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James S. Cox 1873-1915


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 2/19/2011 at 23:34:19

Jas. S. Cox Dies of Cancer
After Suffering For More Than One Year the Grim Messenger Came to His Relief Thursday Evening
Was Architect of Marked Ability
Also Founder of Opera House Reporter – A Genius in Many Ways
Although not unexpected the death of Architect Jas. S. Cox Thursday evening, July 29, was a great shock to the community, and many a head was bowed in grief as the word went forth that he had passed to his final reward.

His illness dates back over a year and at different times during 1914 he had several sick spells, but not until January of this year did he seek medical attention and not until then did he know that he was afflicted with a cancerous growth in his stomach. He went to Rochester January 10th to consult the great specialists there and then to Chicago two weeks later, but at no time did the medical fraternity give him any encouragement.

In May he was compelled to take to his bed and gradually grew worse. In June however hope was offered him in New York City by the serum treatment and he at once went there and was taken to the Polyclinic hospital where he underwent treatment for six weeks. He at times seemed improved but it was only temporary, and after hope was abandoned he was brought back to Estherville two weeks ago, to die, it being his desire that he should be at his old home among those nearest and dearest to him when he answered the final summons. He made a desperate and courageous battle for life but the dreadful disease sapped his vitality until he was only a “mere shadow” of himself and death seemed to come as a relief.

Funeral was held from the Presbyterian church Saturday afternoon at 2:30 and he was laid to rest in Oak Hill cemetery. The Elks of which organization he was a most highly respected member, attended the funeral in a body and paid their last respects to a departed brother. The floral offerings were many and very beautiful.

The sorrowing relatives besides his loving and devoted wife are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Cox, and four brothers, Jesse, George, Spencer Jr., and Lee Cox.

The subject of this sketch was born in Brookfield township, near Seneca, La Salle county, Illinois, February 9, 1873, and hence at the time of his death was 42 years and 5 months of age. He came to Estherville with his parents April 15, 1891, when he worked with his father at mason work and general contracting for a number of years. During that time he and his father built the First National Bank building of this city. Later he took up the study of architecture, under the International Correspondence School of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and by thorough, practical building experiences. One of the first buildings he designed was the Lough Opera house which was destroyed by fire a few years ago.

In February, 1898, he founded the Opera House Reporter at the same time he was manager of Lough’s opera house. The Reporter was established for the express purpose of obtaining a better class of attractions for the theatre going public, and has well filled its mission. He published the Reporter for fourteen years when in 1912 he disposed of the plant and since that time devoted his talents to architectural work making a specialty of public school buildings and his work in this line was fast becoming recognized as above the average. The magnificent high school building in Estherville was designed by the deceased and stands as a splendid monument of his architectural ability. He took great pride in designing school buildings with every convenience and comfort for the higher education of pupils and often remarked that he wanted the “kids” to have a better chance to obtain an education than he had.

He was also associated with his brother, Jesse Cox, for several years in painting theatrical scenery during the time he was connected with the theatre and the Reporter.

On June 12, 1895, he was united in marriage to Miss Ada Cavin at the home of the bride’s parents at Lamar, Missouri, and his married life was a most ideal and happy one Mrs. Cox was a true companion and helpmeet in every sense of the word. She accompanied him on all trips and spared no trouble of expense to aid him in his search for health.

He was always a hard working young man and had just reached a point in his architectural career when success was assured and he was in position to reap the rewards of persistent and painstaking labor when he was stricken by the dreadful malady. (Vindicator & Republican, Estherville, IA, August 4, 1915)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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