October 1847 – June 25 1932
Julius H. Fox was born in Steuben county, Indiana, on the 23d day of October, 1846, the son of Joel A. and Sarah G. (Barry) Fox, the former of whom was a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Vermont. He was reared and educated in his native county and at the age of eighteen years he enlisted in the Eleventh Regiment of Michigan Volunteer Infantry. This was near the close of the war, but he saw some active service in the south before the end of the struggle. In 1868 Mr. Fox was married, in Sturgis, Michigan, to Miss Emma Moore, the daughter of Dr. Lovern Lee Moore.
The family came to California in 1873, traveling by railroad on an emigrant train which required ten days to make the run from Chicago to Los Angeles, where they bought one hundred and thirty acres of land, which now is the corner of Seventh and Olive streets, for thirty two hundred dollars. But their funds failed to arrive from the east in time for them to make the final payment when due, and they lost the land. However, they had brought with them five hundred portable bath tubs, which they sold a good profit and thus they were provided with funds with which to make a new start.
Julius Fox took up a soldier’s homestead and filed a preemption claim1 on a piece of land between Traver and Dinuba, in Tulare county, and gave his attention to the farming of this land. Later the family moved to the spot where Lemoore now stands and in 1877, in connection with Dr. L. L. Moore, the father bought one hundred and sixty acres near by and Julius Fox’s father in law, Dr. L. Lee Moore, bought one hundred and sixty acres on the present site of the city. Mr. Fox was the owner of two valuable and highly improved ranches, of eighty and one hundred and forty acres respectively. In 1924 he sold twenty one acres, the site of the new Lemoore Union high school, for twenty one thousand dollars. For twenty two years Mr. Fox was a member of the leading mercantile firm in Lemoore, he and B. K. Sweetland forming the well known firm of Fox & Sweetland. They sold their business in 1906.
Mr. Fox has taken an active part in practically all local public movements and has been honored in various ways. He was an alternate delegate to the Republican National convention at Chicago which nominated Theodore Roosevelt for the presidency; was a member of the board of supervisors of Tulare county in 1890, and became chairman of the first board of supervisors of Kings county after the organization of the county in 1893; is a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Lemoore; and was formerly a director of the Kings River Ditch Company. He was a member of the school board of Lemoore at the time of the construction of the first modern school building erected here.
Julius and Emma have a son, Lynn, who is an accomplished musician and successful violin teacher. Mrs. Lynn Fox is a popular teacher in the Lemoore schools. Mr. Fox was a charter member of the Lemoore Masonic lodge and there is but one other surviving charter member. He is a past master of his lodge. He is also a charter member of the Masonic Club of San Francisco. He was one of the founders of Union Post, Grand Army of the Republic, in Lemoore.
- Preemption was a term used in the nineteenth century to refer to a settler’s right to purchase public land at a federally set minimum price; it was a right of first refusal.