Early Pioneer Life in Manti

as lived and told by the children of Frederick Walter Cox

  1. Prologue
  2. Getting There
  3. Fort Manti
  4. Mission
  5. Pioneer Skills
  6. The Big House
  7. Epilogue
Edited by Carl Cox, June 2007

Much of this history was written by Emerette Cox Clark, daughter of Cordelia Morley Cox. We have no date of writing. She included much of the poem, Ritter Bann in her story.

Verona Blackham Balle, great great granddaughter of Frederick Walter and Cordelia Calista Morley Cox, was not aware of the above information - it was on another copy that I (Carl Cox) received.

Verona's comments, made 4 Feb 1997, are interestng:
It is most unfortunate that there are no names listed as author or authors of this history. Was Lavina, eldest daughter of F.W. & Cordelia, one of these? The author speaks of "mama" or "mama's", while she speaks of the other wives as "aunt". Not only do we owe a debt of gratitude to Frederick Walter and Cordelia, but to those who were authors.

One other note is given, as all of the children of Frederick Walter are listed. Speaking of the youngest child of F.W. and Cordelia, Evelyn Amelia Cox: she is the only living child of Frederick Walter as of this date, 20 Apr 1961.


FREDERICK WALTER COX, son of Jonathan Upham Cox and Lucinda Blood was born 20 Jan 1812 in Plymouth, Chenango County, New York. He was the third son, and one of twelve children. In manhood he was of more than medium height and weight, with brown hair and blue eyes. He had a mild and kindly disposition, was never hasty, but seemed to look at things from every point of view to be sure that he was right. And then, woe to the evil-doer, for they usually felt sorely punished when he was through with them. With a loving disposition, he was a universal father. Everyone desired his companionship.

He lived his life on the frontiers, at first where the way had to be cut through heavily timbered states. The people grew to dislike those towering monarchs of the forest which caused such arduous labor to remove. Only a small clearing could be made at one time--one for the cabin and a second nearby for a corral for the animals. Living trees were left for posts. The huge overhanging branches served as shade from the sun in summer and shelter from the cold winds in winter. These trees were also used by the wild beasts, especially by the panther and wildcat. One of the animals pounced upon the shoulders of a girl who was milking a cow. With great grit she reached up, and by the hide of his neck pulled him to the ground, then placing her knees upon him she called for help.

Frederick was baptized by Thomas B. Marsh in 1834 in Ohio. Converted to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he took his lot with the Saints, first in Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri. When driven from there, he made his home in the Morley Settlement near Lima, Illinois. After their homes, stacks, and property were burned by a mob, he moved to Nauvoo.

Frederick married Sally Emeline Whiting 6 Sep 1835 in Nelson, Ohio. Emeline was sealed to Frederick 27 Jan 1846. She had 4 children by this time. Also sealed to Frederick the same day were Cordelia Calista Morley and Jemima Losee. No man could have tried more than he did to live up to the high standard it takes to live that kind of life.

Frederick and his family left Nauvoo 28 May 1846 as they started West with the saints. They spent one year in Mt. Pisgah, then went on to Silver Creek, Iowa. Even though they had been driven from place to place, they had thus far been able to stay together.

At Mt. Pisgah they built log houses, planted gardens, and made themselves as comfortable as possible. Then came the deadly malaria fever. There were not enough well ones to hand a drink of water to the sick. Aunt Jemima was housekeeper, mother, nurse, and all. The disease came and went at pleasure, until those who lived looked like walking ghosts and were almost helpless. Aunt Jemima escaped the chills, but carried the burden of all the rest of the family. She had a young babe and a sick boy as well much of the way. She was just a young girl, but uncomplainingly did everything in her power for the sick. Aunt Emeline was very low and unconscious. She did not know that her little ones were being snatched away by death, nor that Aunt Jemima was working night and day fighting to save her and the children, nor how the stricken father tried with faith and works to save his loved ones. Failing in this, with what anguish of heart he made their coffins, shrouded their bodies, and laid them away.

While in Silver Creek in 1851 Frederick was arrested, tried, and sentenced for practicing plural marriage. His sentence was--one wife or leave the country! Many did desert their helpless, homeless women, but he said, "I will never desert these girls, so help me God!" In order to keep peace and to gain time, as he was making his own wagons to go West, he moved Cordelia and Jemima and their babies into a stable in the next county. These two women suffered from fear, cold, and loneliness, but were comforted by a "strange woman" who came in their hour of need.

Getting There