Jefferson D. Cox is actively connected with a profession that has important bearing upon the progress and stable prosperity of every community, and one in which advancement depends upon individual merit and ability. Ability becomes in a measure prominence, and that Mr. Cox occupies a leading position in the ranks of the legal profession is an indication of his learning and skill in his chosen field. He is also a successful stock man and he owns a large ranch where fancy Duroc hogs and Durham cattle are raised.
Jefferson D. Cox was born in Walhalla, South Carolina, on the 1st of October, 1861, a son of Harmon and Adaline (Landreth)Cox, both natives of that state. For many years the father engaged in farming and the conduct of a cooperage business in his native state but in 1868 he removed with his family to Mountain Home, Arkansas. Here he resumed his trade and also farmed, achieving a substantial success and becoming one of the representative and progressive citizens of the community. He died in 1874. His widow survived him until 1909.
In the acquirement of an education Jefferson D. Cox attended the public schools of Mountain Home, Arkansas, and was graduated from the high school at Valley Springs. Subsequently he took a business course in the Gaskill Business College at Jersey City, New Jersey, and upon the completion of his studies he returned to Arkansas where he engaged in farming.
At an early age he determined upon the legal profession as his lifework and he commenced the study of that profession under Colonel J. C. Clayborne and at home. He was admitted to the bar at Salem, Arkansas, in 1888, while he was clerk in the sheriff’s office, and he began practicing law in Baxter county.
Subsequently he removed to Springfield, Missouri, where for two years he handled much important litigation in the district and United States courts and in 1893 he went to Chelsea, Indian Territory. He also practiced at Fort Smith, at Nowata, for two years, at Claremore for three years, and at Wagoner for a like period. He came to Tahlequah in 1903 and has continued to practice here. He was a member of the fifth legislature in 1915, from Cherokee county, and he resigned that office after receiving appointment by the county commissioner as county judge of Cherokee county to fill an unexpired term. He proved so capable in the discharge of his duties that he was elected to succeed himself in 1916 and again in 1918. Mr. Cox handles much important litigation in the district and United States courts and his practice is an extensive and lucrative one. His knowledge of the law is comprehensive and his deductions logical, while in the application of a legal principle he displays marked discernment. His arguments are characterized by a perspicuity that leaves no one at sea as to his meaning.
Mr. Cox has been twice married. His first marriage was celebrated at Mountain Home, Arkansas, in 1884, when Miss Sarah Elizabeth Hawkins became his wife. She was a daughter of W. J. and Mary Ann Hawkins, prominent and respected citizens of Mountain Home. Mrs. Cox died in 1907 and left three children to mourn her death: Maud M., now Mrs. J. J. Coursey ; Mary A., the wife of Arch Fulcher; and William Grover. All of the children are residents of Tahlequah. On the 1st of October, 1913, Mr. Cox was married to Miss Carrie L. Akers, a daughter of Thomas and Caroline Akers of Paola, Kansas. The marriage was celebrated in Muskogee. Mr. and Mrs. Cox reside in the oldest home now standing in Oklahoma. It is on his ranch, twenty miles southeast of Tahlequah. This house is known to have been built many years before the outbreak of the Civil war, by William Boylen, a full blood Cherokee, and upon his death it was allotted to his widow, “Tooka.” Subsequently it came into the hands of the Court of Cherokee County and was sold to Mr. Cox. It is still in a splendid state of preservation and is pointed out to travelers in the community as one of the county’s historic landmarks.
Mr. Cox is a stanch supporter of the Democratic party, in the interests of which he takes an active and prominent part. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd A the Knights of Pythias and along strictly professional lines holds membership in the State and County Bar Associations. During the World war he was tireless in his devotion to the duties devolving upon him as chairman of the war advisory board and he was also active on the questionnaire board. Mr. Cox is readily conceded to be one of the representative members of the legal profession in the state and he ranks equally high in the stock raising circles of the state. He is justly accorded a place among the substantial citizens of Tahlequah for he belongs to that class of men whose enterprising spirit considers the welfare of others as well as his own interests.