Sylvester Hulet Cox

Contents of this history:

The Wedding

by Emeline Cox Jewkes

The latter part of November 1880, Father, Mother, his sister, Amanda and Horten Tuttle, and three other couples (one of each couple was one of the Coxís) went by team from Manti to St. George to be married. They were married on 2 Dec 1880. [I.G.I. lists it as Dec. 1, 1880] A goldsmith in St. George fashioned from a $5.00 gold piece, rings for Mother and Aunt Amanda. When he sent them to Mother the one they all liked best had Motherís name attached to it. So Mother kept it. She said she thought the goldsmith knew she was the first girl [Mary Ellen Parry] born in St. George and knew her during the sixteen years she lived there. She felt the goldsmith thought she was somewhat special so he sent the best ring to her. When she died her ring finger shaped up somehow so the ring could not be removed. It was left on as mother wanted it to be.

(As told by Fred Reid, whose mother was Sylvesterís sister, Harriet.)

Uncle Ed Cox (Sylvesterís brother) and Sylvester Cox and his new bride, Mary Ellen Parry, Hen Reid, and Charlie Moffitt left Manti in February of 1881 to come to Castle Valley. Hen Reid drove a pair of oxen, Jack and Bolly, belonging to John Reid, and a team of horses besides. Uncle Ed had two teams. Sylvester had one or two teams. They were seventeen days making the trip. It was three days before they arrived in Meadow Gulch in Salina Canyon. They spent another day before they reached the summit because there was deep snow. They kept to the ridges pretty well, where the snow had been blown off. Evidently, they drifted quite a bit south of the regular road. At last, the second night on the summit, they came to a place where they thought they could get off the ridges. They were really stranded right there.

They finally decided they would go right off the edge of a heavy ledge (covered with what they thought was scrub quaking aspen). They had bucked so much snow their horses refused to face the snow any longer. They wouldnít go through a drift so they used the two little teams of oxen. They had already worked them three days before they came to this ridge, so by that time the shoulders of the oxen were raw. The hide was worn off from the brisket and they hated to get out and pull in the snow. Sylvester and Ed thought of a way of overcoming this.

They had an old cowhide in one outfit; they cut it in two and fashioned some cowhide collars, which they fastened to the yoke on the oxen, so that they could push against the rawhide instead of against their shoulders.

They camped three nights in the one place just away from the top of the mountain. They finally decided they would have to remove the box of one wagon and make a sleigh. They put two dry quaky logs under the box. The snow had softened a little during the day and they succeeded in getting about a mile down the drift. They would take turns driving the oxen. The oxen soon got so good at it that when they said "Gee", they would swing to the left, and when they said "Haw" they would swing to the right. That way they took the weight of the snow with their breasts and didnít go down into the snow at all with their hind legs. Uncle Ed said, "I hope it freezes tonight, good and hard, and we can get the outfits down." Sure enough, they had a cold night and they were able to pull the outfits down to where they had the wagon box. There they set up a new camp, still in plain sight of the previous nightís camp.

From there down they went a little smoother and faster. They had to break snow through the drifts but it wasnít so heavy. They still encountered a lot of oak brush and it was slow traveling. In the middle of the morning, they got all the outfits organized so they could run as a traveling outfit.

Then they met two surveyors coming back from Castle Valley. They informed Hen that they better go back. They said, "You canít go through." Hen said, "Hell, weíve got to go through. We are going on." Two days after this they reached the Quitchempah. Here they practically got out of the snow and made good progress.

After the tenth day they made fairly good progress. They crossed the Muddy River and came back onto where the present highway is. Then they went to Molen where they stopped one night. The next day they went to Wilsonville. The following day they made it to Orangeville.

When they arrived here, Sylvester and Mary had no home. They lived in a wagon box until they built their log house. Hen let him have one 40 of his ground Ė the 40 acres right over the Blue Ridge.

He built their sawed log house right where the old home stands today. It has one window in the front and the front room was about 16í by 18í. It had boards over the top and they plastered it with mud. It had a shanty kitchen in the rear. Their first baby was born there in the fall.

The men went back over the road to Manti the following summer to see what route they had actually covered. They thought it would be easy to find because of all the scrub aspens they had chopped down. They searched and searched the ridges and couldnít find anything but tall quakes. The finally discovered they had come right over the tips of these, and could see where they had topped the trees. The snow had been so deep they had gone right through the tops of them; they had gone over snow 35 to 40 feet deep.


by Emeline Cox Jewkes

Birth: 15 Sep 1857 - Manti, Sanpete, Utah
Married: 1 Dec 1880 to Mary Ellen Parry in the St. George Temple, Utah.
Death: 9 Nov 1935 - Price, Carbon, Utah
Father: Frederick Walter Cox
Mother: Sally Emeline Whiting

My Father, Sylvester Hulet Cox, moved to Orangeville from Manti with his wife and mother in February 1881. There was a lot of snow which made traveling very difficult. Sometimes the men would have to go before the horses to break trail.

