Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Thomas and Melcena Ellen (Barnhill) Fox, Idalia.
Donated by Jerry Wilcoxen

   Thomas Fox was born in Ireland in 1834 and learned the trade of carriage making in his father's shop. He also spent two years at sea as a cabin boy. He came to Philadelphia as a youth where he apprenticed as a carpenter and bridge builder. He worked his way west, helping to build the Iowa State Capitol. In 1856 Thomas Fox first came to Colorado where he worked at bridge construction near Blackhawk. Returning east he worked in Nebraska at Fort Kearney and Plattesmouth before setting up a wagon shop in Ashland, Nebraska.

   Melcena Barnhill was born in Illinois in 1840. She moved to eastern Nebraska with her family as a young girl where she met and married Thomas Fox in Wahoo in 1865.

   The Fox family moved near Oberlin, Kansas in 1886 and in 1893 onto the Fox Ranch northwest of Idalia on the Arikaree (at the Road U bridge) which Thomas purchased from Mr. Thomas. Thomas and Melcena had five children; three sons and two daughters. Thomas died in 1910 and Melcena in 1915. They are both buried in the Lucas Cemetery.

The ranch was operated by the three sons and became known as the Fox Brothers Ranch.

Fox Ranch
Fox Ranch on the Arikaree about 1900.
From the left: Emmett Fox, John Fox, Thomas Fox, Thomas J Wilcoxen (Ona's son), Melcena Fox, Ona (Fox) Wilcoxen and Thomas (Bud) Fox.

Carrie Barnhill (Melcena's daughter), born about 1860, married Robert A. Reasoner

The Thomas and Melcena Fox children all born in Wahoo, Nebraska, were:
Murnie M., born 1866, married Perry Hadsall in 1882
Iona Ellen "Ona", born 1870 died 1954, married George W. Wilcoxen in 1891
John Walker, born 1875 died 1956
Emmett Albert, born 1878 died 1928
Thomas H. (Bud), born 1881 died 1967, married Evageline Hill in 1915.

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