(1906 – 1993)
Lillian Cox was born in Columbus, Mississippi, on May 29, 1906. Born and raised on a farm in rural Mississippi, Lillian realized early an ambition to “go on to college and learn how to teach.” And that she did. Miss Cox attended Mississippi State College and graduated in 1926 with a B.A. in home economics.
Lillian Cox was born with a love for teaching and a sympathetic understanding for the struggling boy or girl trying to acquire higher education. She held several teaching positions in Alabama high schools — Hamilton, Columbiana, Sulligent, and Auburn — and although she loved working with young ladies as their vocational home economics teacher, she decided to apply to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service for a position, hoping co-work with rural farm families. She was successful in gaining the pose of home demonstration agent in Randolph County in June 1933. In 1935, she was given the position of home demonstration agent in Henry County. She held positions in that county for 31 years, until her retirement on May 31, 1966.
The years 1935 to 1966 were happy ones for her. Through her efforts, many lives were improved. Extension programs and projects were presented to hundreds of rural families by this dedicated worker. She met the citizens of Henry County more than halfway and taught them the fine art of good homemaking in their projects, which included food preservation, house planning, home furnishings, child care, family life, poultry, gardens, clothing, handicrafts, health, safety, and 4-H clubs. She was praised for her willingness and interest in helping people.
In 1958, Miss Cox was selected by her peers in the National Home Demonstration Agents Association to receive the Distinguished Service Award. All those who knew her and worked with her were enriched by the wealth of knowledge, the generous spirit, and devotion she always exhibited.
May 18, 1966, was declared “Lillian Cox Day” for the city of Abbeville, because of their “heartfelt appreciation to her for her dedication, work and example in making our area a better, more beautiful, more enlightened area, and a better place in which to live.”
In tribute to her accomplishments, the name Lillian Cox is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 354