|Eldon Morris Knox, only child of Dr. and Weida (Morris) Knox, was born
December 1, 1915, in Coleman, (see Dr.
E. L. Knox). He moved with his parents to Dallas in 1915, attending
Highland Park High School. He graduated from Allen Academy, Bryan,
in 1936, and Texas A&M in 1940 (with honors) and a degree in Animal
Husbandry. Eldon served in the U.S. Army, First Cavalry Division
Artillery and was assigned to G4 Sector Headquarters, 6th Army, from December
15, 1940, to December 10, 1945, serving three years in New Guinea and the
Philippines. He attained the rank of Major during World War II.
After Eldon was released from active duty, he returned with his wife and
son, Beck, to the ranch and became partners with his parents in Knox and
Knox Ranches. Eldon divided his time and talents between ranches
in Bosque County, acquired in 1939; Shackelford County, Texas; and Jones
County, South Dakota, acquired in 1955, as well as the headquarters in
Coleman. The ranches produced quality cattle, Hereford, registered
Angus and Hereford/Angus cross, as well as agricultural products, supporting
Eldon married Ellen Elizabeth Beck, daughter of southern Coleman County
sheep ranchers, Oscar Eugene and Kate (Jackson) Beck, born September 13,
1920, in Coleman (see Firmin Beck). She attended Coleman schools,
graduating in 1937, and attended Incarnate Word College in San Antonio,
before their marriage, February 2, 1939. Ellen was a popular, vivacious
“five foot-two, eyes of blue” blond who loved tap dancing. She was
offered a career in show business, but turned it down for love, home and
family. They had five children, Beck, Jack, Chris, Nan and Nicky,
which occupied most of Ellen’s time. She did play bridge, a common
pastime, besides being active in the Catholic Church, and organizing and
serving as first president of Town and Country Garden Club in 1955.
Eldon has also been active in his church; as deacon, elder and trustee
of the First Presbyterian Church. He served on the building committees
of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in 1957 and on the Presbyterian Pan American
School in Kingsville. Together, Eldon and Ellen served on the Board
of Overall Morris Memorial Hospital, during the building and expansion
of the new wing. Upon Ellen’s death, the Morris-Knox-Beck Foundation
was instituted to provide medical training for prospective medical students;
doctors, who would return to provide quality medical care for Coleman citizens.
It is being expanded to offer scholarships to deserving, needy students
On July 28, 1975, Eldon married Jane (Donosky) DeSanders in an elopement
to Las Vegas, much to the surprise and delight of their children.
Jane was born August 20, 1919 in Fort Worth, as Elizabeth Jane Belew, and
adopted by Meyer Donosky, September 1, 1933, and legally became Jane Donosky.
She married N. J. (Dick) DeSanders, Jr., and had three daughters: Diane
Elliott of Dallas, Nancy Rahm of Houston, and Judy DeSanders of Dallas.
Eldon and Jane presently have 12 grandchildren. They have become
world travelers, visiting many foreign countries, as well as the continental
United States. Recently, they have spent many hours and talents to help
the citizens of Coleman to acquire a new Coleman Public Library Building.
Eldon chaired the building commission and has been honored by a plaque
placed in the new building. Jane contributed her talents by making
a wall hanging depicting Coleman County history, using appliqué
and embroidery on fabric.
Eldon has remained an advisor to his children, who operate the Knox
and Knox ranches, since his retirement in 1970. In 1978-1982, Eldon
was appointed by Governor William P. Clements to serve on the Governor’s
Committee on Education. The committee recommended improvement in
Texas schools, which included basic skills, testing for students, and periodic
competency exams for teachers.
(1) Eldon Beck was born September 8, 1940 in Coleman.
He grew up on the Knox Ranch, attended Burkett schools through the eighth
grade and graduated from Coleman High School in 1959. He graduated
from Texas A&M University in 1965, with a Bachelor of Science degree
in Range Management. From July 1965 to July, 1967, he served in the United
States Navy. Beck married Mary Margaret Korenek, November 9, 1968
in Baytown. Mary was born in Baytown, July 18, 1949, to Margaret
Malchar and Victor John Korenek, Sr. She attended parochial schools
for nine years, graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1967, and attended
Lee College, Baytown, for one year. Mary, Beck and family, are all
active members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, both serving on the Parish
Council for many years, and in other church organizations. In 1974,
Beck received the Resident Conservation Rancher Award, Region V, from the
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. Beck was also active in the County
Republican Party, serving as its chairman. Mary has served on Mrs.
