Historical Details

Cox, Potter

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 12/11/2020


As told to Dona Eddy by Bernice Cox

It was Dec. 6, 1906 when Potter and Jessie (Crawford) Cox, Bernice, Kenneth and Helen arrived in Keeline, Wyo. from Ind. Other children born to Potter and Jessie Cox in Wyo. were Clifford, Herman, and Marge.

It was snowing the day we got into Keeline.  Uncle Melvin Crawford, (Jessie's brother) met us at the train with his team and wagon and took us down to his place.

A man named Stoner came with the immigrant car from Indiana and then returned. (Uncle Joshua and wife Aunt Ida (Crawford) Norris were here already). Dad (Potter Cox), Uncle Melvin, and Uncle Joshy Norris came out here together and homesteaded.

Uncle Melvin's house was built first. (At the location of the Charles Freeman place at the present time). Ida and Joshy Norris stayed at Crawfords part of the time while they built their house. Coxs stayed with the Norris' the winter of 1909, while they built their house. All of us stayed in their little house. It sat in the right of way when the road was later surveyed, so it had to be moved.

One of the reasons for the Norris'   moving from Indiana was Mrs. Norris' health was bad.  I  suppose the three got together back there and decided it would be a good place to get free land, so they came out here and homesteaded.

Uncle Clyde Cox (Potter Cox' s brother) homesteaded about a quarter of a mile north of Potter Cox. He sold it to Erwins.  Mrs. Erwin was Potter's sister.   Uncle Clyde's were here ahead of the Erwin's but they didn't stay very long. Erwins probably bought the relinquishment because I doubt if Uncle Clyde proved up on it.  Erwins have two daughters;    Alma, the oldest is in Salt Lake City, and Mable is in Dallas, Texas. Later Erwins sold out to Dad.

Oscar Cox homesteaded the Dupes place.

Later they swapped places.  They sold out to James Newton Dupes. Mrs. Dupes was Miss Irene Thomas then, my first school teacher. She taught one and a half years, then she was married.   I believe Miss Bowman took Miss Dupes place and finished out the year.

School was better than a half-mile south of the Crowl place, on the west side of the lane, on the Rufus Smith place, just south of the buildings.  The school was called Chimney Rock, after a sandstone formation to its west. We used to walk that mile and three quarters both ways when I started school. Of course Norris' had Earl and Norma and we walked together. Later   the school was moved northwest one quarter of a mile south of the Norris place.

Dad and Charles Pfeifer were getting coal at the Rocky Top Coal Mine. They were in the mine helping Rufus Smith when a big chunk of
coal fell from the roof of the mine killing Rufus. My Dad and Mr. Pfeifer were both right there in the mine with him when it happened.

Uncle Joshy and Dad went together and bought a bull. The bull was bought from D.B. Atkinson and he didn't brand, he only stamped D.B.A. in the ear. The bull was stolen.  Whoever did it probably cut the ears off.

One evening after we moved in the house, just at dusk, I saw three grey wolves running through the cooley which ran east of the house.  It wasn't too many years after that you never saw or heard any wolves a­ round the country.

Most homesteaders made their living during the winter building the Jireh Christian College. Potter Cox worked on it during 1910-1911. I and Ken attended Jireh Christian College along with Earl and Norma Norris (cousins).

John Hill and I went to Kansas City to school in 1924.  It was Swingers Mechanic School.

Clifford, age 3 and Herbert, age 6 both had scarlet fever from which Herbert died.

Clifford was kicked by a horse in the Spring of either 1927 or 1928.  he was severly hurt at that time. Clifford works for the Wyoming Highway Department and lives in Lusk.    Herman Cox lives in Casper, Marie Ross in Midwest, Helen Coleman lives in Oregon, I live in Cody, Kenneth in Mont.

Earlier, when Helen was small in the buggy, the horses ran away.  Mom tried to stop them and the buggy ran over her foot and broke her leg. While her leg was cast she discovered a rattlesnake out by the wood pile.  She walked with her knee on a chair and got the shotgun, went out and shot the snake.  The recoil of the gun knocked her clear off the chair

Helen, when about ten years old, got sick, but they thought she would get better. However, she seemed to get sicker and sicker.  She had appendicitis.  We got Dr. Murphy from Keeline. It was in the middle of win­ter.  Franklin Whiteaker brought Dr. Murphy out to check Helen in the evening. He walk­ed in the door and said they had to get her to the hospital. They loaded her in the bobsled and bundled her all up and went to Keeline, caught the passenger train and took her to Lusk for surgery.

It was a warm summer day and Dad had all of us boys out in the garage to cut our hair. He had an old Model T with the rear blocked up. Marge, the baby sister was playing around. Clifford was standing near it waiting his turn when Marge somehow knocked the car off the blocks and the rear came down on Clifford's. foot almost cutting it in two.  He had to go to bed and by morning he couldn’t walk.

Mrs. Cox had a big fire going in the cook stove heating wash water.   I was­ assisting her. Clifford was in the house in bed and all of a sudden someone yelled fire! He, being really frightened, ran out into the yard. When he came to himself, his foot was hurting awful and he just sat there.  He could not get up so he had to have the others carry him back into the house after the fire. The whole family rallied to fight the fire.

The ladder had been borrowed by Uncle Joshy so I jumped in the car, went the quarter mile and got the ladder back in time to put water on the roof and put the fire out that had started from an overheated stove pipe.

Cox's sold their place to a neighbor, Larry Eddy, the fall of 1945. They were preparing to move to Keeline when he was stricken very severely with a cerebral hemmorage, passing away the last of Oct. 1945.

Mrs. Cox lived in Lusk awhile then going to live with her daughter, Marjorie in Midwest. Her health finally failed till she entered the Valley Manor Health and Rest Home in Casper. She is residing there at this time.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Cox, Lemuel (02/06/1876 - 10/31/1945) View Record
Obituary Cox, Jessie (10/06/1877 - 11/08/1973) View Record