humboldt, in Cottage Grove township, and there carried on agricultural pursuits, spending his time in the cultivation and


operation of the fields throughout the summer mouths, while in the winter season he engaged in teaching. He resided upon his farm until 1886 when he sold that property and removed to Elsmore township, establishing a store on the old Humboldt and Fort Scott road. He also began buying grain and remained at that point for one year. The Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad was then built from Kansas City to Parsons and a town was laid out about two miles south of where Mr. Cox was living. This led to his removal to Elsmore. He moved his houses to that place and was the first man to embark in business there, opening a general merchandise store which he continued to conduct for five years when he sold his stock of goods and began dealing in hardware and machinery of all kinds. He also bought and sold grain, making extensive shipments of the farm products of the locality. Subsequently he admitted his son to a partnership in the business and they added a stock of furniture and undertaking goods. Their store is complete for they carry all grades of goods such as are in demand by the town and country trade. The experience and mature judgment of the father, supplemented by the youthful energy of the son makes the firm a strong one. They deal quite extensively in flax, corn and all kinds of seeds and grains, and their business amounts annually to upwards of thirty thousand dollars.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cox have been born three children, a son and two daughters: Ona, the eldest, is the wife of E. H. Leitzbach, of Humboldt; R. E., who is a graduate of a business college in Kansas City, and a graduate of an undertaking school of that place, is now associated with his father in business, acting as bookkeeper and contributing in a large measure to the success of the firm. Louise, the younger daughter, is yet a student in school. Mr. Cox holds membership with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of the United Workmen, both of Elsmore. His political support is given to the Democracy. Through the period of his business career Mr. Cox has ever directed his efforts along legitimate lines and has had a strict regard for the commercial code. He is a man of unflagging industry, strong resolution and keen discrimination,—essential qualities to prosperity. In all his dealings he is straightforward and honorable and thus he has commanded the confidence of his fellow men, winning not only success, but also that good name which is above riches.

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