William F. BELL

The fact that some Northern Quakers endured harassment by military authorities is also well chronicled in Edward N. Wright's monumental work, _Conscientious Objectors in the Civil War_, and in a newer work by Peter Brock, _Pacifism in the United States_.... Research corroborates the findings or Wright and Brock in regard to actual suffering by Indiana Friends at the hands of military authorities during the war. Only one possible additional case was found. William F. Bell of the Raysville Monthly Meeting in Henry County agreed to perform military service after severe punishment. Church minutes are devoid of further details except that Bell condemned all wars and desired to have his membership retained. Perhaps Brock best summed up the frequency of Quaker persecution in the Union army. Although he emphasized that instances of brutality occurred in the war, as in the cases of Pringle and Bell, it was not official policy and was generally of "short duration" meted out by "some local military bully.

Notes for the above passage: Minutes of the Raysville Monthly Meeting of Men Friends held at Raysville, Henry Co, IN, 4th month 28th 1866. The author suspects that Bell received his military punishment, however, at the hands of the Confederate military authorities. On 24, March 1866, the Back Creek Monthly Meeting of Randolph Co, NC, requested the Raysville counsel Bell for the above offense.

from _Indiana Quakers Confront the Civil War_ by Jacquelyn S. Nelson, pg 92:

William F. Bell. A long lifetime varied by many unusual experiences, has been that of William F. Bell, one of the most esteemed old residents of Fairmount township. Mr. Bell has lived in Grant county thirty-two years. He came to Indiana about the time of the Civil war, having lived in Henry county for sixteen years, from 1865 to 1881, and then came to Grant county. As the following article will show, he and his wife made their start in this state with practically nothing except their own energies, and with the passing of years their thrift and industry enabled them to accumulate more than a comfortable competence, while at the same time they grew in the honor and esteem of their wide acquaintance.

William F. Bell was born in Randolph county, North Carolina, February 14, 1832. He grew up as a farmer boy, was married when a young man, and was the father of two children when the war broke out. His early training had been that of the Quaker religion. Both by religious principles and moral conviction he was opposed to the principles of the south. However, the south needed every one of its sons to fight in behalf of the Confederacy, and he had to accept one of two alternatives, either enlist as a private soldier or take employment at a soldier's wages in the salt works in Wilmington, North Carolina. He accepted the latter as the less of two evils, and remained at the salt works for two years. When the Union army captured the works, he was then conscripted into the active service of the southern army. He refused to carry arms and was swung up by his thumbs to a tree, and hung three hours before his spirit was so broken that he submitted to pick up his gun and go along in the ranks. However, he had firmly resolved that he would not serve long and would take the first opportunity to escape. Three weeks later, when the army was six miles south of Petersburg, at a place locally known as Yellow House, the opportunity came. His comrade in this adventure was Henry Stewart, a brother of Mrs. Ivy Luther of Grant county, and the incident is also related in another sketch to be found in this publication concerning the family of Ivy Luther. These two Quakers were on picket duty, and their line of guard was only a few hundred years away from the pickets of Grant's army, which lay opposite the Confederate forces. Bell and Stewart received permission to go into the pine woods and gather some fire wood, and took this means in making their escape. Running across the ground separating the two lines of the army, they were received within the picket lines of the Union forces, and were permitted to go under guard to the Union headquarters. They were also allowed the happy privilege of obtaining all they wanted to eat from the commissary, and since rebel rations had been extremely short, they did not hesitate to feed themselves liberally. They were given the privilege of going wherever they liked, and in a short time both Bell and Stewart found their way to Indiana. The day of their escape was December 11, 1864, only a few months before the close of the war, and they soon afterwards arrived at Indianapolis. From there they went to Knightstown in Henry county, and there Mr. Bell worked on a farm until the war was over. Going back to his native county in North Carolina, he rejoined his wife and three children, and then returned to Henry county, where he spent four years as a renter. At this time Mr. Bell and wife were actually poverty stricken, and it is nothing to their discredit to say that when they reached Indiana, at the close of the war, they possessed nothing except what they carried on their backs and in their hands. That early period of privation has long since been forgotten in their steady prosperity, but it is worthy of record that the entire family during their fifth year in Indiana and the first year after buying their own farm expended only one dollar in actual cash, and most of that was spent for sugar. All the other sources of their scanty living were raised on the farm. To his wife Mr. Bell gives great credit for their successful escape from that early period of hardship, and by effective management they were at the end of four years able to buy some land in Henry county, and lived twelve years on their own farm. Selling out their Henry county farm they moved to Grant county in the fall of 1881, and Mr. Bell then bought eighty acres in section thrity-one of Fairmount township, where he has ever since had his home. Much of that land was still uncleared, and he employed his industry in improving it and making a comfortable home. From timber growing upon the farm was manufactured the timber with which Mr. Bell put up a fine home of eight rooms, and also a barn, built in the best modern style, and another feature of the place which shows the progressive methods used at the Bell homestead is a silo with eighty tons' capacity. Mr. Bell for many years has been a successful grower of corn, wheat, oats, has considerable land in meadow, and his cropy in quantity and quality will compare favorably with those produced anywhere in this county.

