J.C. Cox: Farmer, Hatmaker, Mill Owner, and Potter
My great-grandfather, Jeremiah Cox, lived close to Shiloh Church near Richland Creek in Randolph County. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. While a soldier, Jeremiah was wounded by a minié ball that could not be removed from his shoulder, so he returned home from the war, carrying that shoulder limp. No pension was given to wounded soldiers, but the government gave Jeremiah permission to operate a government liquor still. The liquor was used in making medicine. Eventually, he bought 960 acres of land for one dollar per acre, built a home, and married Rebecca Moffitt. Jeremiah and Rebecca had nine children: Benjamin (my grandfather), Sherman, Charlie, Amos, Simon, Emma, Nancy, Anna, and Eleanor. Over time, Jeremiah acquired a factory to make men’s hats, a mill to grind corn and wheat into flour and corn meal, and a pottery shed. In his pottery shed, Jeremiah produced glazed baking dishes and jars signed “J. C. Cox.” This earthenware is still treasured in some collections.