Pages 865-867, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


  HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY 865 cont'd

George R. Fox, now deceased, was a Civil war veteran and an early settler in Butler county, who by his industry and integrity attained a prominent position among the representative men of this county. He was born in Geauga county, Ohio, March 28, 1844, and died on July 26, 1911. He was a son of John Wilkins Fox, a native of Ipswitch, Mass. The Fox family is of English descent and was founded in New England, many years prior to the Revolutionary war. Captain Fox, the great


866 HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY  

grandfather of George R. Fox, was a distinguished soldier in the American army during the Revolutionary war.

George R. Fox no doubt inherited his military inclination from some of his illustrious ancestors. At the age of nineteen years he enlisted in the Twelfth Ohio cavalry, one of the famous regiments of the Union army. Owing to the fact that he was under age when he enlisted his father came after him with the purpose of taking him home, but the young soldier informed his father that if he refused to give his consent to his enlistment this time he would run away from home again and enlist at some other place. The father saw that opposition would be of no avail and offered no further objection.

Young Fox served throughout the war and made a good military record. At the close of the war he returned to his Ohio home and shortly afterward went to the oil fields of Pennsylvania, and in 1869 came to Butler county, Kansas, and pre-empted the northwest quarter of section 4, Douglass township. This is some of the best bottom land along the river. Later he bought another quarter section adjoining his original homestead. This half section is now owned by his widow, with the exception of seventy acres, which Mr. Fox sold for the reason that it was on the opposite side of the river from the main body of his land, which made it inconvenient to operate. Mr. Fox followed farming and stock raising here throughout his life time, and was one of Butler county's substantial citizens.

October 21, 1872, George R. Fox and Miss Agnes Livington[sic] were united in marriage. Her parents were John and Lydia (Johnston) Livingston, and she was the only child, and was born on May 5, 1853, in Illinois. John Livingston was a native of Knox county, Illinois, and of English descent, his wife, Lydia Johnston, being a native of Montreal, Canada, and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. The Johnston family, came from Canada at a very early date, and for a time lived at Navoo, Ill., and from there removed to Knox county, Illinois, when Mrs. Fox's mother was nine years old. Mrs Fox's father died when she was three years old, after which her mother married C. A. Stine, a Methodist Episcopal minister. Shortly after their marriage they removed to Mankato, Minn. The family resided in the vicinity of a great deal of Indian trouble after settling in Minnesota. Their home was only four miles from where the New Elm massacre took place, and Mr. Stine was wounded there. He was a Civil war veteran and during the Civil war raised a company of volunteers. The Stine family endured a great many hardships and were exposed to great dangers during the Indian uprising in the Northwest at that time.

In the fall of 1870 Mrs. Fox, then a girl, came to Butler county with her mother and stepfather. They pre-empted the northwest quarter of section 16. The mother died in in[sic] 1828, and Mr. Stine died a few years later in California.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Fox began life on the farm which


  HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY 867

he had pre-empted, and which was their home for a number of years. To Mr. and. Mrs. Fox were born the following children: Mrs. Emma M. Sheets, Blackwell, Okla.; John W.; Neoka, resides at home with her mother; Ober, resides in Oklahoma; James E., at home; Roena, married Guy Elliott, Rhodes, Iowa, and Frank, resides at home.

George R. Fox was an active and prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was a splendid type of American citizen, whose death was not only a great loss to his immediate family and friends, but to the community in general.

Mrs. Fox is one of the interesting pioneer women of Butler county. She taught the first school in Douglass in 1871. The term was for a period of six months. She relates many amusing instances in connection with her pioneer school on the plains. She had thirty-eight pupils, and of their thirty-eight books only three were alike. One man sent six children to school with only one book, the Bible, and requested that his children's education be confined to that text. Even with all these drawbacks, Mrs. Fox said that her pupils made good progress, and no doubt the pioneer schools of that time prepared the boys and girls for just as useful lives as the more artificial and highly organized educational institution of a later day.


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Pages 865-867, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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