On the first of September, my mother moved from Aunt Hattie Reids, just across the street, into her little log hut before the roof was on. She gave birth to her first son on 1 Sept 1881. He lived only a few hours.

Father had a few sheep and herded sheep for a number of years.

Father, along with Uncle Ed Cox and Grandfather, Alma Gardner Jewkes, marked off the cemetery for Orangeville. They used old Fanny Jack (a sorrel horse which was used as a saddle horse, too) and old Darcus. Father held the bits, Uncle Ed the plow, and Grandfather stood as marker. [Note: Emeline refers to Alma Gardner Jewkes (Sr.) as "grandfather" throughout her writings. He was her father-in-law and grandfather to her children.]

Father, Grandfather Jewkes, and Hyrum Taylor were chosen as high councilors under Pres. C. G. Larsen 4 Mar 1884, and held that position until Ruben G. Miller was made Stake President.

Mother and he loved and raised beautiful flowers and gardens. No weeds grew on their lot. He always taught that his yard must be clean, free from weeds and unsightly things, just as his life should be free from bad habits and sin. One of fatherís sayings was, "Please be decent and if you canít be all decent, be half decent, or at least just as decent as you can."

Father was called to go to the Northern States on a mission in the year 1898. Louis Kelch was President of the mission at that time. He accepted even though Vet [Sylvester Hugh Cox] was only sixteen and Hallie was four months old with the other six children in between. I feel that leaving to accept that call shows what great faith my parents had in their Maker. Mother worked hard to be able to earn twelve dollars to send Father each month.

Father was the first ward clerk in the Orangeville Ward under Bishop Jasper Robertson. He was ward clerk until Uncle Henry M. Reid was made Bishop and appointed his son, Fred, as clerk.

My Father possessed talents and they were used for the benefit of the various communities in which he lived. He evidenced a love for music in youth and was active, although merely as an avocation, in either choir or band work from his early manhood to his middle age. He was a member of the first band in Orangeville, playing the bass horn. He was a member of the ward choir from its beginning up until his death. As a young man he was a member of the Orangeville Dramatic Association and he assisted in community dramatics wherever he lived. He was among the first ones to take parts in the first theaters put on and was in them for a good many years or up until the pioneerís children became old enough to take over.

After the supper work was done, we would gather around the fireplace most every evening. Father would sing song after song and teach us some. Mother would have some of the children get either a pan of apples, pop corn, or make honey candy to enjoy. Sometimes Father would rake the coal through the grate onto onions and we would enjoy roasted onions. I have never tasted onions as good as those Father roasted.

Father loved his home. He believed in the fireside, in the happiness of little children, and the Gospel that builds happy, peaceful homes without which the deepest longings of the heart can not be satisfied. His home was the center of his affections, a refuge from the noise of the world, a place to rest, relax and enjoy. Underlying was an impregnable honesty.

He was a religious man. An every day kind of religion. Oft he quoted these sentiments: "Iíd rather see a sermon than hear one any day. Iíd rather one would walk with me than merely point the way." (Edgar A. Guest.)

Father was not over pious, but his religion penetrated his thinking and motivated his actions. He had an unshakeable faith in the Redeemer of the World, in the officiating of prayer, in the restoration of the Plan of Salvation and its power to save all who obey itís precepts, in the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of all who have succeeded him in the presidency of the Church.

Father was one of the number who heard the heavenly chorus sing at the Manti Temple dedication on 20 May 1888. Varied interests plus a Church mission served in the late years of his life kept him a happy man to the very end. Fatherís love for literature influenced his children greatly. Of sweet memory are those evenings in which our family listened to his low and mellow voice. Mother would be sewing or embroidering while Father read aloud . . . scriptures, poetry, prose, and stories. Although too young to understand at times, I was intrigued by the rhythmic beauty of Fatherís voice.

Fatherís understanding of gospel doctrine was enlarged by extensive reading of scripture, commentary, and related theological works. One particular passage of scripture seemed fundamental to his religious beliefs for I remember his using it often. It is familiar scripture and concerns obedience to laws upon which all blessings are predicated. I can hear him now saying, "If we want the blessing, we must abide the law." I donít recall my father ever speaking ill of any person, express malice or any degree of envy.

Grandfather Jewkes said he doesnít think a man ever lived that was better or more thoughtful of his children or his wife than was Father. He said some could have been as good but certainly none any better.

