September 24, 1999
(Editor's Note: Here's the final portion of a letter written by Perry pioneer John Knox to friends gathering here in 1948 for the annual Cherokee Strip run anniversary. Mr. Knox at that time lived in Santa Ana, California. When he was not quite 20 years old, he made the run with his father, Bethuel Knox, and soon entered business in this prairie village. John Knox moved to California in 1918 but returned here frequently for the September 16 celebration. Here's the end of the letter.)
My wife, Mollie, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Reed of Perry. From our marriage there appeared in due time six little Knoxes -- Alpha, Edith, Doris, Murril, John and Joseph. In 1918 we moved to Santa Ana, California, where we have remained during the past 30 years. I first engaged in partnership with J.H. Stout in the selling of Ford automobiles, followed by a few years in the real estate business as partners. In 1933 I engaged in the hardware business in partnership with Mr. Stout and in 1939 I purchased Mr. Stout's interest. At that time I took in my sons, John and Joseph, as partners. We have enjoyed our relationship in the hardware business and I am in hopes that the boys will be able to continue for many, many years in the future.
During our time in California each of the children have married. All have one or more children of their own and I have eleven grandchildren -- six boys and five girls. Mrs. Knox and I enjoyed our 50th wedding anniversary last spring with many, many newly made friends in this part of the country. However, it seems strange that few come into our lives as did so many of those old friends that we made during our residence in Oklahoma. Included in this list of old friends are members of the Otoe tribe.
I could continue this almost indefinitely, connecting the many experiences that have taken place between me and those to whom this communication is addressed. However, there is one other matter to which I wish to make reference, and that is the last public act I helped to perform before moving to California. This was the help I gave in carrying the bonds for the present Noble county courthouse as it now stands on the square. This was done under the direction of the former postmaster, Charles Watson, as chairman of the fine committee of the public-spirited men of Perry. The cost of the courthouse was approximately $100,000. I have seen buildings of similar structure since, no doubt costing as much as $500,000. However, they are no more substantial than the one in Perry.
Blanche Hanson and her husband, John, gave a going away party for me in their home. An excellent party it was, and I was the recipient of a fine watch. The watch is still in good condition but I do not use it because of its value to me. It is in my vault to be handed down to my children when I no longer need the use of same.
(Editor's Note: Mr. Knox concluded with salutations to his friends in Perry. We thought this letter gave many interesting views on the early days after the 1893 land run. A copy also has been furnished to the Cherokee Strip Museum here to be added to their collection. We're indebted to Jo Wollard Garten, now of Ponca City but originally from Perry, for bringing this document to our attention.)