Daniel Latimer Fox
Summary: This is a brief biography of Daniel L. Fox (1853-1928).
He married Kate (Katy) Elizabeth Smith at Mount Zion Chapel in Chesterfield, two miles from Brimington, in the first quarter of 1877 and they had four children: Alice, Ethel, Winifred and Stanley. Alice was born in 1878; Ethel was born in Brimington in 1879. The 1881 census in England, taken 3 April, shows the family in Brimington and Daniel’s occupation as grocer. Kelly’s Directory of commercial listings in 1891 shows a Charles Fox as a “green grocer” in Brimington, so Daniel may have worked in a relative’s store. The family took the steamship Brittanic from the port of Liverpool and arrived in New York on 21 June 1881. The ship’s passenger manifest shows Daniel was 28 years old (occupation listed as carpenter), Kate was 26, Alice was 3 and Ethel was an infant (actually 18 months old, if born December 1879). Ethel died July 1881, a month after arriving in America. Two months later, Winifred was born September 1881 in Kansas; Stanley was born November 1883 in Missouri. Soon after Stanley was born, Katy died from an infection, which was a very common complication of childbirth in pre-antibiotic days.
When Katy died, Daniel was about 30 years old and had 3 children under age 6. In Sedalia, Missouri, he met a young woman from England, six years younger than himself: Elizabeth Hanford Harriman. She had grown up in the same part of England he had, so she knew his background and spoke his language. He desperately needed a wife and mother for his children, and they married 3 September 1884 in Sedalia; Daniel was 31 years old and Elizabeth was 25. When Daniel died in 1928, they had been married 44 years and had 6 children of their own.
Railroads in America were expanding rapidly in the late 1800s and Daniel worked for at least two railroad companies in the Kansas and Missouri area. Sedalia, where Daniel and Elizabeth married and presumably where Daniel worked at the time, had been founded in 1860 as a rough frontier town in the new west. The town’s early economy was built on the railroads, at a time the nation was growing westward and railroads were opening up the frontier. In 1884, when Daniel was in Sedalia, the town was served by the Missouri Pacific and possibly the MK&T (Missouri Kansas and Texas, or “Katy”) railroads.
Daniel and Elizabeth’s first two children were born in Missouri: Dorothy in 1885 and Lillian in 1887.
By 1889, the family had moved to Fort Scott, Kansas. Fort Scott originally was an army outpost on the American frontier and the site of fierce fighting during the Civil War, but now was a growing town and a hub for railroad growth. In the late 1800s, Kansas City was a booming town on the Missouri River. Historical records show that the old town of Fort Scott and the new Kansas City were competing to become the railroad hubs of the midwest, so many railroad companies were building terminals and lines in those cities.
Daniel and Elizabeth moved to Fort Scott with their family: Alice, Winifred and Stanley from Daniel’s first marriage; and Dorothy and Lillian. They had four more children while in Fort Scott: Josie was born 1890; Frances was born 1892; Harold was born 1895; Cyril was born 1897. When their last child was born, Daniel was age 44 and Elizabeth 38. Three years later, in October 1900, Stanley died of a fever at age 17.
In the 1889 Fort Scott city directory, Daniel’s occupation was shown as foreman of the car department for the Fort Scott, Wichita & Western Railway (about age 36). In this position, he supervised the carmen, painters and carpenters working on freight cars or cabooses, either making repairs (including couplers, wheels, brakes and doors) or building new cars. This job was a union position but had a high grade and pay. In the 1893 city directory, Daniel was listed as foreman of the same company’s shops. In the 1895 directory, he was listed as general foreman for the Missouri Pacific, which bought out the Fort Scott, Wichita & Western Railroad. In the 1898 and 1902 directories, he was listed as foreman of the car department for the Missouri Pacific.
After living in several houses in Fort Scott over the years, Daniel bought a house on Officers’ Row in Fort Scott. The house shown in this picture, which in 1955 was a museum, is either the house they lived in or one virtually identical to it. Years later, Cyril said he remembered an old tunnel that went down to the river that the troops used as an escape route during the frontier days or during the Civil War. On the back of the house photo shown here, written by Viola Fox: “The house Grandpa [Daniel] Fox owned and traded for the farm. Daddy [Cyril] was 6 yrs old when he left there. Was not born there. It was an apartment house at that time and they lived in the upper part . . . . Fort Scott Kansas. House used as a museum now.” [Photo was taken Summer, 1955. Cyril was between 8 and 11 years old when the family left Fort Scott, rather than 6.]
