Mary Ann Darrow


Edmund Richardson

Source: Extracts from a history written by the Richardson family about 1968.

Since the past reveals the present & sponsors the future, history is vital to progression. It should be recorded in a more substantial manner than on the sands of time.

Our first recorded history of Edmund Richardson is a short biography written by his wife, Mary Ann Darrow, & signed by himself. A portion of this biography says:

"I was born on the 13th day of February 1816 in the town of Mount Holly, Rutland County, Vermont. My father was Calvin Richardson (son of William Richardson & Lovina Taft) who was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War. My mother's name was Mindwell Barrett (daughter of Isaac Barrett & Ruhamah Boyce). After living with my father until of age, I started for the West. I stopped off at Washington County, New York, where I married Mary Ann Darrow on August 2, 1840."

Mary Ann Darrow was a native of Hebron, Washington County, New York, having been born there 28 February 1818. Her father was Stephen Darrow (son of Jedediah Darrow & Sarah Whedon or Wheaton) & her mother was Harriet Burbank (daughter of Isaac Burbank & Judith Allen). During her teens she worked in a cloth factory & there learned the trade of a weaver. She was 22 & he was 24 when they were married in her hometown. The following year their home was blessed with a little girl, Emma Lynette, born 31 October 1841. A son, George Alvin, was born 4 September 1846, after they moved back to Mount Holly, Vermont. Here Edmund's talents as a skilled craftsman were manifest in the fine home he built. Mary Ann considered it the finest she had ever seen.

Edmund's account of leaving Vermont gives us an insight into the vital & dominant part that religion played in their lives. He wrote:

"I moved back to Vermont where myself & wife were united with the Presbyterian Church. Since my father's family was of the Baptist Church, ill feelings & persecutions arose & grew to the extent that I could no longer live in peace. Therefore, I moved to Cannelton, Perry County, Indiana."

They began this trip in 1848 when their daughter Emma Lynette was 7 years old & their son George was three.

At Cannelton Edmund & Mary Ann worked much of the time in a cotton factory. Here Mary Ann perfected her skill as a weaver, which later proved so beneficial to her family & friends.

Religious activities occupied much of Edmund's time in Cannelton. He worked as a deacon of the Presbyterian Church under Reverend Whitworth, & since he was also a trustee, he carried much of the responsibility of the Church.

Upon hearing rumors of the great opportunities in Oregon, Edmund & the reverend Whitworth decided to go & organize a Presbyterian Colony there.


After several weeks, when the company was finally organized, Edmund was placed second in command. With three ox teams & a well-built wagon, he was considered well equipped for the trip. In 11 wagons, the party began the long trek to Oregon on 1 April 1853. They followed the much-used Oregon Trail. The location & good quality of the 2,000-mile trail between the Missouri & Columbia Rivers was attributed to the fact that in many places it followed old Indian trails.

Emma says they walked much of the way. She also says: "We saw many graves where the emigrants the year before had lost loved ones. The wolves had dug into many of them & you could see scattered about bones, hair, & bits of clothing that the dead had been buried in. As they could not get coffins, many of the dead were wrapped in quilts or anything that the emigrants could spare. Some took parts of their wagon boxes and made rude coffins of them." During the three months travel across the plains, they also saw remains of burned wagons, indicating that entire companies had been wiped out by Indians.

Many dead animals were seen along the way. A forty-niner records counting 350 dead horses, 280 oxen, 120 mules, and hundreds of others left to die, within a distance of 15 miles. In ten miles he counted 350 abandoned wagons.

Emma notes that at one time their eleven-wagon train was halted more than an hour to allow a herd of some 500 buffalo to return to their feeding grounds after drinking at the river.

During the trip members of the party managed to kill three buffalo, & Emma remarked that the sweet, juicy meat tasted very good.

Of this part of the trip, a son, Charles Edmund Richardson says: "They had the usual trouble of those days with herds of buffalo, Indians & wild animals, & learned to defend themselves with the rifles & 'Yaugers'" (very old guns formerly carried by light infantry).

Their route paralleled the North Platte River for many miles. Since they crossed it some nine or ten times, it imposed its problems, as well as its blessings, upon the weary pioneers. They skirted its banks with caution, respected its swift currents & treacherous quicksand & used their ingenuity to assure safe crossings. At deep-water crossings, they sometimes inserted wooden blocks between the wagon bed & the running gears to elevate the load above the waterline, or they made rafts & ferried over. Always they stood ready to lend any needed assistance.

