Tailor & Outfitter and Local Methodist Minister|Justice of the Peace
A Rotherham Worthy
GOOD SERVICE TO THE TOWN
Felicitations, hearty and sincere, were yesterday extended to Mr. John Cox, J.P., of Avon Villa, Clifton Lane, Rotherham by many friends on the occasion of his birthday. He has served his day and generation in a way that has commanded the approbation of the Rotherham townspeople, and now he is more or less laid aside by physical infirmity he must be counted as the keenest of observers of all that is happening around him. Who does not appreciate the strenuous work of Mr John Cox? Being a tailor by trade he has been heard to facetiously describe himself as only the ninth part of a man, but his nearly forty years association with Rotherham have proved how great may become the infinitely little, taking him at his own valuation.
AN IMPORTANT DECISION
When seen by a representative of the “Yorkshire Telegraph and Star”, he explained that he had looked forward to the day with very special interest; and he was particularly gratified with the remembrances of those whom he knew.
“The greatest good I ever did to this town,” he said, “was getting a share of the Langsett and Derwent water assured to the inhabitants.”
And those who recall the water supply of the past with that of the present will acknowledge that this was a good stroke of public business.
“at this time,” went on Mr. Cox, “I was chairman of the Public Health and Water Committee, and on two separate occasions when it was a question whether Doncaste, and Rotherham should join and go in with Sheffield to obtain the Langsett the committee were divided 8 And 8 and I gave the casting vote in favour each time.”
As to the Parliamentary proceedings, Mr. Cox added “I spend twenty-eight days at the House assisting to get the Sheffield Bill passed, and it was ultimately accomplished.”
In connection with this achievement a prominent local gentleman has said, The day will come when the town will look back on Mr. Cox as having conferred the greatest benefit.”
HIS EARLIER DAYS
Mr. Cox is a native of South Lincolnshire, having been born in 1843. In a Nottinghamshire village he commenced to learn tailoring when 11 summers had passed: and the big metropolis housed him at the expiration of his apprenticeship. For five years he was a Sunday School teacher at the Great Queen Street Chapel. His connection with Rotherham dates from 1870. In the Wesleyan denomination he has rendered long and valued service. In town’s work he was for a number of years Overseer; he served for some time as Guardian of the Poor; became a member of the Borough Council in 1877; was elected a Feoffee of the common Lands of Rotherham in 1894; and in 1900 became a Borough Justice of the Peace. Five years ago ill-health overtook him, and his relinquishment of municipal work and curtailment of other duties followed. From time to time he is in his place on the Bench, and is undoubtedly regarded as one of the shrewdest and painstakingly magistrates who attend.
The Borough owes a very great deal to Mr. Cox for his labours in bringing about the erection of an Isolation Hospital. As chairman of the Health Committee he urged on the scheme and in company with the medical officer of health and sanitary inspector, visited most of the recently erected sanatoriums in the country with the object of embodying in the Rotherham institution the very latest improvements. Plans were prepared and the building put up; but illness had seized him, and public work had been put aside when the auspicious opening took place.
A COMICAL SIGHT G. Gummer J.P. "Reminiscences of Rotherham"
One of the most amusing sights I recall connected with cycling, was when Councillor John Cox pedalled his way to Wickersley or Maltby, clothed in a black frock coat and wearing a top hat. The attire, no doubt, was appropriate for the purpose of his visit to preach at some country chapel, but it was none the less comical and unsuitable for cycIing.
“Chapel on the Bridge” [Newspaper clipping in relation to “John Cox” held by Marilyn Douglas]
It has always been a matter of the deepest concern that the fine monument of antiquity Rotherham possesses, viz., the Chapel of Our Lady on the bridge was not better preserved and not put to better uses than that of a saleshop. There are only three others in existence, in this country, at Wakefield, St Ives
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