100-year-old historical items mysteriously returned to Kettering Cox mansion

A poster of former Ohio Gov. James M. Cox when he was the Democratic Party nominee for president in 1920 was among the items discovered Wednesday at the gate of Trailsend. CONTRIBUTED
A poster of former Ohio Gov. James M. Cox when he was the Democratic Party nominee for president in 1920 was among the items discovered Wednesday at the gate of Trailsend. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

KETTERING – Historical items dating back more than 100 years that apparently were taken from the former Cox mansion years earlier have been mysteriously returned.

A Montgomery County historical marker, newspapers and political memorabilia dating back to 1920 were found this week at the gate of Trailsend, built in 1916 for then-Ohio Gov. and Dayton Daily News Publisher James Cox, the current owner of the property said.

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Dr. Zakir Khanzada, who owns the property, said he discovered the items sitting unpackaged late Wednesday morning at 3500 Governors Trail.

A poster of former Ohio Gov. James M. Cox when he was the Democratic Party nominee for president in 1920 were among the items discovered Wednesday at the gate of Trailsend. CONTRIBUTED
A poster of former Ohio Gov. James M. Cox when he was the Democratic Party nominee for president in 1920 were among the items discovered Wednesday at the gate of Trailsend. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Khanzada said he wanted to acknowledge the “very unusual” gesture publicly.

“Someone is so nice to drop these things off, which belongs to this building (and) was taken away before when someone emptied the house or something,” he said. “It’s an historic house and these things belong to the house. And I really appreciate that.”

Khanzada said he was told someone driving a truck dropped off the items and left.

He said some of the newspapers were about 100 years old and the memorabilia included posters of Cox when he was the Democratic Party nominee for president in 1920 with Franklin Delano Roosevelt as his running mate.

A Montgomery County historical marker discovered Wednesday at the gate of Trailsend now sits in its yard. CONTRIBUTED
A Montgomery County historical marker discovered Wednesday at the gate of Trailsend now sits in its yard. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Khanzada said the items were apparently taken from the home before he bought it in 2015.

“Someone told me that there was a plaque,” Khanzada said. “I said ‘No. I never had it.’ "

The marker states: “For over forty years, this was the home of James Middleton Cox…After serving as a member of Congress he was elected in 1912 to the first of three terms as governor of Ohio. Cox’s career culminated in 1920 with his nomination as the Democratic Party candidate for president on the United States. He built this home in 1916 on a site he thought to have once been the end of an Indian trail. Because of this and certain her would be living out his life here, Cox gave his home the name Trailsend.”

The French renaissance-style home sits on five acres and has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, two tennis courts, a billiards room and an in-ground swimming pool.

After Cox died in 1957, the property was sold and became a private club from 1958 to 1982. Danis Properties Co. Inc. bought the property in 1986 and renovated it at a cost of $2.5 million.

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Trailsend was built in 1916 for then-Ohio Gov. James M. Cox, publisher of the Dayton Daily News. FILE
Trailsend was built in 1916 for then-Ohio Gov. James M. Cox, publisher of the Dayton Daily News. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

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