Mr. Bell was married in his native vicinity to Miss Nancy M. Ferguson. She was born in Randolph county, North Carolina, April 30, 1830, and through her mother, whose maiden name was Boone, is a descendant of the famous Daniel Boone. She was a woman of unusual capability, as will be understood from what has been said in preceding paragraphs. During the war, while her husband was an unwilling soldier in the Confederate army, she lived with her children and managed to provide for their wants, and on moving to Indiana at once proved a worthy helpmate in establishing a home and prosperity. She died at her home in Fairmount township, January 15, 1910, being within a month of her eightieth birthday. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Bell are: James M., who was born March 14, 1859, in North Carolina, and all his life has lived at home and has been associated with his father. He has combined the two occupations of farming and carpenter work. Mr. James M. Bell is a well known and influential citizen in Fairmount township, for the past two years ahas served as treasurer of the Fairmount academy, and for three years previous to that was a member and secretary of the board of trustees of the Academy. James M. Bell married Miss Etta Harvey, who was reared and partly educated in Indianapolis. Their children are: Mildred O., and Edna. Mildred is a graduate of the Fairmount Academy, while Edna is a member of the Fairmount eighth grade class of 1914.

Mary [Mollie], the second child of Mr. and Mrs. Bell, is the wife of Alvin Free [Ferree], a farmer in Liberty township. Their children are Iva J., Webster and Edison. Iva J. Free [Ferree] is highly educated, having taken courses in several schools and colleges, and is now a teacher at Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Sadie [Sarah] Ellen, the third child, is the wife of Rev. Hiram Harvey, a successful farmer of Liberty township, and for a number of years a preacher in the Friends church of that township. Rev. Harvey is now custodian of the Fairmount Academy endowment fund. Mr. and Mrs. Harvey have one son, Russel [Russell] Terry, who is married and lives at home with his parents. The fourth child is Julia Ione, wife of Elwood S. Townsend, a house painter and decorator of Marion. They have two daughters, Ida and Inez.

Mr. Bell and members of his family are all members of the Friends church, and in politics he supports the Prohibition cause as championed by St. John.

Submitter's note: Grandfather BELL was a 'bound boy', taken in by the STUART family in Randolph Co NC, and raised by this family as a Friend. I don't know if the STEWART soldier mentioned above was part of the same familly. The STUARTs remained in NC until the late 1800s, when William brought them to Grant Co to care for them in their old age. They are all buried together in Park Cem, Fairmount.

Submitted by: Phyllis Fleming
Centennial History of Grant County, Indiana, 1812-1912_ ed by Rolland Lewis Whitson, Lewis Pub Co, 1914, pg 787-788:

John W COX

JOHN W. COX. For thirty-five years John W. Cox has prospered as a farmer and lived a resident of section thirty in Fairmount township. He owns a delightful country home, and his prosperity is nearly altogether the result of his careful planning and industrious labors, continued through a long succession of years.

