H. L. Cox. For some of its best citizenship, Southeastern Kansas is indebted to the New England states. The men who have made their way from the states bordering on the Atlantic Coast who have journeyed across the country to the land of the sunflower, have displayed in their citizenship and their characters the same sterling qualities of their sturdy forbears, who, like them, braved a new and untried section, and planted the seeds that brought forth a fine civilization. Of the men of Chautauqua County who lay claim to New England birth, one who had gained success in this section is H. L. Cox, of Cedar Vale, merchant and oil producer and one of his community’s energetic and progressive citizens. While born in New England, he is essentially a Kansan, as he was but one and one-half years old when he came with his parents to this state, but his long line of New England ancestry is typical of the stock that had given to the West some of its best men.
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Mr. Cox was born at Manchester, New Hampshire, May 12, 1869, and is a son of L. M. and Abbie M. (Andrews) Cox. The family traces its ancestry back to early colonial times, when the first emigrant came from England and settled in Massachusetts, in which state was born the grandfather of H. L. Cox, Mason Cox, who passed his entire life in the Bay State and died before the birth of his grandson. L. M. Cox was born in 1836, in New Hampshire, and received his education in the country schools. His father had been a farmer, but the youth did not fancy that vocation as it was carried on in his native state, and instead turned his attention to learning the trade of cabinet maker, an occupation which he mustered and which he followed for some years at Manchester. In that city, also, he was married, and after the birth of one son, came to Kansas, in the fall of 1870, and drove overland from Emporia, a distance of ninety miles, to his farm seven miles north of Cedar Vale, where he homesteaded 160 acres of land. After nine years of experience as an agriculturist, Mr. Cox again resumed the vocation of his youth, moving his residence to Cedar Vale, where he followed carpentry and cabinet-making until his death in 1913. He was a republican in his political tendencies, and served as township trustee of Jefferson Township for several years. In 1861, Mr. Cox enlisted in the Third Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for three years and three months, and took part in a number of hard-fought and important engagements, among them Bull Run and Gettysburg. His record was that of a good and faithful soldier, whose services upheld the military prestige of his state. He married Miss Abbie M. Andrews, who was born in 1850, at Great Falls, New Hampshire, and died at Cedar Vale, Kansas, in 1912, and they were the parents of two children: H. L.; and Fred E., who resided at Cedar Vale until 1916 and is now a resident of Ponca City, Oklahoma, where he is engaged in business as an insurance agent.
H. L. Cox was educated in the rural schools of Chautauqua County, Kansas, and resided at his father’s home until he was twenty-two years of age. He was herding sheep and working on a farm, but subsequently turned his attention to mercantile pursuits. He was only sixteen years of age when he first became identified with commercial affairs, at that time becoming employed by the firm of Adam Brothers & Dale, a young and promising concern. Throughout his career, Mr. Cox had been connected with this business, now known as the L. C. Adam Mercantile Company, of which he had been president since 1912. Mr. Cox’s rise in this business had been steady and consistent. He had worked his way up through the various branches of the enterprise, and is thoroughly familiar with every detail of this incorporated business. The business conducted is a department store, handling all kinds of merchandise except lumber and drugs, and also buying cattle, grain, etc., and the establishment, situated on Cedar Street, had a main floor space of 100×120 feet, and second floor space of 50×150 feet. This is the largest department store in this section of the state, the largest outside of Arkansas City in Southeastern Kansas, and had a greater variety of stock than the Arkansas City concern. A large amount of its success must be accredited to the abilities and good management of Mr. Cox, who had watched and participated in its rise from the days of its infancy. Mr. Cox is also interested in various other enterprises and is a director in the Dosbaugh National Bank. As an agriculturist, he is the owner of an Upland stock farm, located 2½ miles south of Cedar Vale, a tract of 280 acres. He had, also, oil interests, and is a producer in the vicinity of Elgin, Kansas. His residence is located on Caney Street. In politics, a republican, he had not been too busy to take an interest in the success of his party, and on a number of occasions had been called upon for public service, always responding cheerfully to these calls to discharge the duties of citizenship. He had been city clerk and city treasurer, and for four years was a member of the board of county commissioners. His only fraternal connection is with Chautauqua Lodge No. 355, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
In 1892, at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, Mr. Cox was united in marriage with Miss Alice M. Maher, daughter of John B. and Amelia (McEwen) Maher, both deceased. Mr. Maher, who was a native of New York, was a hotel keeper after coming to the West. Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cox: Harold B., born August 23, 1895, who is a junior at the Kansas University, at Lawrence; and Hubert D., born March 19, 1897, who is a member of the sophomore class at the same institution.