[p. 644] a leading citizen of Ellwood City, whose prominence is well established and whose friends are found on every side, was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and is a son of James and Elizabeth Knox, the former of whom was color-bearer in his regiment, in the Mexican War, in which he served under Gen. Winfield Scott.
Circumstances led to James W. Knox being without a home in his childhood. He had a sister that died young and a brother, Joseph, who served in the Civil War and died in 1869, after his return unharmed. Mr. Knox was reared to manhood in the home of John H. Wilson, in Beaver County, and from there, when but a boy, he entered the Federal army, enlisting in Company F, One Hundred Fortieth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, in which he served for two years. He took part in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Coal River and Deep Bottom, and was with his regiment in many other places of danger. He was wounded at Spottsylvania Court House and was sent to a hospital at Alexandria, Virginia, where he was kept for two months and then sent on duty in the Invalid Corps, although he was never formally attached to it, and was honorably discharged April 14, 1865.
After his return from the army, Mr. Knox traveled over a large part of the West, consuming about a year, in 1875-6, returning to the East in order to visit the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. In the spring of 1877 he bought a farm of Philo Cunningham, and the west end of Ellwood City is now on that land, giving truth to Mr. Knox's statement that he did not come to the city but the city came to him. He bought seventy-five acres and settled on it in February, 1878, and lived on it for twelve years and then sold out in 1890, to the Pittsburg Company. Subsequently he bought some lots and built his present residence and later purchased the John H. Wilson farm of sixty-two acres, two of which now belong to the Interurban Railroad. He has been a resident of what is now Ellwood City for the past thirty years. When he first settled in the limits of this borough there were five other farm houses, several of which are still standing, but on different foundations. Many changes have been wrought by the enterprise and industry of those who may be termed the pioneers of Ellwood City.
Mr. Knox married in 1879, Miss Mary C. Rouser, who is a daughter of the late Joseph and Elizabeth (Gillespie) Rouser, formerly of North Sewickley Township, Beaver County. Mr. and Mrs. Knox are Presbyterians in religious faith, uniting with this body in North Sewickley Township. In his political views, he is a Republican. Fraternally he belongs to the Odd Fellows and has always been active in promoting the work of this organization.
20th Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens Hon. Aaron L. Hazen Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company, Chicago, Ill., 1908
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