Charles J. Fox

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Capt. Charles J. Fox

The following biography of Capt. Charles J. Fox was published in the History of Pomona Valley, California, with Biographical Sketches… (1920)

Although a native of England where he was born at Manchester, October 31, 1842, Capt. Charles J. Fox has no memory of the land of his birth, for he was but one year old when he accompanied his parents to the United States on a sailing vessel, which made the trip in three months.

He was reared at Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, and is a veteran of the Civil War, having enlisted in 1864 in the Fourth Michigan Infantry. He was lieutenant in his company and later captain in Company H, under Col. Jairus W. Hall, and saw service in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. He still carries the bullet by which he was injured in guerrilla warfare in one of the many skirmishes that he participated in in Tennessee, and among the relics in his home is the gun he was shot with, which was taken from the guerrilla, and which he prizes very highly. He served on the general staff at San Antonio, Texas, and had charge of cleaning up the city. In those days, San Antonio had but fifteen thousand population. The Captain wears the button of the Loyal Legion, of which he was a member, and after brilliant service, he was mustered out at Houston, Texas, May 26, 1866.

At the close of the war he returned to Pontiac, Michigan, and was appointed and served several years as revenue assessor in Michigan. He was also the proprietor of a clothing store at Pontiac, which he sold in 1888, and went to Seattle, Washington, where he engaged in the making of brick, twelve miles from Seattle. He founded, laid out and built up the town of Pontiac, Washington, and was its first postmaster. He was a member of the firm of the Pontiac Brick and Tile Company which did a large business, and their brick was used in many of the public buildings, among others the Denny Hotel Block, the Court House, and the Burke Block at Pontiac, Washington.

In November 1890, while on a visit to Pomona, California, Captain Fox purchased twelve acres of one-year-old orange trees in the Packard Orange Grove tract, from J. E. Packard, and in 1893 came to Pomona to locate permanently, where he has since lived on his orange grove. The place is very productive, is well kept, and is one of the attractive places among many beautiful homes in Pomona.

The marriage of Captain Fox was solemnized in Michigan June 2, 1881, and united him with Miss Arabella W. Kirby, a native of that state. The children born of their union are: Charles Kirby, a civil engineer of Los Angeles; Lillian Buirne, who was secretary of the Red Cross at Pomona during the late war; and William H., a mechanic of Hollywood, California.


The war-time letters of Capt. Charles J.Fox can be found at From Your Affectionate Son.