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Fox, George C - Erie County

GEORGE C. FOX, for fifteen years commanding officer of the 74th Regiment, N. G. N. Y., and for more than a quarter of a century a member of the National Guard of the State of New York, has a military record which, measured by the standards of length of service, promotion and soldier like efficiency of conduct, is excelled by that of no National Guardsman in the State.

Gen. Fox was born in Buffalo June 18, 1860, being the son of Christopher G. Fox and Rhoda Potter. He attended Public School No. 1 of Buffalo, the private school of H. C. Williams, and Central High School. On leaving school he entered the employ of Isaac Holloway, a paving contractor, as office assistant, continuing until 1882, when he became connected with the office of Fox & Holloway, a firm consisting of his father, Christopher G. Fox, and Charles W. Holloway, and engaged in dealing in sand, gravel and builders' supplies. In 1889 he was admitted partner, and is still a member of the firm.

In 1876, Mr. Fox joined the Tifft Zouaves. In 1878-79 he was a member of Company D, Buffalo City Guards, serving as a private and later as Corporal. In 1879 he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Company D, 65th Regiment. Afterward he was transferred to Company I, and in 1881 was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company G. In May, 1882, he was commissioned Captain of Company F, of the 74th Regiment, which company he commanded until December 9, 1889, when he was commissioned Major. In April, 1891, Col. U. S. Johnson, then in command of the Regiment, resigned, and on April 13, of that year, Maj. Fox was commissioned Colonel to take his place. Prom that time to the present, Gen. Fox has continued to be the commanding officer of the Regiment. Col. Fox was brevetted a Brigadier General by Governor Odell in December, 1904, the honor being conferred as a reward for twenty-five years' service in the National Guard. On the same occasion he received a solid gold medal awarded by the State for twenty-five years of continuous service. Since Gen. Fox has commanded the 74th, the Regiment has been greatly strengthened and improved. When he was elected Colonel, the Regiment consisted of seven companies with an aggregate strength of 370 men. Later the organization was increased to eight companies, with 451 men. In 1893 the Regiment was divided into two battalions and given an additional Major, Adjutant, Quartermaster, and Surgeon for each battalion, in 1906 another company was added, making nine companies and 670 officers and men, which is the present strength of the organization. As Colonel of the 74th Regiment, Gen. Fox saw active duty during the switchmen's strike of 1892, when the Regiment was called out for fifteen days to preserve order. In 1891, 1893, 1895 and 1897 the Regiment participated in the State Camp held at Peekskill. In September, 1899, it took part in the New York City parade in honor of Admiral Dewey, also going on a tour of field service, and in 1902 it saw field service at Grand Island. It also participated in the mobilization of the Regular Army and the National Guard at Manassas, Va., in 1904, and in 1905 visited Toronto as guest of the Queen's Own Regiment. The 74th is considered one of the finest regimental organizations in the State, and under Gen. Fox has received praise wherever it has appeared. In 1894 an agitation was begun for the erection of a new armory, and in 1895 the State granted an appropriation of 125,000 for the foundations of the building. In 1897 another appropriation of $375,000 was granted to complete the building.

On the 4th of July, 1898, the corner stone of the armory was laid by the Grand Lodge of Masons of the State of New York, the edifice being finished in the fall of 1899. The first official occupation of the building took place January 15, 1900. The armory is a superb structure of brown sandstone, and is one of the handsomest military buildings in the State. The property is valued at $700,000. Gen. Fox was the originator of the plan to build the armory, and more than any other individual, he is entitled to credit for securing for the 74th Eegiment the splendid edifice which is one of Buffalo's chief architectural adornments. Gen. Fox served in 1894 as President of the National Guard Association, and ex-officio is now a member of that organization.

Gen. Fox is a member of Queen City Lodge of Masons, of which he was Master in 1894 and 1895, and District Deputy Grand Master in 1900 and 1901. Since 1896 he has served as Secretary of Keystone Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and he is a member of Keystone Council, Royal and selact Masters; of Hugh de Payens Commandery, Knights Templar, and of the Acacia Club, of which he has for two years acted as Secretary.

November 18, 1891, Gen. Fox married Matilda Inman of Buffalo, daughter of Henry Inman and Mary Summerfield.

SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I