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CORPORAL BYRON CLARK COX - KIA - WWI


Source: Darlington Herald Friday, July ___ 1918


Byron C. Cox, among the first Darlington boys to enter military service and the first to arrive on foreign soil, has made the supreme sacrifice and has give up his life on the battle field of France (Note: Buried Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial - Fere-en-Tardenois, Departement de l'Aisne Picardie, France). The following message from Washington, conveying the sad news to his parents was received by them last Sunday afternoon: "Mr. Denton T. Cox, RR, Darlington, Ind -- Deeply regret to inform you that Corporal Byron C. Cox, Infantry is officially reported as Killed In Action, between July 18th and 24th. McClain, Adjutant General." While his parents knew he was in the thickest of the fight, they had hoped he might be spared, and the message came as a great shock to them and his many friends here. Byron Clark Cox was the son of Denton and Bertha Clark Cox and was born at Rossville (Clinton County) Indiana December 5, 1899. He lived with his parents in Rossville until 1908 when the family moved to the present home near Garfield. He attended school at Garfield where he graduated from the 8th grade after which he entered the Darlington HS and graduated with the class of 1916. During two years of the time he was in high school Byron made his home with Dr. and Mrs. C.W. Kendall who have always spoken in the highest terms of his unfailing cheerfulness and splendid character. The remaining two years, he lived with his grandmother, the late Mrs. E.H. Cox. After his graduation, he entered the State Normal at Terre Haute and that winter was given the position of principal of the consolidated school at Shannondale. On April 16, 1917, immediately following the close of his school he enlisted in the Regular Army and was sent to Jefferson Barracks where he was vaccinated and incoculated for typhoid. He was then sent to Ft. Douglas, Arizona, where he became a member of Co G 18th Infantry. On June 9, he crossed Indiana on his way to NY. His family knew of this by receiving cards he had dropped from the car to be mailed. He was with the first American forces to embark and reached France on June 28. In February of this year he was made a Corporal. On May 4, he was gassed and was confined in a hospital until May 28. From the very first his letters home were full of enthusiasm and he never doubted for an instant that right would win and that Germany would eventually be absolutely vanquished. Byron's patriotism was party inborn, no doubt. His grandfather, the late E. H. Cox, wa a Lt. in Co B 120th Infantry and served with distinction during the four years of the Civil War. During the pastorate of Rev. WH Martin, Byron united with the Christian Church at Garfield and was also an active member of the Christian Endeavor Society there. When in Darlington he was a regular attendant at the Methodist Church. Last Spring the Sunday School class taught by his aunt, Mrs. I.W. Craig, presented to the church a service flag representing the boys of the class who are engaged in the present war. In the presentation speech, Mrs. Craig said in part, "Let us hope that the time may never come when it will be necessary to replace even one of these stars with a gold star." But that which everyone feared, yet prayed might never occur has come about and the blue star which represented Byron Clark Cox, a lad, loyal and true to his country and happy to be serving her is the one to be so replaced. By many of his friends he will long be remembered as he stood the night of his commencement and recited "Old Glory" with all the fire and ardor of his youth. Perhaps he felt the spirit of the poem more deeply than anyone then realized, especially that part which says, "And seeing you fly, And the boys marching by, There's about in the throat And a blur in the eye, And an aching to live For you always ... or die, If by dying, we still Keep you waving on high." He is survived by his parents, four brothers, Kenneth L; Cecil, Keith and Alexander and four sisters, Pauline, Etttelka, Margaret and Evelyn. They are all at home except Kenneth who is a Sgt with the 10th US Infantry at Camp Custer, Michigan and Pauline who for several years has made her home with Mr. and mrs. I.W. Craig. is thoughtfulness for his mother is manifested by the fact that he had taken $10,000 insurance for her. He also had $300 in Liberty bonds. His parents have received word from Washington saying that full information regarding his death will be sent later. A service in honor of his memory will be held at the gymnasium Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock, Rev. Madian H. Appleby of South Bend grand uncle of Byron will be the principal speaker. -- kbz


Source: Darlington Herald October 25, 1918

The service Flag which has hung in the front door of the Library has been replaced by a new one, the work of Miss Fay Miller, the librarian. The new flag bears one blue star, underneath of which is written 78, represneting the number of young men from Franklin Township now in the service. There is also a gold star for Corporal Byron C. Cox who was killed in action in France in July. -- kbz


Source: Darlington Herald, August 9, 1918 (this is so sad - this article was in the paper AFTER his death which occurred July 21, 1918) - sure shows in almost 100 years how communication has changed :(

A very unusual thing has happened; something that probably would not occur again, once in thousands of times. A Darlington boy, on active duty in France, has through the Red Cross Society received a pair of socksk nitted by a Darlington lady. These socks wer enot sent direct to him, but were received through the regular channels of the Red Cross. The lady who knit the socks is Mrs. Mary a. Hiatt and the boy who received them is byron C. Cox, son of Mr. and Mrs. Denton Cox, and who was among the first troops to land in France. Since America has been engaged in this struggle, Mrs. Hiatt has spent much time doing Red Cross work. She has contributed several pairs of socks on one pair of which she pinned the following note: "Knitted by Mrs. Mary Hiatt, 78 years old and a Civil War widow." On last Friday she received a letter from this boy, whom she has known since his infancy and she is glad to know she has contributed something to add to the comfort and happiness of this Darlington boy who is daily facing death, in order that we may have a decent place in which to live. Following is the letter which Mrs. Hiatt prizes so highly: "Was very much surprised the other day when I received two pair of fine woolen socks. When I opened them up and found a note, "Knitted by Mrs. Mary Hiatt, 78 years old and a Civil War widow." I was certainly delighted, as much by knowing who the socks were from, as by the socks themselves. You know I have been away for some time and I haven't heard a word from you or about you tho we were once almost next door neighbors. I received a ltter from Dorothy Cameron a few days ago, in which she said everybody in Darlington was doing all they could to back up the boys in France and when an old lady who has already gone thru two wars, still feels that she is still abel to "do her bit" by working for the soldier boys, I just "kinda" believe Dorothy is right, don't you? Why we can't lose. We could give the kaiser a new start and still give him the "damndest licking in history" as Charles Shwalb says. Write to me sometime. I may not answer for In only get a chance to write about once every two months but I'll try anyhow." Below we print another letter from Byron, received by his father Saturday, in which he tells us something of the "cooties." "I wrote last from St. Aignan. We are permitted to mention the names of places that far back of the lines. I'll wager you had a gay time finding St. Aignan on the map but I am back with my company again for which I am duly thankful. We are out of the trenches for a few weeks rest. We have all had a gasoline bath and have been issued new clothes. We are temporarily rid of cooties, those affectionate little animals that 'sticketh closer to a man than his brother.' There is a great deal of jesting about the cooties. I heard one fellow say that he found one that was an old soldier, had two wound tripes, a service stripe and was a corporal. The most I have seen are lance corporals, one stripe. I have entirely recovered from the gas and I am feeling as well as ever, perhaps better for we have been having such fine weather that I am in good spirits. Hope Dad's rheumatism is better by this time. I am not going to close this letter, just stop.


The website management appreciates all the contributions provided for use here. When using something from this site PLEASE use the following citation as your source :) THANKS MUCHES - kbz

Citation: The Indiana GenWeb Project, Copyright 1997-2014, Montgomery County GenWeb site http://www.ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/

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© Copyright 2014 Karen Zach

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the submitter, for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information.

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the copyright holder(s), for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information. © 2014 by Karen Zach, and licensed to the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb) Project and the USGenWeb Project. May be used in personal research with a citation.

This page created:  

12 October 2012