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Mitchem/Cox Families
Submitted by Alta Mitchem Durden

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James Nathaniel Mitchem (See Information at and is Buried in the Oaklawn Cemetery.)

Read first the article regarding the Roy Bowdry Cox Family, published in "Family Histories of Canadian County", in 1987 and submitted by Morris Wright, 1918-2008, of El Reno. [I believe Morris Wright was mistaken when he stated that Pauline Cox Mitchem was a school teacher because, from city directory entries we have learned that she operated a florist and further because census records indicate that the profession of Pauline's sister, Dora Cox Morrell, was that of a school teacher.]

Next, read the deed wherein James Nathaniel Mitchem and his wife, Pauline Cox Mitchem, in 1901 conveyed to Canadian County a full City block of El Reno land (adjacent to their own home on Choctaw) for the purpose of erecting a court house and jail.  Deed, photos, and explanatory note from researcher attached here as well.

Below are three newspaper articles: (1) account of the death of Pauline Cox Mitchem at Wynnewood (Garvin County), Oklahoma on April 27, 1920 while a resident of El Reno (Canadian County.)
[ I'm not sure that the name of Pauline's Mother is correct in this article.  I believe that, rather than Stella Cox as here reported that her Mother was named Sarah/Sally Cox instead.  Pauline's brother, C. A. Cox, who Pauline was visiting at the time of her death, then assumed administration of the Estate of James Nathaniel Mitchem who had died in July of 1919.  Because C. A. Cox died (See Copy of Funeral Record Below) in December of 1920, O. S. (Oliver) Cox, another brother, completed the administration of Mitchem's estate in 1927.  This article (#1 indicates that Mitchem was riding in a taxicab when he received injuries leading to his death; however, 1919 newspaper articles obtained previously indicate that Mitchem was attempting to cross the street at an intersection when the taxicab "blew a tire" when rounding the corner and struck Mitchem. 

In the second article, it is stated that James Nathaniel was born on November 29, 1844 in Macon (Bibb County), Georgia, but we know that he was born in Madison (Morgan County) Georgia to Murrell and Elizabeth Arnold Mitchem. 

At any rate, it seems widow Pauline Mitchem filed a lawsuit in the district court for damages against the proprietor of the Standard garage (see article # 3).  I will obtain a copy of that file; however, because Pauline Cox Mitchem herself died less than a year after having filed the lawsuit  (See copy of Funeral Record Below), it may have been dismissed by one of her brothers as administrators.  Pauline and James Nathaniel Mitchem had no children and, at the time of his death, his two daughters by previous marriage were living in Texas and California and his only son, James Burroughs Mitchem, had died in Portland Oregon on April 3, 1916.  All three of his children were childless.]

Next, see obituaries of William Morris Wright, 1918-2008, (author of the Cox Family history article sent in previous email today), and his wife, Elizabeth Cox Wright, 1922-2007, who was Pauline's grand niece.  Morris and Elizabeth Cox Wright adopted three children, one of whom was Cathy Tate, 1950-1994 whose obituary is also attached.

So, it is obvious that author Morris Wright was only about two years of age (and Elizabeth Cox Wright was not yet born) when James Nathaniel died in 1919 and Pauline Cox Mitchem died in 1920.  Nevertheless, I am attempting to contact Cox and Wright descendants in Oklahoma in the hope that I will be able to obtain photos of James Nathaniel and/or Pauline Cox Mitchem.  If I am successful, I will share.

You will notice that the record of C. A. Cox is much more complete than that of his sister, Pauline.  I am unable to decipher the cause of death for C. A. (Charles A.) Cox except that I believe the last four words are "Carcinoma of Urinary Bladder".  As you will notice, the lady at the funeral home could not correctly position the book on the photocopy machine, but the essential information is shown.  Charles's record shows the name of a certifying physician, the names of his parents, and their birthplaces, whereas that information is absent on Pauline's record.  Since Pauline was only two years younger than her brother, it is safe to assume that she, too, was born in Tennessee.  This scant record may demonstrate that there might not have been filed a death certificate for Pauline, as the Oklahoma Vital Records Bureau indicates.
Among probate papers filed by Pauline Cox Mitchem in the Canadian County Court (at El Reno), is a signed statement that she, as Executrix of his Estate, had paid Jacobs & Elliott Funeral Home, for funeral services of her husband, James Nathaniel Mitchem; several doctors for his medical services; and for Cemetery Lot and Grave fee paid to Oaklawn Cemetery in Wynnewood

Pauline Cox Mitchem Funeral Records Charles A. Cox Funeral Records

The below record shows that Pauline died on April 28, 1920 of exhaustion psychosis while a patient at Central State Hospital in Norman, Cleveland County, Oklahoma since March 14, 1920 (l month and 14 days' hospitalization); that she was 56 years, 1 month, and four days of age at that time with an occupation of greenhouse keeper; that her Father, C. W. Cox, was born in Tennessee and that her Mother, Sallie (Sarah) E. "Willie" (Wiley?) Cox, was born in Mississippi.   Pauline, her husband, James Nathaniel Mitchem, and her parents are all three buried in the Oaklawn Cemetery at Wynnewood in Garvin County in the Mitchem-Cox Plot there.  Other members of the Cox family also share that space.

Receipt of this record has come about after several letters to and from this office in Oklahoma City and after conversations and correspondence with the Wynnewood Funeral Home.  This record shows her birth date as March 24, 1864 and her death date as April 28, 1920 which varies a little bit from footstone inscription and even with the Wynnewood Funeral Home records which show that she died on April 27, 1920 and that her funeral was held at 3:30 p.m., on April 28, 1920.  It is possible, but not probable, that she died and was buried on the same date since Norman is relatively near Wynnewood.

It is reasonable to conclude that, following the sudden and violent death of her husband and the business matters that thereafter ensued, Pauline became exhausted to the extent that she was hospitalized and died within less than a year of her husband's accidental death in July of 1919 at El Reno. 

Even though Pauline and James Nathaniel Mitchem had no children, I am still hopeful of finding some living descendants of this Cox family with a view toward obtaining photos of them and/or other family documents.

Alta Mitchem Durden P. S.  Am also attaching death certificate for James Nathaniel Mitchem.

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