One railroad company active at that time was the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Line, which maps of 1895 show passing through Willow Springs, Missouri. Probably through his associations with the railroads, Daniel learned of some property in Douglas County, about 640 acres 9 miles west of Willow Springs, and which today is off State Route HH. Between 1905 and 1908, Daniel traded the house in Fort Scott for the Douglas County property; at that time, he was in his early 50s. Down the lane on the property, to the north about a half mile was a log cabin. It was a large two-story cabin with four fireplaces (upstairs and downstairs at each end of the house). They lived in the log cabin with their children until they built a new house on the same land before 1920.
The new house had a library or study with book shelves from floor to ceiling on all four walls. Daniel always had a chessboard set up and he played chess by mail with someone in England. This picture shows the new house about 1922.
Daniel and Elizabeth’s four daughters (Dorothy, Lillian, Josie and Frances) and younger son (Cyril) all married after the family moved to Douglas County. Dorothy was married at the home in 1908. Apparently one of the daughters took up photography as early as 1920 and she may have taken most of the photos of the Fox family shown in this family history during the 1920s.
Daniel died in 1928 at age 75. His funeral was conducted at the Methodist Church (of Willow Springs?) on Friday, November 23 at 2:00 pm under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge. He was buried in the Willow Springs Cemetery, Willow Springs, Missouri. His gravestone reads: “Fox, Daniel L. 1853 – 1928.”
The Dalton Gang Pistol
This story ties the Fox family to the last Dalton Gang raid in Coffeyville, Kansas, when Daniel lived in Fort Scott.
Historical information from “Last Raid of the Daltons,” distributed by the Coffeyville Historical Society:
Coffeyville, Kansas, was a thriving city of 3500 in the 1890s, one of the best business points in southern Kansas. Three railroad lines served the city and at least one had a terminal there. The city had two banks, many wholesale and retail businesses, and several small manufacturers. The city was heated and lighted by natural gas from nearby wells. It was a prosperous little city. On Wednesday morning, October 5, 1892, the Dalton gang (3 brothers and 2 other men) rode into Coffeyville to do something that had never been done before: rob two banks at the same time in the same city. A citizen recognized one of the men as they entered town and watched as they went into the banks. He alerted men on the street and business owners, who went to a nearby hardware store for arms and ammunition. In the following gunfight between the 5 gang members and 15 citizens, 8 people died in about 12 minutes; 4 gang members and 4 citizens. Emmet Dalton was seriously wounded but survived the gunfight and was arrested.
Information provided by CR Fox:
Daniel Fox worked for the railroad at Fort Scott, Kansas, at the time. The evening of the gunfight, he received a telegram that the Dalton gang had been killed. He immediately caught a train to Coffeyville and arrived the next day. He was walking around the alley where the worst of the fighting had occurred, when he kicked aside a wooden box and discovered the pistol that had belonged to Grat Dalton; a chrome plated Iver-Johnson .44 caliber break-over (hammerless) revolver. Each of the Daltons used carbine rifles as his primary weapon, but had one or two pistols in his belt. Grat’s pistol had fallen out of his belt during the gunfight and been overlooked by the townspeople. Daniel picked up the pistol and slipped it in his belt under his coat.
Many years later, Daniel passed the pistol on to Cyril. At Cyril’s farm in Missouri, Melvin as a young boy found the pistol and played with it, pretending to be a gunfighter. He accidentally fired the gun, shooting a hole in a pile of his mom’s quilts. After that, she insisted the gun be kept in an outside shed, where it became rusty.
Information provided by Larry Fox:
Many more years later, the gun eventually was passed on to Melvin, who kept it with his gun collection. Larry remembers seeing the gun, which was pitted with rust and was missing its grips. In June 1984, Melvin, Betty, Dennis and Joy Fox drove to the midwest from North Carolina to visit relatives. During that trip, they found the old Fox home near Willow Springs and visited the Dalton Museum in Coffeyville. The museum had the Dalton brothers’ weapons on display, including Grat’s carbine, but a note on the display stated Grat’s revolver had never been found.
When they returned from the trip, Melvin discovered that his gun collection had been stolen, including Grat Dalton’s revolver.
