I, Therissa E. Clark, was born March 24, 1849, Silver Creek, Pottawattomie County, Iowa, at a time when the Mormon people were being mobbed and driven from place to place, & had no permanent home anywhere. My father, Frederick Walter Cox, son of Jonathan Upham and Lucinda Blood Cox, was born 20 Jan 1812, in Plymouth, New York. My mother, Cordelia Calista Morley Cox was born 28 Nov 1823, Geauga County, Ohio. Father joined the Mormon Church in Ohio, where he was baptized in 1834 by Thomas B. Marsh. He joined the Saints in Missouri. My mother was baptized in Missouri in January 1832 by her father, who cut the ice to perform the ceremony.

I was born in a little hut with a quilt hung up for a door and no glass in the window, but exposure did neither mother or babe any harm. I seemed to thrive on this treatment, and still another sister was born under like circumstances. Sarah Ann was born 10 Apr 1851 in Silver Creek. From Silver Creek we went to Kanesville.

Much of sorrow and trouble was our lot. Our father was arrested and the court decided he might live there (Silver Creek) with one wife only, so mother and Aunt Jemima were put into a wagon with their five little children on a cold January day and taken into another county, but no home could be found. Finally, after searching everywhere, an old log stable was found which would provide a shelter. Father took up the floor, scraped the boards, cleaned and put them back. He made two pole bunks in the corners, cut a little wood, and left us to get along as best we could. No acquaintance, no one to protect us, advise, or shield us in any way. Aunt Jemima and mother were called spiritual wives, avoided and shunned by people. Occasionally a traveler would ask them to do their washing. One man came back for a five dollar gold piece he had forgotten and had left it in his shirt pocket. They thought he wanted to add thieves to their many names, but they searched where the shirt had been hung and found it. Father was expected to be back and look after their wants. He was working to make wagons to outfit the family to come to Utah. Fear filled their hearts and they felt that they were forsaken. Still they prayed that help might reach them in time. A testimony was theirs for all time that God would provide for those who keep his laws and strive to do his will.

On 29 Feb, they had scarcely got into their beds when there was a knock at the door. Mother asked who was there, and a woman's voice answered. She gladly opened the door with a gasp of relief, for she had fully realized that Aunt Jemima was striving to lessen her anxiety as much as possible by keeping her pains to herself. How relieved they both were, for the lady seemed to know conditions and just what was needed and what to do. She was fully prepared to care for mother and child. Before the morning dawned, our dear sister, Esther, was born and mother and child tucked safely in bed. Poor mother's (Cordelia) anxiousness was over and she relieved herself with a good cry. Then the lady was gone & they were left to wonder at the goodness and mercy of God, for they had never seen the lady before and never saw her after that night.

Esther was born 29 Feb 1852. Aunt Emeline's Emily Amelia was born 8 Aug 1852 at Platte River crossing.

On 5 June 1852, we started for Utah. I well remember the parting from aunts, uncles, and cousins when we were leaving for the West. How tiresome were the long days shut up in the wagons. The journey was one long nightmare of fear, especially of the Indians. What a reassurance it was to hear the night watchman as he circled the wagon train and called the hours. "Nine o'clock & all is well, ten o' clock & all is well." To know that some one was awake and on the watch was comforting.

On 29 Sep 1852, we reached Salt Lake City, but the family of my mother's father, Isaac Morley, Orville Cox, father's brother, were all located in Manti. We arrived 4 Oct 1852 in Manti. We lived that first winter in a little log cabin. The next year we moved into what was called the Little Stone Fort, and here we lived nine years. All childhood memories are clustered around this place. I can almost hear the roar of the rushing waters of City Creek as they came roaring against the corner of the Fort. We dared not try to dip a bucket of water, for its force would tear the vessel from our hands and would be lost in the raging torrent. This is in the time of high water before it was divided for irrigation. Along its banks where the stores and business houses are now located was a wild rock place growing with sage brush, scrubby cedar, and the best of wild flowers of every kind and color. How we chased after and enjoyed them. Soon the city blocks were laid out, fences put up, gardens grew, and peace and happiness were with us to enjoy. All this was appreciated after the drivings and sad experiences of our homes in the East.

Seven years of hard work, and in 1861 our new home was ready, and we moved into it. How we enjoyed it after living in such close quarters. Now we had room for work or play, and we did both to our hearts content. There was one large room, where in summer, we arranged the spinning wheels along side by side. Here we made our home ring with song and laughter. I remember how I had to climb on a chair to put the band on the wheel when I first started to spin. When the harvest was on, we went with father in the field, and no head of wheat was left to go to waste there. Even after we were older we would take an empty sack & our lunch, and when we returned at night fall, we would have all the oats we could carry. We would store them away, and when the threshing was done, they were put through the machine. Sometimes we felt quite rich, for grain brought a good price in these days. When winter time came, this room that I have written about was our school room. Our singing schools were held here, also spelling schools, night schools, dancing schools, and the best dances. It was free, all free--the room and all these pleasures.