A near tragedy happened to the Richardsonís at one of the river crossings. "Anxiety ran high as the eleven wagons prepared to ford the river." A mile-wide crossing disturbed even the oxen as they stepped gingerly into the swift, waist-deep current. When some teams on the wagons ahead of Edmund's became involved in the quicksand, he rushed to their assistance, leaving his wagon in the care of others. While he was away, his team yielded to the rush of the water & his wagon overturned, submerging all of its contents. Mary Ann was helped out, and George paddled to the shore, where he excitedly proclaimed what was painfully apparent to all--"Our wagon is tipped over."

Suddenly it occurred to Edmund that he hadn't seen Emma Lynette, his young daughter. Calling to his wife, he asked, "Where is Emma? Has anyone seen Emma?" Their frantic search sent Edmund & several of the men swimming to the overturned wagon, where they found the child trapped between the wagon cover & the load, apparently dead. When all efforts to resuscitate her failed, a by-stander remarked, "Well, I guess she is dead." This so agitated Edmund that he dropped the bottle of camphor he held, spilling its contents into the little girl's face. The strong stuff, running into her mouth, nose, & eyes revived her. Perhaps she was more smothered than drowned. The family thanked the Lord for His great blessing in saving her life.

Troubles continued to plague the group. One after another, Edmund's oxen died. His wagon, which had been considered an exceptionally fine vehicle, finally completely broke down & had to be abandoned. Its load was distributed among the other wagons, & the Richardsonís rode with the John Carson family.

It is difficult enough for two families to live crowded together in a house, but being forced to crowd into one wagon was even worse. Riding week after week under a scorching sun & surrounded by many unknown dangers, the trip was even more difficult. To relieve the tension, Edmund bought a new wagon at Independence Rock, Wyoming. Situated on the north bank of the river, as William Clayton said, this rock is one of the curiosities to be seen on the road, mostly because of its peculiar shape & magnitude. It is 600 yards long & 120 wide. From the number of names inscribed on its southeast corner, it appears that many visitors climbed to the top to view the land. During low water, the river was easily forded at this point, but in high water, it was necessary to ford it a mile up stream. After buying the wagon, all went well until the party reached the Big Sandy River, where Edmund's best ox died. Since oxen were at a premium, this was a calamity of sufficient magnitude as to make it almost impossible for the Richardson family to continue on to Oregon.

Isn't it strange that this crippling incident should happen just at this point? It was so near to Salt Lake City that the only solution seemed to be for the Richardsonís to spend the winter there & rejoin the others in Oregon in the spring. Reverend Whitworth's suggestion that with care, the Richardsonís could get along with the ferocious Mormons for one winter. However, this offered small consolation to the stricken family.

Strangely, as soon as the family turned toward Salt Lake City, the troubles besetting them stopped. They also had fear of the Indians, but did not see one during the three weeks it took to make the trip to Salt Lake City.


On August 3, 1853, the Richardsonís entered the Salt Lake Valley. In the evening they made camp on the west bank of the Jordan River. They hoped this location was far enough from the city to be safe from the Mormons, yet near enough to afford them protection from the Indians. So far, they knew nothing about the Mormons, except for the vile things they had heard from Mormon haters.

Before supper was ready, a barefoot boy forded the now shallow river on a pony, dismounted at their camp, & graciously offered them a pail of fresh milk. He explained that his mother had seen their campfire & thought the fresh milk might be refreshing to weary travelers. The Richardsonís called this gift, "The milk of kindness", but thought it strange that it would come from the malicious Mormons.

The work necessary to sustain the family was found at West Jordan, ten miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Here, as in their own Vermont, mills formed the nucleus of the village & furnished work for the people. Mary Ann found work at a woolen factory owned by Matthew Gaunt. Archibald Gardner, ever on the alert for expert help in building his 32 mills, discovered Edmund Richardson & rejoiced when he noted the fine work Edmund did on the West Jordan flourmill located on the mill race a mile above the Gardner saw mill. The Richardson family probably lived in one of the adobe houses Mr. Gardner furnished for the families of their hired help.


Quoting from Edmund & Sullie, we have the story of the family's conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Their first association with their Mormon neighbors was when one invited them to his home for supper. They were fearful that their host might be offended at persons professing other than the Mormon religion. They recalled the persecutions they had previously suffered at the hands of their own people when they left the Baptist Church & joined the Presbyterians. However, as the lesser of two evils, they accepted the invitation.