Fatherís complete honesty was another outstanding characteristic. Iím sure I have never known any one more honest than he. It was not merely an honesty in dealing with his neighbor, it was an honesty in his dealings with God as well. Pretense in any form seemed to have no place in either his thought or action. It was his firm belief that success in life has nothing to do with honors of men, but that a manís belief, how he lives, and serves, and the extent to which he overcomes personal weaknesses is the only measure of accomplishment. In this humble and brief tribute to my father, in which I mention only a few of the qualities he had, I speak for all who knew and loved him. The example of his life to his family is an inheritance of high ideals, and good name.

(Retyped by Karen Maria Jewkes Barker, great granddaughter of Sylvester Hulet and Mary Parry Cox, June 2000. Some punctuation was corrected.)
(Minor corrections made August 2001 by Tammy Rae Cox Thomson, a second great granddaughter of Sylvester Hulet & Mary Ellen Parry and entered into the computer.)
(This book of histories was prepared for the Alma Gardner Jewkes, Jr. reunion of 2003 by Sharon Jewkes. Minor corrections were made. Sharon found that Sylvester's birthday is listed as 15 Feb 1857 and 15 Sep 1857 in the I.G.I. Emeline lists it as 15 Sep 1857 and also it states that date in his obituary. That is the date that Sharon used.)

by Emeline Cox Jewkes

[The following are several additional memories that were recorded in Emelineís Book of Remembrance about her father.]

In Fatherís granary he had placed a tanning tree. I guess you would call it that. Anyway he had a part of a tree with three limbs shaped as desired so he could put a cow hide or deer hide on the top of it with a seat of the larger part and used his drawing knife to tan the hides or remove the hair from the hides. He knew just how to prepare them. Then he cut strips at the width he wanted and braided quirts [a riding whip with a short handle], bull whips, or black whips and hackamores [a type of bridle] for his and his families use. He also often sold them to whoever wanted to buy them. At one time he bought a set of harnesses from cousin Luther Tuttle of Manti and made whips and quirts to pay for them. He had to first braid what he called the belly. He had a smooth stick shaped like a baton, larger at the top and tapering to a point, and about 15 inches long. He braided over this to have it hollow so that he could fill it full of shot or B-Bs. Then he would braid over this to make the quirts and whips.

Father told that at one time while home from herding sheep, that he was asked to administer to a young child. He felt he wasn't worthy to ask the Lord for a blessing as he had not been living right. So he told whoever ask for him to come, to leave and if he could he would be there as soon as he felt he could. He went before the Lord and told of the way he had used coffee while with the sheep; therefore, he didn't feel worthy to ask the Lord to bless anyone, but if the Lord would forgive him of his wrong, he would promise never to touch coffee again. He felt he should go and bless the child. Iimmediately the little one was blessed and was soon well. Father never tasted coffee again. He seemed to carry such a soothing peaceful feeling into a sick room or where ever and when ever he went. He was often called to the bedside of the sick.

Father was also quite a comedian and poet, a very good story teller and singer. He seemed to never tire entertaining us children. Some of the songs he used to sing to us were: Sweet Bunch of Daisies, Two Little Girls in Blue, Goodbye Nellie Gray, Coming Through the Rye, Grandfathers' Chair is Vacant, Grandfathers' Clock, Star of the East, When There's Love at Home, Some Time We'll Understand, Hurrah, He Captured, We've Conquered at Last, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord, and, oh, so many more.

One of our favorites was "Sister Molly's Grecian Bend". Father learned this one while on his mission. He would go through all the motions as he sang it to us. He would grab a pillow and hold it to his back for the Grecian Bend or Crook . (Bustle)


(1.) Oh, my sister Molly went to town A week or two to spend,
And while she was there She got the Grecian Bend.
She got it awful bad
And oh, dear me, how she did look And what a hump she had.

(Chorus) Oh, dear me, how funny My sister Molly looked
As she went running around With the Grecian Crook.
Oh, Daddy thought her back was broke And Mammy thought so, too,
And we all went running around over end And didn't know what to do.

(2.) Oh, Daddy ran for the doctor like A race horse on the track,
And Mammy poured the camphor All over Molly's back.
While I stood on the floor And turned end over end
Laughing at my sister, Molly, And her Grecian Crook or Bend.
(Repeat Chorus)

(3.) Oh, when Daddy found out what it was, He was awful mad.
He soon cured the Grecian Bend With a hickory gad.
The next time Molly goes to town A week or two to spend,
She'll come back Without her Grecian Bend.
(Repeat Chorus)

Father was always ready with his donations to the church and missionaries. He worked as a carpenter on the old Social Hall and also on the new meeting house in Orangeville. Sometimes when he knew a friend couldn't pay his priesthood dues, he would pay it for him. Saying if and when he can, he will pay me back, and if he can't it doesn't matter. He always spoke kindly of everyone. My brother Bernard was just that way, too. If he heard any of his brothers or sisters saying unkind things, he would always hush them up some way and make us wish we hadn't said it.

