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Ford County Historical Society
Dodge City, Kansas

Ida Ellen Cox [Rath]
Dodge City, Kansas

(from Illustriana Kansas, © 1933)

Ida Ellen Cox (Ellen Drinkwater) [Rath], educator and author, was born in Burrton, Kansas, November 10, 1884, daughter of James Henry and Anna Elizabeth (Drinkwater) Poorbaugh. Her father, a farmer, stone mason, and real estate man, was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, October 4, 1840, and died at Hutchinson, May 12, 1928. He was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. He is remembered because of his rare good humor and his love for children, and the tales which he conceived and related to his own children and neighbors' held the youngsters spellbound long past bedtime. He homesteaded land near Burrton.

     Anna Elizabeth Drinkwater was born in Illinois, November, 1852, and died at Hutchinson, December 9, 1917. She was of English descent, and a home maker and church worker. She was descended from William Drinkwater and his wife of Stony Stratford, England, who came to America, purchasing a farm near Carpenter, Iowa, about 80 years ago [c. 1852]. William Drinkwater, father of Anna Elizabeth, was born in North Hamptonshire, England, and came to America in 1850.

     Ida Ellen Poorbaugh received her education in the public schools of Joplin Missouri, Sedgwick and Burrton, Kansas, and attended high school at Burrton. Later she took extension courses from Emporia and Hays State Teachers Colleges.

     From 1912 until 1922, Mrs. Cox lived ten years on a Colorado claim, which she and her husband proved up. Besides a few years spent in Missouri and Colorado, she has resided all of her life in Kansas. She taught a few years in rural schools while her children were attending school. She has been a saleslady for the George L. Shuman & Company of Boston, and occasionally takes an order for the Great Eastern Coffee & Tea Company of St. Louis, because it is a splendid way to study people, an invaluable aid to a writer. her is the author of On Bald Knob's Crest; The Boyhood of Clyde Tombaugh (unpublished as yet); in addition to poems and various trade and feature articles. She is a contributor to the Dodge City Globe (sic) and others.

     Of her marriage to Charles Elmer Cox, on March 22, 1902, there are three children, Emma, born July 6, 1903, who married Clarence Chittenden; John, born December 4, 1904; and Arlie, born September 22, 1908, who married Robert Christopher. Mr. Cox formerly engaged in farming. He is now employed by the Santa Fe Railway. He is of Scotch-English and Dutch descent.

     Mrs. Cox has been president of the Writers Guild of Dodge City since its organization on March 24, 1929. She is a life member of the Kansas Authors Club and is seventh district president at the present time. She is affiliated with the Second Avenue Christian Church. Residence: Dodge City.

(Ford County Historical Society, Inc.)

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