Tillamook County local James Royal Fox Jr., former owner of Fox Grocery & Firearms in Beaver, has written his first book in a planned series about his family and American history. “The Secrets of Benjamin Fox” is an expansive compilation of genealogical information set against a backdrop of pre-colonial discovery and settlement in the New World, to the birth of Benjamin Fox in 1772. Assumed to be the son of William Fox and his wife Mary, recent DNA discoveries have proven he was not their biological son. The book details the life of Benjamin Fox, his son and grandson.
“When I started this, it was supposed to be one book and it blew up into over 1,000 pages,” Fox said. “ I ended up having to cut it into three different books.”
Fox said when he starts a project about genealogy and history, he just starts writing and tells the story. Fox is following his paternal line down to see what impact each ancestor had on each generation.
“I don't know how many books it will be,” Fox said. “I assume probably be a total of 5-6.”
Since selling Fox Grocery & Firearms, Fox has turned genealogy into a full time job. The store had been in his family since 1974. Fox bought it in 1989. In 1992, he changed the name from Fox Grocery to Fox Grocery & Firearms. He sold the store in 2017.
“Honestly, I couldn't wait to get out of there so I could concentrate on genealogy,” Fox said. “That was really a hobby I enjoyed.”
In the book, sources and the most recent DNA developments are combined to give a history of the family and the secret life of Benjamin Fox. Fox hopes the book will touch enough people that information and relics will come up. He created the website to not only promote the series, but create a platform for information to be shared.
Fox said when he was setting up the publishing, it was important to him that it ended up in the Library of Congress because there is no account of the story.
“It’s a very personal, strong reason why these books need to be written before I’m gone,” Fox said.
At this time, Fox is keeping that reason to himself.
Fox continues to look into new information and relics. He hopes to track down a letter with specifics of his family going on the Oregon Trail. He is constantly sending off emails, especially when it is raining, working about 15 hours a day.
“I really enjoy the discovery of things,” Fox said.
Fox said this is a unique book that makes a bold story of the history of his ancestors. In the book, people see how fathers impact their sons. Fox covers religion and the politics of creating a nation.
“The Secrets of Benjamin Fox” is now available online on Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Barnes & Noble, among other online bookstores. It is also available on booklocker.com and americanfoxtales.com. Fox said he will be receiving copies of the book in the next week or so and will go to local bookstores to see if they are interested.
There will be a book launch at Beaver Firearms & Grocery and a book signing at The Rusty Cow at a later date. Tillamook County Pioneer Museum will also host a book signing in the future.
For more information on the “American Fox Tales” series, visit http://americanfoxtales.com/