Floyd C. Cox, a general contractor of Topeka, Kan., and the proprietor of the South Side Planing Mill at 1030 Kansas avenue, is a native of the "Old North State" and is descended from ancestors who were prominent in North Carolina long prior to the American Revolution, in which they fought for independence. He was born on a plantation in Ashe county, North Carolina, Dec. 25, 1874, where he was reared and received his common school education. After completing the common school course he entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which excellent institution he was graduated from the law department. While securing his scholastic training he took high rank as an orator and holds as trophies three medals won in oratorical contests. The first was won at the age of twelve and the last when eighteen years of age. He was also the valedictorian of his graduating class. He began the practice of law at Sparta, N. C., being associated with Senator W. C. Fields of Sparta, and was meeting with success in his chosen profession when the whole trend of his future life was suddenly changed through the acquaintance of an estimable young lady of Washington, Kan. She was Miss Mary R. Long, the daughter of Henderson and Katharine (Taylor) Long, natives of North Carolina, but then residing at Washington, Kan. Mr. Long and his daughter, Mary, were on a visit to the boyhood home and friends of the former, and this led to the meeting and introduction of our subject to Miss Long. Soon thereafter he decided to visit the West, and Washington, Kan., in particular, and was so well pleased with the opportunities afforded a young man here that he decided to make the Sunflower State his future home. He gave up the practice of law, and in January, 1900, came West and prospected until the spring of 1901, when on April 10 of that year he was united in marriage with Miss Long and spent the next five years at farming and stock raising near Washington. As he had always been of a naturally mechanical bent and handy with tools he decided to remove to Topeka in 1906 and engage in carpentering. He soon became foreman for Leeper & Smith, general contractors, and as such did the carpenter work on the Normal School building at Pittsburg, Kan. In 1908 he began general contracting in Topeka and has met with success from the start. In 1911 he purchased the South Side Planing Mill, located at 1030 Kansas avenue, and under his able management it is rapidly becoming one of the best in the city. He manufactures all kinds and styles of inside and outside finishings and is equipped to quickly turn out any style of work entrusted to him.
The parents of the subject, Solomon V. and Mary J. (Cox) Cox, the latter of a different line of descent from her husband, are both natives of Ashe county, North Carolina. The former was born Sept. 18, 1840, and was the son of Samuel and Polly (Long) Cox, also North Carolinians. Samuel Cox was the son of Joshua Cox, a patriot of the Revolution and a man of great influence in his day. He held many positions of honor and trust and was justice of the peace for many years. Solomon V. and Mary J. Cox were married on Oct. 9, 1868, and became the parents of seven children, five of whom grew to maturity. In order of birth they were: Margaret, Virginia, Floyd C., Annah, Carrie, Hattie and Ruth, of whom Annah and Hattie are deceased. The father of Mr. Cox is an extensive planter and owns several farms and a general store in Ashe county, North Carolina. He served in a North Carolina regiment during the Civil war, and he and his wife are both lifelong members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. She was born in Ashe county, North Carolina, Jan. 13, 1846, and in the same house in which her son, Floyd C., was born. Her parents were Dr. Aras B. and Phoebe (Edwards) Cox, the former a native of Floyd county, Virginia, where he was born Jan. 25, 1816. His father's family consisted of six sons and two daughters, viz.: Aras B., Cloyd, Ross, Jordan, Henry, James, Sarah and Elizabeth. When Aras B. was eighteen years old he began teaching school and taught during the winter and worked on the farm in the summer. In early life he made a trip to Indiana, the latter part of the journey being made down the Ohio river on a flat boat. In 1841 he began reading medicine under Dr. Mark D. Stoneman and in the spring of 1842 he went to Bridle Creek, Grayson county, Virginia, to teach school and spent the next three years there in teaching and self-study. On Feb. 23, 1845, he married Phoebe Edwards and settled in Ashe county, North Carolina. In 1849 he was elected clerk of the superior court of Ashe county and was reëlected in 1853. When the great Civil war broke out, in 1861, he tendered his services in defense of the Southland and valiantly served the cause as chaplain and captain on General Pettigrew's staff until the close of hostilities. He firmly believed that the war could have been avoided if the proper courses had been pursued. In 1869 he removed his family to Hamburg, Iowa, and engaged in the practice of medicine. Later he removed to Atchison county, Missouri, and was residing on the Mission river bottom at the time of the great flood in 1881. In 1882 he removed to Madison county, Nebraska, but after remaining there three years he sold out and, in 1885, with his three sons, Edward M., Charles B. and Albert, went to Blaine county, Nebraska, where each took up a homestead on the Buffalo Flats. Edward M. later removed to Oregon; Charles B. is a physician of Brewster, Neb.; and Albert S. A. died Jan. 22, 1891. Their oldest child and only daughter, Mary Jane, was the mother of Floyd C. Cox. Dr. Aras B. Cox was the son of Carter Cox, a Revolutionary soldier, whose father, Baxter Cox, was under Col. George Washington in General Braddock's expedition when the latter met his sad defeat by the French and Indians near Fort Duquesne. This great-grandfather of our subject had the distinction of being one of the Virginia riflemen who suggested to Colonel Washington to fight the Indians in Indian style, by which means Washington succeeded in saving the remnant of Braddock's army. Phoebe (Edwards) Cox was born in Allegheny county, North Carolina, April 2, 1825, and was the daughter of David and Jane Edwards. After a long and useful life she passed to her reward at Brewster, Neb., Oct. 11, 1893, and was survived by her husband, Dr. Aras B. Cox, until 1907, when he too passed away and was laid to rest in the cemetery at Brewster by the side of his helpmate and companion. He was a man of broad culture and well informed on both Biblical and profane history. In 1900 he compiled a volume of personal reminiscences entitled, "Foot Prints on the Sands of Time," in which he not only gave a concise history of southwestern Virginia and northwestern North Carolina, but also a fund of genealogical data of inestimable value to his descendants.
Floyd C. Cox, the grandson, has in his possession a volume of the work and naturally he prizes it more highly than any other book in his large collection. He is a voracious reader and possesses a fine library, in which may be found the best works of ancient and modern authors. Politically he is a Democrat, but in local affairs always supports the best man, regardless of party. Fraternally he is a past grand of Lodge No. 620, Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Topeka, and has taken the Grand Lodge degrees. He is also a member of the Woodmen of the World and of the Knights and Ladies of Security. He resides in a modern home at 1525 West street, which he recently designed and erected and which is a model in convenient arrangement. Three bright childrenKatie, Albertine and Wilbur H.bless the home and in after years will prize this brief review of their father's life.Pages 1475-1477 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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