Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Nan K. Markland

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

Eldon Lemoine Knox, born in Ottawa, Kansas, March 24, 1889, came to Coleman County to live with his Aunt Nora, wife of Dr. Willis V. Chapin, a dentist. Dr. Chapin encouraged Eldon to study dentistry; he entered Northwestern University in Chicago, Dental Department, in 1909, and graduated in June 1911.  He returned to Coleman to practice dentistry with Dr. Chapin in an office over Bunk’s Store, presently called the Trading Post.  In 1914, Dr. Chapin traded for a farm near Hereford, and left Dr. Knox his practice and a large debt.  There were five dentists in Coleman at that time, Dr. Knox was the sixth, but the first with electrically powered equipment.  During the summers, home from Northwestern, Dr. met and dated Miss Weida Morris.  They marnied June 3, 1914, and had one son, Eldon Morris, born December 1, 1915, in Coleman (see Eldon Morris Knox).

Dr. and Weida moved to Dallas, where Dr. Knox practiced dentistry for 21 years, returning to Coleman in 1937 to operate Knox Ranch, 17 miles north of Coleman.  They built a ranch home, dedicated to J. P. Morris, in honor of his 88th birthday, January 12, 1937.  Dr. and Weida lived on the ranch some 32 years, until Weida’s death June 17, 1969.  Dr. married Doris V. Mossbacher of Kansas City, November 8, 1969, and they stayed on the ranch until Dr. died November 13, 1974.  Both Dr. and Weida are buried in Coleman.  Doris Knox still lives in Coleman and is active in the Episcopal Church.

During his years in Dallas, Dr. Knox served as president of the Dallas County Dental Society and was one of four dentists who organized the Baylor Dental School in Dallas.  He was a noted nationwide speaker at dental conventions and clinics, teaching operative dentistry and seminars on using gold foil, a lost art.  He created a student loan fund at Baylor Dental School and aided several Coleman students in their desires to become dentists or dental hygienists.

Dr. and Weida were active in many organizations; Dr. was a director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, a 33rd degree Mason and Shriner, and a Rotarian to name a few.  Weida and Dr. were both Presbyterians, serving as elder and trustee for numerous years.  They both were avid hunters, and loved to fish.

Nannie Weida Morris, fifth child of J. P. and Martha Miranda (Pinchem) Morris, was born October 14, 1892, in Coleman (see J. P. Morris).  When Weida’s mother died, Weida lived with her sister, Mrs. J. A. B. Miller, until her father married Mrs. Betty (Robins) Lindsey.  She was a tomboy, throwing rocks at the wagons and horses as they drove down the street.  Weida graduated from Coleman High School and Kidd Key Conservatory in Denton, with a Bachelor of Literature in 1912.  Weida was a remarkable woman in that she worked on the ranch right along with the men, enduring adverse weather conditions and primitive facilities.  She was a stalwart woman, providing comfort to friends in distress, aiding disadvantaged rural children in achieving their educational goals, always giving of herself.

(Images to be added)

Weida Morris Knox

Dr. E. L. Knox

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This page last updated March 4, 2006
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