Frederick Walter Cox, Sr

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Frederick Walter Cox, Sr

Birthdate: (67)
Birthplace: Plymouth, Chenango County, New York, United States
Death: June 5, 1879 (67)
Manti, Sanpete County, Utah Territory, United States (Incident to old age)
Place of Burial: Manti, Sanpete County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jonathan Upham Cox, 1 and Lucinda Cox
Husband of Sally Emeline Cox; Emeline Sally Cox; Jemima Cox; Cordelia Calista Cox; Lydia Margaret Snow and 4 others
Father of Lucia Isabelle Tuttle; Frederick Walter Cox, Jr.; Louisa Jane Cox; William Arthur Cox; Eliza Emeline Cox and 37 others
Brother of William Upham Cox; Jonathan Cox; Orville Sutherland Cox; Augustus Cox; Amos Cox and 6 others

Managed by: Kenneth Dean Fortie
Last Updated:

About Frederick Walter Cox, Sr

Biographical Sketch of Frederick Walter Cox


Frederick Walter Cox, known as Walter, was born Jan 20, 1812, in Plymouth, New York, the son of Jonathan Upham Cox and Lucinda Blood. He was the third son of a family of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters. All were born in New York State, except the oldest, William Upham Cox, who was born in Boston, Mass. The father died April 21, 1830, in Oswego, New York, and Walter's younger brother, Orville, was bound out to a blacksmith to learn the trade. William, age 22 at that time, worked to keep his fathers mill running, but planned a move to Ohio. Walter evidently moved there in 1830, to Nelson, Portage county, and in February 1831 was baptized into the Mormon Church in Windham, next to Nelson in Portage county.

In 1833 William moved the widowed mother with her large family to Nelson, Portage county, Ohio. In 1835 Walter was married to Emeline, the daughter of Elisha Whiting, and the Cox, Whiting and Morley families were intertwined from that time on. Joseph Smith performed the ceremony. Their son, Frederick W. Cox, jun. was born in Portage.

Travels with the Church

Walter and wife Emeline and brother Amos joined Edwin Whiting and wife Elizabeth, and they journeyed to Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri, in 1837. When the mob took Joseph Smith and other leaders of the church prisoner in November 1838, Walter was also imprisoned for one night. The Mormons were expelled from the state, by order of Governor Boggs, sending all the inhabitants on a 200 mile trek across the snowy landscape to Illinois. Louisa was born in Far West in February, 1839, before they made that journey. Quincy, Illinois provided shelter for the exiles, and Walter was ordained a Seventy while there. The exiles from Missouri suffered great financial loss when they left Far West. They applied to Missouri for redress, but without success.

Mormon Redress Petitions, p.170 [Sworn to before C. M. Woods, C.C.C., Adams Co., IL, 16 May 1839.] [p.170] "Cox, Frederick W. May 12th 1839, Adams County, Ill. An account of loss and damage Recd. on account of the orders of the Governor of Missouri in Land selling and unsold $500.00 farming utensils and other articles 150.00 in going to and from the state 150.00 damage exposure and sufferings 1000.00 I certify the above to be true according to the best of my knowledge Frederick W Cox"

The Morleys, Coxes and Whitings, with some others, moved to Lima, Adams County, in the same state. When a stake was organized there, he was chosen as counselor to Isaac Morley.

"Thursday, October 22, 1840 The committee appointed by the general conference of the Church at Nauvoo on the 3rd inst., (my brother Hyrum presiding) organized a Stake at Lima this evening, by appointing Isaac Morley, president; John Murdock and Walter Cox, his counselors" (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol.4, Ch.13, p.233) June 11, 1843 A conference was held at Lima, and the branch reorganized, under the direction of Elder Heber C. Kimball; Isaac Morley, President; Walter Cox and Edwin Whiting, counselors; Gardiner Snow, bishop; Clark Hallet and Henry Dean, counselors; William Woodland, Solomon Hancock, James C. Snow, James Israel, Edmond Durfee, Daniel Stanton, Moses Clawson, Wed. . (History of the Church, Vol.5, Ch.22, p.427)

As there seemed to be no chance for compensation from Missouri, Joseph Smith decided to run for President in 1844. Many men of the church were called on missions to proselyte and to campaign for Joseph, and Walter had 2 missions that year; in April he was sent to New England for Joseph's cause.

