Biography of John Henry Coxe
North Central Ohio Biographies

John Henry Coxe. Prominent among the progressive business men of Norwalk was John H. Coxe, who was proprietor of the Norwalk Vault Company. He was born in Durham, Eng., Jan. 3, 1878, the son of John and Mary (Poad) Coxe.

John Coxe, the father of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Devonshire, England, and his wife was born in Cornwall, England. At the age of 27 years he came to the United States and followed his calling as a preacher of the Methodist Church, in Wilkes Barre, Pa. He was also identified with the mining interests of that section, and was connected with the sinking of some of the first and largest shafts in the anthracite region. During the latter part of his life he spent 15 years as a minister of the Christian Missionary Alliance and organized numerous Pentecostal Churches. He became widely known as an evangelist and spent the last ten years of his life at Wilmington, Del., where he died in 1921. His wife died the following year. To Mr. and Mrs. Coxe were born ten children, as follows: John H., the subject of this sketch; Alice, lives at Wilmington, Del.; Sarah, who died in India while engaged in missionary work; William, engaged in missionary work in Colorado; Jessie (Mrs. John Thorne), lives at Pittsburgh, Pa.; Charles, superintendent of schools at Lewiston, Pa.; Andrew, insurance, lives at Wilmington; Mary (Mrs. Elliston LaMotte), lives at Wilmington; Frances, lives at Wilmington; Ambrose, lives at Elwood City, Pa.; and Esther, who died in childhood.

John Henry Coxe was reared and educated at Wilkes Barre, Pa., and later attended Wyoming Seminary at Kingston, Pa. He was a graduate of Wesleyan University at Middletown, Conn., his entire education having been secured through his own efforts. As a boy he attended night classes to obtain a common school education. Mr. Coxe became a teacher of English Literature at Wyoming Seminary, where he spent three years. He later went to New York City as assistant sales manager for the Home Pattern Company, and in 1914 came to Norwalk as manager of the Norwalk Vault Company. Mr. Coxe purchased the business in 1922, which he successfully conducted until the time of his death. The company is widely known as manufacturers of air tight, water proof, cement burial vaults, and has more than 300 representatives throughout the United States.

On Dec. 18, 1908, Mr. Coxe was united in marriage with Miss Grace Lendrum, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., the daughter of Alexander and Hyla (Felter) Lendrum, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Wilkes Barre, Pa. Both are deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Coxe were born two daughters: Ruth Almeda, born Oct. 18, 1909, a graduate of Norwalk High School, attends Ohio Wesleyan University; and Grace Nancy, born Sept. 25, 1912, a graduate of Norwalk High School, attends Wyoming Seminary, at Kingston, Pa.

Mr. Coxe was a Republican, a member of the Masonic Lodge, 32nd degree, B. P. O. Elks, Norwalk Country Club, Psi Upsilon Fraternity of Wesleyan University, and Shakespeare Club. He held membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a member of the board of trustees and chairman of the finance committee, and in 1928 he held the office of president of the Laymen's Association of the Northeastern Ohio Conference. He was one of the founders and a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Norwalk. Mr. Coxe served as treasurer of the Norwalk Red Cross continuously from 1917 to 1931, and had been a member of the board of the Norwalk Community Chest since it was founded in 1922. He was also one of the founders of Norwalk's Memorial Hospital, and was active in every civic and religious undertaking for the benefit of his community, and especially interested in providing athletic opportunities for the boys of Norwalk.

Mrs. Coxe is a member of the Sally DeForest Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a charter member of Firelands Chapter of the Daughters of the American Colonists, a charter member of The Garden Club of Norwalk, and a member of the Shakespeare Club, and is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Norwalk.

Mr. Coxe died March 18, 1931, after a brief illness, and was buried on March 21, 1931, in the family plot in Woodlawn Cemetery, Norwalk, Ohio.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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