Major Cox turns 50
By Margaret E. Meier de Cox
Throughout history, birthdays have served as
important milestones allowing us to gauge our accomplishments in the
perspective of a whole life. Certain birthdays, such as the half century
mark, take on special significance and provide the opportunity for special
reflection and celebration.
Major Cox of Smuteye crossed the 50 year
threshold recently. With the help of more than 50 friends, he ushered in
his 50th birthday at a whole hog barbecue held at the Cox Plantation on
Saturday, November 10, 1990.
The celebration was held less than 100
yards from the house (recently restored) where Major Cox was born 50 years
ago. He left Smuteye and Alabama at the age of thirteen when
his parents moved to Cincinnati for the better economic opportunities and
better schools available there. His cousins remember the 13-year old
Major vowing to return to Alabama.
The grown Major Cox did return, but not until
thirty years later after traveling and working around the globe. Upon
graduation from high school at 16, he began a career in
the US Army Military Police Corps that included tours in Europe, California,
Alaska, Washington, and Vietnam. He married and raised a son, who gave him
two grandchildren. But throughout these years, whenever his travels brought
him close to home, Major would visit the family in Bullock County and stop
by the old farm which was abandoned and deteriorating.
After retiring from the Army, he settled in
Cincinnati and opened a private detective agency. Private
detective work is as fascinating as the detective programs on TV, except
there are few car chases, fewer guns, and a lot more hard work. Corner Major
Cox some day and you may get him to tell a few tales (with the names changed
to protect the innocent, of course). His detective business took him
all over Europe and the United States. He served as a director
on the board of the World Association of Detectives. His travels as a
director culminated in an extended tour in South Africa and
Zimbabwe (Rhodesia at the time) which included meetings with several heads
In 1980, Major Cox retired from the detective
agency, sold his nightclub and real estate development company, and
moved to Peoria, Illinois with his soon to be wife, Margaret Meier. They
married in 1981, moved to Puerto Rico in 1982, and in 1983, after a visit to
Smuteye, decided to return to Alabama.
Major Cox says, "I've looked all over the
world for a better place to live and haven't found one better than the
United States. Family ties are important and my roots are firmly planted in
Major Cox is committed to Bullock County. He
believes it can be a fine and prosperous county and is determined to help
make it happen.
Since Major's return, he and Margaret have begun the
restoration of the old Cox Plantation. In the beginning, they
lived without running water or electricity and learned to do things the
traditional way. Since then, they have modernized the facilities,
but still preserve traditions, including hosting an annual family reunion
and periodic whole hog barbecues.
Friday night before the celebration, Steve
Coleman and Charles Faniel of Louisville helped the Coxes brave the
threatening rain and cold to barbecue the hog. Saturday, the
weather cleared just before the party began so the guests, many visiting
from out of the county, enjoyed a crisp, sunny afternoon topped off by a
delicious barbecue feast.
Originally Published: November 1990,
Union Springs Facts