A few days later another dinner invitation was accepted, &, with these associations removing some of their fears, Edmund accepted an invitation from his boss to attend a Mormon meeting. That was the beginning of a new life for them. Edmund felt that he had heard the first real gospel sermon of his life. Edmund & Mary were baptized 3 October 1853 by Ralph Thompson.

They then received a call from their Prophet, Brigham Young, to settle in Sanpitch (Manti), Utah, as reinforcements for the struggling pioneers there.


The Walker War had begun on 18 July 1853. It was thought to have been precipitated by an accidental killing of an Indian boy by Alex Keel of Payson. This war cost the lives of many people, beginning with that of Alex Keel.

Reports of the killing of four Manti Brethren by the Indians prompted Brigham Young to immediate action in an attempt to prevent a repetition. He called a company of families, the Richardsonís among them, to reinforce the beleaguered saints at Manti. Obedient to the call, these people immediately began preparations to make the move. On 4 October 1853, the Indians killed the miller of Manti, John E. Warner, & his guard, Brother William Mills.

In preparation for the now imperative measure of moving the mill from the mouth of the canyon into town, a stock supply of flour had to be ground. William Black, who later married Emma Lynette Richardson, & Martin Wood, were called to keep the mill running night & day. They worked under guard of two men during the day & twelve at night. On 1 November 1853, the grinding ceased, the guards were called off, & the men were instructed to rest a few days before beginning to move the mill. "But the Indians were evidently watching us, for on the 6th day of November, the mill was burned & everything pertaining to it were lost," wrote William Black.


The reinforcement company was reported to have left Salt Lake City 10 December 1853. Of this trip Emma Lynette Richardson wrote: "We started in the dead of winter, which was a very bad winter. Snow was four feet deep and still snowing in Salt Creek Canyon (Nephi Canyon), and it was cold! We had scant clothing & scant everything else. One man by the name of Michaelson froze his feet so badly that he lost part of them through tramping snow & breaking roads so that the teams could get through. We were about two weeks going from West Jordan to Manti. We camped in Ephraim one night & got into Manti the next night after dark."

The welcome given by the 647 residents of Manti to those recruits was everything they could give. When Bishop Lowry asked who could take the new people in, practically every house was thrown open. Perhaps it would be better to say "every room" was thrown open, for as Emma said, "Very few families had more than one room, and we moved right in with Sister Margaret Black & her family in a room in the old log fort."

With the gristmill gone, flour was at a premium that winter, so Edmund put his little iron coffee mill to work. Emma says the little grinder was passed around the neighborhood & was kept busy all winter. She said that boiled whole wheat was very good to eat as cereal, & also tasted good when fried.

In the spring of 1854, the Richardsonís & John Crawfordís moved into John Chase's room. When winter came, they were able to move into a large room vacated by William Behunin.


Continuing Indian trouble & increasing numbers of settlers made it necessary to make a larger fort. Many settlers who had been dangerously isolated fled into Manti for protection.

Edmund Richardson reached Manti in time to help plan & build the Big Fort, which began in 1854. He describes the Fort as covering nine square blocks, which included the little stone Fort. The walls were twelve feet high, two feet wide at the top, & were set on a foundation three feet wide. It was built mostly of quarried rock, though part of it was one in the Old Spanish style by making a frame of wood & filling this with mud. Some of it was built of large adobes.

Military rule was proclaimed at Manti, & work on the Fort was pushed as rapidly as possible. A standing guard was set up. Each morning at the beat of the drum, every man answered to roll call & received his orders for both day & night duty. The men went for wood in companies of not less than ten or twelve & were guarded by two mounted men who stationed themselves upon some lookout to keep constant watch as the others worked.

Orville S. Cox expressed his feelings about the work on the fort in these words: "The poor men! Standing guard nights & working days with unabated ardor, & constantly praising & thanking kind Providence who gave them strength & patience, they did all that was required of them with undaunted courage & cheerfulness."


As Edmund worked on the Council House & the fort, he dreamed of having a home of his own. He got a lot just southeast of the meetinghouse block & found time to build an adobe house on it.


