Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JESSE P. COX is numbered with
the early pioneers of Lincoln county. He resides now about four miles
northeast from Odessa and is occupied in general farming and stock raising.
He labored through the hardships of early days with tenacity and energy
which have been rewarded with an accumulation of property quite gratifying.
He has four hundred and eighty acres of good land, all fenced and well
improved with buildings and so forth, owns forty head of cattle, some horses,
and considerable general property. Mr. Cox has gained, meanwhile,
in addition to his property the good will and respect of all who know him.
Jesse P. Cox was born in Gentry county, Missouri,
on December 27, 1854. His parents, William and Cassander (Bounds)
Cox, were born in Tennessee and came to Missouri in early days. The
father is a veteran of the Civil War and is now a prominent and wealthy
man. The mother died when our subject was a child. At the age
of nine, Jesse rode a horse and drove cattle from Missouri to the Willamette
valley, being in company with his father and two uncles. Settlement
was made in Yamhill county and the father turned his attention to farming
and milling. Our subject received his education in this vicinity
but the opportunities were limited. He assisted his father with milling
and farming there until 1867, when a move was made to Umatilla county.
Here stock raising employed them entirely and our subject rode the range
for many years. During this time the Piute Indians made a raid through
Oregon and Mr. Cox was forced to leave his farm for a time as also were
many other settlers. The savages destroyed property and life in a
reckless manner customary to them, but on the farm of Mr. Cox, they met
their first resistance. They succeeded in doing much damage to property
but no life was lost here. Finally the outbreak was quelled.
Our subject was occupied later in handling stock in Idaho, then in the
government employ as teamster. In 1873, he moved to Idaho county
and engaged in farming. Four years later, he returned to Umatilla
county, handling lumber for a while in Pendleton. Then he bought
a ranch on Birch creek, near Pilot Rock, where he made his home until 1888.
In that year, he sold all his property in Umatilla county and invested
in stock which he brought to his present location. The second winter
they were there, that of 1889-90, he lost half of his stock through inclement
weather. It was a year long to be remembered by Mr. Cox as the snow
lay two and one-half feet deep on the level and the thermometer ranged
in the neighborhood of thirty degrees below zero much of the time and he
was forced to ride ten miles each day to feed his stock. He passed
through all the hardships successfully and has been prospered until the
present time. Mr. Cox is certainly to be classed with the real builders
of this country.
In 1877, Mr. Cox married Miss Sarah Beasley,
who was born in Schuyler county, Missouri, and came to Oregon with her
parents when a child. She is well educated, having graduated from
the Pendleton high school and takes great interest in current literature.
Her parents, William and Catherine (Prunner) Beasley, were born in Illinois
and Indiana, respectively. They crossed the plains to Western Oregon
in 1865, where they now dwell, being worthy people.
To Mr. and Mrs. Cox the following children
have been born, Mrs. Ora Colyar, Ivan K., Jessie C. C., Perry W., Elvan
E., and Lula L.