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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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Mrs. Catharine Beattie Cox

Mrs. Catharine Beattie Cox is one of the few real daughters of the American Revolution, living in Iowa.  Her home is in Des Moine and she is a member of Abigail Adams chapter.  Her father, Andrew Beattie, was born in Cumberland county, Pa.  He was a mere lad when he enlisted, Nov. 1, 1780, in the Cumberland Co. Militia, under the command of Capt. Matthews.  Records were not kept very accurately, but the family believe he became captain of a company, for he was known as Capt. Beattie.  At the close of the war he married Judith Carter, a member of the family of Carters of Virginia, whose founder, John Carter, came from England in 1635, in the ship America.  Mrs. Cox's ancestor, Robert Carter, was born in 1660, and was president of the King's Council in Virginia.  His wife Sarah Judith, was the daughter of Sir Thomas Ludlow, who was related to the royal house of England.  From this Sarah Judith, Mrs. Cox's mother was named.  Andrew and Judith Carter Beattie immediately after their marriage set out on horseback for their new home in Kentucky.  There being no roads they followed a blazed trail, encountered both indians and wild animals on the journey.  At the end of eight years residence in Kentucky they moved to Highland county, Ohio, on a farm of three hundred acres.  Prosperity came to them, and a very comfortable log house was built, and eight daughters were born to them.  Six weeks before the ninth daughter, Catharine, was born, the father died.  Had the mother been born of less sturdy stock she would have given up in despair, but American pioneer women were the sort who endured and triumphed over hardships and difficulties.  She rented a part of her land, reared and educated her daughters as well as the times permitted.  One of the older daughters married and moved to Cincinnati, and here Catharine went to receive her education.  In 1846 she was married to Dr. Henry Cox, a descendant of Gen. James Cox of the Revolution.  Their first home was at Danville, Ind.  Here they became leaders in church and educational work.  Dr. Cox endowed the Methodist Academy there.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, Danville was a hot-bed of secessionists, and the Cox home was a place of refuge for unionists, and their attic was used as an arsenal.  Dr. Cox was not eligible to enlistment, but was allowed to go to the front as an army surgeon.  He was with Sherman during his march to the sea.  He refused pay for his service, saying he was glad to give that aid to the union army.  In 1865, Dr. and Mrs. Cox moved to Des Moines, making part of the journey by stage coach.  Through all the intervening years Mrs. Cox has been one of the most prominent women in Des Moines.  In her childhood, Gov. Trumbell, the first governor of Ohio, had been a family friend.  His daughter, Mrs. Thompson, had founded the W. C. T. U., because of this fact, as well as of her interest in temperance, she became a leader in the W. C. T. U. work, and had for a personal friend, Miss Francis E. Willard.  Nearly thirty-five years ago she founded the Home for Friendless Children, which is still a splendid institution.  She has been prominent in all branches of the M. E. Church.  She is the author of many poems and verses of literary merit.  She is the mother of five children.  For a number of years she has made her home with her daughter, Mrs. W. F. Mitchell, of Des Moines.



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