The Best Kept Secret in Trumbull County

John Caparanis was our speaker this week and talk out a great presentation!  John is a native of Yorkville, Ohio, graduated from Warren G. Harding in 1963, served in the military during Operation Desert Storm, and worked at WHHH radio for a number of years covering sports.

John started by saying that as visitors enter Warren there are signs that say “Home of …State Champions” but Warren has so much more to be proud of.  Specifically, it was once the home of Major General Jacob Dolson Cox. 

John developed an interest in the General several years ago when he learned just how accomplished the General was while remaining relatively unknown.  Cox was originally from Canada and attended Oberlin College where he obtained two degrees.  He came to Warren and began working in Warren Schools.  His home was located on the site of the present-day Warren-Trumbull County Public Library building.

Cox had six children, two of whom died and were buried in the Pioneer Cemetery behind the Red Cross building on Mahoning Avenue.  He also worked for the local paper for a time.  In 1859, he was elected State Senator and became best friends with James Garfield and David Todd.  In 1861, the Civil War broke out and all three had decisions to make about what to do to support the war effort.  Todd chose to run for Ohio Governor.  Garfield and Cox went into the military even though neither had any military training or experience. 

Cox studied military tactics and ended up having a phenomenal career in the military.  He fought at South Mountain and Antietam, both historically significant battles, with stunning success.  After Antietam, he was named Military Governor of the State of Ohio. 

After the War, he returned home to a family that did not recognize him.  In 1866, he became Governor of Ohio and moved to Columbus.  During his lifetime he served as Secretary of the Interior, State Senator, State Representative, Dean of the University of Cincinnati’s School of Law, President of the University of Cincinnati, and wrote 19 books.  When President Garfield was assassinated, Cox read the eulogy at his funeral.  During the War he attained the rank of Major General, the highest rank of any military members from Trumbull, Mahoning or Ashtabula Counties. 

General Cox is a fascinating subject.  John said that the books he wrote were very easy to read and would be an incredible read for any history buff.