Almira Miranda Cox Hatch

Had Almira Cox Hatch wanted to visit the town in which she was born, she would have had to have been placed in a diving bell, for the town of her nativity was inundated in Lake Mead when Boulder Dam, was constructed.

She was born in the frontier town of St. Thomas, Nevada on Oct 2O 1867. She must have been a very welcome child. Her mother had two little girls before Almira was born – Lucinda, who drowned when she was two and Sarah, who died at birth. (Her father had 2 other wives and a number of children.) These people had been sent to many parts of Nevada and Southern Utah to help to colonize those dry forbidding sections and make them fit for human habitation.

Her parents were early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her father, who came from New York, was in Nauvoo, Illinois at the time of the martyrdom of the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum. He related many stories of the blood-thirsty mobs and their depredations toward the Mormons.

Before going to Nevada and Southern Utah, Orville Cox helped colonize Sanpete County with the first settlers in Manti in 1849.

When Almira was three, her family, along with others from the Muddy mission, went to Long Valley, Mt. Carmel and Orderville. In Orderville she remembers some of the workings of the United Order. She remembers the saw mills, tanneries, blacksmith shop, flour mill and woolen factory.

She remembers serving meals; in this she was personally involved. The girls who were serving were paired off-a little sister and a big sister constituted a team. The big sisters carried breakables; Almira, being a little sister, carried only knives, forks, spoons, etc.

She related that many times in the southern part of the state the indians would put their faces against the windows of her home yelling "Biscuit, biscuit”. Her mother always fed them. Sometimes the youngsters of the town would go to the camp and play with the indian children. When she was older, she went with friends to attend Indian Powwows, dances and ceremonials. Almira attended school at Orderville and under the pioneer teacher, Eddie Webb, she finished the fifth reader. Her mother taught school at Mt. Carmel. Almira worked in a knitting factory in Orderville for some years. She remembered Brigham Young coming to Orderville and Zina Young and Eliza R. Snow coming to organize primary and M. I. A.

The family next moved to settle Loseeville near the new outpost of Tropic, Utah, which remains today one of the most secluded hamlets in the country. Almira helped with chores such as milking cows, making butter and cheese, knitting, making rag rugs and riding horseback after cattle.

At age 18 her mother died, four months later her father passed away. She had one younger brother and two younger sisters. She did dressmaking and worked in a store to help earn a livelihood.

On December 18, 1902, Almira was married to John Henry Hatch of Tropic. He was a widower with 11 children, 7 of whom Almira raised. John Hatch bought the land and water rights in the Tropic area from Captain Bryce, who was an early settler of that section and for whom Bryce Canyon was later named. He offered land and water to settler if they would make their homes in this new area of colonization.

Almira gave birth to four sons, Ancell Alva, Orlan Earl, Merlin Vance and Reid M. In 1922, the family moved to Vineyard, Utah Co., Utah and then to American Fork in 1924. John died on May 19, 1936. Almira spent the last years of her life living in her 3 living sons' homes. She was blessed with good health and a strong mind and was able to care for herself until the last few months of her life. She died on October 19, 1965. the day before her 98th birthday.

Compiled by Elsa C. Hatch
May 1967