Naomi's Diaries

Naomi DeSelms Cox's Diaries 1911-1938

Farm Life in Plain Township, Wood county, Ohio

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 Chapman 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 street.
  Wenig, Ewing, Coen, LeGalleyThomas,  Armitage, and Householder families were nearby.

Naomi Esther DeSelms Cox was a  farm wife and the mother of eight children in Wood Co in northwestern Ohio. Their baby girl Jessie lived and died in 1881. Lucretia was born in 1882 and died of typhoid at age 15 in 1897. Years later, Naomi would still note her birthday in the diary. Two year old Dwight died of infant cholera in 1896. By 1911 there were five children of Naomi and Pa.

Here are their names and the names of the eventual grandchildren of Naomi and Pa
Ethel Ewing (living in Toledo with her husband Jim;
 The Ewing grandchildren: Hazel the oldest grandchild, Glenn, Donald, Dorothy, Doris,
Ralph and Wesley
(Jim's parents- Mr and Mrs Wesley Ewing, lived very near Naomi and John Cox),

Johnny and his wife Anna whose parents lived in Luckey, living in Bowling Green- their daughter was Zoe and their son Dwight.
Anna was the daughter of Philip and Marie Bolander. Anna's siblings Zoe, George, and Philly are mentioned from time to time.

 Ralph (R.E.) would eventually marry Mrs Mary (Mayme) Skillman Nelson. Her sons were Cortland, Clifford and Albert Nelson.

Clyde or"C.H." would marry   Grace. They would become the parents of  John Emerson Cox, Helen, and Clyde "Junior" or "Jr".
Grace was the only child of John D and Emily Emma Jones, and they are mentioned with some frequency.

Jason would marry Lorena Abbott and become the parents of three children: Hughie, Robert (Bobbie) and Mary Gene.
Lorena had four siblings frequently mentioned in the diaries: Floyd, Harry who lived in Toledo, Gene, and Belle. Her widowed mother: Mary Abbott.

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.

front row, left to right: Naomi,    Elvira (Tom's wife) and    Hattie (Harriet Deselm Parmenter Hamman, Naomi's sis).
Standing behind is        Naomi's older brother Tom Deselms           and John H Cox ("Pa")

You will notice a number of links throughout the diaries. Mostly they are to the memorials at  There are a few links to, wikipedia, photo archives and anything else that caught my attention. There are some mistakes in here, particularly links to people were not who I thought. So, as always, use some caution, and kindly drop me a line when you notice these. 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.

Findagrave has something called Virtual Cemeteries and five of them have been created that directly relate to these diaries. You can find them by
clicking here. Many people are mentioned and linked to multiple times.

Italics indicate my added notes.

 Links to each year of Naomi's diaries. She was 55 years old as the 1911 diary begins.





























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)

This and all of these webpages associated with the Cox Family of Ohio are copyrighted. These are available for your personal family use only.


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