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WILLIAM MARCUS COX, one of the most successful farmers and stock-growers of Bloomington Township, is finely located on sections 34 and 35, the homestead being located on the latter. Mr. Cox has carried on his farming operations intelligently and successfully, and of late years has devoted his attention principally to the breeding of Short-horn and Jersey cattle, sheep, horses and swine.

Mr. Cox is a native of McLean County, and was born on his father's old homestead in Bloomington Township, Aug. 9, 1836. A history of his parents will be found in the sketch of David Cox in another part of this work.

Our subject remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-six years of age, and on his twenty-sixth birthday, the late Civil War being then in progress, he enlisted as a soldier of the Union, and joined his command at Bloomington, being assigned to Co. F. 94th Ill. Vol. Inf. [ed., 94th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a/k/a the McLean Regiment ], Col. Orme [ed., Brigadier General William W. Orme] commanding. They were sent to the Department of the West, and later went to Vicksburg [ed., Battle for Vicksburg], afterward to the Gulf [ed., probably the Operations of Gulf Blocking Squadron Campaign, Santa Rosa Island 1861], where they remained for about one year, and were then ordered to New Orleans.

In August, 1863, Mr. Cox returned home on a furlough, and in December of that year returned to the army and joined his regiment in February following, with which he remained until his final discharge, which also occurred on his birthday, Aug. 9, 1865.

Mr. Cox participated in all the engagements and skirmishes of his regiment, being in the fight at Springfield, Mo. [ed., Marmaduke s First Expedition into Missouri], and at the siege of Vicksburg [ed., Battle for Vicksburg], remaining in the latter place nearly one month before the surrender of the city.

They returned to New Orleans in December following, and then went on an expedition across Lake Pontchartrain under command of Lieut. Col. Webb, of the 77th Illinois Regiment [ed., 77th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry]. While the fleet was crossing a lake the vessel which contained Mr. Cox and his comrades foundered, and Mr. C. was seriously hurt in the ankle by falling from the deck to the hull of the boat through a trap-door.

Afterward, at the siege of Spanish Fort on Mobile Bay [ed., Passing of Forst Morgan and Gaines] in March, 1865, while on duty, a large shell burst within a few feet of him, and he narrowly escaped being torn to pieces. Aside from the slight wounds thus received and some slight illness, he escaped unharmed, and very seldom failed to report at roll-call. He served in the army just three years to a day.

At the close of his army life Mr. Cox returned to his home in Bloomington Township, and on Dec. 4, 1868, was united in marriage with Miss Mary J. Orendorff, daughter of Oliver and Sarah L. (Hendrix) Orendorff, a sketch of whom will be found in another part of this volume. Mrs. Cox was born in Bloomington Township, Jan. 1, 1850, and completed her education in the Normal University at Normal, Ill., where she received excellent and practical instruction, choosing those studies which would be of service to her in later years.

After leaving school she returned to her parents, and remained with them until her marriage with our subject. She is the elder child and only daughter of a family of two children.

Shortly after his marriage Mr. Cox located upon a tract of land and engaged in farming pursuits. He has been successful in his agricultural and business transactions, and is now the owner of 155 acres, all finely improved, and under a good state of cultivation; he also owns property in Normal. His homestead is pleasantly located, and he has a comfortable residence and out-buildings, and all the appliances of a good modern farm estate.

Mrs. Cox is a member in good standing of the Christian Church, while Mr. C. is a Methodist in religious belief. He is Republican in politics, and uniformly casts his vote in support of the principles of that party. He is straightforward and upright in his business transactions, and enjoys in a marked degree the confidence and esteem of his fellow-townsmen.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]

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