The Saints were driven from Lima in Sept. 1845, Walter's house was burned by mob and his family narrowly escaped with their lives. The Cox family with others fled to the shelter of Nauvoo, where they began preparations to move west. However conditions were crowded, and food was scarce. Fields of corn in the Morley settlement had not been harvested, so some of the men returned there to harvest what they could by night. The mob realized what was happening, and were watching for the harvesting Mormons.

On the night of the 14th-15th of November a party of the mob set fire to a stack of straw near Soloman Hancock's barn and concealed themselves. Hancock and the others came out of the corn fields to put out the fire to save the barn. Among the group was Edmond Durfee and F. Walter Cox. With the concealed mobsters were three men; Jacob Beck, George Backman and a man named Moss or Morse who had been party to the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Out there concealed in the shadows of night, one set of the mob bet the others a gallon of whiskey that they could kill Edmond Durfee on the first shot and they won. One of the members of the mob pointed his gun at F. Walter Coxwith the full intent to shoot him. As he did so, such a strange feeling came over the mobster that he could not bring himself to pull the trigger. Upon learning of it, Cox acknowledged the power of the Almighty in his remarkable escape, and knew that his work was not yet finished.

(From Before and After Mt Pisgah. General reference D.H.C. VII pages 145, 523-5; Also Letter return to Aunt Adelia Sidwell April 15, 1902)

When the Nauvoo Temple was ready for ordinance work, Walter married Miss Jemima Losee and Cordelia Morley Jan. 27, 1846, President Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball officiating.


After leaving Nauvoo in early 1846, Walter stopped in Mt Pisgah, about 80 miles east of Winter Quarters, where Cordelia gave birth to Lovina Emeline, 27 Sep 1846. He moved further west, into Mills County just south of Pottawattamie County in Iowa, along Silver Creek. He was gathering the goods and wagons required to move his expanding family to Utah. As church members moved west, Gentiles would buy the improvements, until Walter's family was left quite alone, according to Cordelia. Walter with his 3 wives drew persecution, and in 1851 Walter was taken into a Gentile court and tried for breaking laws of the land by living with more than one wife. His sentence was "to recognize only one wife or leave the country." His reply was: "I will never forsake my wives and children."

His second wife, Jemima Lossee Cox, was expecting her third child. With sentiment so much against them, he realized that for the safety of the mother and babe, the child must not be born in that county. Cordelia, the third wife, was very devoted to Jemima, so she volunteered to take her three children and go with Jemima wherever the husband thought it wise to take them.

A wagon, loaded with food, bedding, a stove, etc., was fitted out for the mothers' and children's accommodation, and they started out in January, 1852 to find a place somewhere in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. The task was not an easy one, and the cold and snow made it more difficult. At last, near Carterville on the lonely prairie, not too far from the main road, an abandoned barn was found which had possibilities. In it was a stable 14 feet square, which was cleaned out, the floor boards turned and scrubbed, a window was improvised, the stove put up and beds made. Then wood was provided, after which the husband returned to the main body of the Saints. Cordelia, though very devoted, felt she was very poor help for a woman facing the great ordeal, as nervousness was her ever-present companion.

Cordelia says of this time: "Your mother, Jemima Cox, was kind and devoted to her children. No one could say ought against her. She and I lived and ate together. We were driven from our home and husband in the dead of winter among strangers with no friends to come and visit us. We felt that we were alone with no one but God to rely upon. We put our trust in Him. When it was our bed time, we knelt down in humble prayer and asked God to take us into His care and keeping through the night."

"We had six little children under six years old without a father's care and protection. The finger of scorn was pointed at us. We bore it with patience looking forward to a time when we could live and enjoy the society of our husband and friends.

February was almost gone, when one evening Cordelia noticed that Jemima was trying to hide her distress. She then realized that the time had come. A terrible fear came over her; a thousand thoughts rushed through her mind, and uppermost was the thought "What shall I do?" The answer was a knock at the door. Cordelia opened it and there stood a woman, unexpected but so welcome, so necessary, this wintry night. The woman said she had felt that she was needed and had come to offer her assistance. That night, February 29, 1852, the babe was born. As soon as everything had been taken care of and the babe placed in its mother's arms, the kindly woman left, and neither of the wives ever saw or heard from her again, but they always felt that this was God-given aid, for who but God could have expressed such a keen sympathy or sent more needed help. He did not send them an earthly doctor, who might appear curious enough to hurt these two wives who were so much alone; but a woman, sympathetic, understanding and capable.

