Naomi DeSelms Cox was born in Lacarne, Ottawa county, Ohio October 19, 1855 to Jason and Lydia Lewis DeSelms.
She was the sister of Tom, John, George, Nancy and Harriett DeSelms (Deselm DeSellem etc) who are mentioned from time to time in her diaries, George living in Wood county, Nancy in Michigan, and the others in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Naomi was a school teacher in Perrysburg at the time she married John Hughes Cox in Wood Co OH April 27, 1879. She calls him "Pa" in the diaries. At first, they lived in Perrysburg, working the farm of his parents Joseph and Jane Underwood Cox.
Wood county is in northwest Ohio, rich farm country; in earlier years the area was known as the Black Swamp, largely uninhabitable, but offering rich soil to those who could figure out the drainage issues. By 1911John and Naomi and their children lived in the north part of Plain Township in Wood county on what is now Hannah Road. It was a dirt road until the county began to improve it in 1913.
They lived on the old
farm. You can see the land belonging to Esther Chapman in the 1886 plat
map. The acreage
north of them was Middleton Township. The 1910 census was helpful
to identify the neighbors mentioned in
the diaries. The 1912 plat maps of Plain and Middleton townships
were also helpful showing exactly
where people lived. Some of their nearest neighbors included
the farms of Henry Goodenough, Dan
Smith, Frank Self.
Harve and Inda Everett lived directly across the
Wenig, Ewing, Coen, LeGalley, Thomas, Armitage, and Householder families were nearby.
Naomi generally refers to her youngest grandchild as "Babe". It is not unusual for some of the preschool grandchildren to spend days with her during the school year. Visits to and from the extended family in the area are frequent. Elsewhere on these webpages is additional information about these folks.
This picture was taken in 1915 when Naomi and John visited DeSelms relatives in Kansas. This was the longest trip, and furthest they traveled during the diary years of 1911-1938.
This page was created at the end of this project. Like anything, you learn how to do it better as you go along with it. There are some mistakes in these transcriptions, particularly links to people who were mis-identified. So, as always when you are reading something as fact, use some caution, and kindly drop me a line when you catch any errors. Correct spellings of folks names can be a challenge. I don't know the final resting places of some of these folks who have passed on. If you do, please let me know and I would be happy to add the links if you'd like.
Her diaries from 1911-1938, are still in existence, after spending several decades in the magical attic closet of her son Clyde (Clyde's grandkids can tell you it was magical place, as was the basement and crawl space :-)). And the diaries resided for several decades with the Clyde Jr family.
These diaries were first transcribed in 1989-1990. The twelve months that it took to make the four hard copies of the diary that my sis, Susan Keppy, and I typed were before our becoming computerized. That year encompassed the last six months of our Mom's life. Helen B. Cox was adamant that she wanted to see copies made for the family, and then the originals passed along to the Wood Country Historical Society. Transcribing the diaries was one of the few positive things I could do in the final weeks of her life when we were otherwise largely helpless, except to observe the speed of destruction by bone cancer destroying our Mother's life. After she was gone, transcribing the diaries was a positive good to fill the void of that terrible loss.
Not that I plan on going anywhere soon, but creating a searchable, freely findable and accessible, digital copy of those diaries was something on my bucket list. -bjc
(20160131-1511) This is being uploaded to internet now. When I find corrections, or make connections, the entries are corrected or clarified and uploaded to internet, replacing the older versions. Anywho.... onward......@bjc)
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