Cox, Murray Dean (1880-1905)

Transcription of Obituary in the Christian Messenger

Murray Dean Cox was born at White Cross Green, near Murcott, in the Oxford Circuit, May 15th, 1880. He was the son of godly parents. His father, Mr. Thomas Cox, has rendered signal service on the Oxford Circuit as a local preacher and in other ways for over forty years. Their home may be truly called a “preachers’ home.” From childhood Dean was imbued with a docile and loving spirit, and cheerfully rendered obedience to the wishes of his parents. The sweetness and purity of his childhood, the zeal of his later years were accentuated when at fifteen years of age (1895) he made a glad and willing surrender of himself to “Christ and the Church.’ His was one of the cases, all too rare, of cherished piety from birth. It seemed a joyous thing to accompany his father to the services. Still, the conscious need of personal and definite acceptance of Christ as his Saviour, Lord, and King came to him, and he responded to the call of the Spirit. He at once joined Murcott Society. Attending prayer meetings, he would kneel by his father’s side, and with great readiness exercise in prayer. His sphere of usefulness for some years seemed to be in assisting village churches of all denominations at their anniversaries. His strong love of music, the possession of a god voice, and his ability to play varied instruments, made him a great force at services of song, Temperance meetings, and school anniversaries. Some three years ago a few young men (Baptist, Wesleyan and Congregational) resolved to do some evangelistic work. Missions were arranged in the surrounding villages. The Gospel in song and talks to the people about salvation were the order of the services. Sometimes long distances were covered amid inclement weather. A number of people were brought to the Lord. Dean Cox was the recognized leader in these missions. The writer urged upon him to accept the larger service of a local preacher, and in April, 1903, his name appeared on the Oxford Circuit plan. He at once found favour with the people. His visits were eagerly awaited, and his services sought for special occasions.

On Monday, October 2nd, he attended a Harvest Festival meeting at Murcott. Next day a neighbouring farmer requested him to go out for some shooting, during which exercise he was accidently shot, and picked up dead. As soon as the news spread, a great gloom was cast over the neighbourhood. It was not an exaggeration to say that the decease of no other person in the locality would have produced a more profound feeling of regret for the tragic experience. Sympathy for the parents and family came from all parts and all classes of people. The internment took place on the Friday following his decease at the Oddington parish church burial ground. An immense company assembled, including local preachers of the Oxford Circuit. The principal officials and members of the Baptist, Wesleyan and Congregational churches of the locality, as well as school children were present. The intelligence of the event had not reached the distant parts of the Circuit, or the company of mourners would have been very much increased. The passionately fond mother was too distracted to attend. A large number of beautiful wreaths covered the coffin. The service was conducted by the present minister of the Circuit, Rev T.N.Holtby. The Rev. John Leach, having spent the last three years on the Circuit, and having been closely and affectionately associated with our young friend, was invited to take a part, as was also the Rev. Mr. Barker, a Congregationalist.

JOHN LEACH.

Family and other information

Dean’s parents were Thomas Cox and Margaret Clara Copas. Thomas was a farmer and Dean worked on the family farm.

References

Christian Messenger 1906/223

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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