Thomas Elliott Knox, mayor and postmaster of Livermore, was born in Huron county, Canada, on the 13th of March, 1855, his parents being Thomas and Catherine (Young) Knox, the former born in Buffalo, New York, while the latter was a native of Canada. The father died in the year 1873, but the mother is still living and yet makes her home in her native country.
Thomas E. Knox pursued his education in the schools of Canada and at the age of fifteen years he left home, going to Michigan, where he secured employment in the lumber woods. After engaging in scaling timber two years he made his way to Lake Superior, Michigan, where he worked for a time at brick work and at plastering. The year 1875 witnessed his arrival in California. He was then a young man of twenty years, and he made his way from San Francisco to Santa Barbara and the following year came to Oakland. Here he followed his trade for a time, and subsequently removed to Berkeley, Alameda county, California, where he remained until 1878, and during that period assisted in the organization of the town, which at that time contained only about two hundred voters. This was during the period of the Kearney excitement, and Mr. Knox organized what became known as the Workingmen's party, and, although in no way connected with the Kearney principles, placed a ticket in the field and was instrumental in electing the whole ticket. In 1879 he was elected town marshal and held that position for two terms, being the second incumbent in the office in Berkeley. In 1880 he purchased one hundred and fifty acres of land near Livermore and established what is known as the Berkeley colony. He was here engaged in the conduct of a vineyard for ten years, and when that decade had passed he took up his abode in the town of Livermore and has since been very active in its political circles. He first entered the assessor's office as an employe, doing field work in the district known as Murray township. he was thus employed for eight years, a part of the time being under Tom Molloy, the first county assessor, and a part of the time under Robert Leckey, the present chief deputy recorder. On his retirement from the position he began contracting and building, and has since been identified with industrial interests in this locality. He has taken and executed the contracts for considerable bridge work in the county, and at present is associated with Mr. Bradshaw as contractors in the construction of the new Livermore opera house.
Mr. Knox, however, has never put aside his active and helpful interest in political affairs, and is a stanch Republican in his views. He hs been to many of the county conventions of his party, and his opinions carry weight in its councils. He was elected a trustee of Livermore in 1899, and has continously served in that capacity for more than four years, being chairman or mayor of the city during 1902-3. In April, 1903, he was appointed by President Roosevelt to the position of postmaster at Livermore and has since acted in that capacity. His official service is always faithfully and promptly performed, and he is as loyal to the welfare of his community as he is to his private business interests, whereby he is acquiring a comfortable competence for his family. In his social relations he is connected with the Independent Order of Foresters.
In October, 1881, Mr. Knox was united in marriage to Miss Amy Squires, a native of England and a daughter of John Squires, the former treasurer of Berkeley, California. Her brother-in-law is now secretary of the harbor commission. To Mr. and Mrs. Knox have been born two sons and a daughter: Arthur, who is assisting his father; Elliott, who is now in school; and Mattie, a student in the high school of Livermore.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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