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KNOX, John - 1914


Posted By: Volunteer
Date: 7/10/2009 at 08:29:03

Cherokee County
by Thomas McCulla


A prominent and well known figure in the lumber trade of Iowa is John Knox, who since 1881 has been connected with the lumberyard at Marcus and is now proprietor of both the Marcus and Primghar yards. One of the elements of his success is undoubtedly due to the fact that he has uninterruptedly continued in one line of business for a third of a century, never dissipating his energies over a broad field. Concentration, close application, keen discernment and understanding of every phase of the business have been the elements of his growing success.

He was born December 22, 1857, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, a son of Walter and Mary (Patton) Knox. When he was two and a half years of age his mother took him and his brother across the Atlantic to Ireland and she died three days after landing. In 1864, then a youth of seven summers, John Knox returned to his native country with his brother and other relatives, settling in Dubuque county, Iowa. He pursued his early education in the district schools and afterward attended the Iowa State Normal school at Cedar Falls, and the Davenport Business College. His early training came to him along agricultural lines and he followed farming until twentythree years of age. He then turned to commercial pursuits, becoming manager of the lumberyard at Marcus, entering the employ of the firm of Robertson & Patton. A few months demonstrated his ability, fidelity and commendable ambition and in November of that year he was made manager, remaining with the firm until the dissolution of the partnership. He then continued as manager of the business for Mr. Patton until the latters death in 1913, when he inherited the Patton lumberyards at Marcus and at Primghar. At both places a growing and substantial business is being conducted, returning a substantial annual income. In addition Mr. Knox owns a good farm four miles northeast of Marcus and he has realestate holdings in Canada.

On the 27th of December, 1881, in Ames, Iowa, Mr. Knox was united in marriage to Miss Rose Cunningham, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Cunningham. Mrs. Knox was born in Pulaski county, Indiana, and when quite young was brought to Iowa by her parents, acquiring her education here in ;the district schools. Mr. and Mrs. Knox have become the parents of six children: Walter H., who married Mildred Ellston, of De Soto, Iowa; Dr. T. C. Knox, who married Madge Ellsworth, of Marshalltown. Iowa; J. Howard, who wedded Anna Longnecker, of Maxwell, Iowa; Ralph R., Floyd E. and Fred S., all at home.

The parents are members of the Presbyterian church at Cleghorn and Mr. Knox gives his political support to the republican party, but the honors and emoluments of oflice have had little attraction for him. However, recognizing the duties and obligations, as well as the privileges of citizenship, he has done effective service for Marcus as a member of the town council, on which he has served for a number of terms. The cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion and since 1882 he has been a member of its school board. He was a member of the Marcus Union Club for a short time, and in 1882 he joined the United Workmen lodge at Marcus, in which he has held the office of master workman and recorder, while at the present time he is financier. He has also been venerable consul of the Modern Woodmen of America and he belongs to the Masonic lodge. His has been an active and useful life, broad in its interests and honorable in its purposes, and his record commends him to the confidence and goodwill of all.


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