Salt Lake Tribune, Wednesday, 19 Jan 1972

Manti- Although it was built in 1853, the little log cabin displayed on Manti's Main Street by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers is not the town's most typical pioneer dwelling.

More typical of the pioneers, more durable, and much more massive than the one-room cabin are more than 60 rock houses, constructed from the same oolite stone as the Manti Temple, a national historic site once as famous for its quarries as its architecture.

"I think Manti has more rock homes still in existence than any other community in Utah," said Albert Antrei, who mapped them in cooperation with the Sanpete Historical Society.

Mormon pioneers settled Manti in 1849. Their first homes were dugouts and cabins built of logs cut from the cottonwood bottoms of Manti Creek.

Rock was easier to obtain than logs, however, and pioneers soon started to build with the rock.

Frederick Walter Cox used mortar to build his massive three-story house at 1st West and 1st North, but it took him seven years to finish carrying loads of rock from the quarry after each day in the fields.

Cox's "Big House", built for four wives, "particularly showed a pattern of polygamy," with each wife in her separate apartment, Mr. Antrei said.

Cox family records show the house to have been "divided like a pie," and Mr. Cox is reported to have divided his time as equally with his wives, living a month with each in turn. The wives also shared labor, according to their talents.

Inside the house, it's possible to guess the boundaries of each wife's domain, because original walls haven't been disturbed. Separate entrances provided Emeline Whiting Cox, Jemima Losee Cox, Cordelia Morley Cox, and Lydia Losee Cox, with individuality and privacy, if they wanted it.

One descendant said neighbors couldn't tell the children of Mr. Cox's "one big family" apart; the wives got along so well.

An additional wife, Emma Petersen, a lively Danish girl, wasn't married to Mr. Cox until 1869. Whether the last Mrs. Cox didn't fit into the Big House because of shortage of space or personality conflict hasn't been decided, but next door she had "separate but equal" maintenance in her own little residence.

A big attic workroom where the women carded and spun is the home's most unique architectural feature. A round window, carved from two massive blocks of oolite, was great for watching Papa come home from his mission and very handy for advance warning of hostile Utes. The rock at the base of that same north wall is 30 inches thick.