An American Family History

Jonathan Fox

Indiana became a state in 1819. The north was settled by people from New England and New York, the center by people from the Mid-Atlantic states and Ohio, and the south by people from Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.

Jonathan Fox was born on December 27, 1810 in Ohio. He may have been the son of Bonham Fox and Temperance Dickerson.

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

Jonathan and Eliza had one child, Christina Fox Sumwalt who was born on January 38, 1834 in Hamilton, Butler County. (See obituary below.)

Eliza died before 1838 in Butler County, Ohio.

Jonathan Fox and Margaret N. Hawk married on January 10, 1838 in Butler County, Ohio. Margaret N. Hawk was born on October 1, 1815 in Butler County. Margaret's parents were Philip Hawk and Catharine Stonebraker.

Jonathan and Margaret had seven children who were all born in Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana.

Catherine Fox was born on December 29, 1839. She died on December 21, 1892 in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas.

Abner Fox was born on September 6, 1840. He married Mary Wolverton. They were married on December 24,1863. He died in 1892 in Wichita. (See biography below)

Bonham Fox was born in 1843. He married Josephine Large. They were married on December 17, 1872 in White, Indiana.  

Eliza Fox was born in 1845. Thomas Fields Fox was born in 1847. Vincent Taylor Fox was born on February 25, 1849. Charles Fox was born 1854.

Margaret died December 22, 1876 and Jonathan died on September 13, 1880 in Kansas.

Children of Temperance
and Bonham Fox
  • Levi Fox, Sr.
  • Mary Fox Green
  • Christina Fox Riley
  • David Fox
  • Jonathan Fox
  • Isaac P. Fox

  • spring goods
    Butler County, Ohio was established in 1803 from Hamilton and Ross Counties.

    West Virginia is located in the Appalachians and was originally part of Virginia. The capital and largest city is Charleston. It became a state during the Civil War and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863.



    The Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862. It gave an applicant 160 acres of undeveloped land outside of the original colonies. Anyone who had never taken up arms against the United States could file an application. They had to live on the land and make improvements to receive title.

    from Biographical and Portrait Album of Sedgwick County, Kansas, 1888, p. 53

    William W. Reynolds, of this sketch, spent his boyhood and youth in the agricultural districts, remaining a member of the parental household until twenty-five years of age. In the meantime he acquired a good education, completing his studies in the school at Notre Dame, St. Joseph County.

    Then in making the arrangement for the establishment of a home and domestic ties of his won, he was united in marriage, on the 1st of October, 1863, to Miss Kate [Catherine] Fox, who was born Dec. 29, 1839, in Lafayette, Ind., and is the daughter of Jonathan and Margaret (Hawk) Fox, natives of Ohio, both of whom are deceased.

    The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Reynolds was Absalom Fox, who married Miss Temperance Dickerson, and they were both natives of New Jersey..

    Her great-grandparents, Jonathan and Christina (Thompson) Fox, were natives of Maine [I don't know who they were], whence they emigrated to Ohio in its territorial days and settled in Butler County. They built up a cabin home in the wilderness, where Jonathan Fox carried on farming and spent the remainder of his days. Absalom took up the mantle of his father after the latter had rested from his earthly labors, and he too spent his last days at the same homestead where he had settled after his marriage, and became the father of a large family. The children of Absalom and Temperance Fox were six in number. [Bonham and Temperance had six children.]

    The maternal grandparents of Mrs. Reynolds Philip and Catherine (Stonebraker) Hawk, were also natives of Pennsylvania, and removed to Ohio during its pioneer days, settling on Indian Creek in Butler County. The maternal great-grandparents were Benjamin and Ruth (Campbell) Hawk, natives of New Jersey, who spent their entire lives in farming pursuits.

    The family of Jonathan Hawk (sic should be Fox) included
    six children, of whom five are living, namely, Catherine, the wife of our subject; Abner, of Stevens County, this State; Bonham, of Athens, Tenn; Mrs. [Eliza A.] Godman, of Muncie, Ind.; and Vincent T., of Stevens County, Kan. . .

    Mrs. Reynolds received an excellent education, completing her studies in Cincinnati, Ohio, and later engaged as a teacher, mostly in White County, Ind. She is a lady of kind and generous impulses, very charitable to the poor and needy, an affectionate mother and devoted wife. In their pleasant home they often meet with friends who have learned to respect them for their sterling worth, and being among the older citizens of Wichita, are regarded with more than ordinary interest. . .
    American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.



    New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.


