HISTORY OF DAVID JEHU COX
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HISTORY OF DAVID JEHU COX
Research, summarized and compiled from various histories, recorded interviews, records, and personal knowledge
by Clark L. Cox
David Jehu Cox was born to Isaiah Cox and Henrietta Janes on June 16, 1864 in St. George, Utah. David was the 4th child and 2nd son of the nine children of the Isaiah and Henrietta family.
Jehu continued to live in St. George during his youth. As a youth he was taught by Isaiah how to be a good and hard worker. He proved he had learned well when, at the age of sixteen, he bought a span of gray horses for $400 and worked in the Eldorado Mine in Southern Nevada hauling salt for $8.00 a day. He had the team paid for in two months. He continued to use the team during his young adult life and early during his marriages. Primarily, he made hauls from the mines in Southern Nevada and Southern Utah.
The price of being headquartered in and around St. George included significance distances between the St. George area and the mines as well as the other Mormon settlements in the two state areas. As an example, a trip from the lower Muddy River or Overton, Nevada back to St. George was a trial of stamina in itself. David Stout tells of one trip from Overton to St. George in August 1882. “While traveling now, David Cox the driver stops every few miles and waters the horses with a bucket and throws water over them to cool their famished and weary limbs. Camped overnight at Beaver Dam, Arizona.”
Henrietta, David’s mother, was traveling with David on the same trip, and she tells how they camped the next night a few miles out of Santa Clara after the team had managed to pull its load through all of the sandy roadway for those twenty miles. They arose the next morning early so they could reach St. George by 9 a.m.
In the fall of 1887, Annie Cox’s father moved the family to Overton, Nevada to help take care of his wife, Hanna, when his son Albert was born. There, Annie met David Jehu Cox and was married to him April 3, 1888 in the St. George, Utah Temple. Shortly after their marriage they moved to the small farming community of Bunkerville, Nevada. Soon after arriving in Bunkerville, in January of 1890, David and Annie bought a lot and built a one room 12’ x 14’ tent where all of their children were born. The mother and the five children, four girls and one boy, lived in this one room for a number of years, until all of them were grown.
Annie’s and David Jehu’s marriage was a plural one, with Annie being the second of the two wives. There were a total of 12 children in the other family. It seemed that the two families lived separately, Annie’s in Bunkerville and the other family in Overton, Nevada. Many of the plural marriages of that time succumbed to the action of the Government of the United States passing a law that outlawed plural marriages and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discontinuing such marriages. Cohabitation with more than one wife was not legally permitted. In fact, the Government sent marshals throughout the Mormon communities, arresting the men of any continuing polygamous cohabitation. After years of strain and hiding from the marshals, David Jehu, in or about 1903, moved to Overton to live with his first wife. In 1904, while he was a member of the Overton Ward, David Jehu was called to serve a mission in Texas.
While on his mission in Texas, David met some fellow missionaries from Logan, Cache Valley, Utah. Sometime prior to his release from his mission in 1908, David had his wife in Overton sell their home and move the family to Logan, Utah. When David returned from his mission he went directly to Logan where his first wife was now living. He never returned to Bunkerville nor made any attempt to contact his second wife, or any of their children, during the rest of his lifetime. In fact, there was very little effort to make a connection between any of the children of either family to become acquainted with their half brothers and sisters.
David and his first wife and the portion of his family who were still residing at home moved from Logan, Utah to Ogden, Utah late in 1916. Not long after the move his first wife divorced him, remarried and moved to Southern California. A child from the family that moved to Logan said, much later in life, “His neglect of his second wife, Annie, was the greatest mistake of his life. A better woman never lived nor a more faithful and devoted wife could David have found than was Annie. The bitter experience which David suffered in later years is probably the Lord’s method of punishing him for breaking his marriage promise to her.” David passed away living in an old shack in Ogden with rarely a visit from his children, a pitiful case for an old man.
In 1938 Marriner Cox, David’s only son by Annie Jones, and his wife Veda decided to take their five children and Annie, his mother, to Yellowstone for the family’s summer vacation. When they arrived in Ogden, Utah, Marriner’s mother, Annie, wanted to visit her husband David and Marriner’s father, for a few minutes. As a result of her pleading, Annie’s desire was met. As they drove up to his run down shanty, quite some distance from the street, Marriner reminded his mother that he was not going to get out of the pickup and neither were any of the children. As Annie got out of the car David came out of his shack. In order to avoid a scene in front of the children and Marriner, Annie hurried to meet him halfway. They talked about 10 minutes with Annie crying most of the time. Although the children didn’t get out, they had a feeling of sadness in their hearts as they watched the meeting between their grandmother and grandfather they had never and would never meet. Soon, Annie returned to the pickup and they were on their way. This was the first and last meeting of the husband and second wife since his leaving the family, some thirty or thirty five years earlier. No one in Marriner’s family ever mentioned the meeting.
David Jehu Cox died in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 3, 1945. He was buried in Logan, Utah.