Knox, John Armoy (1851–1906)

By: Harriet Smither

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1995

John Armoy Knox, journalist, was born on August 10, 1851, at Armoy, County Antrim, Ireland, the son of Thomas and Jane McBride Knox. His father and his uncle owned the Armoy Flax and Grain Mills. He immigrated to the United States in 1871 in search of health and settled in Austin, Texas, where he was a sewing-machine agent and later worked on a newspaper. He married Letitia McDonald in 1875; they at least three children. In 1881, with Alexander E. Sweet, he established Texas Siftings, a humorous paper that began with "Knox and Sweet, proprietors, editors, and sifters" in its masthead. In 1885 the Siftings was moved to New York, where Knox became the manager. He subsequently became editor and manager of the Atlanta Herald, a paper published from 1892 to 1894, and in 1896 he returned to New York, where he contributed humorous articles to several magazines and newspapers. In 1883 Knox criticized D. B. Sheehan, a New York sculptor, for his reflections on local government in Texas, whereupon the gentlemen fought a duel in which neither was injured. In 1900 Knox sought to enjoin the actress Blanche Walsh from starring in a play called Marcel on the ground that he had a copyrighted play of his own by that name. He lost the suit. Knox was the author of All About the Klondike Gold Mines (1897) and A Devil of a Trip; or the Log of the Yacht Champlain (1888). He also collaborated with Sweet to write Sketches from Texas "Siftings" (1882), On a Mexican Mustang through Texas (1883), and Three Dozen Good Stories from Texas Siftings (1887). He died suddenly at his home in New York City on December 18, 1906.

Austin History Center Files. Dictionary of Literary Biography. New York Sun, December 20, 1906. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Journalism
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Humorists
  • Peoples
  • Irish
  • Authors and Writers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Harriet Smither, “Knox, John Armoy,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995