Early Pioneer Life in Manti

as lived and told by the children of Frederick Walter Cox

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


Father's last writing was 1 June 1879 from Manti, a letter to his sister Mary Elizabeth Cox Whiting in Arizona:
"Mary, I thought I would write a letter for you to look at; but do not feel like writing. If I were there I could talk better, surely. Your letter came alright. Was glad to see it; and I hope Vest has sobered down by this time; if not tell him for me to settle his nerves and stay; where God worked for him so powerfully and raised him to life and health for He might not be found in every place on earth. So much for Vest.
I often think of you and the boys and wonder how you are getting along and you surely have my best wishes for your welfare. Now understand me it is not the dollars and cents that I am thinking of, but the work of God. The dollars will come when necessary, no fear for them; but to keep the spirit of this work in our hearts; that is the all important for every man and woman on this earth. Never give it up; for nothing can ever be made substitute. Jesus died and there is no other to die for us. So round up your shoulders and let your firmness be to the death. So shall you find comfort and satisfaction in this life and eternal reward in the future.
(This is all to the boys) Just buried Father Shoemaker. He never took $1.00 to bear expenses but full of the spirit of the Gospel to the last.
God bless you forever, F.W. Cox, Sr."


The numerous hosts of the Cox-Whiting families met on the vacant lots of the northwest corner in Fairview, Tuesday, 20 July 1898. All ages were represented, from the grey-haired veteran of four score to the import of a few months.

Hearty greetings and handshaking followed the meeting of the kindred long separated. Wagons were unpacked, tents were pitched, fires were built, and campfire life soon hummed. The evening was spent in the pavilion visiting and dancing.

Wednesday, 21 July, the descendants of Frederick Walter Cox gave a program. The sudden and dangerous illness of W.A. Cox caused gloom in the camp and interfered with some parts of the program, but toward evening, he changed for the better and brought happiness to the family.

THE PROGRAM: Prayer: G.E. Snow.
An original poem by Howard Driggs.
A kindergarten song--Little Tots, sung by the children of F.W. Cox, a song he taught them in their youth.
Sketch of the life of F. W. Cox by his wife, Cordelia.
Reminiscences of childhood by Rosalia Driggs.

Song by Mrs. Bertha Crawford, Cordelia Anderson, Miss Alice Reid and Alice Snow.
"Betsey and I are Bushted Oup", Dutch relations by Fred Keller.
"Goblins" and "Seeing Things at Night" Maud Driggs.
A Greek Drill by the young ladies--very graceful.
Two soul thrilling dramas, "Frog Hollow Lyceum" and "Yankee Peddler" by the younger generation.

An original song by Ezra Christiansen for the occasion to the tune of "Oh My Father", sung by the young ladies.

Present: Family of F.W. Cox 171, of Edwin Whiting 120, of Orville Cox 77. Total 368. Absent 274. Grand total 642.

Though the above reunion was a long time ago, I well remember going to Fairview in a covered wagon. It was quite a hustle and bustle getting ready for the journey because it was a full day's drive, and we had to get an early start. Our whole family went except father, who was too busy as water master and could not leave for the length of time required. Our anticipation of the trip was all excitement and joy. Mother had her hands full - and more too - getting all of us ready. But she succeeded so well that on the way there, while talking of the utensils that might be necessary, she realized she had forgotten to bring along any knives and forks. We were too far to go back, so we decided to buy those implements at Mt. Pleasant. That trip and the glorious time we had there was and still is one of the big events of my life. The children were turned loose for full three days, and our feet and hands were always busy with something to amuse us. I wish we could repeat a similar occurrence now.
F.M. Alder 8 Mar 1924

In 1901 we met at the home of Lucia Tuttle.

20 Jan 1902 about 75 young and old gathered at the home of Mr. & Mrs. George Crawford, in memory of the birth of F.W. Cox. Mrs. Cordelia Cox read some sketches of the leading events of the family. Children and grandchildren present were 244. Alice Reid sang for the crowd. Calista Crawford presented a birthday cake with 90 candles. Sixty seven were lighted for his life years, 23 were not lighted for the years he has been gone. Emily Tuttle invited us to meet at her home next year.

20 Jan 1903. We have met here tonight in memory of Father F.W. Cox, trusting that nothing will mar our peace, asking God to bless us that our hearts may be glad and our union sweet as we greet the dear faces of brothers and sisters and children, and to his life let our memory be centered. This is our fourth gathering. You have followed the inclinations of your hearts. If you have done the best you could to be useful, have improved your time in well doing, you need have no regrets.

If Frederick Walter Cox were alive tonight, he would be 92 years old. His children can remember his council, his walk, and conversation tonight. Think of him as you saw him in life--the songs he used to sing, the flute he played when you would dance. Let memory take you back to the pleasant moonlight evenings when you would sit on the old stone steps leading into the hall of the Big House.

COX-WHITING FAMILY REUNION July 31, Aug 1,2, 1907. 300 present.

The descendants of the Cox-Whiting Families are holding another grand family reunion at the City Park in Manti this week. The relatives of the 3 families come from different parts of the country and are camped here to do honor to their fathers and to get acquainted. They are of old Mormon stock that settled in Manti at an early date. They have become quite numerous. Many of them have made their homes in surrounding states as well as in Utah. They have done much toward developing the country in agriculture, horticulture, and stock-raising pursuits. In all of which they have been successful. They were pioneers in every sense of the word, doing much in the development of the country from its original sterile state.

Grandfather Cox (F.W. Cox) was a peace-maker and did much toward peace with the hostile Indians. His policy was to feed and nurse them, and he frequently exposed himself, often against the protests of his neighbors. His convictions of right, consciousness of duty and faith in work impelled him in all the vicissitudes that were incident to the early settlement of the country. His example has left a lasting remembrance with his kindred and household. His patience and forbearance and gentleness of character all combined to make him a grand man, and are left as a heritage to his numerous posterity.

Father Cox was the husband of 6 wives, who bore him 16 sons and 22 daughters. His children were his joy, his pride, his wealth. The mothers of his children acted well their part in training and educating their children. The present generation has no conception of the sacrifices made by them and the toil they had to endure in their days of the spinning wheel and the loom.