Family Time Line
1853 Daniel born in Brimington, Derby, England, 18 Jan 1853
1877 Daniel married Katy in Chesterfield District, Derbyshire, England
1878 Alice born in Brimington, Derby, England, 19 Jan 1878
1879 Ethel born in Brimington, Derby, England, 29 Dec 1879
1881 listed in Brimington census, 3 Apr 1881
1881 Daniel and Katy immigrated to America with 2 daughters, arrived New York on 21 Jun 1881
1881 Ethel died Jul 1881
1881 Winifred born in Kansas, 6 Sep 1881
1883 Stanley born in Missouri, 30 Nov 1883; Katy died soon after his birth
1884 Daniel married Elizabeth in Sedalia Missouri, 3 Sep 1884
1885 Dorothy born in Missouri, 13 Jun 1885
1887 Lillian born in Missouri, 25 Dec 1887
1889 Ft. Scott city directory shows family residing at 220 Humboldt Ave, Belltown, suburb of Ft. Scott; Daniel shown as “foreman, car dept. Ft. S. W. & W. Ry” (Fort Scott, Wichita & Western)
1890 Josie born in Ft. Scott KS, 8 Feb 1890
1892 Daniel found Grat Dalton’s revolver in Coffeyvile, KS, 6 Oct 1892
1892 Frances born in Ft. Scott KS, 18 Nov 1892
1893 city directory shows family residing in Walnut Hill, part of Belltown, suburb of Ft. Scott; Daniel shown as “gen foreman Wich shps”
1895 Kansas state census in June shows family in Ft. Scott: D.L. (Daniel), E.H. (Elizabeth), Alice M., Winnie (Winifred), Stanley, Dottie (Dorothy), Lillian, Josie, Frances; Daniel’s occupation shown as “Gen’l Foreman, Mo Pac shops” (Missouri-Pacific Railroad)
1895 James “Harold” born in Ft. Scott KS, 21 Oct 1895
1896 city directory shows family residing at 817 Marian Ave in Belltown, suburb of Ft. Scott; Daniel shown as “foreman M P Ry” (Missouri-Pacific Railroad)
1897 Cyril born in Ft. Scott KS, 14 Aug 1897
1898 city directory shows family residing at 121 N Judson in Belltown, suburb of Ft. Scott; Daniel shown as “foreman, car dept M P shops” (Missouri-Pacific)
1899 Alice married Charles Beery in Ft. Scott KS, 6 Sep 1899
1900 US census in June shows family at 108 N Judson in Ft. Scott: Daniel, Elizabeth H., Stanley H., Dora E. (Dorothy), Rosa L. (Lillian), Josie M., Frances L., James H., Cyril R.; Daniel shown as “Foreman”; Stanley shown as “Messenger”; Daniel’s naturalization status shown as “Na” (naturalized?) and none shown for Elizabeth
1900 Stanley died in Ft. Scott, 9 Oct 1900
1902 city directory shows family residing at 108 N Judson in Belltown, suburb of Ft. Scott; Daniel shown as “foreman car dept M P” (Missouri-Pacific)
1905 Kansas state census in March shows family in Ft. Scott: Danl. L., Elz., Dorothy, Lillian, Josephine, Frances, Harold, Cyril
1905 city directory shows family residing at 119 Blair Ave in Ft. Scott; Daniel shown as “foreman M P Ry” (Missouri-Pacific); Dorothy shown as “clk St L & S F R R” (St. Louis & Santa Fe?); Josephine and Lillian shown as milliners at Robert Wagner
1905-08 family moved to home near Willow Springs, Missouri
1908 Dorothy married Harry Lavelle, 24 Jun 1908, at her parents’ home in Douglas Co, Missouri
1910 Lillian married Frank Walts, 21 Dec 1910
1912 Alice remarried 1 Jun 1912 to Jim Cooper (first husband died 1910)
1924 Cyril married Viola Holt, 1 Jun 1924
1928 Daniel died 20 Nov 1928, age 75
1941 Elizabeth died 3 Jun 1941, age 82
1944 Lillian died 28 Jan 1944, age 56
1963 Josie died 18 Jul 1963, about age 73
1963 Frances died 25 Oct 1963, about age 71
1968 Dorothy died, about age 83
1971 Cyril died 4 May 1971, age 73
1978 Harold died 19 Oct 1978, 2 days before 83rd birthday
Research Notes on Daniel
Book titled “The Descendants of Michael Holt” page 442 states that parents of Cyril R. Fox were Daniel L. Fox and Elizabeth Harriman; information provided by Viola (Holt) Fox.
Book entitled “Howell County Missouri 1795-1987 Cemeteries” identifies grave markers in Willow Springs Cemetery, Willow Springs, Missouri: Fox, Daniel L., 1853-1928; Fox, Elizabeth, 1859-1941. No reference to grave markers for James or Harold Fox. Reference cited by Kathy Berry Kilmanis, genealogy volunteer for Howell County, Missouri.
The funeral of Daniel L. Fox will be held at the Methodist Church Friday afternoon, Nov. 23rd at 2 p.m. Rev. Harpe will conduct the services under auspices of the Masonic Lodge.”
Information from Fox family tree by Jim Bothwell:
Daniel married Katy Elizabeth Smith in 1877 and they had four children: Alice, Ethel, Winifred and Stanley.
Daniel brought two of his children with him to America.
Daniel owned a general store near either Champion or Hebron Missouri, in an area called “Fox Town.” Daniel’s son Cyril married Viola Holt in Hebron.