John W. Cox belongs to an old Quaker family of that name, originally from North Carolina. In the generation including his own grandfather were some four or five of the name, who, after their marriage in North Carolina, came north and found homes in Indiana, most of them in Grant county. His grandfather was Joshua Cox, and besides Joshua several grand-uncles and grand-aunts came to Indiana, names as follows: Mincher, Samuel, William and Julia. These different members of the Cox family became prominent in their respective communities, and all were of the Friends church. Joshua Cox and his wife, Rachael Cox, came to Indiana in 1830 and spent the remainder of their lives in Morgan county, where they reared their children. These children are named as follows: Uriah, who married and moved out to Richland, Iowa, where he died, leaving children, Joshua, John, Hannah, Enoch and Rachael; Edith and her husband also died in Iowa, and left a family of children; the next in order of birth was William Cox, father of John W.; Nathan married Malinda Overman, and had children, Sylvester, Seth, Isaiah and Rachael; J. Zimri Cox married, had a family of five children, and he and his wife died in the same year. Hannah, the widow of Amos Hiatt, lives at her home in Iowa, and has a family of children.

William Cox, father of John W., was born in North Carolina in 1824, and was six years of age when the family moved to Morgan county. When he was about tweny years of age he visited his uncle's family in Grant county, and while there met Miss Betsey Wilson, who as born in North Carolina in 1826, a daughter of John Wilson, who settled in Fairmount township of Grant county in 1836. Miss Wilson was the acknowledged belle of the countryside, and among those attracted by her beauty and character was William Cox, who in the brief time of his visit laid successful siege to her heart and soon afterwards married her. They began life in a log cabin in Liberty township, situated ten miles from any other settlement, and had a lonely time of it for several years. They prospered, and finally moved to another farm in Liberty township, where William Cox became the owner of one hundred acres of first-class land, and in 1873 built the old family homestead, a fine brick house, at that time considered one of the best in the county. William Cox died there January 25, 1901, and his beloved wife followed him a few months later on June 12. William Cox married outside of the Quaker church in which he had been reared and was put [out] of the church, because of his refusal to express sorrow for his act, and he and his wife afterwards became charter members of the Wesleyan Methodist church, in which faith they both died.

The children of William Cox and wife were: Nathan R., Abigail, John W., Mary, Eli J., Milton T., Zimri E., Eliza Ann, now deceased; Sarah Ellen, Elizabeth Clementine, William Valentine, Micajah T. and Emma, twins, the latter being deceased. All these children were married and had families, and all became substantial and self-supported men and women. Every son has always been free from any bad habits and all married good wives, while the daughters found good husbands.

John W. Cox, who was born in Liberty township of Grant county, August 4, 1849, was reared in a good home, and well educated. For some years he taught school, and finally turned his attention to agriculture, and for many years has enjoyed a place of prosperity and esteem in his community. He owns a fine farm, not extensive in acreage, but highly improved and cultivated in such a manner that it is more productive than many larger places. It comprises fourty-four acres, and lies just outside the limits of Fairmount city. There is not a foot of the land which is not drained, and put to profitable production, and it is this elimination of wast that has been a large factor of Mr. Cox as a farmer. His largest and best crop for a number of years has been tomatoes, some years having had as many as seventeen acres in that crop, while his yearly average has been about twelve acres. By long experience he has learned how to brow and care for this large production, and get big revenues from all he raises. In the midst of the fruit and shade trees which surround his grounds sets a fine white house, surrounded with new barns and a forty-five ton silo. This place has been his home since 1878, and in location and value it is one of the best in Fairmount township.

