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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

John S. and Phoebie Jane Spencer Cox,
Theodore Blackburn Cox, son of Isaac Cox and Lucy Ann Boatright, was born March 16, 1845 in Platte County, Missouri. He served in the Civil War. After the war was over, he was transferred to Fort Laramie, Wyoming in the Indian conflict (War). He married Mary Catherine Bear (born May 15, 1856 in Barnard, Missouri to Samuel Kennerly Bear and Nancy Susannah Wood), and died February 19, 1930 in Yuma. He and Mary (died May 11, 1934) are buried in the Yuma Cemetery.

Children: Joseph Samuel Cox, September 30, 1876 Maryville, Missouri

Charles Ova Cox, July 19, 1878. Died March 11, 1918 Yuma, Colorado

Thomas Frederick Cox, May 5, 1880, died Oct. 4, 1954 Eckley, Colorado.

Susie Ann Cox, June 10, 1882, died Feb.15, 1901 Nebraska

Pirlie Molly (Mary Pearl) Cox, April 3, 1885 - married George Kopp, died Sept.3, 1971 Colorado

John Smoker Cox, April 11, 1887 died May 25, 1976 Dallas, Oregon

Photographs and family information donated by Janie.


Theodore B. Cox, age 18. Private, Company F, 12th Missouri Cavalry

Theodore Blackburn Cox - Mar 16, 1845 - Feb 19, 1930

Civil War photo presented to Yuma Museum


 August 2014 - article in the Yuma Pioneer    By MATT VINCENT

Not long ago a woman from California purchased several old picture frames from an antique store in Montana. Inside one frame was a replicated hand-painted tintype of a young soldier identified as Theodore Blackburn Cox who was buried in the Yuma Cemetery almost a century ago.

The woman kept the frame but kindly forwarded the photograph to the Colorado Genealogical Society and it was then given to Arlene Glenn of the Yuma Museum. A small notation on the back of the antique photograph suggested that Cox was “training to be (a) personal bodyguard for Ulysses S. Grant.”

We could find no references to him becoming a bodyguard for Grant. But the facts we were able to uncover proved even more interesting.

Theodore “Dorie” Cox was born March 6, 1845, near the small town of Sparta, Mo. He was raised on a family farm near Maryville during one of the nation’s most tumultuous times. Constant raiding and plundering of the Missouri countryside by heavily armed guerilla fighters like William “Bloody Bill” Anderson quickly turned Cox and his family against the Confederacy. And at the age of 16 or 17, he signed on to fight for the Union, joining Company F of the 12th Regiment Missouri Cavalry.

Through U.S. military records, we were able to track his military service by following the official reports and actions of the 12th Missouri Cavalry. We know, for example, that Dorie was involved in multiple skirmishes and fights across Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. And he was certainly among the mounted troops who pursued Nathan Bedford Forrest in 1864.

If you are history buff, you will recognize the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Union General William Tecumseh Sherman once said “that devil Forrest must be hunted down and killed if it costs 10,000 lives and bankrupts the Federal Treasury.”

Cox also participated the Battle of Nashville that sealed the fate of the Confederacy and opened the door for Sherman’s “March to Sea.” Less than four months after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Cox was still riding and fighting. He soon found himself headed west as part of the Powder River Expedition of 1865, a military strike force designed to punish the Sioux, Arapaho and Cheyenne for their so-called depredations along the Bozeman Trail.

Cox’s expedition was led by several other notable historical figures, among them frontier scout Jim Bridger, Frank North and North’s Pawnee scouts. And Cox eventually found himself pursuing new enemies with names like Roman Nose, Crazy Horse and Red Cloud.

During one of those skirmishes, Cox’s horse went down and his saddle’s pommel crushed his stomach and pelvic area. He suffered severe internal injuries and those eventually led to his official discharge from the military on April 9, 1866.

As often happens to soldiers of war, ghosts of the past began to haunt him. His injuries never quite healed, neither the physical ones nor the mental ones.

Dorie became a heavy consumer of whiskey and other malted beverages, according to his granddaughter, Phoebie Jane Cox. He was no doubt self-medicating to alleviate the pain and injuries he suffered while serving with the U.S. military. In addition to internal pain, his military discharge papers indicate that he was partially blind in one eye, the result of a cannon explosion near his face.

