COX, Amos: Brief life story

From the pen of Cleesa Cox

Amos Cox born 8 October 1856 at Manti, Sanpete County Utah was the son of Orville Southerland and Mary Elizabeth Allen Cox. When Amos was a small boy they were called to go to the Muddy in Nevada and settle that part of the country, after many L.D.S. families had built canals set out orchards and vineyards and got the land to producing. The state set such a high tax that the Saints were unable to meet it, so were told to get out so grandfather and grandmother moved to Orderville, Utah where they later joined the Order.

Father remembered the long tables where everyone ate and where the butter was put on the bread and then scraped off so it was called bread and scrape, but he also remembers some very good meals that was served, which tasted especially good after a long day of scything with a hand scythe.

My father as well as Sister Brady Englestead has told me of how her sister who was about 14 years old, had been sick for months and got so she wouldn’t eat, and although they had the elders administer many times, still she seemed to get worse. One day she said:

“If you will have Amos Cox administer to me I think I will get well.”

Father was only 17 years old at the time and had never administered to anyone in his life, but they sent for him out in the field where he was scything grain. He said he was dumbfounded, but told them he would come.

There in the field he asked Heavenly Father what to say and said he believed it was one of the most humbling experiences of his life. He went to the house, washed his hands, and sealed the anointing. He promised the girl that she would get well, then when he looked at her and saw how frail and pale she looked, he was scared and so weak that he sat down. In a few minutes the girl asked for some bread and milk. She ate all of it, and wanted more, but her mother was wise and told her that she must not eat too much at once, but could have more later.

Father then went back to the field. The girl improved from that day on and lived to raise a large family. Father seemed to have the gift of healing. I have seen several persons whom the doctors had given up, but lived after father administered to them.

I also saw a case of someone who didn’t live, but father was using tobacco at the time as a doctor had told him to so as to remove the fat from around his heart, but father felt that was why the Lord did not hear his prayer, because he was breaking a commandment.

Father was married to Sarah Arletta Palmer 10 July 1876. I think in the Endowment house. Anyway he said he was endowed in Salt Lake City. They had been married a number of years but had no children, it was during the time of polygamy and as the government was trying to get the manifesto thru. Father went to Mexico and married my mother Grace Ellen Chestnut on the 4th of June 1894. They were married by Brigham Young Jr. son of President Brigham Young, who was down there for that purpose.

Father and mother are the parents of eight children. As there were no doctors in the L.D.S. Colonies at that time, Aunt Letty took care of the confinement cases with fathers help sometimes in Chiuchupa, Garcia, and Pechaco, the Mountain Colonies. Later they did some of that work in Colonial Juarez. Father also set the broken bones, extracted teeth, and treated snake bites. He said that with the help of the Lord they never lost a case.

Father also practiced the blacksmith trade and went as a guide with mining men from Boston and other Eastern cities. When I was about 12 years old, father sold a mining claim for five thousand dollars and we moved to Juarez. Father invested part of the money in the electric light company and bought a blacksmith shop and a home with the other part. We had electric lights, a telephone, an Edison Phonograph and linoleum on the floors, something we had never had in Chuichupa.

Also an organ of which we girls were very proud. I had taken a few music lessons in Chupy, now I took some more from a German music teacher, Mr. Hagg. Father was called on a mission to the Southern States with head quarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He had been out only eight months when the colonists were driven out of Mexico on account of the Mexican Revolution in 1912.

We had been in El Paso, Texas for over a month when the church authorities decided to release all men with families from the mission field, so father was released and we came to Utah in 1912 and settled at Orderville. Father had to start over from scratch then, and he lived in poverty until his death, 9 April 1937.

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