Beneath acres of arid sagebrush lay rich tillable soil. But it took a great deal of time & effort to clear, cultivate & plant the seeds that would make it yield sufficient food for the newcomers. Even with the crops growing there were other problems to face. One season the grasshoppers devoured all the garden produce except the pumpkins & potatoes, & the Indians helped themselves to them before they were ripe. The Richardson family, along with all of their neighbors, had very little to eat. So serious was the situation that the wheat supply was pooled & then divided among the families according to number & ages. All were instructed to adhere strictly to the stipulated rations in order to insure the wheat supply until food could be raised. Toward spring, as an added precaution, Sister Pamela, wife of Orville S. Cox, sliced her bread, re-browned it in the oven & reduced it to crumbs. Each morning she doled out two spoonfuls of crumbs to each family member.

One day a neighbor came to Brother Cox pleading for help. His wheat supply was all gone, he confessed, because they had been lax about rationing, & his children were crying for bread. Though Walter Cox was a child, he considered himself too big to cry about anything. However, he found tears running down his thin cheeks as he watched his father divide their meager wheat supply equally with the neighbor. Because he was always hungry on the rations they had, Walt was sure his family would die on one spoonful of crumbs per day. However, that night at family prayer, he felt consoled as he listened to his father's petition for help.

Some time later, as Walt passed Temple Hill on his way to herd the sheep, he noticed a patch of green plants growing at its southern base. Though they were somewhat different than pigweed or redroot, Walt carried an armful home to his mother, confident that they were the answer to his father's prayer for food. When Sister Cox found the greens superior to any she had tasted before, she spread the good news to the rest of her neighbors. Every day the greens were carefully cut to the ground. Every morning they had grown enough for another day's cutting, & the people gave thanks to the Lord for the "Manna Weed". They also marveled that during the long season, appetites continued to relish the greens & stomachs to tolerate them. However, when the spring gardens produced abundantly, the greens disappeared & were never known to grow there again. Walter told that all his life he searched unsuccessfully for some of those "Manna Weeds" with their own special flavor.


About this time, Edmund made a loom to accompany a spinning wheel he had finished for Mary Ann. Operating the two was work for several hands, but Mary Ann was an expert & very ambitious. After the wool was scoured & had the oil washed out, it was hand picked to remove dirt, straw, or burrs. At the same time it was sorted into four grades. The first grade was to be used in making fine flannel for dresses, the second for linsey sheets & underwear, the third grade was used for jeans or heavy cloth, & the fourth was carded into small bats by hand to be used for making quilts.

At her loom, Mary Ann wove flannels, linseys, jerseys, birdseye, jeans, & later bedspreads. She seldom left the loom at night until she had done three dollars worth of weaving. She also wove silk, for which she had raised silk worms & spun the thread.

She was not alone in her task. Other women sat at their looms, & other children, like Emma, would spool & wind bobbins, card wool, & forget to be children.

However, work was glorified by their high purpose of life, & monotony was relieved by working bees & socialized recreation, which might consist of house parties, church dances, observance of special holidays & drama.

MORE FAMILY A Pearl of Great Price

The story of the birth of Charles Edmund & Sullivan Calvin Richardson is a saga of great sacrifice inspired by faith.

Charles Edmund says that since his parents knew nothing of the Gospel in regard to the value & necessity of children, they did not intend to have more than the two they brought across the plains. "So," he explained, "my brother, Sullie, & I owe our very existence on this earth to the teachings of the Gospel after our parents became acquainted with it."

A visit from the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Prophet of the Lord, was considered a major event in all Mormon communities. Every effort was made to insure his comfort during the stay & to assure him of the people's love.

When Brigham Young visited Manti early in January of 1858, he was welcomed by the band at Temple Hill & by a large audience at the Council House.

A hush of expectancy & reverence filled the Council House as the prophet, Brigham Young, stepped to the pulpit. His greeting, "Dear brothers & sisters", was as personal as a handshake & he received unanimous response to his request for their prayer of faith.

Edmund & Mary Ann, clothed with their new dimension of spiritual understanding, absorbed the deep significance of Celestial Marriage as the Prophet explained it. Unspeakable joy filled their beings as they recalled the day of 20 April 1857 in Brigham Young's office as the Prophet, with the sealing power of the priesthood, pronounced them "Husband & Wife for time & all eternity." What a blessing was theirs!

"However," continued the Prophet, "every blessing begets its obligation. In this case the obligation is the responsibility of raising a family."

As Edmund breathed a prayer of thanks for his two children, he was startled to hear the Prophet continue, "It is the duty of every righteous man & woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can . . ."And then, in a voice vibrating with authority, he directed his instructions to husbands & wives separately.

