TILLAMOOK, Ore. – The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum will be hosting a book signing of local author, James Royal Fox, Jr.’s latest publication, Ephraim Fox: An Oregon Pioneer Story, on August 26, 2023 from 1:00-5:00pm.
The book, the third installment in a series of family history chronicles on the Fox family, focuses on the author’s third great-grandfather, Ephraim Fox, upon his arrival in what was then Oregon Territory in late 1852. The narrative follows his experiences striving to raise a family in the tumultuous, rapidly changing natural and social environment of the soon-to-be and then newly created state. He participated in the Rogue River War, witnessed the arrival of industrialization and tens of thousands of emigrants to the Willamette Valley, and fought to protect his family’s good name in the face of mass social change.
The first book in the series is focused on Ephraim’s grandfather, Benjamin, who grew up amid the first decades of the United States’ existence. The second book details Ephraim’s journey from his origins in Kentucky, to Missouri, and across the Oregon Trail.
These books are the culmination of a massive journey of discovery for the author.
“When documents led me to believe Ephraim Fox was my 3rd great grandfather, I was initially skeptical due to the heroic actions made by the man and the historically significant events he found himself involved in,” said Fox. “By the time DNA proved I was his grandson, I was determined to tell his story. That goal became exponentially more important when research led me to realize I was the last living male from the family Ephraim established in Oregon.”
The book signing event, held at the Pioneer Museum, will commence with Mr. Fox giving a talk about the development of the book and series, and doing a reading from Ephraim Fox. Afterwards, he will be available for further discussion of the book, and to sign copies. All three books in the series will be available for purchase at the museum. Admission to the event is free, and light refreshments will be provided.
“Ephraim Fox’s story is like so many early American settlers in the Oregon Territory, but not many of them have descendants who are such thoroughly determined researchers as Mr. Fox,” says Tillamook County Pioneer Museum director, Peyton Tracy. “He’s really gone the extra mile to provide that additional context, to add that emotional nuance, to give a clear picture of what his ancestors may have experienced in a unique moment in history.”
James R. Fox, better known as Jimmy, was born and raised in south Tillamook County. He owned and operated Fox Grocery & Firearms in Beaver for 32 years before retiring and dedicating himself to genealogical research. Diagnosed with osteo genesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, as a child, he is a double amputee with a history of winning wheelchair races. In 1987 he rolled a racing wheelchair from Portland to New York City in a bid to raise money and awareness for genetic diseases. He has a number of additional books planned or in the works.
About the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum
Founded in 1935 by Tillamook Oregon pioneers, the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum offers 19 display areas that focus on the history of the North Oregon Coast. The museum’s mission is to preserve and interpret the Cultural Heritage of the North Oregon Coast and to foster appreciation and respect of the North Oregon Coast’s environment. The current collection includes 55,000 items and 20,000 photographs ranging from prehistoric specimens to modern-day. The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm. The research library can be used by the public by appointment only.