Some of Fatherís Sunday School class members have said they could have listened to him for hours and never thought of time. He had such a wonderful voice.


In the year 1889 or there about, Sylvester and his brother, Edwin M. Cox, accepted a contract from the Emery County Commissioners to build a road through Straight Canyon from Orangeville to Lower Joeís Valley . . . a road that a ton of coal could be hauled over, both up there and back, when it was completed. If that could be done they were to receive 1,000 dollars.

They put chains, crowbars, picks, shovels, wedges, pitchforks, and scrapers on the wagon, hooked their faithful animals to it, and started out. It was a tough undertaking. They would make fires on and around the large boulders and then throw cold water over them which caused the rock to crack. Then they would fasten their iron chains where the boulders had cracked, hook the horses to the chains and have them move them inch by inch with the help of the crowbars. (The chains, I'm sure, were what Father gathered in Green River after the Johnston Army had passed through. An old Indian went to Frederick Walter Cox and told him of all the wagons and things that the army left. Father, with brother William Arthur, went and gathered what they could and I'm sure the chains were a part of what they brought home.) I guess they didn't have dynamite at that time.

That road took you across the creek 19 or 23 times when they had it completed. At one place it went by or under a very large, long rock called the "hanging rock". Sometimes rocks were washed near this hanging rock which made the wagon swing first to one side and then the other. It seemed at times as if the wagon would be thrown over either against that terrible rock or tipped over into the creek. At certain times of the year, there would be a good sized stream of water which made you wonder if you would ever make it through. But it was wonderful to have a road over the mountain instead of going around by Salina. The dugways and fills were timbered to hold the dirt and rocks. When traveling to Manti over this road, all who could was put out of the wagons to walk up the steep hills.

The teamster walked by the side of the horses to drive them and let them stop to rest on the heavy pulls. Those walking would sit on the rocks of the fills and sometimes, if they happened to look close, they would see snakes heads coming up through the cracks of the rocks. So naturally they would move quickly.

I remember once, quite a group was on the way to Manti and Uncle Ed was walking with the kids. When we were becoming weary and wandering, he stopped by the edge of the dugway and called, "Hi there, Bruin, what are you doing down there?" The way he hollered, every kid hurried to Uncle Ed. Some were so scared they couldn't speak and I tell you my hair felt like it was standing straight in the air. I got as close to Uncle Ed as I could and finally asked if there was a bear down there. "Did you see one?" I said. I think that got the attention of all the kids and they stayed pretty close for a while.

Uncle Ed and Father hooked Uncle Ed Cox's team to the wagon and hauled the ton of coal up and back when they finished that road. They received their 1,000 dollars, but it took all of that and perhaps more to build the road Ė that crooked road through Straight Canyon. All they really got out of it was the realization that they had completed the road as agreed. (The only way "Straight Canyon" is straight, is to stand at one end and look to the other end.)

- Ends Long, Active Career in State, Church -

Sylvester Hulet Cox, 78 year old Utah pioneer and prominent Church worker, died at his home in Price, Utah, 9 Nov 1935 of complications incident to age. Born at Manti, Sanpete, Utah, 15 Sep 1857.

Mr. Cox was the son of sturdy pioneer parents, and was a beloved and active personality in the community in which he lived. He was married to Mary Ellen Parry in the St. George Temple just prior to moving to Emery County in 1881. Mr. Coxís church work attracted the attention of Church Authorities and in 1883 he was ordained a High Counselor by Francis M. Lyman. He held the positions of Superintendent of Sunday School and the M.I.A. at several different times. In 1899 he was called to missionary duty in the Northern States Mission Field.

Mr. Cox engineered the road between Orangeville, Utah, and Ephriam, Utah, and diligently labored for the expansion of the community. Several years after the death of his first wife, Mr. Cox married Lillian Stewart in the Salt Lake Temple in the fall of 1916.

Children surviving by Mr. Coxís first wife are: Sylvester H., Bernard and Hallie Cox, all of Orangeville, Utah; Emeline Jewkes and Mary Parry Moffitt (Maysie) both of Castle Dale; Elbert Cox of Richfield; Edward Cox of Manti; and Hattie McArthur of Salt Lake City. The following brothers and sisters also survive: Hattie Cox Reid, Orangeville; Lucinda Cox Tuttle, Manti; Francis Morley Cox, Manti; Levina Van Buren, Orangeville; Charles Cox, Manti; Arletta Cox Tuttle, Alameda, Calif.; Evelyn Cox Hardy, Salt Lake City, Thirty-seven grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren also survive.

[This was taken from a typed copy found in Emelineís "Book of Remembrance".]

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