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James Lennox

From The History of Shelby County, Ohio, published by R. Sutton & Co.,
Philadelphia, 1883.

Biographies of Prominent Men and Pioneers

 The history of the Lenox family traces back in a direct line to Scotland, although the date of immigration of the American branch of the family cannot be clearly ascertained. Still, that immigration was at least prior to the Revolutionary period, for it is known that John Lenox served in the Continental Army throughout the War for Independence.  He came then during the Colonial 
Period, and passing through (surviving) the Revolutionary War, married Rachel York and settled in Virginia at the dawn of the National Period. After John's death in Virginia, his widow and family came to Ohio in search of  a new home. This was in the year 1796, or seven years prior to the admission of 
Ohio as a State.  Upon coming to the Northwest Territory, the family settled near the old territorial town, Marietta, which had witnessed the solemn inauguration of the first court held in "the territory northwest of the Ohio River."  Here the Lenox family remained until 1811, when they sought the valley of the Great Miami River and settled within the present limits of Turtle Creek Township, eight years prior to the organization of Shelby County.  Of this family, James Lenox became one of the leading spirits in the new community, and one of the principal citizens of the new county. He was born in Virginia on February 14, 1793, and was one of the children, who with his widowed mother, arrived in 1811. He was thus here just in time, although yet young, to breathe the spirit of war, for the air was then filled with that war germ that developed into the second war for independence. His father had served in the first, and he entered the second, the War of 1812, serving throughout the 
campaigns of 1813 and 1814 in operations in Ohio, Michigan and Canada. 
         Returning at the end of the war, he resumed the vocations of peace and assisted  in the development of that community which was yet to erect itself into a new county.  On the 12th of February 1818, he married Sally Wilson, daughter of John and Anna (Webb) Wilson.  The Wilson family had come from Virginia to Ohio at an early date, even settling in this county's limits as early as 1807. 
        Before coming here, they had settled for a time in Warren County, where their daughter Sally was born, Jan. 1, 1803. After the marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Lenox settled in Turtle Creek Township on land that the family had entered in 1811. Here they lived until 1845, when he moved to Washington Township, having purchased the old John Wilson farm, which had been entered (established) by Wilson in 1807.  From a date prior to the organization of Shelby County, Mr. Lenox held a commission as justice of the peace, an office he retained for many terms in succession. When the County was established, he was appointed the first treasurer by the Board of Commissioners on the 7th of June, 1819. He also held various township offices, including the appraisership.   The family consisted of twelve children, viz: Emeline M., born May 19, 1819, died 1822; Napoleon B., born June 9, 1821, died Nov. 28, 1862. Anna W. born Aug. 4, 1823, d. Oct 5, 1823; John W., born Sept. 21, 1824, died Sept. 12, 1851; William F. born May 25, 1827; died Oct. 17, 1865. Jesse W. born Jan. 22, 1832, died Aug. 26, 1864; Julia A., born April 12, 1834, resides in county.   Abraham, born Aug. 5, 1837, died March 12, 1863. Hiram, born July 24, 1839, resides in Illinois. Laura Loretta, born Dec. 28, 1841, resides at the old homestead with her brother Hamilton Clay, born Nov. 5, 1829. Virgil C., born April 5, 1844, resides in Illinois.  Of these, four sons were in the War of the Rebellion. One died from the effects of a wound; one from disease while in service; one after the war from disease contracted in the service; while only Virgil, of the four, survives. 
         James Lenox is said to have been a man of reserved manners and domestic tastes, who was greatly devoted to literature, and as such a man is still highly revered by those who knew him best.  Having exceeded his "threescore years and ten," he laid down the burdens of life December 9, 1865, having closely approached his 73rd year. 
  
 


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