The Cox Plantation Annual Hog Killin' Time Barbecue

 
 
 
 
 1990

Major W. Cox, circa 1970s

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 of state.

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 Smuteye."

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.

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Originally Published: November 1990, Union Springs Facts

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