I was but fourteen when first I began having a partner and was soon keeping company with Mr. Clark. I was the youngest of four grown daughters, and there were as many sons. So between the beaus and the brothers, I did not lack for pleasures. The house would often be filled and running over, and so the street would be utilized, and we played all sorts of games. When winter came, at first we each took our sled and enjoyed riding down the hill in the moonlight. Later when young men came, we enjoyed the bells, the buffalo robes, and the moonlight.

On one occasion there was a sleighing party. We started in the afternoon and went as far as Mt. Pleasant. Ezra Shoemaker, Abby Tuttle, Mr. Clark and I were in one sleigh. I scarcely remember who was in the other sleigh. We reached Mt. Pleasant in time for the theatre, then went to the home of Billie Barton and stayed overnight. The next day we started for Fairview. The wind was blowing and drifting with deep snow. Soon we had lost the road entirely. We were all mixed up with the fences, and soon the sleigh and its occupants had to be lifted and carried over fences and bad places. It was late when we reached Fairview. The boys made us promise that we would not tell how they had lost their way and had driven way up into the canyon. It made our boys feel better when they learned others did even worse than they did. We had a good time dancing, feasting, and visiting. The boys provided and put up the lunch. I only remember that we had canned peaches and a pocket knife to eat them with. Well, it was all fun, even though we had to turn to the sun to keep our fingers from freezing. That was the last time that I saw Grandpa Morley alive.

For four years Mr. Clark came to the house, and though I was young, I became attached to him. Where I had father, mother, brothers, sisters and home, and all that went to make a happy home and life, he had none of these, and these circumstances made me turn to him in sympathy. He had gone with other girls without serious intentions. Years before he was passing my home with a companion, he said to him, "That is the girl that I am going to have for my own." So, he came with a purpose and a will to get what he wanted. In every way he could be, he was the purposeful lover. He had a large black horse that carried him through these mountains and all through the Black Hawk War. He would come riding up to the steps of the Big House, and soon we were cantering away through the town or fields. Once when father took the four of us older girls to Salt Lake City, Mr. Clark made it convenient to go also. He came to where we were staying and took me to his sister Charlotte's home and to the Salt Lake Theatre. That was Oct. 1866, and on the first of December 1866, there were five couples that left Manti on their wedding tour to be married in the Salt Lake Endowment House. William and Lavina were among them. When mother was asked why I didn't go, she said that she could not think of letting two of her girls leave her at the same time. She would say, "Besides, Emerett is so young." She surely did need me, for our youngest sister, Evelyn, was born 8 Dec 1866, andI was glad to be of some help to mother. Six months later, on 1 May 1867, I was married at home, and lived there until the next December or January when we moved into the one little room that Mr. Clark had built during the summer.

I had taught a little school to pay for my wedding outfit, dress and linens for bed and table. Except for the woolens I had earned, I made everything, and Mr. Clark (Papa, she calls him) had earned all that he possessed. So we appreciated what we did have. There was nothing in the way of furniture to be bought, so my father made three chairs and a bed. My husband hired John Wilson to make us a table, and with the old ironware his mother brought across the plains we did our cooking. Dishwashing, sewing, knitting, crocheting, tatting, spinning, weaving, coloring, and all that goes to make up the life of a woman I had learned all these things and they had been as play of childhood.

The first years of our lives had been years of care, for the Indians were on the war path, and danger and death seemed to stare at us all. All able bodied men were put into the service. Women cannot share in the activities or in the glory of brave, stirring deeds done in time of war. Their lot is to be left behind, watching and waiting with fear tearing their hearts, shivering at every unusual sound. How the hours grew into days of torture, and as the drum was the medium of the news, its sound awakened every fear & every nerve in the body. Except where men are wounded, women's lot in times of war is surely the hardest of the two. For me, four years of this wary life went on as sweetheart and wife. Many were the days and the nights spent in fear and loneliness. Only the cold and deep snows of winter brought us short rest, and gave us a chance to catch up with our work. Even war has an ending, and this one was victorious for the whites. Several years passed before the whites trusted their redskin enemies & felt safe in their beds. They continued to keep their night watchmen. Every man in his turn stood guard.