"Is it not a blessing to you mothers," he asked, "to raise up men filled with the glory of God, to go forth & extend the work of God?" . . . "And husbands," he continued, "we understand that we are to be made kings & priests unto God . . . Now, if I am made the king & lawgiver to my family, & if I have many sons, I shall become the father of many fathers, for they will have sons, & their sons will have sons, & so on from generation to generation. And in that way, I may become the father of many fathers, or the king of many kings---or whatever the Father sees fit to confer upon me." (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 195)

Without looking at her husband, Mary Ann knew that his head was bowed. And he knew by the pressure of her hand upon his that she loved him despite their eight childless years.

It was the problem of sealing Emma Lynette & George to them that sent the Richardsonís seeking an interview with the Prophet. (Details of this interview have been pieced together from fragmentary writings & folklore of the family & from sealing records at the Endowment House from January 1850-1871.)

"I wouldn't worry too much about that sealing," advised the Prophet, "time will take care of that & your other children will be born under the covenant." (Emma & George were sealed to their parents 28 December 1932).

Mary Ann saw Edmund flinch as though struck by a blow, turn pale, & then rise resolutely to his feet. She would have spared him, but she rejoiced to find him equal to its performance. In the strength of his humility, Edmund confessed before the Lord & his Prophet, that in following the false teachings of his former religion & society, he had become a eunuch & more family was impossible.

As Mary Ann stepped beside Edmund to lend him her support, Brigham Young took both their hands & looking deep into their eyes, plumbed the depth of their faith & sincerity, their grief & remorse.

Brigham Young remembered the integrity of Brother & Sister Richardson. He knew how willingly they had accepted the call to leave Salt Lake City & to settle in Manti, even though they knew it meant facing poverty, hardships, discouragement, & Indian dangers. He noted how Edmund took the brunt of arduous & dangerous assignments, how he had donated $168.00 to the Perpetual Emigration Fund, how he gave time & means toward readying teams & wagons to go to the assistance of emigrant trains. Edmund had fulfilled his every assignment.

"Brother & Sister Richardson," the Prophet said presently, "the teachings & work of the Devil have taken away your posterity. But the teachings & authority of Christ can restore it, if you are willing to make great sacrifices."

After exchanging glances of mutual willingness to share any necessary sacrifice, Mary & Edmund turned their eyes again to the Prophet.

President Young then explained to Edmund that any added children for them would have to come by proxy. He would need to give Mary Ann a civil divorce & allow her to have a civil marriage with another man. Any issue from such a marriage, he explained, would belong to Edmund, because he & Mary Ann were sealed for eternity.

Perhaps the Prophet envisaged the posterity possible with the acceptance of such a plan, but Edmund & Mary Ann were too stunned to think past the separation. That sacrifice they were unwilling to make & returned home, certain they must forego a larger family.

But the peace which usually follows a unanimous decision did not come to them. They were denied the solace of sleep, & pretended sleep taunted them relentlessly for hours. Over & over each relived the interview in the President's office, & searched his soul in the light of its implications. To be denied the love & protection she had enjoyed from her husband was sorrow enough to Mary Ann. To accept another man in his place was unthinkable.

Edmund's agony was magnified by triple factors: his love for his wife, his desire for more family, & his mistake. The very thought of being away from his wife filled him with loneliness beyond expression. If he were absent, who would protect her & his two children? Who would provide for their needs? The thought of someone else taking his place was even less bearable. That was too much to ask of anyone!

And then he recalled the look of yearning he had seen in Mary Ann's eyes as she cuddled other women's babies. Sobs shook his frame as he moaned, "Oh, how I have failed her, my most precious possession."

Mary Ann became aware of his suffering, & was there to mitigate his pain & salve it with understanding.

Compliance with her suggestion that they kneel & ask God to make His will known to them brought the first peace they had found. Sleep soon followed.

Morning brought the "Joy Which Surpasseth Understanding," for Edmund & Mary Ann each had seen a vision, which sent them back to the President's office. "No need for explanations," exclaimed the Prophet as they entered. "Your countenances show that you are ready to accept the plan." Then turning to Mary Ann, he said, "Here is a slip of paper containing the names of three polygamist men whom I consider worthy to participate in our plan. Mary Ann, make your choice."

Before reading the names, Mary Ann fled into Edmund's arms. As he held her close, he whispered, "The Lord will not leave us to walk alone, my dear."

When Mary read aloud the name of Frederick Walter Cox, Edmund was pleased with her choice, but his lips compressed into a thin straight line & the muscles of his neck stood out like steel cords.

