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Cox, Painter, and Adams Family Papers

Identifier: AppMs-0763

Scope and Contents

The Cox-Painter-Adams Family Papers consist of the surviving personal, business, and family papers of Thad A. Cox, his wife, Pearle Painter Cox, and their descendants, the Elizabeth “Betty” and Griffin Adams, Sr., family. The papers cover a variety of formats and subject matter. The collection includes personal and business correspondence, legal records including wills and estate executions, personal business and law firm financial ledgers and documents, publications, and miscellaneous printed matter. There are cancelled checks and other banking records, as well as property conveyances, contracts, and leases. Because of Thad Cox’s early work as a tax attorney and receiver, as well as the building and furnishing of The Oaks Estate (the Cox residence in Johnson City), the collection includes many sales receipts and communications from late nineteenth and early twentieth century merchants. The collection also includes newspaper and magazine clippings, scrapbooks, diaries, photographs and photograph albums, and postcards related to family travels. The papers date from 1867 to 2005, with most of the material dating from 1910 to 1963. In addition to personal and family matters, the collection covers such topics as Johnson City and Washington County history and business and political activity, Tennessee and national politics, East Tennessee legal practice during the first half of the 20th century, World War II, banking, real estate investment, dog breeding, and the management of a mansion and estate, among other subjects.

In addition to the correspondence and records of Thad Cox and Pearle Cox and those of the extended Adams, Matthews, and Painter families, the collection also includes correspondence and records of Judge Cox’s longtime secretary, Carrie M. Pace. Not only did Mrs. Pace handle most of the Judge’s correspondence, but she was also very active in Democratic Party politics, kennel clubs, and businesswomen’s societies, and held offices in multiple organizations during the first half of the twentieth century.


  • Creation: 1867 - 2005

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


24.00 linear feet (Including 630 photographs, 7 photograph albums, 16 negatives, 68 postcards, 1 45-rpm. record)

1.00 folder(s)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in six series, as follows: Series 1, Correspondence, 1889-1988 and undated; Series 2, Family Business and Financial Records, 1867-1975 and undated; Series 3, Cox, et. al. Law Practice Records, 1893-1951 and undated; Series 4, Subject Files, 1896-2005 and undated; Series 5, Memorabilia and Scrapbooks, 1896-2004 and undated; and Series 6, Photographs, Postcards, and Photograph Albums, 1906-1970 and undated.

Method of Acquisition

The Cox-Painter-Adams Family Papers were donated to the Archives of Appalachia on June 29, 2007 by Griffin Adams, Jr., and his wife, Dallas Adams, Johnson City, Tenn.

Processing Information

Michele Tollie and Ned Irwin completed processing the collection in October 2008.

Michele Tollie and Ned Irwin
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

PO Box 70295
344 J.L. Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City TN 37614 USA