    Pioneer Woman Dead
    Mrs. Christena [Fox] Sumwalt Dies at Age of Seventy-Three
    Mrs. Christena Sumwalt, wife of John A. Sumwalt, died at 4:15 o'clock this morning at the family residence near Shadeland. She had been sick for some time and her death was caused by a complication of diseases.

    She was born in Hamilton, O., January 28, 1834. Mr. and Mrs. Sumwalt came to Lafayette on a canal packet owned by the late William Taylor over fifty years ago. Two years ago last fall, Mr. and Mrs. Sumwalt celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Mrs. Sumwalt was a member of the Methodist church and during her life was the author of many kind deeds. She was a charter member of the Woman's Foreign Missionary society and also a member of the Wednesday club.

    Her daughter, Mrs. Joseph Hawkins, died fifteen years ago and Mrs. Sumwalt raised the two children -Mrs. Hunter Leaming and Walter Hawkins. Besides the husband three children survive - Mrs. Luella Hawkins, of Logansport; Mrs. Thomas Irwin, of Wayne township; and Charles Sumwalt, of Shadeland. The funeral will be held from the house at 10:30 o'clock Friday morning and the burial will be in Greenbush cemetery.


    Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

    I, Philip Hawk of Butler County and State of Ohio do make and publish this last will and testament.

    1st, It is my wish that at the time of my decease the farm on which I live, consisting of ninety seven acres of land be rented out or sold in manner and form herein after mentioned.

    Item First, I give and devise to my beloved wife, Catharine Hawk in Lieu of her dowry one half of the rent of the farm on which I live, I also give to my beloved wife Catharine Hawk all my beds and bedding and household furniture goods and furniture and provision and also all the cattle during her natural life, she, however selling so much thereof as may be sufficient to pay my debts. At the death of said wife, the real estate aforesaid and such parts of my personal property or the proceeds thereof as may them remain unconsumed and extended, I give and devise to my sons, daughters and grand children.

    2nd, I give and bequeath to my beloved sons Michael Hawk and Benjamin Hawk each the sum of one hundred dollars.

    3rd, The remainder of my estate shall be equally divided between John Hawk, Daniel Hawk, Philip Hawk, Michael Hawk, William Hawk, Benjamin Hawk, Margaret Hawk, now Margaret Fox, Elizabeth Hawk, Now Elizabeth Lesley, and Catharine Hawk, now Catharine Fossett, Elizabeth Hawk, Philip Hawk, John Hawk, Daniel Hawk, and Martin Vancue Hawk are the children of my deceased son, George Hawk, to them I bequeath one of the above named undivided shares, the same as their father would have been entitled to if he were living. If my said wife should not survive me then I wish my property disposed of as provided above at her death and after mine shall taken place.

    Further it is my wish that if, after my decease my children should wish or a majority of them should wish to sell the farm above eluded to, that if they or a majority of them signify to my executors that they desire a sale to be made of the said farm, I hereby authorize and empower my Executor or Executors after such request having been made by a majority of my sole heirs to sell the same provided that my said heirs will pay and secure to be paid to my beloved wife Catharine Hawk yearly and every year such sum as would amount to half the rent of the place provided it rented out, I do hereby nominate and appoint Michael Hawk and Daniel Kumler, Executors of this my last will and Testament.

    Explanation, I give to my sons Michael and Benjamin as will appear from the reading of this last will, one hundred dollars more than my other children get for the reason that they remained with me longer when they grew to be men than the others did.

    In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 11th day of July, 1850.

    Signed and acknowledged by said Philip Hawk as his last will and Testament in out presence and signed by us in his presence and by his request.

    Silas Roll
    Jonathan Kelborn

    Signed Philip Hawk X his mark

    As witnesses to the said last will and Testament subscribed in open court the third day of September one thousand eight hundred and fifty.

    James McBride Clerk Robert Hamilton of Butler Com Pleas Jacob Bacual

    When a mark is used for a signature, the person was probably illiterate, but may not have been able to sign because of age or infirmity.


    From History and Biography, Counties of White and Pulaski
    page 382, Big Creek Township, White County, Indiana.

    Abner Fox was born in LaFayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, September 6, 1840, and is the second of the six children born to Jonathan and Margaret N. (Hawk) Fox both natives of Butler County, Ohio. Jonathan was by trade a butcher; he was married in Butler County, Ohio, and in 1836 moved to LaFayette, Indiana, and was the first butcher to occupy a stall in the LaFayette market house. In the spring of 1854, he came to this township, bought land and engaged in farming until his death, September 13, 1880.


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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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