John Fox's Biography

The life and legacy of John Fox provides a window into the world of antebellum southern agriculture. The Lexington County Museum preserves the John Fox House, as well as a number of supporting outbuildings and other historic structures.

Born on 14 December 1805, John Fox was the son of Jesse Fox and Faraba Ward. Fox married Anna Mathias on 29 March 1827, and they had two children: Sarah Ann and Joseph Ward. After Anna's death on 8 November 1830, John Fox became remarried to Eliza Ann Poindexter on 1 November 1832. John and Eliza had five children: Amanda Maria, Thomas Shelton, Mary Jane Elizabeth, James Poindexter, and John Jesse. Students from the nearby Lutheran seminary also stayed at the Fox household. The 1850 census shows five young students living with the Foxes.

John Fox was a planter, merchant, and local politician in Lexington District. John Fox's public career began in 1828 when he was elected sheriff (1828-1832 and 1836-1840). Fox later represented Lexington District in the House (1852-1853 and 1854-1855) and in the Senate (1856-1857 and 1858-1859). After the Civil War, Fox became the delegate for Lexington for the state constitutional convention in 1865. The 1860 federal census reports that John Fox owned property (real and personal) valued at $86,700. The bulk of his personal property included 53 slaves, who are listed on the 1860 slave schedule. Census records indicate that John Fox owned about 1,500 acres of land in 1860. Fox's personal papers show as many as twenty buildings in his name. On 1 July 1884, John Fox died and was buried in Batesburg. His wife, Eliza, and four children survived him. (Bailey, Morgan, and Taylor 1986, 524-525)

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