Jacob Dolson Cox - President of Cleveland Twist Drill

10401 Lake Shore Boulevard
Jacob Dolson Cox
Jacob Dolson Cox

Jacob Dolson Cox Jr. was born in Cleveland on November 1, 1881, to Jacob and Ellen Cox. He was raised at the family mansion at 3411 Euclid Avenue. His grandmother was a lineal descendant of Elder William Brewster of the “Mayflower.” Jacob’s grandfather was the 28th Governor of Ohio from 1866 to 1868 and during the years 1869 to 1870, served as Secretary of the Interior under President Grant.

Jacob received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in 1903. Following graduation, he began as a mechanic at Cleveland Twist Drill Company. From 1909 to 1910 he worked for the McFadden Logging Co., Ltd in Vancouver, British Columbia, but his work was often interrupted by poor health.

Returning to Cleveland in 1911 he joined his father at Cleveland Twist Drill Co. becoming third vice-president and director from 1912 to 1919 when he succeeded his father as president and general manager, a position he held until his death.

Cox was interested in relations between management and labor. While president, there was never a work stoppage due to a labor dispute. He introduced many employee benefits that are standard today, including two weeks of vacation (after two years’ service), a share in the company’s profits at Christmas, profit sharing and participation in the company’s investment, pension on retirement at age 65, a sickness and accident fund, payments for suggestions, group life insurance, and promotion from the ranks.

He later wrote a book, "The Economic Basis of Fair Wages." His innovative policies, that also included hiring handicapped persons whenever possible, served as models for similar programs throughout the country.

At age 55, Jacob married Phyllis Graves on November 23, 1937. Phyllis was born on April 12, 1889, and graduated from Radcliffe College. Jacob and Phyllis had no children

Cox was a director of the Cleveland Trust Company, president of the National Metal Trades Association and the Cleveland Engineering Society.

Civic activities included the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, trustee of St. Luke’s Hospital, Lake View Cemetery Association, Western Reserve Historical Society, Young Men’s Christian Association, Fenn College and Case Institute of Technology.

Social memberships included the Chi Psi Club, Phi Beta Kappa, and The Country and University clubs.

Jacob died on February 16, 1953. Phyllis died on August 19, 1965. Both are buried in Lake View Cemetery.