The baby was named Esther, and when she was three months old, they left for Salt Lake City, arriving there September 28, 1852. They then continued on to Manti in October of the same year. Here this baby grew to womanhood, and was married in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, to Gardner E. Snow. She became the mother of eight children, to whom she always loved to tell the story of pioneer days, and especially the one regarding her birth.

Manti, Utah

Walter and his families left Kanesville for Utah June 20, 1852, And Emily Amelia was born along the way. Aug 8, 1852, at Laramie, Wyoming was her birth place, after which they continued on and reached Salt Lake City Sept. 28, 1852. Then they came on to Manti, arriving there Oct. 4, 1852. Here he went to work to build forts, bridges, roads, homes, mills, etc., necessary for the making of a new country. Their first home had only two rooms and was located in the Little Fort. They stayed there nine years. They started their "dream home" in 1854, but it took them seven years to complete it. The main floor was divided into four rooms, each with an outside entrance, giving each wife her own door. There are 12 rooms in all with 5 fireplaces and a large basement. Address: 98 North 100 West, Manti, UT 84642

In the year 1855 he married Miss Lydia Losee and in 1869 he married Miss Emma Peterson. Altogether he was the husband of five wives who bore him fourteen sons and twenty-two daughters. His wives were all noble women, who acted well their part in helping to maintain their families and in educating them. The present generations have no conception of the sacrifices made by them and the toil they had to endure in the spinning wheel and the loom. If written it would make a large and interesting volume.

Note: The following story of Mary Richardson was not told to the descendants until about 1950, which explains the previous paragraph's comment about 5 wives.

Mary Richardson

Brigham Young visited Manti early in January 1858. He was welcomed by the band assembled at Temple Hill and a large crowd at the council house. Edmond and Mary Richardson asked Brigham Young for a blessing that they might have more children. He considered their case and asked them to meet with him on the morrow.

Edmond and Mary prayed earnestly about it and that night each of them had a vision. When they met with Brigham Young again, he presented them with a paper containing the names of three worthy polygamist men.

He told Edmond and Mary to choose one of the three to father some children for them. They choose the name of Frederick Walter Cox. There was some hesitation on the part of F. Walter Cox to fill the request.

Family story was that Brigham Young used strong persuasion on Walter Cox. Because he was the only one who could do it, Brigham Young gave a temporary separation to Edmond and Mary. He then performed a civil marriage uniting Walter Cox and Mary Richardson. The date was January 9, 1858. (Record on file in the archives of Salt Lake City) Edmond went away to work but he sent alimony to Mary. She continued to live at the Richardson home. It was agreed that any children born to Mary would carry the Richardson name.

Later Life

At a general conference in April 1862 Walter was called to fill a mission to England. He presided over the Preston and Durham conferences and spent 27 months on this mission. In the fall of 1876 he was called as special missionary to the Indians.

He did much in developing this sterile State and in an ecclesiastical way he was a power. He was counselor to President Welcome Chapman,

He was a member of the City Council of Manti for many years, and held the office of Treasurer of Sanpete County for a number of terms until his death. At the organization of the Sanpete Stake of Zion he was chosen president of the High Priests Quorum. In that office, he laid the north-west corner stone of the Manti Temple. He was also chosen to the Territorial legislature. He was held in high esteem by the community in which he lived.

Fredrick Walter Cox died at Manti, Utah June 4, 1879 from injuries received June 2 while unloading logs from a wagon. He remained in an unconscious state until he expired. He was a man of more than medium height and weight. He had brown hair, blue eyes, a mild and kind temperament and a loving disposition. In a day when many wore beards, Walter was clean shaven.

He was the father of thirty-eight children; at the time of his funeral twenty-nine were living. All but one on a mission to Colorado attended his funeral. His grand-children numbered fifty-six; only three were dead. Five wives lived to mourn his loss.

Father Cox lived sixty-seven years at a period of national history in which was fought the War of 1812 with England, War of 1846 with Mexico, our Civil War 1860-65, and the two Indian Wars of Utah. With joy he witnessed each victory. But it is not as a warrior or statesman we think of him. We love him as our Father and as one of God's chosen servants who has given us a birth and heritage as pure as a child ever got from a parent.

We love and respect him because he loved others, because he loved truth and righteousness and character. We love him and his memory because of his numerous posterity. By his works we know him. His posterity has held positions of trust in half the large towns of Utah. They are scattered through the state in every college and university, and in the high schools of this and neighboring states. They have visited nearly every state and country in the world.

