Sunday, April 4, 2010

Amos Cox 1821 - 1898

AMOS COX, son of Jonathan Upham Cox, was born 26 Mar 1821, in Owego, New York. In his boyhood he drove an ox team to Fort Leavenworth, where he had work. In Nauvoo he worked as a chore boy in the family of Joseph Smith.

On the way west he joined the Mormon Battalion and continued his way to the Pacific. He left his wife with 4 children when he went, and she buried one of the children in his absence. Uncle Chauncy Whiting took her to his home in Silver Creek, and cared for her until her husband returned. He was wounded in Arizona while with the Battalion.

He settled in Manti, then returned to Iowa. There he taught school, ran a stage, was mail carrier, was captain of militia, ran a hotel in Sidney, lived among the Indians, then moved to Shenandoah. Most of his life was hardship and losses that would have soured most men not molded on his high plain of character, but he was not one to murmur.

He was one of the oldest Masons of his community; his Order buried him.  He married Philena Morley 20 June 1841, in Hancock County, Illinois. They had 5 children. He was a quiet, modest man, with no enemy in the world, and his thoughtfulness for others made him universally loved in his community.

Christensen, Clare B. "Before and After Mt. Pisgah", Published, Salt Lake City, Utah,  1979

Pg. 37 gives birth of Amos Cox as 26 March 1821 at Owego, Tioga, New York, the son of Jonathan Upham Cox and Lucinda Blood. Pg. 104 says, "On the 20th of June 1841, in a lovely grove at Morley Settlement - - -twenty year old Amos Cox was married to twenty-seven year old Philena Morley." Pg. 478 says, "Amos married a second time, Mrs. Mary J. Boyd, April 1895." Pg. 480 says, "He [Amos] died [in Iowa] 13 July 1898 and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Shenandoah."

A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War. 1846-1847 

By Daniel Tyler, John Taylor, Thomas Leiper Kane:


While in the Mormon Battalion:
The company had reached the Big Meadows at today's Lovelock Nevada. The Cox family preserved a colorful but unlikely story about such a dry stretch of trail. "Aunt Phrasia" claimed the men had orders that horses were not to "drink and roil the water up" before the men. While Cox guarded a waterhole. "General Kearney rode the horse up and started to water it. Uncle Amos warned him away. He paid no attention until Uncle Amos pulled his gun and threatened to shoot him unless he took the horse away until the men had all drunk and filled their canteens." Kearny later "had Uncle Amos court martialed and strunk up by the thumbs for pulling a gun on his superior officer. "Biographical Saketch of Sylester Hulet, Utah State Hist. Soc.

Nathaniel Vary Jones history:
On May 10 an order was issued to detail three men from each battalion company to serve as an escort for General Kearney as he traveled to Fort Leavenworth. Jones (and Amos Cox) was detailed, and on May 13 left Los Angeles. On May 27, the detachment met General Kearney at Monterey. They "fit out" in preparation for the trip east. Jones describes the marches, the countryside, the camps, the river crossings, the Indian inhabitants, and the animal life. At Fort Sutter, the company met up with Colonel Fremont, whom Kearney had under arrest and was escorting back to Ft. Leavenworth. Here, they learned also that Sam Brannan had gone east to meet Brigham Young's party to pilot them into the Salt Lake Valley. On June 22, Jones describes General Kearney detailing five men to bury the cannibalized remains of the Donner party that they had come upon at a cabin in the Sierras. After they buried the bones of the dead the men set fire to the cabin.

The detachment then traveled down the Truckee River. By June 30, they were traveling up the Mary's River, and the journalist "had not seen one tree in 150 miles." On July 9, Jones notes, "we are now in Oregon." By July 15, they reached Fort Hall, passing Oregon emigrants along the way. They went on to the Bear River, to the Green River, to the Big Sandy, to the Sweet-water, to the Platte, and to Fort Laramie. From there Jones had permission to meet up with a company of Mormons, and obtained news of his family and friends from that group on August 4. On Sunday, August 8, they camped on the South Platte River. Buffalo was plentiful. By Friday August 20, they were crossing the prairie. On August 23, they reached Fort Leavenworth, turned over their "public property," and received pay of "only $8.60" for their "extra service." Tuesday, they "got some clothes . . . and started at noon. Came to St. Joe . . . Camped with Brother Colton at Savannah."

Heart Throbs of the West, Kate B. Carter, Vol.9, p.25
After leaving the Platte River while traveling along the Sweetwater River the company met General Kearney and his company of Battalion scouts with their illustrious prisoner, the great pathfinder John C. Fremont. With Fremont's guards were Sylvester Hulet, and Amos Cox. They had traveled many weary months in an unknown lonely country and C. C. Rich's company were also travel-weary. To thus meet relatives and friends so unexpectedly was an unspeakable joy to both parties. Now the Battalion men heard from their families left in Iowa for the first time in more than a year. And tears of joy and of sorrow were freely mingled. A daughter of Amos had died. Sylvester's wife had gone to New York where the Whitmores, her father-in-law and her brothers, lived; so he decided to return to the Rocky Mountains with the pioneers and Kearney gave him his discharges. Amos Cox continued with the prisoner to Fort Leavenworth, where he received his honorable discharge, and then went to his waiting family in Iowa.

 Mormon Battalion info:

(1) Map of the Manti area. (2) Legend.  (3) Stage house inn.  (4) House that I think sits on block 11 ( Edmond Fisher).  Current owner believes an addition on the back is the Alpheus Cutler home or part there of and he may be right.  He allowed me to look it over and the back portion was added and is very old.  Dimension lumber is well over 2" thick and some of the pine sheeting is 16" wide.

Stage house circa 1910:

 Stage house in the 2000s:

1850 census

1860 census

1870 census

1880 census


Apr. 6, 1821
Death: Jul. 12, 1898

Soldier in Mexican War of 1846, when the Mormon Battalion where on their way to Great Salt Lake they halted at Council Bluffs, IA and Omaha, NE. The government demanded that they furnish some volunteers for the war with Mexico, the Mormon Battalion responded promptly with 500 of the best young men and Amos was one of them. He never made it to Salt Lake with the Battalion, but after his marriage to the widow Boyd he took her there to visit his son and relatives.

Rose Hill Cemetery
Page County
Iowa, USA