Information provided by Randy Fox:
Daniel was a very smart, self-made man. He owned a general store in Hebron Missouri and his philosophy was to read a book a week.
Information from notes by Frances (Fox) Bothwell:
Daniel was born 18 Jan 1853; married Elizabeth Hanford Harriman on 3 Sep 1884; died 20 Nov 1928.
Information provided by Dr. Mary Griffiths:
Daniel was born in Brimington, Derbyshire, England. Mary’s cousin Hubert Rendell once wrote that he thought Daniel and his first wife Katy were married at Mount Zion Chapel in Chesterfield, two miles from Daniel’s birthplace in Brimington. Hubert also wrote that Katy died from infection, which was very common in pre-antibiotic days, soon after Stanley (their fourth child) was born. Dr. Griffiths may have letters written in 1914 by Daniel in the United States to his younger sister, Florence Lois, in England.
Information from Elizabeth Fox’s obituary:
Elizabeth came to the United States in 1882, locating near Sedalia MO, where she met and married Daniel Fox in 1884.
The 1920 federal census showed a large population of railroad workers in Willow Springs. One railroad company active at that time was the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Line; it later became part of the Burlington Northern. Maps of Howell County circa 1895 show this line going through Willow Springs, which is between Fort Scott and Memphis.
Information from NRHS:
“The Car Foreman was in charge of the staff that made repairs to freight and passenger cars. This could be any part of the cars such as couplers, wheels, brakes, doors, etc.” From: Ray Cooney, Library volunteer
[Response to my inquiry about the “Ft. S. W. & W. Ry” and whether it had a line through Sedalia, MO] “The Fort Scott, Wichita & Western ran from Fort Scott from 1881 to 1887 when it became part of the Missouri Pacific which in turn is part of the Union Pacific today. An “Official Railway Guide” we have for 1884 shows only the MAP as serving Sedalia, MO.”
Information from Missouri-Pacific Historical Society:
The car department foreman “would supervise the carmen, painters and carpenters working in the railcar repair shops or supervising the building of new railcars or cabooses. The job was a union position but a higher grade and higher paid job than a carman.”
Information from Old Fort Genealogical Society (Fort Scott, KS):
The 1895 Kansas state census taken at Fort Scott KS lists D. L. Fox, age 42, place of birth England, moving to Kansas from Missouri. E. H. Fox is shown as his wife and their children are listed as Alice (age 17, born England), Winnie (age 13, born Kansas), Stanley (age 11, born Missouri), Dottie (age 9, born Missouri), Lillian (age 7, born Missouri), Josie (age 5, born Kansas), and Frances (age 2, born Kansas).
The Twelfth Census of the United States, taken 9 June 1900 in Fort Scott, lists Daniel Fox, born Jan 1853 in England, immigrated to America in 1881. His wife is Elizabeth H. Fox, born Jan 1859 in England, immigrated to America in 1883. Their children are listed as Stanley (age 16, born Missouri), Dora E. (age 14, born Missouri), Rosa L. (age 12, born Missouri), Josie M. (age 10, born Kansas), Frances L. (age 7, born Kansas), James H. (age 4, born Kansas) and Cyril R. (age 2, born Kansas).
City directories show Daniel and Elizabeth lived in several houses in a small suburb north of Fort Scott called Belltown before moving into a house on Officers’ Row at the fort. The directories show Daniel’s addresses when the directories were published, but it is not known when he moved to the houses. According to these directories, they lived at 220 Humboldt Ave in 1889; Walnut Hill in 1893 (part of Belltown); 817 Marian Ave in 1896; 121 N Judson in 1898; 108 N Judson in 1902; then 119 Blair Ave in 1905 (a boarding house, formerly officers’ quarters at the fort). It is not known whether Daniel owned or rented any of these houses, including the boarding house on Blair Ave, though the writing on the back of a photo of the house, written by Viola Fox, indicates Daniel owned the house at 119 Blair Ave.
Information from Ancestry.com:
“England & Wales, Civil Registration Index 1837-1983” includes the following:
- Daniel Latimer Fox, birth 1st quarter 1853, Chesterfield District, Derbyshire, England
- Daniel Latimer Fox, marriage in 1st quarter 1877, Derbyshire, England; Kate Elizabeth Smith listed on same page
- Alice Fox, birth 3rd quarter 1878, Basford District, Derbyshire, England
Information from FamilySearch.com:
“1881 British Census” for Brimington, Derby, England, taken 3 April 1881, includes the following household:
- Danl. L. Fox, age 28; b. 1853 in Brimington; occupation: grocer
- Kate E. Fox, age 26; b. 1855 in Sheffield
- Alice M. Fox, age 3; b. 1878 in Brimington
- Ethel Fox, age 1; b. 1880 in Brimington