Amasa Bernard Cox

The rock house still stands in Manti where Amasa Bernard Cox was born. When he was four years old he went with his parents to that part of Moapa Valley known as the "Muddy", remaining there five years. Then he went to Manti to live with his oldest sister, Adelia Sidwell. She taught him to read and write and gave him a start in education. In 1871 he went to Fairview with mother and other members of the family. He attended school there off and on until he was 14. Then he, William Garlick and James (or John) Orton went to Thistle Valley (now Indianola) to herd sheep and cattle for his older brother, Orville M. Cox. He had many experiences with the Indians. On some occasions they had their guns loaded and ready, determined to use them to protect their lives if necessary. But generally the fellows found it easier to feed the Indians than fight them, even if they had to go hungry themselves.

In the fall of 1881 Amasa went to Provo to attend Brigham Young Academy. He kept a neat journal with the first entry on Monday, Nov.14,1881 and the last on March 23, 1882, just two days before he turned 21. The journal is being presented to the BYU. He left BYU to return to Fairview and care for his mother and the farm. Late in 1889 or early in 1890 he told Arthur Hurst he was going to take his Danish girl friend away from him. This he proceeded to do and on Nov. 12, 1890, they were married in the Manti Temple. She was Anna Caroline Hansen, "the prettiest girl in Fairview”! They made the trip to and from Manti in a cold wagon.

Amasa was athletically inclined and was a member of the then famed Fairview Red Caps baseball team which played largely without gloves or mitts. He was generous to a fault to the needy and many a widow has found a sack of flour or potatoes on her doorstep not knowing where it came from. He made a practice of attending funerals and giving help and comfort to the mourning. In his young manhood he served as a Sunday school teacher. Speaking of helping others, Hyrum Vance had a bad fire which destroyed his barn, hay, etc. He would accept no charity. So Amasa borrowed his wagon and hayrack, loaded it “sky high” pulled it in to Hy's barn and said, "There's your hayrack, but you’ll have to unload it.” Years later when Ross left for a mission, Hy gave him a very substantial contribution and said, "I hain’t forgot when your pa borrowed my wagon once.”

Civic wise, he held many positions including foreman of the Gooseberry Lakes project, president of the Fairview Ditch Co., president of the Fairview Co-op Sheep Co., for many years, member of the board of directors of Fairview’s first creamery, and was considered one of Fairview's best farmers and dairymen. His advice was often sought. He was city councilman many years.

Cataracts developed on both his eyes and he was blind for some time. An operation on one eye was not successful and the eye had to be removed. He then suffered from a nervous breakdown. He later regained sight from the other eye and soon got over his nervousness. During his blindness he would be led to the woodpile and spent many hours sawing off blocks of wood, feeling his way at the work. After his recovery, when some visitor would ask how he was, his answer was always, "Well I can see!”

Through hard work, saving, the cooperation of his good wife and the boys, he was able to accumulate considerable farm land in the valley and “up west”, also grazing and timberland in Flat Canyon. His wife always admonished, “Never sell Flat Canyon. We sacrificed too much to get it.”

Amasa was a great reader and kept up on the affairs of the world, national, state, and local, and was good at holding his own in discussing or arguing most any subject that came up. He was considered well educated for a man of his time and was gifted with the ability to remember what he had read. Harry Rasmussen, when Mayor of Fairview, often found himself differing with two of the councilmen, Hy Vance and Am Cox, who were more conservative than Harry in many things. He once said of them, “When you differ with Hy, he just sulks. But when you differ with Am, boy he fights!”

In early life he held several church positions, Later he seldom went to church but showed his religion through his good works and his love for fellow men and God.

Hard work, crop failures, loss of loved ones, blindness, and diabetes, etc., aged him and he died around midnight, Aug.24, 1943, when 82 years old. He is buried in the Fairview Upper Cemetery beside his two sons and a grandson, and his wife was later buried beside him. His death was attributed to a heart attack.

Ross Cox Ephraim 1965