Discharged from military service, Dorie drifted in and out of small town across Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, moving often with his wife and children until he eventually settled down on a homestead near Eckley in 1908. He died at the ripe old age of 84 on Feb. 19, 1930, and was buried in the Yuma Cemetery alongside his estranged wife, Mary Catherine Bear, and two of their six children.

It’s worth noting that Theodore Blackburn Cox isn’t the only Civil War veteran buried in the hallowed ground of the Yuma Cemetery. Cox shares that military honor with a much more famous Union veteran named George J. Shopp, who remains Yuma County’s only Medal of Honor recipient. We will share Shopp’s story and his distinguished military service record around Veteran’s Day.





John S. Cox - Apr 11, 1887 - May 25, 1976. Photo taken in 1907

Phoebie Feb 2, 1887 - May 24, 1983- homestead about 1920

Likely in 1S - 46W, southeast of Yuma

Family of John S. Cox and Phoebie Jane Spencer Cox

Edna Stella Cox McEwen - Aug 25, 1911 - Dec 21, 1961 Washington State
Edna is buried in Chehalis, Lewis County, with LeRoy Ralph McEwen.

Bertha Jane Cox - Apr 16, 1914 - Apr 30, 1916 Colorado. Bertha is buried in Yuma # 48944814.

Sanford John Cox - Feb 8 1916 - May 11, 1916 Colorado "Sanford and his sister Bertha died after a neighbor brought her sick children over to play. After their death, Phoebie (their mother) had a nervous break down. Her husband John saw the neighbors in town shortly after and told them they should leave town and never come back."

Jewell Forest Cox - Dec 21 1918 - Sep 19, 1977 Oregon. Jewell is buried in Dallas, Oregon, with Helen Marie (Libby) Nelson 1925-1992.

William Theodore Cox - Jul 23, 1922 - Aug 20, 1978 Oregon. Bill is buried in Dallas, Oregon. "one daughter and one son".

Calvin Spencer Cox - Nov 16, 1924 - Aug 26, 2004 Oregon
Calvin S. Cox of Dallas died Aug. 26. He was 79.
He was born to John and Phoebie Spencer Cox on the family farm in Eckley, Colo.
At the age of 12 he and the family moved to Oregon. He later graduated from Dallas High School. Shortly following graduation he joined the Navy where he served until May of 1946.
On Jan. 8, 1947 he married Zelda Eggert in Dallas. The family made their home in Dallas.
He worked as a logger for Shipley Logging. He enjoyed fishing, working in the yard and most of all having coffee with his buddies at Bert's Restaurant in Dallas.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, William Theodore Cox and Jewell Forest Cox. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Zelda; daughter, Betty Ann Cox of LaGrande; brother, Johnie Cox of Dallas; sisters, Phoebie Jane Cox of Dallas and Betty Thomas of Eugene; granddaughter, Therese; and one great-grandchild, Shelby.
Graveside services were Aug. 31 at Dallas Cemetery. # 55879318

Johnie Levi Cox - Sep 24, 1928. Johnie is buried in Dallas, Oregon, with Joanne Pearl (Brown) Cox 1933-1966.

Phoebie Jane Cox - Apr 23, 1930 - August 4, 2011 "Janie was born on April 23, 1930, in Wray, Colorado. She was preceded in death by her parents John S. and Phoebie Jane Spencer Cox, sisters Bertha J Cox and Edna S McEwen; brothers Sanford J, Jewell F (Joe), William T (Bill), Calvin S (Cal), and Johnie L. Cox.
Janie moved with her family to Dallas as a young girl. She graduated from Dallas High School in 1948. She worked at a cannery in Salem and then at the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles where she retired in 1993.
She was very patriotic and proud to be an American. She was a long time member of the Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR). As the family historian she enjoyed researching the family history and spent the majority of her time on genealogy. Her other hobbies included gardening, bird watching, and following political affairs.
Janie lived on the family farm and took care of her parents. After their death, she remained on the farm and with the help of her brother Johnie, they continued farming."

Betty Joan Cox Ruggles Thomas - Sep 9, 1932

Thomas Frederick Cox - May 5, 1880 - Oct 4, 1954

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