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John Cox, Sr
Birth: Dec. 24, 1788
Montgomery County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jul. 6, 1849
Montgomery County
Pennsylvania, USA

John Cox, Sr. was born 1788 and was a Quaker. He lived in the town of Lancasterville. This area, which was located near where the Pennsylvania Turnpike crosses Stenton Avenue, got its name from the Lancaster family who owned several large farms in the vicinity. Largely obliterated by the turnpike, it has disappeared from modern maps.

John Cox, Sr., built the family lime-burning business that lasted at least four generations. During this process, he purchased large land holdings for his lime enterprise.

The following was said about him in "Historical Sketches", Volume 1 by the Historical Society of Montgomery County (1895), page 41, "Among the largest operators in lime burning in Whitemarsh fifty or sixty years of age was John Cox, Sr., who lived upon and owned the property of Robert Maguire, and died at this place probably forty-five years ago. I have frequently heard it said of him that when he commenced the business the store-keepers would not trust him to a pound of tobacco. He began with a cart and one horse, and by great perseverance and industry soon established such a credit that they were quite willing to trust him. In course of time he accumulated quite a large property in and around this village. Beside the Maguire place, he owned Peter Campel's place, above the gap on Militia hill. In connection with this farm, a hotel had been kept many years in the past." (Note: John Cox, Sr. actually died in Philadelphia in 1849, see below.)

John Cox, Jr. had ten children with his first wife Sarah who died in a tragically at Whitemarsh on August 18, 1831, twenty hours after she accidentally caught fire kindling a fire in a stove. John remarried to Margaret Ritter and the couple had eight more children together.

John Cox, Sr. moved to the District of Spring Garden in Philadelphia County. 1844 Gopsill's Directory: "Cox, John, lime dealer, 535 N Front St." He most likely relocated to Philadelphia, which was a major commerce center, to act as an agent for the family business. About 1847, John Cox, Sr. began to divest his land and sold parcels to sons Reuben and Charles who would continue the lime burning business. It was probably this assistance that enabled his son Charles to become the first lime manufacturer in the region to ship lime by rail car and the first to ship limestone into the City of Philadelphia.

During the summer of 1849 the City of Philadelphia and much of the country suffered an outbreak of Asiatic cholera. This particular outbreak claimed the life of former President James K. Polk on June 15, 1849. The disease dominated the news headlines and curtailed all human activity in Philadelphia, including all July 4th gatherings and celebrations. John Cox died - most likely of Asiatic cholera -- on July 6, 1849 in Philadelphia.

His death is not listed in Philadelphia Cemetery Returns 1803 - 1860. This is the record group that lists the cause of death for those who died in the City during this period. His death notice appeared in the Philadelphia Public Ledger newspaper but did not list the cause of death. It stated his funeral was from his late residence at 489 Brown Street above Thirteenth Street in Philadelphia.

John Cox, Sr. is buried in Lot #41 of the Union Church cemetery in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County. His tombstone reads, "John Cox Sr. born December 24, 1788, died July 6, 1849, age 60 years, 6 months, 13 days"

Asiatic cholera probably fell him quickly. As a result, he died without a will and left his three surviving older sons Reuben, John and Elias to challenge their interests in his estate in court. Elias took up the cause for his younger siblings. The matter lasted until 1855 when the court settled on an estate valuation and equal sharing among the children.

His older sons (from his first wife) Reuben, Charles, Elias and John were all in the lime business. John and Elias were lime dealers all their life and both settled in Philadelphia. Reuben settled in Philadelphia and became a storekeeper. Although Charles died shortly before the death of his father, it was Charles' son Charles who remained in Whitemarsh and continued the principal business of lime manufactory. None of the sons from John Cox Sr.'s first marriage served in the Civil War. The reasons were probably their Quaker heritage and their focus on the family limestone business. Charles Jr., born 1846, did not serve in the Civil War but was seriously injured in an 1899 train wreck. Charles Jrs.' son and grandson remained in Whitemarsh and continued this manufactory and it became the Cox Lime and Stone Company. Elias' son was a coal salesman.

John Cox Sr.'s younger sons from his second wife had nothing do with the lime-burning business. Perhaps they were not given the opportunity or were not interested. Salathiel was a bricklayer, Sylvester a carpenter and Emanuel a paperhanger. These three brothers all volunteered and served honorably in the Civil War.

John Cox, Jr. rests in the Zion Lutheran (Union) cemetery at Whitemarsh with his wives; one is buried on each side of him. 
Family links: 
  Sarah Cox (1793 - 1831)
  Margaret Ritter Cox (1811 - 1863)
  Mary Ann Cox Leister (1813 - 1894)*
  Charles Cox (1815 - 1849)*
  John Cox (1817 - 1877)*
  Reuben Cox (1819 - 1886)*
  Elias Cox (1830 - 1904)*
  Salathiel Cox (1833 - 1900)*
  Sylvester Cox (1834 - 1872)*
  Emanuel Cox (1839 - 1878)*
  Anna Maria Cox Moyer (1842 - 1872)*
*Calculated relationship
Union Cemetery
Montgomery County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Lot 41
Created by: Researcher
Record added: Nov 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23097209
John Cox, Sr
Added by: Researcher
John Cox, Sr
Added by: Researcher
John Cox, Sr
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