One of the most genial and highly respected citizens of Jamestown, William Hitchcox, emigrated to Kansas in 1880, and bought the original homestead of E.J. Marsh. The capital he represented would aggregate about two thousand dollars and unlike so many people who brought their shekels to Kansas and lost them, the subject of this sketch accumulated more. He owns and lives on a farm adjacent to Jamestown, one of the best improved properties in the township. There is one hundred and sixty acres of land now under a high state of cultivation. It was entirely without improvements except a few acres of sod turned and "a two shilling house" as Mr. Hitchcox expressed it. A small addition was built to the shanty and in this unpretentious dwelling the family spent their first two years; then built the handsome nine-room cottage they now occupy. There are also substantial barns. The land is second bottom and produces wheat and alfalfa principally, since corn is not a part of the crop. His alfalfa field consists of forty acres and Mr. Hitchcox expresses the opinion that this forage crop is one of the most paying industries in Kansas.
Mr. Hitchcox was born on a farm in Cass county, Michigan, in 1835. His parents were Jairus and Loana (Blakely) Hitchcox. His father was a native of the state of New York, born in 1798. He emigrated to Michigan in 1828, when that country was a pioneer state, and helped to drive the troublesome Indian from that part of the country. He died in 1850. Our subject's mother was also of New York birth; she died in their Michigan home in 1871. Mr. Hitchcox was one of ten children, five boys and five girls. Four sons and one daughter are living. The sister, Mrs. Charles, is a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. James Hitchcox lives on the old homestead in Michigan, F.A. Hitchcox resides in the same township, and Lucius Q. also lives there and is a horticulturist and farmer.
Mr. Hitchcox grew to manhood in Cass county, Michigan, was educated in the common schools and lived there until coming to the fair state of Kansas. He was married in 1858 to Elizabeth, the daughter of Samuel Z. and Mary (Mechling) Jones. Her father was of southern birth; he was born in Virginia in 1817. When about eighteen years of age he emigrated with his parents to Goshen, Indiana, where he shortly afterward learned the blacksmith trade which became his occupation, though he owned a small farm. In 1843 the family moved to Cass county, Michigan, where he died in 1864. Her mother was born in Pennsylvania, in 1818 and with her parents settled in Indiana, where she met and married Samuel Z. Jones. She still lives in Michigan with one of her daughters and is eighty-four years old.
Mr. Hitchcox when a small lad accompanied his father on a trip to Indiana and when, at what was later his father-in-law's home, it was proposed, in a jesting way, that they give or take the boy and girl. When the suggestion was offered neither parent forsaw that a similar proceeding would at some future time take place without their solicitation, for when the shy youth and blushing little maiden grew to manhood and womanhood they carried out the premature proposition, our subject marrying the little girl he met that day.
Mrs. Hitchcox is one of eleven children - three sons and eight daughters; among them was a pair of twins. There are but four of the eleven living. Her two sisters and a brother are all residents of Michigan. To Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcox four children have been born. Their eldest daughter Delphine, a promising young woman, died in 1880 seven months after their arrival in Kansas - at the age of nineteen years; Lettie, the wife of T.D. Clemons, is a daughter; Carl (see sketch); Bertha, an estimable and amiable young woman, lives at home.
Mr. Hitchcox is an exponent of Republican principles and has served as treasurer of his township, For several years he was a member of the school board and did much to advance educational interests. He is one of those jovial, good-natured men who evidently set store by the old adage
"Care to our coffin adds a nail, no doubt;
And every grin so merry draws one out."
Mr. Hitchcox and his family are among the prosperous representative citizens of their locality. The latch string of their pleasant, hospitable home is always hanging out, and a cordial welcome is extended to their large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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