13. Knox Road

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    Thompson Alexander (T.A.) Knox came to Arizona with John Dobson, a long time friendfrom Burritt's Rapids, Ontario, Canada in 1896. John's older brother had come several years earlier, and the two men worked for him on his farm upon their arrival in the area. The men decided to make their homes here. They both returned to Canada in1900 to marry. Alex and his bride Martha Jameswere married in Merrickville, Ontario March 27, 1900, and they returned to Arizona the same year. Their home was a tent house that they moved to several locations before eventually buying land at what is now Guadalupe and Dobson Roads. They lived in the tent house for seventeen years. They were blessed with a family which included a daughter Eva Bell who lived only two months, a second daughter Anna Florence, and sons Orval Alexander, John Stanley, and Kenneth Wendell. In 1917 they bought land north of Chandler, where they farmed. Their first home was on what is now called Knox Road just east of Arizona Avenue.

    Knox2.jpgA little background on Thompson Alexander Knox, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His father had died of consumption when he was ten leaving his mother, who was a seamstress who made shirts, to support the family. She worked at home throughout the days and nights, with Alex delivering finished shirts to the factory and bringing unfinished shirts home. There were five children in the family, an older brother and sister who also worked, and two younger sisters. His mother became sick with consumption and was very frightened about what would happen to her children when she died, because orphaned children usually did not survive in the extreme poverty. The family minister told her of an orphanage which had been built near Glasgow called Quarrier's Homes. She did not want the family separated, but finally signed the papers for Alex, Anna, and Jessie to enter the home upon her death. They were taken to Quarrier's on April 29, 1885.Knox3.jpg

    The Knox children lived in the Scottish home for a year. Alex was then sent by ship to a home in Brockville, Canada in 1886 at the age 13, and his sister Anna arrived one month later. After some time he was taken to live on the farm of the Norton Percival family who lived in Burritt's Rapids, where he was a chore boy, worked on the farm, and attended school a few months of the year. He worked there for ten years. The Percival family were cousins of the Dobsons, thus the relationship with John Dobson began which ultimately led the young men to come to Arizona together.

    Alex died in 1921 in Arizona of Typhoid Fever. Martha raised her children, operating the farm with the older boys, who attended school and worked on the farm. In 1929 she purchased the Fuller farm on the west side of Arizona Avenue and moved to a large brown shingle house which was a landmark in Chandler until it burned down in 1977. All of her children graduated with honors from Chandler High School with Florence, Orval, and Kenneth graduating from the University of Arizona where they were accomplished students. Martha Knox died in her home on November 20, 1963.

    Julia Hansen Knox, the wife of Stanley, after graduating from Chandler High School, worked as a secretary to Dr. Chandler at his Chandler Improvement Company. She often told the story that Dr. Chandler asked her how she would name additional streets as the town was growing. She helped name streets in the town as it grew during the 1920s.

    The Knox family has been around for a very long time. Most of the farmers who had land and started from scratch like the Knox family had a street named after them. Julia Knox was quoted to say "I have lived here in Chandler for 66 years and have seen it grow from a small town with a population of 8 or 900 to today's population of 57,000--1985." They love the city of Chandler and are very excited to see it prosper. All the different aspects of this paper show the different ways that the Knox family grew with the city.

    By Melinda Jackson & Daniel Madrigal

     

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