Joseph "Joe" and Mary (Smith) Cox
Images and notes from Mary Beth Simmons-Sierer with contribution from Bob Leathers
1856: Joseph Cox was born in Netherton, Dudley, West Midlands, England to Elizabeth (Roberts) and Richard Cox. (Fairmount Cemetery Online Records, Denver Colorado) (BL) Joseph "Joe" Cox was born in the Black Country.
1861: Joseph Cox, age 9, born in Netherton, Dudley, was living with his mother Elizabeth Cox, head of house, born in Netherton, Dudley, miner's wife, age 29, in Dudley, Worcestershire, England along with his sisters Jane, age 5, born in Netherton, Dudley and Mary, age 11 months, born in Netherton, Dudley. (1861 England Census)
1867: The first modern commercial coal mine in Wyoming opened in Carbon, Wyoming.
1869 March 7: Mary Smith was born in England.
1869 May 10: Congress passed an act creating the Wyoming Territory.
1869 May 10: The Union Pacific met the Central Pacific Railroad met at Promontory, Utah, and the railroad presidents drove a ceremonial last spike into a rail line that connected the tracks. This act made transcontinental railroad travel possible for the first time in U.S. history.
1869: Joseph Cox, about age 14, immigrated to the U.S. from England with his parents Elizabeth (Roberts) and Richard Cox. (1900 U.S. Census)
1879: Dutch Charlie Burris, a member of Big Nose George Parrott's gang of outlaws was lynched in Carbon for the death of the lawmen, Tip Vincent and Bob Widdowfield.
1879: Joseph Cox arrived in Carbon, Wyoming to work in the coal mines there. It was the year after the hanging of Dutch Charlie Burris. He came from Saint Clair, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania where he had immigrated to from Netherton, Dudley, England in the Black Country.
1880: Joseph was living in Carbon, Wyoming. He was age 24, single, white, male and a coal miner. (1800 U.S. Census)
1883: Joseph "Joe" Cox recruited his cousins James "Jim" While, age 21 and Emma (Lord) While, age 23, to the United States, going directly to Carbon, Wyoming to work in the coal mines. Jim went to work in the Carbon coal mines. He worked in the Carbon No. 2 and Carbon No. 6 Mines during his time living in Carbon.
1885-1887: John While immigrated to Carbon, Wyoming in the United States to work in the Carbon, Wyoming coal mines.
1884: Mary Smith immigrated to Carbon, Wyoming in the United States from England.
1885: Joseph "Joe" Cox's encouraged his cousin John "Jackie" While Sr. to immigrate to Carbon, Wyoming in the United States from England to work in the Carbon Coal Mines. John "Jackie" While went to work in the Carbon Coal Mines. He worked along with his brother James "Jim" While in the Carbon No. 2 and Carbon No. 6 Mines during his time living in Carbon.
1887: Joseph Cox and Mary Smith were married in Carbon, Wyoming. Mary Smith was a popular young lady in Carbon. (1900 U.S. Census)
1888 March 21: Joseph "Joe" Cox, who would later be responsible for developing the No. 1 and No. 2 mines in Hanna, was granted his Mine Foreman certificate by the State of Wyoming.
1889 July 12: Joseph's father Richard Cox, age 68, died in Carbon and was buried in Carbon. (Carbon Cemetery Records)
1890 June 19: A fierce fire broke out in Carbon and burned most of the business district to the ground. A few reports indicate the fire started in the Scranton House hotel where a guest knocked over a kerosene lamp. The fire fighters even tried dynamiting a few buildings in hopes of stopping the fire from spreading, but their efforts were not successful. Immediately after the fire, the people and businesses started rebuilding the town and new laws and ordinances were passed to help avoid such a thing from happening again.
1890: Joseph Cox was living in Carbon, Wyoming when Wyoming became the 44th State.
1891 October 26: John "Jackie" While left Carbon and returned to Netherton, Dudley, England for a visit. While he was there, he married Lousia Hadley at St. John's Church, Kate's Hill, in Dudley, England. Samuel While, John's brother and Jane Hadley, Lousia's sister witnessed the marriage.
1892 Oct. 18: Joseph and Mary's son Charles H. Cox died and was buried in Carbon. (Carbon Cemetery Records)
1887-1888: The decision was made by the Union Pacific Coal Company Officials to move the coal mines from Carbon to Hanna. The responsibility of developing the No. 1 Mine and No. 2 Mine in Hanna was given to Joseph. He and Mary moved from Carbon to Hanna. Joseph was put in charge of the mine development - making him the first Mine Foreman in Hanna.
