Bristol Herald-Courier, September 6, 1946
Funeral services for John Isaac Cox, 90, former governor of Tennessee, who died Thursday morning at George Ben Johnston hospital in Abingdon where he had been critically ill for three weeks, will be held at his home in Holston Hills at 10:30 o’clock this morning. Dr. J. Stuart French will officiate, assisted by Dr. W. F. Blackard, pastor of State Street Methodist Church. Interment will be in Glenwood Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be grandsons: Will Cox Jr., John I Cox II, Richard Cox, Matt Cox Jr., John I Cox III, James Beverley Cox, Jay Fields, Sullins Cartwright, Harry Fleming and Howard Simms.
The body was removed to the residence at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon.
Born in Sullivan County November 23, 1855, the son of a Confederate soldier, who was killed when John Isaac was seven years old, Mr. Cox’s life story is that of many in the South, of that day. Left fatherless and impoverished by the War Between the States, he spent a boyhood of hard work and privation, worked his way through school and became one of the outstanding citizens no only of his own community but of the state.
He came to Bristol in 1889, after studying law under Judge W. V. Deaderick, and became successively city attorney, representative in the state legislature and state revenue agent under James A. Harris, state comptroller. He was a member of the state Senate from 1900 to 1905, serving as speaker in 1905. He became governor of the state when Governor Frazier resigned to accept an appointment as United States senator, succeeding to the gubernatorial vacancy because of his position as speaker of the Senate. After his defeat for election to the governorship in 1907 by Malcolm Patterson, Mr. Cox was subsequently elected to the Senate in 1907, 1909 and 1911. He was Bristol, Tenn., postmaster from 1914 through 1922.
Vitally interested in all civic movements, Mr. Cox took an active part in community projects. He was well informed on matters of national and world interest and his advice was frequently sought. He continued active until illness incapacitated him three weeks ago. Though making his home in Bristol for many years, Ex-Gov. Cox operated a 600-acre farm in Sullivan county.
Work was the credo of his life and he often said that he would not live without working if he could.
Mr. Cox is survived by his second wife, the former Miss Lorena Butler, who he married 56 years ago following the death of the first Mrs. Cox, the former Miss Laura Deaderick. Three children survive, Will Cox of Blountville, born of the first marriage, and Matt B. Cox and Mrs. Joe Fleming of Bristol, children of the second union. Additional survivors are twelve grandchildren, Mrs. Sullins Cartwright, Kingsport, Mrs. Harry Blevins, Miss Margaret Cox, Will, John I. II, and Richard Cox, all of Blountville, Mrs. Howard Sims, Jane, Matt Jr., John I. III and James Beverley Cox, all of Bristol; and Mrs. Jay Fields, Anguilla, Miss., four great-grandchildren, Joe Fleming IV, and Lida Lorena Sims, Bristol, and Richard and Billy Cartwright, Kingsport; and one brother, Abe Cox, Blountville.
Extracted by Sallie Lewis Hurt 16 May 2006