An American Family History

Levi and Eliza Fox

St. Clair Township, Butler County, Ohio
Benton Township, Lucas County, Iowa

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.
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.

Lucas County is in south central Iowa. It was founded in 1846 and the county seat is Chariton.


In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

Levi Fox married Eliza Yerkes on February 17, 1831 in Butler County, Ohio. The ceremony was performed by Jonathan Pierson, Esquire, a justice of the peace.

Levi was a farmer and owned land in Butler County on the Miami River as early as 1826. He owned 77 acres in Section 7, Township 1, Range 3- the center of south half. In the Assessor's Report for 1839 in Butler County, Levi Fox owned three horses and three heads of cattle.

1846 Re-appraisement Map
Butler County, Ohio

Levi and Eliza's children were all born in Butler County. William Pierce Fox was born on July 28, 1833. Josiah B. Fox was born in 1837. John Newton Fox was born on June 4, 1839.

At the time of the 1840 census, the Levi Fox household consisted of one woman between 20 & 30 (Eliza age 30), one man between 30 & 40 (Levi age 38), one boy between 5 & 10 (William age 6) and two boys under five (Josiah age 3 and John age 1). Anne E. Fox was born about 1844.

Eliza Fox died in Butler County about 1850. There was a cholera epidemic at that time.

cholera death

The family appeared in the census that year in St. Clair Township. The value of Levi's real estate was $1,200. The household consisted of Levi age 48, Wm. P. age 16, Josiah B. age 13, John N. age 11 and Anne E. age 5. Levi was a farmer.

Shortly after Eliza's death, on December 4, 1851, Levi married the widow, Sarah S. Hartley Teas. The Reverend William H. Lawder of the Methodist-Episcopal Church performed the ceremony.

Their daughter Missouri Fox Clowser was born in 1851 and Levi Fox, Jr. was born in 1854.

The family moved to Lucas County in about 1854. John Fox's grandson, Richard Fox, related that his 

mother, Inez, told me many times that when John N. Fox came to Lucas County, Iowa there was nothing in Chariton but a log cabin courthouse.

William did not come to Iowa with the family. He remained in Ohio and married Julia Buler in 1855.

Levi bought land in Lucas County in 1854. In the first deed dated February 14, 1854, Caleb Powers conveyed to Levi Fox the south half of the north-east quarter of Section 34, and the north half of the south-east quarter of Section 34 (two 80-acre tracts totaling 160 acres). In the second deed, Caleb Powers conveyed to Levi the south half of the north-west quarter of Section 35 and the north half of the south-west quarter of Section 35 (again two 80-acre tracts totaling 160 acres). This land is in the southeast corner of Benton Township near Wayne county. The stream that passes though this section is Lost Branch Creek. The New York Road passes through sections 34 and 35.

In the 1856 special Iowa census, the household consisted of Levi age 55, Sarah S. age 42, Josiah R. age nineteen, John Newton age seventeen, Annaliza age twelve, Missouri age four, and Levi, age one. Their youngest child, Nebraska Fox Stephens was born in 1856.

The family appeared in the 1860 census in Benton Township, Lucas County. The household consisted of Levi age 59, Sarah S. age 46. Ann E. age 16, Josiah age 22, John F. age 21, Missouri age 9, Levi age 6 and Nebraska age 3. The 1860 agricultural schedule indicates that he had 260 acres (40 improved) worth $1,600. His farm equipment was worth $30. He had two horses, two cows, two oxen, 3 other heads of cattle, and 32 swine. The live stock was worth $40. He had 600 bushels of Indian Corn.

During the American Civil War, the family continued to live in Benton Township. Josiah was a soldier in the war. Josiah died in 1867.

Before Levi's deeds to the 320 acres were recorded in 1867, he sold sixty acres each to his sons, John Newton and Josiah B. The price in both cases was $50 for 60 acres. Levi sold sixty acres of his land on February 2, 1867 to his oldest son, William P. Fox, by deed. The formal description of the tract transferred was the E ¾ of the S½ of the NW¼ of Section 35.

Missouri married in 1868. The family appeared in the 1870 census. The household at that time consisted of Levi age 67, Sarah age 54, Levi, Jr. age fifteen, and Nebraska age eleven. Levi married in 1875 and Nebraska in 1876 in Lucas County.

The younger children attended school in Benton Township. The "Register of the School" for the term commencing on the fifth day of May, 1873, and ending July 25, 1873 showed Nebraska Fox age fifteen. She attended school with John Fox's and Josiah Smith's children.

Levi died in 1877, Missouri died in 1880 and Sarah followed in 1881. Levi and Sarah were laid to rest in Row 16 of New York Cemetery in Wayne County, Iowa. It is east of Millerton. Pat Dietlein wrote:

Levi's information is on the west face of  the monument and Sarah's on the east face. Near the base on the south face the FOX name appears in large relief block letters. Above, also in "relief" are carved two clasped right hands within an oval. The symbolic meaning of the hands is said to sometimes indicate the unity of marriage or, alternatively, the farewell and goodbyes said at death. Between the Fox name and the image of the hands is the following inscription:

There is no death, no darkness
no tears, in that bright world
where the rightous [sic] dwell.

The north face of the monument is bare of markings.

The Public Land Survey System is used to survey and spatially identify land parcels in the United States.
  • Range is the distance east or west from a referenced principal meridian in units of six miles.
  • A Section is approximately a one-square-mile block of land. There are 36 sections in a township.
  • A Township is a parcel of land of 36 square miles or a measure of the distance north or south from a referenced baseline in units of six miles.
  • Butler County, Ohio was established in 1803 from Hamilton and Ross Counties.

    Chariton is the county seat of Lucas County, Iowa and is in Lincoln Township.

    Descendants of Absalom Fox and Christian Bonham are Mayflower Descendants.

  • Samuel Fuller
  • Hannah Fuller Bonham
  • Hezekiah Bonham
  • Amariah Bonham
  • Christian Bonham Fox
  • Indian Corn (or flint corn) is the type of maize that Native Americans taught colonists to cultivate. The kernels come in a range of colors and are less prone to spoiling.

    In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.




    For a tour of the Fox family land and resting places see "Fox Hunting at New York" from October 22, 2008 in The Lucas Countyan by Frank Myers.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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