1889: The first shipment of coal was made from Hanna to Carbon by wagon.
1890: The Union Pacific Coal Company was created.
1892-1894: Joseph moved his family from Hanna, Wyoming to Gray Creek, Colorado to open another Union Pacific Coal Company Mine there.
1894: Joseph started working for the Trinidad Fuel Company in Forbes, Colorado. He was superintendent of the Forbes and Midway mines. He moved to Forbes from Gray Creek, Colorado. He soon became the owner of the mine.
1900: Joseph Cox, age 45, was living in Forbes, Las Animas, Colorado with his wife Mary Cox, age 31, and his children: Roy Cox, age 11; Eva Mae Cox, age 8; Bert Cox, age 6; Joseph Cox, age 4; and Lester Cox, age 1. Joseph "Joe" Cox was the superintendent of a coal mine. Joseph and Mary had 6 children 5 were still alive. (1900 U.S. Census)
1910: Joseph, age 56, was living in Forbes, Las Animas, Colorado with his wife Mary, age 42, and his children Roy Cox, age 21, single, assistant manager of a coal mine, Eva Cox, age 18, Bert Cox, age 16, Joseph Cox, age 14, Lester Cox, age 12, Alice Cox, age 9, Dorothy Cox, age 3 and Irene Cox, age 3. (1910 U.S. Census)
1911 June 19: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eliza While wife of James While and her children arrived from England going directly to Forbes Colorado to join her husband who had immigrated earlier to work for Joseph Cox at his self-owned coal mine.
1913-1914: Southern Colorado Coal Mine Strike occurred. The strike involved the United Mine Workers of America.
1914 April 20: The Ludlow Massacre occurred. Ludlow was located 12 miles northwest of Trinidad. Joseph Cox owned the Ideal Fuel Company in Aguilar, Colorado. Joseph Cox was President, Roy C. Cox, General Manager. John Burns was Superintendent of the Jewel Mine. The Jewel mine was a 2000' Drift mine with 150 HP. Steam Power Plant, Compressed Air Cutters, Horse Haulage, Shaking Screens and 50 workers. The involvement of Joseph Cox and his mines in the Ludlow Massacre is not clear, but it appears Joe's mines were sold to Nelson Rockefeller before the Ludlow Massacre occurred.
1918 February 4: Case No. 203 Ideal Fuel Co. Employees, Aguilar, Feb. 4, 1918. Number of men 50. Number of employers 1. Strike, yes. Lockout, no. Number of days out 3. Cause of controversy, changing of coal bulletin by the company. Settlement, correction of bulletin. Number of days' notice, none. Men struck at this same place September 26, 1918, in sympathy with a discharged employee. Matter adjusted; all men reinstated. (1918 Report of the Industrial Commission of Colorado, Volume 2)
Mr. James "Jim" While who was fatally injured in the Hanna No. 4 Mine last Wednesday. [Joseph Cox had recruited James from England to Colorado to work in his mine.] (Hanna Notes, Rawlins Republican, Jan. 27, 1921)
1921 Jan. 27: Mr. Joe Cox and Mrs. Roy Cox arrived from Denver Thursday to attend the funeral of James "Jim" While.
1927 February 22: Joseph Cox died in Phoenix, Arizona. He was buried in the Fairmount cemetery in Denver Colorado.
In 1879, the lure of the west and the adventure it promised urged him to leave the east and search for newer fields and greater opportunities. He located in the then new and thriving coal mining village of Carbon where he became connected with the Union Pacific Railroad Company in the development of the mines at the place. Later Mr. Cox’s parents and younger brother and sister joined him in their new home where they lived for a number of years. (Mr. Butler, Union Pacific Coal Company)
Obituary: JOSEPH COX, NOTED DENVER MINE MAN, DIES AT PHOENIX. Venerable Capitalist Loses Fight for Health in Seventy-Fifth Year. A battle for health failed Tuesday when Joseph Cox, 75 years old, rancher and coal mine owner, died in Phoenix, Ariz., where he went from Denver last December to regain his health, according to word received Wednesday. Cox shortly before his death, moved from Hillrose, Colo., where he had lived for several years. He owned a large share of the stock of the Trowel Land Cattle & Investment Company at Brush. He also was owner of the Midway mine, later sold to the Colorado Fuel & Iron company and the Ideal mine at Aguilar, which he disposed of to another concern. His body will be returned to Denver for burial, at which time funeral arrangements will be made. Burial will be in Fairmount cemetery. Survivors include his widow Mary, who was with him when he died; eight children, Roy C. Cox, 869 South Race Street, Denver; Joseph Jr., California; Mrs. C.L. Pendleton and Mrs. W.W. Bunting, Hill Rose; Irene and Dorothy Cox, who attend the State Teachers college at Greeley, Lester and Albert, Hill Rose and three grandchildren.
