In an article published by ESTHER SANDERSON, THOMAS H. TROXEL was described as a “walking encyclopedia.”
THOMAS H. TROXEL, one of the very few Scott Countians to attend both American and foreign universities, was born April 29, 1893. He was the son of the Rev. J. B. TROXEL and LOUISA CALDWELL [Caddell, see death certificate] TROXEL. She was the first woman to graduate from what is now Cumberland College at Williamsburg, Ky. She came into the area west of Pine Knot, Ky., to teach and immediately got married to a young ox driver, BURKLE [Burkie, see death certificate] TROXEL, whom she persistently coached until he received a technical degree, Doctor of Optometry.
The TROXELs trace their ancestry back to Hebrews of Asia Minor. PETER TROXEL was born in Switzerland in 1691. Peter, his wife and two small sons came to America on the ship SAMUEL and disembarked in Philadelphia August 17, 1733. A grandson, JACOB TROXEL, born in 1758, enlisted in WASHINGTON’s Colonial Army at the age of 16, and after four years of military service, he hit the pioneer trail westward as a trader to the Indians in the Cumberland wilderness, reaching this area during the winter of 1779. He was known as “Big JAKE” by the Indians and traders. At the age of 21 he made love to the beautiful and vivacious Princess Cornblossom, daughter of Chief CHU’QUALITAGUE. They had a son known as Little JAKE, the notorious half-breed, who became chief of all the Cumberland River and Plateau Indians at the age of 21. According to TOM’s story, he raised hell all over the plateau regions until about 1807, when he and his tribesmen accepted amnesty and Little JAKE handed over to the law his scalping blade with nine notches on the handle.
Coming to Monticello, Ky. was a beautiful, petite, aristocratic young lady school teacher, JANE SHARP. A dashing young cavalryman, PETER TROXEL, stationed at the garrison in Monticello, Ky. fell desperately in love with Miss JANE. THOMAS visited his grandmother, JANE, in Monticello where she lived out her life.
THOMAS married MILDRED WALKER, daughter of WILLIAM WALKER of Huntsville, in 1932. They are the parents of four children. THOMAS H. TROXEL, Jr. recently retired from the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area park service; MARY and her husband, IRBY WRIGHT, live in Texas; JANE and her husband, HORTON PLUMLEE, live in Etowah, Tn.; and VAN PETER lives at the old Troxel home place in Coopertown.
Mr. TROXEL was the best known authority on Indian history in Scott County. This came from constant research and travel. His book, Legion of the Lost Mine, published in the 1950s, tells of the coming of the first settlers and their dealings with the Indians and of a fabulous silver mine owned and operated by the Indians. The book is out of print and is high on the list of collector’s items.
THOMAS TROXEL served a term in the late 1920s in the Kentucky Legislature and after World War II remained in France as a cultural exchange student and learned to speak and read French. Besides his work as an historian, Mr. TROXEL is well remembered as the county surveyor, a position he took in 1955 and held for several years.
THOMAS H. TROXEL died on January 16, 1972 and
MILDRED TROXEL died November 25,1993. They are buried in the Hazel Valley Memorial Cemetery. We are far better for having known these fine folk for they were truly outstanding influences as local historian and long-time educator in our county.
Chronicle; Vol 6, No 4 – Summer 1995
First National Bank
P.O. Box 4699
Oneida, TN 37841
The following information was not part of the original FNB Chronicle article. Vicki Harness Almour, a great-niece of Thomas Troxel, provides:
We last corresponded in February about the FNB Chronicle article (Vol 6, No 4, Summer 1995) about my Great Uncle Harlan Troxel. I have confirmed with relatives that he was a WWI veteran and that during that war (WWI) and shortly after that was the only time he was in France. This was confirmed by his son T. H. "Jack" Troxel, Jr. and his niece Betty Rose Reed Hood who has retired in or near Onieda and runs a bed and breakfast there.
It is further confirmed by the family genealogy book, Troxel(l) Trails and Tales, by Richard M. Troxel, published by Gateway Press, 1977, 1997, Baltimore. On pages 223 - 224, it states that "Thomas enlisted as a private, on Aug. 7, 1918, at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. He was made Sergeant on 21 June 1918, and continued as Sergeant until Oct. 1918. He was in battles at Meuse-Argonne Off., Oct. 27, 1918 and Nov. 1918. He received no wounds, he was single, and his character was marked as excellent."
Pension claim No. C-268756, Nashville. Thomas H. Troxel, MORS, 6th div. He was appointed sergeant of ordinance June 21, 1918. Thomas H. Troxel 1867933, private 6th MORS, US Army, enlisted at age 24 1/2 years and occupation was machinist. Brown eyes, dark brown hair, ruddy complexion, 5 ft 10 inches tall. discharged 7-29-19. Above this is written Sergeons Certificate of Disability."
Vicki Harness Almour, Texas
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