J. A. B. Miller Library Board and organized the Friends of the Library.
She has also served on many community oriented projects and organizations.
Beck and Mary have four children; Eldon Andrew, September 18, 1969, and
Michael John, September 4, 1971, both born in Coleman, Jennifer Katherine,
November 6, 1977, in Abilene, as was Mark Edward, February 5, 1981.
Beck and Mary lived in Voss on the Beck Ranch when first married in 1968.
In the spring of 1969, they moved to Coleman, and in 1971, with son, Andy,
moved to the Knox Ranch. In 1982, the family again resides in the
city of Coleman.
(2) Jackson LeMoine, was born June 14, 1946. With such strong influences
as his father, his grandfathers, and the Knox Ranch foreman, Mike Burroughs,
Jack’s life evolved around agriculture and ranching. His early schooling
at Burkett ended when the school consolidated with Coleman, finishing his
high school years at CHS. After two years of higher education at
Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jack transferred to a much
more desirable and appropriate major at TCU Farm and Ranch Management in
Fort Worth. After graduating, he attended TCU until the spring of
1968, when he returned home to help manage the family ranches. On
November 3, 1979, Jack married Mary Lou Taylor-Ramsey, in her parents’
home, Charles and Martha Taylor, before the same fireplace Dr. and Weida
Knox were married (see Taylor family). Doodie, a preferred nickname
of Mary Lou’s, had a daughter, Leah Ashley Ramsey, born June 12, 1970,
from a previous marriage. The three moved to the Knox Ranch to live,
but plan a home on adjoining land originally owned by their great-grandfather,
J. P. Morris. They are actively involved with Coleman County Farm
Bureau and Texas Farm Bureau. Jack has served as a director since
1979. Both are involved in their own and family partnerships.
As for Ashley, she is being taught the labor as well as the business of
ranching along with the importance of family loyalties, family traditions,
and family histories.
(3) Chris O., January 31, 1949 in Coleman, met Sharon Beverly Lanphier,
born March 26, 1949 in Fort Meade, Maryland, and they were married March
20, 1971 in Coleman. Sharon is the daughter of Paul Henry and Nell
Mae (Rains) Lanphier. Chris and Sharon have two children, Christopher
Ryan, April 20, 1977, and Allison Kate, May 13, 1980, in Abilene.
(4) Katherine Nan, November 22, 1952, grew up and was educated in Coleman.
After a year at Texas Tech, Nan married Robert Ladd Markland, a native
of Santa Anna, then living in Amarillo, while working as Safety Supervisor
for the Santa Fe Railroad. The wedding took place May 26, 1972 at
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Coleman, Bishop Steven Leven presiding.
Bob and Nan have two children, Matthew Robert, June 8, 1974, and Melissa
Ann, July 29, 1980, in Abilene. Bob was born March 4, 1943, in Warrenton,
Virginia, son of Robert Lorraine and Catherine Ann (Ladd) Markland.
He was educated in Santa Anna schools, attended Trinity University and
graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in industrial management.
The Marklands live in Coleman and are active in church, civic and community
(5) Nicholas John, June 20, 1955, was baptized in the Catholic Church.
Nicky attended Coleman schools until 1969, then attended Texas Military
Institute in San Antonio, where he graduated in 1973, as a Captain.
In the fall of 1973, he enrolled in Tarrant County Junior College in Fort
Worth. His basic studies were in the Automotive Mechanics Program.
Summers were spent working on the family ranch at Burkett, and in 1975,
he was accepted into the Ranch Management Program at Texas Christian University.
This is a one-year, all-inclusive ranching program, so upon graduation
in May 1976, he began working full-time with the family operation.
On September 30, 1978, Nicholas John married Sandra Lynn Westerman at Christ
Lutheran Church in San Antonio, the daughter of Floyd Raymond and Ruby
(Kneupper) Westerman. Sandra’s paternal grandparents were Hans and
Elfriede (Thaler) Westerman of Milam County, and maternal grandparents
are Arno and Viola (Pfeil) Kneupper of Cibolo. On August 11, 1980,
a daughter, Amanda Lynn, was born and on March 26, 1984, Kimberly Ellen
was born. They live in the ranch house built in 1937 by Amanda’s
great-grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. E. L. Knox, in dedication to J. P. Morris.
(Images to be added)
Eldon Morris Knox Family-1980