Cox was a member of the Rawlins, Wyo., A.F. & A.M. lodge, Scottish Rite Consistory No. 1 Denver and the El Jebel Shrine (Newspaper Obituary Provided by Mary Simmons)
Old Time Union Pacific Coal Company Employee Passes On
By T. H. Butler
Union Pacific Coal Company's Employee's Magazine
The passing of Joseph Cox, at Phoenix, Arizona, on February 22nd, removes from our mist a real pioneer of the coal industry in the west.
Joseph Cox was born at Netherton, Worcestershire, England in the year 1852 and journeyed from his native land with his parents in the year 1865, locating at St. Claire, Pennsylvania.
In 1879, the lure of the west and the adventure it promised urged him to leave the east and search for newer fields and greater opportunities. He located in the then new and thriving coal mining village of Carbon where he became connected with the Union Pacific Railroad Company in the development of the mines at the place. Later Mr. Cox’s parents and younger brother and sister joined him in their new home where they lived for a number of years.
In the year 1889, Mr. Cox was married to Miss Mary Smith, a popular young lady of Carbon.
Joe, as they affectionately called him, demonstrated early in life that he was fitted for leadership and responsibility and held the position of driver boss and mine foreman in the mines at Carbon. He was transferred to Hanna and was placed in charge of the opening of the Hanna mines under the direction of the late L. R. Meyer, then Mine Superintendent at Carbon.
In 1892 Mr. Cox was transferred to Gray Creek, Colorado and had charge of the mines being worked under lease by the Union Pacific Coal Company. At the closing of the Gray Creek mines, he entered the service of the Trinidad Fuel Company, as Superintendent of the Forbes and Midway mines and later operated the Jewell mine near Aguilar, Colorado, as part owner.
In the year 1912, Joe quit the mining game and settled on a farm at Hill Rose near Fort Morgan, Colorado, where he resided at the time of his death. He had been enjoying good health until a short time before his death when he commenced to fail and went to Phoenix, Arizona, with the hope that a change would restore him to health. But he continued to fail until death came quietly on February 22, 1927.
His remains were brought to Denver where he was laid away at the Fairmont Cemetery, the beautiful services of the Episcopal Church being used with the Masonic Fraternity in charge.
The passing of our old friend recalls to the writer and other old-time residents of Carbon and Hanna his noble character and sterling qualities. We remember him as a man of courage and determination, quick to censure, but of a kind and sympathetic heart and forgiving nature, charitable in every respect. He was a westerner of the old west, a man one was proud to know and call friend. Joseph Cox was a brother of the late Mrs. George Pickering of Rock Springs and will be remembered by all the old-time residents there.
Deceased leaves to mourn his loss, a widow and four daughters: Mrs. Eva Pendleton of Hillrose, Colorado; Mr. William Buntin of Colorado Springs; and Dorothy and Irene Cox of Hill Rose, Colorado; and four sons: Roy C. Cox of Denver, Colorado; Joseph Cox, Jr. of Pasadena, California, and Bert and Lester Cox of Hillrose, Colorado; and one brother, Robert Cox, of Hanna, besides a host of friends in Wyoming and Colorado, all of whom extend their heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family and relatives.
1929 January 9: Mary (Smith) Cox died in Hillrose, Morgan, Colorado. She was buried in the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado in Elk. 61.
Joseph "Joe" and Mary (Smith) Cox had ten children together:
- Roy C. Cox (1889-1958) born April 15, 1889, in Carbon, Wyoming. 1917, age 28, registered for WWI, He was a miner working for Ideal Fuel Company in Aguilar, Colorado. He had a wife and one child. Died April 7, 1958, in Denver, Colorado.
- Charles H. Cox (1890-1892)
- Eva May Cox (1892-1984)
- Albert Richard Cox (1893-1958)
- Joseph Isaac Cox (1896-1971)
- Lester Meridith Cox (1898-1971)
- Alice Elizabeth Cox (1900-1978)
- Robert Cox (1903-1903)
- Dorothy Cox (1906-1997)
- Irene Cox (1906-1978)
Image taken about 1911 in Colorado. (Seated) Joseph Cox, father, Mary (Smith) Cox, mother (Center) Irene, Dorothy, Alice, (Back) Lester, Albert, Eva, Roy Joseph Jr. (Image provided by Mary Beth Simmons-Sierer)