While Papa went on his trip to White Pine, Nevada, I spent the summer spinning 100 skeins of yarn and got a beautiful flannel dress of my own spinning and my mother's coloring and weaving. There are samples of it yet to be seen. These were the days of wearing crinoline and it took as much again of cloth as it does today for a dress. Skirts had to be near four yards wide. Mother put a whole year's work on the embroidering of a beautiful white one. The work was a great bunch of grapes, making the work a full yard.

My oldest was about a year old when her Papa came home from the field sick. The next morning he wasn't any better. The doctor came and pronounced that he had mumps and that he was to be careful. He told me that the water was on in the west field, that the grain was heavy and might fall and could get spoiled if the water was not turned off. There was no one to turn to but myself. So I told him to go put the yoke on old Mike and Save and I would go turn the water off. He hitched the oxen to the wagon and I took the baby and drove down to Van Buren's, where I persuaded Lavina to take her two little ones and go with me. Well, if you have never driven oxen, you cannot know just how these new hands at driving felt, but they were very thankful to be on their way home and had only turned over two gate posts. When we arrived just in front of the Shoemaker home, one of the oxen suddenly walked right out of the yoke and went quietly feeding along the ditch, while we two with our babies sat helplessly in the wagon. Just then there came roars of laughter and Dick Hall came up over the creek. If we did not, he surely had a good laugh. Then he kindly put the ox back in the yoke and we were soon home.

The next October, Papa, baby, and I, and the ox outfit, with part of a load of lumber and a barrel of homemade butter, went to Salt lake City. It took five days each way, but it was a regular outing. There were no fences, except close to the towns, so the cattle could find good feed almost anywhere. There was plenty of wood for the fire and a great covered wagon for the bed. Lots of others were traveling the same way, and with songs & music from concertinas, we sure had fine times. When we came back through Nephi Canyon, we camped alone and turned the oxen out to feed. We built a fire and had our dinner. We had put the things back in the wagon, and Papa was just starting for the oxen when an Indian rode up to our wagon, handed down his gun, said a few words in his own tongue. Papa turned, took his whip, and went on after the oxen. Scared, well, the Indian must not know it, but the time seemed so long before Papa got back, and we left the Indian laying there by our camp fire, just a little way from where they had burned two men and a woman. I should have gone with Papa, but baby was asleep in the wagon and I must stay with her. That night we camped alone on Canal Creek. There was no sleep for me that night. I sat watching and listening the whole night through, expecting to see Indians after us. We arrived home the next day, and I had sore eyes for weeks to pay for the wakeful night's vigil.

Charlotte was born 26 Feb 1872. Two sweet little girls were ours. A new room built on the south front made us more comfortable. A sewing machine made the home work lighter. It was the second or third one brought into town, & it was easier to hem ruffles than to wash or iron them. Two more rooms were built, and two more little daughters came, Ethel, born 10 Dec 1873 and Frances born 8 May 1876. May was nine when her brother, Haslem, was born 28 Sep 1878. She was a great help to me. She went to work, spun the yarn, had a loom put up and wove a dozen blankets and her first rag carpet. We never had to buy more blankets until our youngest son was twenty years old.

We had but few amusements in those days, except a theatre by our home dramatic club at the Christmas holidays and the usual dances. There were no literary or commercial clubs, no picture shows, no parks or places of amusement. We used to take picnics into the canyon or the fields and enjoy an outing in that way. The school life of the children was different. There was no bobbed hair, but beautiful long braids of long heavy hair. We had to be early birds to have them off to school in time. We had busy evenings helping them prepare their school work.

There is no life as independent as that of a farmer, none more healthful, living close to nature with foodstuffs of our own producing. This helped to make a healthy family, though possibly more work for the mother with so much of vegetables, fruits, and meats to take care of. Twice each year there were bubbling soap kettles, & enough of it had to be made to keep the place and clothes clean the whole year round. Well, such is life where there isn't wealth. Of course, that all depends on what we call wealth. Would a million dollars buy those nine beloved children, forty two grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren?

As a child, I was baptized 12 Apr 1857. I was endowed 13 Oct 1866 in the Salt Lake Endowment House. My husband (John Haslem Clark) was endowed and we were sealed 23 Nov 1867 in the Salt Lake Endowment House by Heber C. Kimball. I am a member of the Relief Society and have served as a teacher for many years. I was set apart as an ordinance worker in the Manti Temple in June 1892 and worked there for five months, then returned 22 Mar 1914.

