Biography - James Cox

JAMES H. COX. It is the fad of the day to assume that a newspaper, and especially a political organ, must be the popular educator. This is doubtless true, and as with educators of other sorts, the editor and maker of a live, newsy sheet must be up and doing. It is an easy matter in these days of ''patent insides" and "scissoring" of the bright things from the metropolitan sheets, to make up an ordinary paper, but to know how to add its proper spice of local fact and fancy so that it will appeal to its own public and be indeed a cyclopedia of grateful knowledge, is another thing. Our subject, however, who is the editor and proprietor of the Daily News, a bright, original little sheet published in Litchfield, has shown that he has all the necessary attributes to edit a well-printed local sheet.
Mr. Cox was born at Denison, Tex., September 26, 1867, a son of A. M. and Virinda (Hobbs) Cox. He was brought up, as one might say, in a printing office, his father before him having been engaged in the printing business. Mr. Cox, Sr., was originally from New Jersey, and his wife from Virginia. They were both persons well adapted to the training of a precocious young mind having aspirations for something really effective in the line of work to which it was directed.
Young Cox received the early part of his education in his native place, but when he was ten years of age his parents moved to Bunker Hill, Ill., and a year later came to Litchfield, where the lad finished his educational course In 1880, he turned his attention wholly to newspaper work, including the mechanical part as well as the compiling of the literary portion and news items. He was first, engaged in the Monitor office, where he remained for two years. Following his connection with this paper was an engagement of two and a-half years with the Mt. Olive Herald.
Newspaper men are proverbially restless creatures, always longing to see and know more of the great world, and this spirit for traveling is rendered easy by the fact that a compositor can make a living in any portion of the country. Mr. Cox determined to see something of the South, and worked his way through many of the large cities, gaining, beside the pleasure incident to travel, a knowledge of the methods used in different publishing houses. He spent some time in Louisiana and Texas, and thence went East. In all his travel, however, he kept a tender remembrance and a loyal feeling for the place of his rearing and adoption, and finally came back to Litchfield. For a short time after his return to this town, our subject was engaged in the restaurant business. April 12, 1890, however, he purchased the Daily News, which had been established by Mr. F. M. Roberts in 1885. It is a seven-column folio, with a popular circulation in the city and county, and is the oldest daily paper in the county. Mr. Cox spares no means or pains to make it acceptable to the public.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, page 296.

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