When Frederick Walter Cox was called into conference with Brigham Young & approached with the idea of raising a family for another man, he flatly refused. However, after he was shown in a vision that he should accept, he became the third witness that the plan was divinely inspired. He reported to President Young that he was now willing to participate in the plan.

Again we quote from the diary of Charles Edmund Richardson: "It took three visions & a religion to reconcile others to my coming."

In accordance with his authority as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints & as Governor of the State of Utah, Brigham Young granted Mary Ann Darrow Richardson a civil divorce from her husband, Edmund Richardson. On 9 January 1858, he performed a civil marriage between Mary Ann & Frederick Walter Cox. (Record of this marriage is on file in the Archives at Salt Lake City, Utah).

Because any children from this marriage were to be raised for Edmund Richardson, & also as protection for Brother Cox during the polygamist persecution, Mary Ann retained the Richardson surname & lived in the Richardson home. Edmund voluntarily sent regular checks, or alimony, to support his family, & Mary Ann planned to continue weaving.


The separation was bearable to the Richardson's only because it was mutually imposed for the high purpose of Eternal increase & that the plan was sanctioned by the Prophet of the Lord.

As Mary Ann watched Edmund drive away into the loneliness of the next few years, she whispered these words after him: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he giveth his life for another."

She then turned resolutely to her loom & the task of weaving the tapestry of her own purposeful trust.

Edmund's separation might have sent him to Oregon, or back to Vermont, seeking solace, but this did not meet his purpose. His well-laid plans led him to the Tintic mining district seeking employment nearer home.

The world of Tintic District was very different from that of Manti. Edmund was greeted, not with words of welcome as he had as a newcomer to Manti, but with cursing & swearing as the common language.

It was a time of relief & rejoicing when he got this message from Mary Ann. "Our son, born 13 October 1858, will be named Charles Edmund Richardson." Like Adam & Eve, they can say, "We have gotten a son of the Lord." With this added incentive, Edmund closed the deal for a four-acre lot containing an orchard, a garden spot, & a home in Springville, Utah. This he kept as a surprise for Mary Ann. A second son, Sullivan Calvin Richardson was born 26 January 1861 in Manti.

Shortly after Sullie's birth (Sullivan), Chief Walker returned to Manti & staged another of his victory celebrations. Horrified at the cruelties heaped upon Walker's numerous child captives, many Manti families ransomed one or two & took them into their homes. Mary Ann emptied her loom to buy a little baby boy, & immediately gave him a place in her heart.


Out of the loneliness & the turmoil of Tintic, Edmund returned to reclaim Mary Ann. The reunion with her, Emma Lynette, George, & three new sons she presented him were worth the sacrifices they had made, he thought. There was a variety of hair coloring in her gift. One son had red hair, another blond curls, & the third had straight black hair. The joy they brought, however, was not dependent on the hair coloring. The Indian baby's life ended not long afterwards in fever & convulsions.

When Edmund & Mary Ann were remarried, he surprised her with the gift of the lot & home in Springville. (Frederick Walter Cox & Mary Ann were granted a civil divorce.) Edmund explained that he had made some furniture & sent it overland from Tintic. "However, it cannot equal the gifts you gave me," he explained, "but it will furnish all of you with a home."

Before leaving Manti, the Richardsonís attended a dancing party given by Frederick Walter Cox & his four wives, which was held in the large room of the unfinished "Cox Big House". The house was begun early in 1860.


Mary Ann's appreciation of the Springville lot & orchard was all Edmund had hoped it would be. But her response to the surprise she found inside the house was even more rewarding. Upon entering, she found Charles Edmund rocking a lovely cradle, which his father had made for Sullie, & George was trying out the dining table & chairs.

Then she saw the beautiful chest of drawers. The strength of its work & the precision-cut lines immediately identified with Edmund. She stood silent before its personification of the loneliness & pain of his long exile; mitigated only by hope, love, & faith in the high purpose of eternal increase. Reverently she stroked its polished surface. As she turned from the chest to thank her husband & share the understanding, which she, too, had learned, he lifted Charles Edmund to its polished surface & encircled both wife & child in his arms. Together they thanked the Lord that He had helped them pay the price for their two sons.

