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THE COX FAMILY LIFE

Narrator: Mrs. Sarah Hannah Puckett, 68, Hamilton, Missouri

Missourians and Yankees Spring Valley Teachers

Mrs. Puckett belongs to two of the older Caldwell County families. Her father was John Cox and her mother Lydia Welker. The Coxes were some of the Virginia families who lived in what is now New York and Fairview townships. They did not like it very well when a large group of "Yankees" from New York state came into the community in the late sixties to buy land near them. At first there was a sharp line of difference between the two groups of settlers. The New Yorkers called the earlier settlers Missourians and the latter called the later comers Yankees, both with a tone of their own superiority (see note at end).

John Cox was a son of old Jesse Cox (1801-1852) and Sally Cox (1794-1892) early pioneers in this county. The old Jesse Cox place was one-quarter mile east of the Cox Graveyard. Jesse's boys were, Enoch who married first Jane Crist and second a Miss Martin; Nathan who married Lucy Brown; Jeremiah (Jerry) who married Mary Hatfield and John who had four wives: Nancy Peabody, Lydia Welker, Nellie Wells and Mrs. Culp (Kay Culp's Mother). Jesse Cox's wife (Sallie Edwards) lived to be almost one hundred years old and almost blind but she could always tell the denominations of money, silver or bills. The John Cox place is now owned by James Puckett. It was a quarter south of the Puckett land.

Mrs. Puckett went to Spring Valley or Cox School and some of her early teachers were: John Boyd (afterwards Post Master at Nettleton) Charles Cline, Courtland Van Slyke (buried many years ago in the "Old" Hamilton Cemetery) Phoebe McFee and Mollie Stubblefield who taught about sixty years in this county. Mrs. Puckett attended Hamilton High School 1882 under Prof. Guttery.

John Cox used to trade in Hamilton, coming at first across prairie land, any which way and going around the streams or fording them. He used to say that he recalled when only two or three houses stood between them and Hamilton, one was the Jacob Kautz house. He knew Hamilton when there was a saloon, a store and a blacksmith shop here. Early settlers produced most of their eats and clothes at home and rarely came to town to buy "bought on goods." In the early Cox home, whatever bacon could not be used at home was hauled to Lexington to be shipped south.

Most of the early Cox family lie in the Cox Graveyard; Nathan lies in the Brown Cemetery; the Pucketts lie in the Cox.

Interviewed July 1934.

Interviewers note: The Yankee-Missourian feeling of animosity gradually wore off in New York settlement but it continued fairly strong today in the Kidder community.

 

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998