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Arthur Lear Cox

ARTHUR LEAR COX. Widely known in the printing business and identified with newspaper work from the close of his school days onward, Arthur Lear Cox is the owner and publisher of the Marion News and the Marion Democrat at Marion, Virginia. He enjoys the unique distinction of successfully owning and publishing two newspapers of opposing political faith. Mr. Cox was born near Charlotte Court House, in Charlotte County, Virginia, September 28, 1874, a son of Rev. Leonard and Mary Jane (Badger) Cox, and a grandson of Leonard and Elizabeth (Lear) Cox. Both grandparents were natives of Massachusetts and of Scotch extraction, the grandfather born at Malden and the grandmother at Cambridgeport, where both died. The grandfather belonged to the State Militia. He was a merchant and had other business interests. Rev. Leonard Cox was born October 5, 1821, at Malden, Massachusetts, and died at Charlotte Court House, Virginia, January 34, 1913. He was a man possessed of great mental gifts and was an eminent scholar. He was graduated from Harvard University with Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees and subsequently the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him. During his earlier years he was an instructor in ancient languages at Harvard, and later entered the ministry of the Baptist Church, prior to coming, to Virginia in 1871, serving charges in his native state and in New York, and after locating at Charlotte Court House, was minister of the Baptist Church there for two years, partially retiring then from the ministry and becoming absorbed in other lines of useful effort. He acquired a farm and gave some attention to it, and then went into the news- paper business, founding the Charlotte Gazette, which he continued to publish up to the time of his death. He was a man of rare intellect, social culture and noble character. He was the author of several works, including a book of poems, was a democrat in political preference and was a Royal Arch Mason. Leonard Cox was twice married, first to Miss Lydia Brown, who was born and died at Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, the mother of two children: Mary, who died in infancy, and Frances Adelaide, who died at Lexington, New York, the wife of Dr. Edwin L. Ford, physician and surgeon there. Reverend Cox’s second marriage was with Miss Mary Jane Badger, who was born at Anson, Maine, July 3, 1838, and died at Charlotte Court House on January 11, 1913, and their three children survive: Frederick Leonard, whose home is in the western part of the United States; Arthur Lear; and Edwin Peter, who is employed on the Lynchburg News at Lynchburg, Virginia.

Arthur Lear Cox had both private and public school advantages in Charlotte County and also in Greene County, New York, but when thirteen years old determined to complete his education in his father’s printing office, where he spent four happy years. When seventeen years old he started out as a journeyman printer to test his skill, and for the next eighteen months worked at his trade in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, returning then to Charlotte Court House to build up his failing health. During the next four years he practically spent his time on his father’s farm. In the meanwhile his older brother had become interested in the newspaper business at Culpeper, Virginia, and he joined him there, where they issued the Advocate for one year, removing then to Glasgow in Rockbridge County, where they published the Glasgow Herald-for a like period.

Mr. Cox then returned to Charlotte Court House and joined his father in the same business and for the next eight years the Charlotte Gazette was issued by the firm of Leonard Cox & Son. In 1907 Mr. Cox went to Plainfield and engaged in newspaper work there for a year, but realizing that his father needed him he returned once more and from then until his father’s death in 1913 he had full charge of the Gazette. He then sold that property and worked on the Henry County Bulletin at Martinsville until April, 1914 when he was called to Chrisfield. Maryland. where he established the Chrisfield News. He then followed his trade at Baltimore and in Western Pennsylvania until March, 1915, when he went to Lawrenceville, Virginia, and bought the Brunswick Times-Gazette, which he sold in October 1920, when he came to Marion and bought the Marion Democrat, a democratic journal founded in 1884, and the Marion News, republican in its policy, which came into existence in 1890. Both papers have many adherents, and under Mr. Cox’s able management are proving paying investments, having a wide circulation throughout Southwest Virginia. Mt. Cox has a fine moder pant and offices on Main Street, Marion. His own political complexion is democratic. During the World War he lent the full force of his newspaper influence to the support of all the patriotic organizations of this section, and took an active person part in advancing the different movements. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Kiwanis Club.

Mr. Cox married at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 12, 1917, Miss Calphurnia Margaret Pond, who is a graduate of the Southside Institute, Chase City, Virginia, and a daughter of Thomas R. and Anna Finch (Bailey) Pond. The father of Mrs. Cox is a retired farmer living at Suffolk, but her mother is deceased. They have three children: Mary Calphurnia, born March 10, 1919; Frances Anna born November 10, 1920; and Nonie Lear, born November 14, 1922. Mr. Cox is a member of the St. John’s Lodge No. 144, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons at Charlotte Court House, of which he is a past master.