Single Woman Homesteader
Leona Dixon Cox was known throughout northern California and Nevada as a homesteading pioneer, subject of articles and television interviews.
From 1902 until her death in 1999, Mrs. Cox spent her life observing nature in all its glory and caprice. The homesteading process she details in her book took place during the Great Depression of the 1930s in the precipitous mountains of western Sonoma County.
Mrs. Cox constructed her home and outbuildings of timber felled on her 640 acres. She built roads, hunted all the game needed for herself and her ailing father, who grew produce to supplement the game. Leona emerged a few years later as an independent rancher, all with an outlay of $5. She eventually ranched 1000 acres.
She formed a musical group carried an accordion to the Saturday night country-dances of her period. She married, at age 69, John Cox, her widowed friend and neighbor.
"We turned the Depression around," says Leona Cox, "and we had a good time doing it." Her campfire and classroom storytelling enthralled listeners for well over half a century.