He was a father in the community and every one wished him near them in time of sickness or sorrow. If ailing, one could not help but feel the good spirit and know that they were better. There was something about Bro. Cox to inspire one to better thoughts and better deeds. He seemed to read the countenance of people like an open book, and unless their lives were clean few came to trouble him. He was always able to look every one in the eye, speak his mind and give his advice and counsel which was sought in all the affairs of life. The poor and the downtrodden looked to him for comfort. Even the savage Indian found in him a true and lasting friend. Hours of patient conversation were spent with those treacherous, cruel savages and the miracle was they never left him in anger. His talk to them was so forceful and the right so plainly pointed that they were usually willing to follow his directions.

He read things with so clear an eye and understood cause and effect so well that his word was almost prophetic. His sublime faith, his unfaltering integrity in all the walks of life made him a husband, a father, a friend and a good citizen to be loved, honored and respected by all. His life was a success and the bond of affection which still continues unbroken among his descendants is one of the forceful evidences of his worth. All their highest ideals, their greatest achievements, their loyalty to the principles and faith of their fathers are tributes to his memory.

His life was a success and the bond of affection which still continues unbroken among his descendants is one of the forceful evidences of his worth. All their highest ideals, their greatest achievements, their fealty to the principles and faith of our fathers are tributes to his memory. He has become the father of a generation that loves him, and that will add honor to his name as long as they live, though things may come to pass not yet foreseen as the events of humanity crowd fast upon each other. May God grant that the memory of Fredrick Walter Cox not be lost as long as his posterity shall have a place in the Universe.

Taken from Jacqueline Sleeper Russell web site; Ted Cox web site; F Walter Cox obituary; Heart Throbs of the West story by Alida Snow Woolley; Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, Volume 2; Church Ordinance data; Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah Genealogies and Biographies; comments from Cordelia Morley Cox; Before and After Mt Pisgah by Clare Christensen; and other sources whose origin is not known.

Compiled by Carl Cox, 2006

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel 1847–1868 John B. Walker Company (1852) and William S. S. Willes Company (1865)

Age at departure: 40

Find a Grave

Birth: Jan. 20, 1812 Plymouth Chenango County New York, USA

Death: Jun. 5, 1879 Manti Sanpete County Utah, USA

Son of Johnathan Upham Cox and Lucinda Blood.

Family links:

  • Cordelia Calista Morley Cox (1823 - 1915)
  • Lydia Margaret Losee Snow (1837 - 1921)
  • Mary Ann Darrow Richardson (1818 - 1872)
  • Emma Sophia Burt Petersen (1850 - 1900)
  • Emeline Sally Whiting Cox (1817 - 1896)*
  • Jemima Losee Cox (1823 - 1901)*
  • Frederick Walter Cox (1836 - 1921)*
  • Louisa Jane Cox (1839 - 1846)*
  • William Arthur Cox (1840 - 1932)*
  • Eliza Emeline Cox (1843 - 1946)*
  • Rosalia Ellen Cox Driggs (1846 - 1924)*
  • Edwin Marion Cox (1848 - 1932)*
  • George Byron Cox (1849 - 1934)*
  • Emily Amelia Cox Tuttle (1852 - 1919)*
  • Abraham Losee Cox (1853 - 1854)*
  • Harriett Lenora Cox Reid (1855 - 1941)*
  • Isaac Cox (1856 - 1856)*
  • Samuel Cox (1856 - 1856)*
  • Sylvester Hulet Cox (1857 - 1935)*
  • Calista Cordalia Cox Crawford (1857 - 1933)*
  • Carmelia Cox (1857 - 1864)*
  • Evelyn Cox Moffitt (1866 - 1965)*

Burial: Manti Cemetery Manti Sanpete County Utah, USA Plot: Lot 11 Block 10 Plat A Grave 1

Created by: Alyssa Richelle Record added: Nov 30, 2006 Find A Grave Memorial# 16866325

For more information on family members, see

  • Residence: Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States - 1850
  • Residence: Manti, Sanpete, Utah Territory, United States - 1860
  • Residence: Manti, Sanpete, Utah Territory, United States - 1870
view all 60

Frederick Walter Cox, Sr's Timeline

January 20, 1812
Plymouth, Chenango County, New York, United States
Age 21
November 6, 1836
Age 24
Windham, Portage, Ohio, United States
February 3, 1839
Age 27
Near Far West, Caldwell, MO
December 27, 1840
Age 28
Lima, Adams, IL
May 4, 1843
Age 31
Lima, Hancock, IL
December 25, 1845
Age 33