In Washington township, of Grant county, in 1874, Mr. Cox married Miss Josephine Culberson, who was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, February 23, 1853. When she was a child her parents moved to Washington township in Grant county. She is a daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Stiles) Culberson, both natives of Ohio, who located in Grant county before the war. Her father died on his farm a few years later, leaving a widow and five children. Mrs. Culberson did more than a mother's part by her children, remained at home on the farm, managed its operation and at the same time kept her little flock about her until they were grown and had started lives on their own account. She then came to live with her daughter Mrs. Cox, and died in their home in 1910, when ninety-two years of age. She was a good mother, and her influence and devotion were such that they will always be remembered by her children and descendants.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Cox are mentioned as follows: 1. Martin E., who was educated at Fairmount, was for some years a music dealer in that city and is now in the west. 2. Burl W., went to Cuba during the Spanish-American war with the One Hundred and Sixtieth Indiana Regiment, serving until his honorable discharge. He is now in business at Alexandria, in Madison county. He married Gladys Edwards. 3. Eli W., is an agent for the Singer Sewing Machine Company, lives in Fairmount, and by his marriage to Gertrude Riblin has two children, Paul and Emmett. 4. Ollie W., is a farmer and also operates a hay press at Fairmount. He married Lora Clifford, and their one daughter is Bernice. 5. Myrtle L. is the wife of George P.[Porter] Atkinson, living with Mr. Cox on the home farm. Mr. and Mrs. Cox are members of the Back Creek Wesleyan Methodist church. Formerly a Republican voter, Mr. Cox now gives his allegiance to the Prohibition cause.

Submitted by: Phyllis Fleming
Centennial History of Grant County, Indiana: 1812-1912_, Rolland Lewis Whiteson, ed., Chicago: Lewis Publ Co, pg 789.

Milton T COX

MILTON T. COX. In section thirty of Fairmount township is located a small rural farmstead of eighteen acres, which might well be considered a model of its kind, and one of the most profitable and best managed small farms in Grant county. It is the home of Milton T. Cox and family. Mr. Cox was born in the vicinity of Fairmount, December 20, 1854, of an old family whose members will be noted in the following paragraph. Mr. Cox has always lived within a few miles of his birthplace, which was in Liberty township, and has devoted himself to general farming, but with special attention to fruit growing. The Cox farm has almost every variety of fruit that can be grown in this section. There are no haphazard methods employed on the Cox place, and every bit of ground is put to some profitable use. Mr. Cox has a considerable part of his farm in orchards, and has done much in the way of growing small fruits. Throughout this section of the county, the Cox farm is known as Fruitland. In the midst of the perfect bower of trees which surround it, stands a fine modern dwelling of a quiet drab color, and containing eight rooms. Mr. Cox built this home in 1903. As a man who succeeded well in his chosen industry, Mr. Cox is of the opinion that fruit growing is very profitable when properly handled, and is an industry which has been much neglected and should receive more attention in this favored climatic region of Indiana.

The grandparents of Milton T. Cox were Joshua and Rachael Cox, both natives of Randolph county, North Carolina, and Quakers in religion. They reared their family in the same faith. In 1830, the grandparents accomplished the long journey westward to Indiana, and settled in Morgan county, where they improved some land from the wilderness in the vicinity of Monrovia. There Joshua Cox died a few years later when in middle life. His widow survived him some ten years, and died at the old homestead about 1846.