Edmund immediately began building a new brick home facing west on Main Street which runs North & South. In the back yard he dug a well, curbed & roofed it, & supplied it with a rope & pulley. Near the kitchen door he built a 100 loaf capacity oven. With this, he opened the first bakery in Springville. In the rear of the lot Edmund built a fine barn. The logs were hewn on both sides so that they fit closely together without leaving much of a crack. Each of the logs, both vertical & horizontal, was pinned with a wooden peg which Edmund had whittled. The logs forming the roof were so strong that years later, a modern hayfork was installed in the barn without additional reinforcement. For nearly eighty years the barn stood as a proud witness to the skill & character of its builder. Some of the pegs are still in existence.

The Richardsonís did some mining & farming, besides raising livestock & poultry, & operating the bakery. As Sullie later remarked, "Because of Pa's fine planning to provide for us & Ma's weaving, we enjoyed food & conveniences which many others were denied."

Along with the other things they did, Edmund & his son George operated a tannery, where they finished a fine grade of leather. One day, according to records, they heard a splash in the tanning vat, & George exclaimed, "There goes another hen!" To Edmund's consternation, he discovered not the hen, but Charles Edmund's red hair floating just under the surface of the gooey tanning liquid. Remembering the effectiveness of the camphor when Emma Lynette was near drowning, they poured it on the boy's face. It was effective.

Edmund said his boys were more precious than fine leather, & he discontinued the tanning business immediately. He later filled the vat with wheat from Manti, & with potatoes & vegetables from his own farm.

Edmund & Mary Ann shared their home & their goods with those in need around them.

Proudly Mary watched her boys learn to manage an ox team as they did custom plowing about town. She smiled when the customers told of the fine job the Richardson boys did, even though Charles Edmund was almost too small to hold the plow, & Sullie, the driver, could scarcely be seen above the furrows.

The boys felt like real men when they got a chance to haul lumber from the mill in Hobble Creek Canyon. In this way, they earned lumber needed by their mother to build a two-room addition to her home. Sullie recounts how they would start early, get to the mill about dusk, load up before they went to bed, then get home the next day.

Mary Ann was very proud of her new home especially as she viewed it through the comfort it brought her family. The wall-to-wall rag carpet she had woven & tacked to the floor over a padding of straw added comfort & elegance to the home. George & Charles Edmund enjoyed reading as they sat propped up with the pillows on the couch. Kate (Kate Aldura, an Indian girl adopted by Edmund & Mary Ann) & Sullie reveled in the soft carpet & warmth from the fireplace.

When Mary Ann's beloved husband, Edmund, was not busy with some big project, he loved to sit by the fire & study the Bible & the Book of Mormon, or just whittle. Perhaps the interest of his little sons encouraged Edmund in his hobby of whittling. As the boys listened to their father's stories & watched, he whittled a Noah's ark & many pair of animals for it. He whittled many other things & the boys kept these for years. One day he called Kate to watch as he whittled a doll for her.

Speaking of his father, Charles Edmund wrote, "He was an extra good father to Sullie & me. Dozens of times he has taken me in his arms, telling me how he thanked the Lord for me."

The family appreciated the way in which their husband & father tried to care for his family & spiritually & morally as well. He set the example of family prayer; frowned on playing cards, speaking evil of others, telling obscene jokes, & using profane language.


Mary Ann had always loved to read & study. As her understanding of the Gospel grew, so did her appreciation of all truth. She was determined that her growing children should have every opportunity to learn. Charles Edmund related in his biography, "Very early my mother taught me how to read. From the time I commenced I learned very rapidly."

Sullie tells of his mother's versatility in sponsoring the right. He says, "Ma was so determined that her boys should be above fighting, & so effectively drilled her ideas into us, that we became the target of much teasing & bullying. When Ma found this out, she instructed us to defend ourselves, but never to pick a fight. Consequently, when a bully kept pulling Edmund's hair under pretense of warming his hands by the fiery-red color, Edmund whaled loose & thrashed him soundly."

Mary Ann became ill with pneumonia & died 13 January 1872. Of her passing Sullie says: "So great a calamity I never imagined could happen to a tender-hearted little ten year old boy. When they called me from the neighbors to come quick if I would see my mother alive, it was a shock I can still feel. And never were the words of sympathy spoken to me at that funeral more needed nor more cherished in coming years. That winter was the dreary, desolate time of my life. Ma understood me better than I understood myself. I can never remember of her striking me. A loving reproof was more than enough to correct me. The thought that she would like me to do a certain thing, seems to me now, to have been the factor that guided my course whenever there was any doubt, & when she died the light surely went out of my life."

