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Anna (McKnight) Fox


Anna Hester (McKnight) Fox was born on Sept. 10, 1873, the daughter of Arthur A. and Elizabeth Jane (McGovern) McKnight.

The name of her first husband is not yet known.

At the age of 24, in about 1898 before her second marriage, she gave birth to a son, whom she named Thomas McKnight.

On Sept. 17, 1902, at the age of 29, Anna married 25-year-old Joseph Fox (1877-1941), a native of England, and the son of Joseph "Thomas" and Sarah Ann (Pratton) Fox. It was her second marriage, and his first. The ceremony was formed by Rev. William E. Rambo at Brownsville, Fayette County.

At the time of marriage, Joseph was employed as a bar tender. He emigrated to the United States in 1883, when he was age six, and eventually became naturalized as an American citizen.

When the federal census was taken in 1910, Anna and Joseph and son Thomas made their home in Brownsville, Fayette County. Joseph's occupation that year was listed as coal miner. Anna's 62-year-old mother lived under their roof, with the father living elsewhere. Their dwelling was along Albany Road.


Bird's-eye view of Brownsville, early 1900s


Tragically, Anna was stricken with a goiter, and she underwent surgery at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Complications set in, and her heart and lungs went into failure. She could not recover and died on Sept. 7, 1917, just a few days before her 44th birthday. She was laid to rest in Canonsburg, PA.

As a widower, Joseph may have moved back into the Brownsville home of his widowed mother and single brothers Harry (age 44) and George (29) and married sister and brother in law Anna and J.C. Groomes. They are shown together on the 1920 federal census. 

Joseph married again, to Bertha Bolte ( ? - ? ), and in 1921 relocated to Westover, near Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV. They made their home at 80 Gans Avenue.

The census-taker of 1930 listed his occupation there as "weighman" in a "coal mine." 

Joseph died of an embolism at home one day after his 64th birthday, on Nov. 26, 1941.His remains were returned to Canonsburg for interment in the Oak Spring Cemetery. 

Bertha's fate is unknown, but evidence suggests that she did not remain in West Virginia.


~ Son Thomas McKnight Fox ~

Son Thomas McKnight (1898- ? ) was born in about 1898.

He may have taken the "Fox" surname.

Thomas is said to have lived in Reading, Berks County, PA and to have been "a good artist."


Copyright 2000, 2010, 2013-2014, 2019 Mark A. Miner