In the meantime, their son William, father of Milton T. Cox, had grown up and settled in Grant county. William Cox was born in North Carolina in 1824, and was six years of age when the family moved to Morgan county, Indiana. He was twenty-two years of age when his mother died, and had been recently married. There were no railroads between Grant county and Morgan county at that time, and the only means of travel were by horseback. When the news came of the impending death of his mother, he and his young wife mounted on the back of their only harse; and rode as rapidly as possible to the old home in Morgan county, hoping to see her before her death. The distance was nearly ninety miles and owing to the slow progress of their horse, they arrived after the burial. William Cox had been reared in Morgan county, and when about twenty years of age came to Grant county to visit his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. [Julia Cox] Reeder, well known old pioneers of this section. While in their home he was introduced by his uncle to Betsey or Elizabeth Wilson. Miss Wilson was the belle of that neighborhood, and while she had numerous suitors among the country youth of Grant county, she soon acknowledged her attraction and choice of the stranger, William Cox. The latter went home to Morgan county, but did not remain long and soon came to Grant county to claim Miss Wilson as his wife. Elizabeth Wilson was born in North Carolina in 1826, a daughter of John Wilson, who brought his family north to Indiana, and located in Fairmount township in 1836. There John Wilson and wife lived the rest of their lives, and died when quite old. After their marriage William Cox and wife started life as farmers in a log cabin home in Liberty township. Their equipment was exceedingly limited, and, as already stated, they had only a single horse to perform the labors of cultivation. Their lonely cabin was situated on the edge of an Indian reservation, sparsely settled by white people, and it requires little imagination to understand how completely both the young girl and her husband were shut out from all social privileges and advantages. They were surrounded by the wilderness and wild animals still roamed at large, their horse being frequently frightened at night by the screams of a panther which skulked about the home. A few years later he bought and improved a farm in Fairmount township which he sold, then bought another homestead in Liberty township, and there continued his labors until he had made a splendid farm, well up to the standards of Grant county at that time. He was the owner of one hundred acres, and the united industry of himself and wife brought it to rank among the best country estates in the township. In 1873, William Cox built a fine brick house, considered at that time one of the best in the county. There they lived the remainder of their peaceful lives, and his death occurred January 25, 1901, while she survived him only a few months and passed away June 12th of the same year. Both were members of the Quaker church, but were not married in the church, as required by the church rules, the ceremony being performed by his uncle, Spencer Reeder, who was a Justice of the Peace. They refused to express sorrow for the act and were disowned by the Society, and subsequently he and his wife became charter members of the Wesleyan Methodist church at Upper Back Creek. They both gave their allegiance to that faith throughout the remainder of their lives.

Milton T. Cox was reared and educated in a substantial way, had the environment of a good home and upright parents, and started out in life as a farmer and fruit grower. On November 24, 1881, in Fairmount he married Miss Martha E. Petty, who was born in Henry county, Indiana, June 9, 1862. She moved with her parents, Robert and Rachael (Vestal) Petty, to Madison county, Indiana, in 1870. In 1876 the family came to Grant county locating on a farm near Little Ridge, in Liberty township. Her father, though not a land owner, was a very successful farmer. Her father died at the home of a daughter in Indianapolis, May 14, 1900, while the mother passed away January 8, 1898, at Summitville, in Madison county, Indiana. For a number of they had worshipped in the United Brethren Church, but their last years were spent as Methodists.

The children of Milton T. Cox and wife are mentioned as follows: Muriel Joy, born March 2, 1885, was educated at Fairmount, and is the wife of Ernest T. Pearson of Indianapolis, and they have one son, Leonard E., born January 19, 1905. Eva Delight, born March 23, 1888, married Thomas Jenkins of Indianapolis, and their two living children are: Ronda, born December 5, 1907, and Ruth, born November 3, 1909. Garfield Vestal, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Cox, was born May 4, 1893, and though but twenty years of age has made a splendid record for himself. Educated in the Fairmount high school and academy, he received the highest grade issued by that institution, and is now a student in the Earlham college. Garfield Cox has prepared the article on forestry published in this history of Grant county. From early boyhood his interests and tastes have gone to trees, and he has won laurels in state work on forestry. He is also an orator of no mean ability, and while a sophomore in Fairmount Academy won the oratorical contest among the Fiends Academies of the states of Indiana and Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Cox are both members of the Wesleyan Methodist church.

Submitted by: Phyllis Fleming
Centennial History of Grant County, Indiana: 1812-1912_, Rolland Lewis Whiteson, ed., Chicago: Lewis Publ Co, pg 898-900.

Deb Murray