In speaking of his mother's passing, Charles Edmund writes: "When my brother, Sullie, & I were very small, mother had a serious illness. When it seemed she could not live longer, she turned her face to the wall, & almost frantically prayed the Father to let her live until her boys & little daughter, Kate, could take care of themselves, promising that then she would be resigned to his call. In telling about it afterwards, she testifies that she immediately began to recover. She said she expected another call just as soon as her children were old enough. During the years previous to her last call, I heard her say several times it would doubtless come soon. With this feeling impelling her, she begged all hands to hurry & get done all temple work that could be done for their dead, so she could go in peace. So arrangements were made to go to the Endowment House to do it. But as my older brother, George, took no interest in religion & was absent, she was fearful that my tender years would prevent my doing the work for her dead ancestors. She had been told that it must be done by an heir. So when we arrived at Salt Lake City, she visited the presiding officer of the Endowment House to ask if a boy of twelve years of age could have his endowments, so he could work as an heir for his dead. Daniel H. Wells, then in charge, asked her to bring me for questioning. After hearing my answers to questions about my belief in the Gospel, he emphatically told my mother that I could be trusted to have my endowments. When he gave this favorable answer, making it possible to have the temple work done, the satisfaction that shone on my mother's face was supreme. When the work was done, she remarked that she was not going to stay with us long, though at that time she seemed to be in good health. Soon after, she was stricken with pneumonia & died."

Soon after Mary Ann's passing, Edmund invited Emma Lynette, his daughter & her family, to move into the home at Springville & to care for her two brothers & little sister, Kate.


Although living with Emma, Charles Edmund & Sullie sometimes spent time with their father at the mines. They were with him at the time of his passing 27 March 1875, some three years & three months after their mother had died.

In speaking of his father's passing, Charles Edmund relates: "On March the twentieth father took cold while working in a mine tunnel of his own, & became very ill. At first I walked over to Diamond City for some painkiller for him. Then, at the insistence of Dr. Wing, I walked over to Eureka for more medicine. During father's sickness of one week, Sullie & I were his only nurses. As Sullie was so young, he could not stay awake, so I passed the part of the week when father was at his worst, with only a few hours of sleep. When I saw that he was getting worse, I walked to Silver City & telegraphed a message to John & Emma, "Pa is very sick. Come if you want to see him alive." When Sullie & I, who were alone with father, saw that he was breathing his last, we frantically called to a passing stranger, who said that since he had never seen anyone die, he would be glad to come in. (Small comfort to two little boys 12 & 14 years of age.) John came with the wagon, in which he laid our father's body, wrapped in the bedclothes. As the strain & anxiety were over, I lay down beside my dead father & slept most of the way, not in his arms as I had been accustomed to, but along side of his dead body, completely overcome with exhaustion. We buried father in Springville beside our dear mother." And for three little children, it was night.


On 9 January 1858, some five years after the Richardson family arrived in Manti, Frederick Walter Cox & Mary Ann Richardson were united in a civil marriage. They had two sons, Charles Edmund & Sullivan Calvin. After the birth of the second son, Mary Ann was divorced from Cox & remarried Edmund Richardson. The boys went by the name of Richardson. Shortly after this divorce, Brother Cox spent 27 months on a mission to England. (From the director of personal records in Salt Lake City, we find that other marriages similar to this were performed by Brigham Young.)

The following tribute is written by the Richardson family:

Dear Grandfather Cox & Your Wonderful Wives: Since mere words cannot express our gratitude to you, may we humbly dedicate our lives to living it through the Gospel. Like you, may we become "Father of Fathers" & "King of Kings", all dedicated to extend the work of our God." From Descendants of Charles Edmund & Sullivan Calvin.

The following is a tribute to Edmund & Mary Ann Darrow Richardson:

Thanks, Grandpa & Grandma Richardson for the gift of life & the Gospel for which you sacrificed so much., May the glorious example you gave of the steps in repentance flower in our own lives & fruit into a strong testimony of the Gospel, above the roots you planted, that we all might have ETERNAL LIFE.
Your Posterity.

From here they went on into eternal progression, for,
Written by Hortense Richardson (Grand daughter-in-law)

The family is forever,
      Not for a few short years,
The basis of eternity
      Was founded on its tiers.

One generation aids the next,
      And they in turn prepare
The background of a chain of love
      Unbroken over there.

This Richardson history closes with these words:
"God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform."

We go onto our knees in humble gratitude to Thee, our Heavenly Father, for life & the gift of His son Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World; and for the restored Gospel, which made our being possible.


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