An American Family History

Bonham Fox and Temperance

Fayette Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Turtle Creek Township, Warren County, Ohio
St. Clair Township, Butler County, Ohio
Warren County is in southwest Ohio and was formed in 1803 from Hamilton county. Lebanon is the county seat.

The first Europeans settled in the Northwest Territory in 1788. Migrants came from New York and New England. Ohio was admitted to the Union as the 17th state on March 1, 1803.

American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.



Most Americans were farmers in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Bonham Fox and Temperance married in Pennsylvania.

In 1791 a "Bonam Fox" was on the tax list of Allegheny County in Fayette Township.

Their oldest children were born in Pennsylvania. Christina Fox Riley was born about 1795. Mary Fox Green was born in 1798.

In October, 1798 a "Bonam" Fox appeared on the list of property that did not exceed two acres in Fayette Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which was worth less than 100 dollars. The Pennsylvania Direct Tax List for 1798 for Fayette Township has an entry for Bonam Fox. The house was owned by George Williams. The log house was 17 x 38 feet with a 20 x 22 feet kitchen. It was 2 floors and had 5 windows. Their neighbors were:

Buchannan, Gilbert
Ewing, James
Fox, Bonam
Hamilton, Francis
Hall, John
Hall, William
Jones, Thomas
McCurdy, Alexander
McMichel, John
South, Daniel
Turner, Samuel
Woods, Isaac

Levi Fox, Sr. was born in 1802.

In 1806 they moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Mary Fox Green's obituaries describe the move.

They went down the Ohio River on a flat-boat, with their stock and household goods. On the way, her father was taken sick and her mother, unaided, managed the boat and took care of the young children and stock, landing below Cincinnati. In passing the site of that city, she was offered a hundred acres of land along the river, where the city is now built, for a barrel of whiskey, but declined the trade. The family settled on the Miami River near Hamilton, Butler County. 

Census records indicate that they had a daughter about 1810 and at least two other sons. David Fox is a possibility. David was born in 1800.

The family first settled in Warren County, Ohio where they "encountered the hardships and discomforts of pioneer life." Bonham Fox appeared in the 1809 and 1810 Tax Lists of Turtle Creek Township, Warren County, Ohio. Turtle Creek Township was organized August 15, 1804 and originally, the township included a part of Union Township. At this time there was a huge Shaker movement in Turtle Creek Township.

McNemar ... began his work at Turtle Creek, and in summer his congregations were so large that the meetings were held in the grove near his church. The strange physical phenomena of the revival attended his ministrations in Warren county, Ohio. At Turtle Creek almost all the adult persons in a large congregation would fall in a short time and lie unconscious, with hardly a sign of breathing or beating of the pulse. (Ohio History, Volume 12 by Ohio Historical Society)

On May 18, 1812, they purchased some land in Warren County which was probably in Union Township since on September 1, 1827 the Lebanon Western Star reported the names of those delinquent for taxes for the years 1826 and 1827 in Warren County.

Christina married James Riley in Warren County on December 17, 1818.

By 1820 they were living in Butler County.

At the time of the formation of Butler township, in the year 1817, the northern part of the district was mainly swamp land...Pioneer records chronicle names associated with the first development of that portion of Montgomery county..[including] Fox...[one] of the long list of men who braved the dangers of frontier life in founding homes in the wilderness for their families...(from Memoirs of the Miami Valley by John Calvin Hover and Joseph Daniel Barnes)

Bowman (sic) Fox appeared in the 1820 census in Ross Township. There were eight members of the household; two were engaged in agriculture and one was a foreigner, not naturalized.

The Fox Household in 1820
One man over 45 (Bonham age 59)
One woman over 45 (Temperance age 55)
One girl between sixteen and 26 (Mary age 22, born 1798)
One man between sixteen and 26 (Levi age 18, born 1802)
Two boys between ten and sixteen (2 sons born between 1805 & 1810, possibly one was David or Jonathan and Isaac)
One girl between ten and 16 (daughter born between 1804 and 1810)
One man between 26 and 45 (a hired man who was a foreigner)

About 1820 Mary "united with the M. E. Church the first time she had an invitation given." She married Eli Green in 1822 in Butler County. Mary and Eil Green were two of the first members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

David married Jane Keen in 1821 in Butler County.

