Warren R. Cox, Headed Sales at Schmitz-Horning Co.

By Janet Dodrill

Warren R. Cox, early 1900s.

Warren R. Cox, early 1900s.

Schmitz-Horning Company, a former well-established Cleveland wall covering firm, 1905-1960, had a dedicated staff which included head salesman, Warren Richard Cox (1880-1960). In 1906 a patent was granted for the printed frieze for walls, and signed by co-owners Hugo M. Schmitz I (my great-grandfather, 1867-1938), artist and lithographer, and William Horning, lithographer, along with Warren R. Cox (http://www.google.com/patents/US830931).

Hugo Max Schmitz married Pauline Maynard Reynolds (“Queen”) in Cleveland in 1902. In 1905 they had a son named Warren Reynolds Schmitz. It is thought that he was named either after Queen’s brother Warren who died in 1897 at age 18 in a tragic hunting accident, or after Warren R. Cox, a close family friend (or both).

Warren was not only salesman at Schmitz-Horning, but on his own he was an inventor. He created the automobile ignition lock (patent approved 1920), an idea which was apparently sparked by Hugo’s stolen Packard (http://www.google.com/patents/US1334292). The lock was later sold to Ford which helped to finance his entrance into radio. Starting as a ham radio operator, he became a pioneer in Ohio and founded its first public radio station, WHK, in 1921. Prior to founding the radio station, he sold batteries and then radios. He learned there was a lack of radio music available for the general public and the station was formed to create something to play on his radios, which in those days involved live music and entertainment on site. He carried patents for a variety of items.

Warren Cox’s son Wilson married Margaret Elanor Hale, and artist. Her mother, Margaret Zeller Hale (widow of Alcazar Hotel builder George W. Hale) was on a weekend drive with Hugo and Queen Schmitz and died in an automobile crash in 1938 along with Hugo.

Hugo Schmitz and son Warren Schmitz, Wilson Cox (Warren Cox’s son), Hugo’s wife Queen Schmitz, and Elsie Cox enjoy an outing in nature.

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Schmitz and Cox families.

Hugo Schmitz I and son Warren Schmitz, Wilson Cox (Warren Cox’s son), Hugo’s wife Queen Schmitz, and Elsie Cox enjoy an outing in nature. (Photograph possibly taken by Warren Cox.)

 

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