Journal of John Haslem Clark

Last entry, 1921 Manti, Utah

"The folks have been here today, but have gone to their homes. The clatter of racing feet, the laughter and babble of tongues have ceased. We are alone, We two. We two whom destiny has made one. Long ago, it has been sixty years since we met under the June trees. I kissed you first. How shy and afraid was your girlhood. Not any woman on earth or in heaven could be to me what you are. I would rather you were here, woman, with your gray hair, than any fresh blossom of youth. Where you are is home. Where you are not is homesickness. As I look at you I realize that there is something greater than love, although love is the greatest thing in earth. It is loyalty. For were I driven away in shame you would follow. If I were burning in fever your cool hand would soothe me. With your hand in mine may I pass and take my place among the saved of Heaven. Being eight years the eldest--and as the years went by and I felt that Click to enlarge the time of parting might be near--it was often the drift of our thought and speech: how could either of us be left alone. Alone, after living together for 56 years. I scarcely dared think of it and though a bit selfish comforted myself thinking [that] according to our age I would not be the one left alone."

Another handwriting then appears later on the same page. It is Therissa's voice, gently closing John's journal:

"Almost two years and a half since the last writing, and its following events are so sad, so heartbreaking for this, his life's companion that this pen has been laid down many times ere this record is made. Loss and loneliness [are] ever present and will be with me to the end. ...Will time soften this sadness, will I be able to leave the Old Home and not feel that he is waiting for me, calling me? I am only content at home where I feel that he is watching over me, his presence always with me.

"On March 11, 1923, John Haslem Clark passed away after an illness of only one week. He seemed so like himself, talking and active. We had no thought that the end was near until he passed into unconsciousness a few hours before his death. Oh, may we all be as clean and pure, ready to go before our Maker."

In Bruce C. Hafen, Covenant Hearts: Marriage and the Joy of Human Love (2005), 265-66.

Therissa lived another 10 years after John passed away.

Copies of obituaries from Carol Smyth Keller, Page, Arizona.

Therissa Emmerette Clark

Manti---Mrs. Therissa Emerett Clark, 84, died suddenly at her home here Monday afternoon (27 Nov 1933) from a heart attack. She was apparently in excellent health, as a few minutes before he death, she walked from the home of her daughter, a distance of several blocks.

She was born 24 Mar 1849 in Silver Creek, Iowa, a daughter of Frederick W. & Cordelia Morley Cox. The family came to Utah with an oxteam company in 1852, arriving in Salt Lake in September, & moving to Manti a month later.

She was in the old stone fortress during the Walker Indian War, & later witnessed many incidents of the Black Hawk War. Many a historical event of the times would have been lost, had it not been for her faithfulness in keeping a diary compilation, of which she had recently completed.

She was married May, 1867, to John Haslam Clark, who died several years ago.

Therissa E. Clark, Aged Pioneer Woman Passes Away

Therissa E. Cox Clark, 84, died suddenly at her home here Monday at 2 p.m. Death came as a shock to her family as she was apparently in excellent health, having walked from her home to the home of her daughter Mrs. Charlotte Wilson, just a short time prior to her passing.

She was born in Silver Creek, Iowa, March 24th, 1849, the daughter of Fredrick W. & Cordelia Calista Morley Cox, during the time the Latter-day Saints were being driven from place to place. In June 1852 the family started for Utah in a wagon train, arriving in Salt Lake late in September, where they immediately made preparations to come to Manti, arriving in October.

The first winter was spent in a log cabin. The following year they moved into the "Little Stone Fort", where they spent nine years. The "Big House" which had taken years to build became their next home. This for years was the center of social life of the community.

May 1, 1867 she was married to John Haslem Clark. The first 6 months of their married life was spent with her parents. Later the couple moved into a 1 room cabin which served as a foundation for their future comfortable home.

Mr. Clark's work in freighting and exploration work necessitated long absences from home. During such times Mrs. Clark spent many hours and days in spinning, weaving, and making many beautiful articles of lace. She faithfully kept a record of events through her life, which has become a reference work for items of history of the early days.

Mr. Clark passed away March 11, 1923.

She is survived by nine sons & daughters: Mrs. Mary C. Tuttle, Mrs. L.A. Wilson, Mrs. Ethel C. Keller, Dr. H.R. Clark, Mrs. D.A. Stowell, Manti; Mrs. Hal Taylor, Helper; Mrs. Wallace Riddle, Panguitch; and Dr. Thomas E. Clark, Park City; one brother, Francis M. Cox Sr., Manti; three sisters, Mrs. Lavina Van Buren, Orangeville, Mrs. Frank P. Tuttle, Alemeda, California, Mrs. John Moffitt; 35 grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted in the North Ward chapel by Bishop E.T. Reid. Interment will be in the city cemetery under the direction of J.C. Harris, mortician.

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