Bonham died in September, 1825. Bonham's estate documents give a fascinating glimpse of their possessions and his final illness.

Temperance Fox was listed in the 1830 census in Rossville, St. Clair Township, Butler County. There were five members of the household.

The Fox Household in 1830
One woman was between sixty and seventy (Temperance age 65).
One woman between twenty and thirty (daughter born between 1804 and 1810)
one girl between fifteen and twenty ( ??)
one man between 20 and thirty (Levi or Jonathan)
and one boy between fifteen and twenty (Isaac)

David was in St. Clair Township in 1830.

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania was created on September 24, 1788. Originally both Pennsylvania and Virginia claimed the region. Pennsylvania administered most of it as part of Westmoreland County and Virginia considered it to be part of Yohogania County. The new Pennsylvania county was made from parts of Washington and Westmoreland counties.

Washington County, Pennsylvania, was created from Westmoreland and Fayette Counties in 1781. Originally it was a part of Virginia. Washington County split into Allegheny, Greene and Beaver Counties.
Butler County, Ohio was established in 1803 from Hamilton and Ross Counties.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was founded by John Wesley, began in 1784. It became the major component of the current United Methodist Church. At first, members were expected to seek the sacraments in the Anglican Church, but by the 1770s they had their own chapels. Circuit riders traveled by horseback to preach and establish churches. The earliest Episcopal Methodists in North America were drawn from middle-class trades and there were more women than men. Services were emotional and demonstrative.
Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine. It can be mild, but one in 20 infected persons experiences rapid loss of body fluids leading to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

Levi married Eliza Yerkes on February 17, 1831.

Jonathan Fox and Eliza Ann Riley married on January 31, 1833. Eliza died in 1838.

Isaac married about 1837 and Jonathan married for the second time on January 10, 1838.

Temperance probably died before the 1840 census.

Isaac and Jonathan moved west to Indiana by the 1840 census.

Levi's wife, Eliza, and Mary's husband Eli Green, David Fox, and a Susannah Fox (who was 22 years old-born 1827 and died in August in St. Clair Township) probably all died in the cholera epidemic of 1849.

Mary Green moved to Kansas after the 1850 census.

Levi married the widow, Sarah S. Hartley Teas on December 4, 1851 in the Methodist Episcopal church and they moved to Iowa about 1854.

Christina died in 1860 in Butler County. Her family remained in Butler County.

St. Clair Township, Butler County, Ohio was organized in 1803. It included the present townships of Oxford, Milford, Wayne, Reily and Hanover and was bounded on the north by Preble County, on the east by Lemon Township, on the south by the Miami River and Ross Township, and on the west by the State of Indiana.
The Foxes are Mayflower descendants: Samuel Fuller, Hannah Fuller Bonham, Hezekiah Bonham , Amariah Bonham, Christian Bonham Fox, Bonham Fox, Levi Fox, John Newton Fox



Particular List or Description of each Dwelling House, which, with the Outhouses appurtenant thereto, and the Lot on which the same are erected not exceeding Two Acres in any case were owned, possessed or occupied on the First Day of October, 1798, in Fayette Township, Allegheny County, being within the Fifth Assessment District of the Ninth Division in the State of Pennsylvania, and exceeding in value the Sum of One Hundred Dollars.

No. Name of the Occupant Name of the Owner
1 Buchannan, Gilbert Isaac Craig
2 Ewing, James Isaac Craig.
3 Fox, Bonam George Williams
4 Hamilton, Francis George Williams.
5 Hall, John George Williams.
6 Hall, William Do.
7 Jones, Thomas Presley Nevill.
8 McCurdy, Alexander Do.
9 McMichel, John Do.
10 South, Daniel Do.
11 Turner, Samuel Do.
12 Woods, Isaac Do.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2023
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