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Nancy Irene Sanders Cox
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Birth: Oct. 1, 1856
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
Death: Jan. 1, 1916
Mount Pleasant
Sanpete County
Utah, USA

(Compiled by Nancy Cox MacKay, June 1999)

Nancy's mother, Mary Irene Clement (Sanders), was 10 when she crossed the plains as an orphan along with her brothers; Darius (12) and Thomas (5). Mary's mother and an older brother died in Pigeon Hollow in November of 1846. Mary's sister, who planned on caring for them, died in Winter Quarters in the spring. The children then came under the care of Aunt Almira, their mother's sister, and her husband, Isaac Ferguson. They walked across the plains in the Heber C. Kimball Company, arriving late Sept. 1847/8.

Isaac was very harsh with the children and the children became very close. Their Uncle Warren Foote reached the Valley in 1850 and settled at Union Fort. Also in Union Fort was John Franklin Sanders, who had loved the little girl in Pigeon Grove. When John Frank found that Isaac was mistreating the boys and was thinking of taking Mary Irene as a plural wife, he arranged for Irene and her brothers to live with Warren Foote at Union Fort. When Isaac was away, John took a wagon and gathered up the children and their belongings, including two green chests, and moved them to Union Fort.

In July of 1855, Mary Irene Clement and John Franklin Sanders were married. Her brother, Thomas Clement, lived with them until a short time after he married in 1864.

Nancy Irene Sanders was born in 1856 and John Franklin Sanders Jr. was born in 1859 in Union Fort. Shortly after this, the Sanders family moved with others from Union Fort and settled in Fairview, Utah. Six more children were born in Fairview.

In 1858, John Franklin took as a second wife, Jane Gibson. Her family was very poor and she was young. John took care of the family, but they did not live together until later.

Nancy Irene Sanders was born in Union Fort and when she was about three, her mother, Mary Irene, was going after water and Nancy wanted to go too, but it was cold and so she sent her back. Nancy cried and held her breath. She sat down in a little rocking chair in front of the fireplace. The chair tipped forward, throwing her head under the rod that held the logs on the fire. When she screamed her mother ran back. When they brushed off the coals, the hair and skin came off the top of her head and most of her face. Nancy was a pretty child with such a lot of dark hair an smooth skin, her eyes a dark blue-gray or hazel. They used home-made black salve to heal it. The salve was made by burning tar and mixing it with balsam gum and mutton tallow. (Her mother had learned about the salve on the wagon train coming across the plains.) It is a miracle she lived and that the scars were not deeper. Her mother often cried as she combed as she combed her hair for her, parted on the side to cover the scar and used pretty ribbons. Many years later, when her husband, Walt, was asked how he felt about the large scar, he replied, "Scar? What scar?" She was always beautiful and perfect to him. She often wore a scarf if she wasn't using a hat.

John Frank built the first adobe house in Fairview. The men lived in it while they worked on the fort. It still stands at about 150 West 100 South in Fairview. Mary Irene was a quiet woman. She kept a very clean house and was an excellent cook. Her husband, John, would bring the Church Officials to their home when they came to Fairview. She had the first sewing machine in Fairview, brought by her husband when he returned from taking wagons back east for new immigrants. She made most of the burial clothes for those who died. Friends would come and as they sewed and mended, she would read to them. She had magazines and newspapers coming to her home each month.

Amanda Elizabeth Sanders was 18 months old when she died in 1864.

Jane's first child was born in 1865. The second child, Amanda Ann Sanders, was born in 1867 and is buried in the lower cemetery next to her half sister. Jane had four more children in Fairview.

While Nancy Irene was in St. George visiting her Sanders grandparents in 1875, her mother, Mary Irene Clement Sanders died, probably from a tubal pregnancy, and joined the children in the cemetery.

Nancy became ‘mother' to her five siblings. She also helped with Jane's family

About 1874, John Franklin, homesteaded in Thistle Valley. His second wife, Jane, lived there at least part of the time.

Walter Cox courted Nancy some while she was there helping with the children. Walter had to finish morning chores and then choose between a slower buggy which he could use to take Nancy for a ride (with a little sister to keep track) or a faster horse and then have to stay in view of the house.

Once when he chose the horse, the Indian boys from Indianola spotted him going home and felt he would be more fun than the rabbits they were hunting for supper. He knew he could not out run the ponies, so rather than following the wagon road around the hill, he took off over the hill and pulled himself into a cedar when he got near the top. The Indians took the wagon road figuring they could soon catch him on the other side. Walter knew the horse would head for home. When the Indians finally discovered the horse had no rider, they searched a while, but it was getting dark so they went on home. When the coast was clear, Walter started walking. When his brothers found the horse in the barn and the chores not done, they started searching for him. He was mighty glad to have a ride the rest of the way home.

Nancy married Walter Cox, October 1876. Walter Cox pioneered with his parents, Elvira and Orville Sutherland Cox. He was born in Manti, moved to Fairview with them in 1862.

Nancy Irene Sanders stayed single longer than most of the girls. In fact, she was considered an old maid for 1-3 years and the married men were after her for polygamy. When Walter came home sick, Nancy went down to see him. One of her friends teased her about nursing him and Nancy quickly said, "You bet I'll see him thru, and then I am going to marry him." Walt and Nancy went steady for quite awhile.

Nancy and Walter went to Conference in October of 1876. They had ponies to pull the wagon and sat on the spring seat while the couple going with them were in the back. Nancy knit and Walt hand to hold the reins to drive the ponies. He wished he had the oxen, then he could have put his arm around Nancy. The first night they camped in Thistle Valley, second at Hot Springs, third at Pleasant Grove and fourth in Salt Lake City where they camped at the Tithing Office with many others from out of town. They spent four days going to Conference and were married in the Endowment House before they started home. They had 11 children and lived together for 40 years.

In 1879, John Franklin Sanders was called to settle Arizona. His oldest son, Frank, with the help of hired cowboys, moved everyone's cattle to the Arizona range. John took Martin Henry (14), Thomas (12), and his wife Jane along with their five children with him. They went to St. George to visit the grandparents hoping his brother Joseph and others would join them. They stayed until 1882 and then continued to Tonto Basin, Arizona.

Olive Loretta and David Darius were left with Nancy Irene and Walter. Mary Eliza also remained with them until she married.

An Indian boy named Bateese had been befriended by Moses Martin Sanders and was a bosom friend with John Franklin. He was a good scout and hunter. He went along on John Frank's trips east. When John Frank was called to Arizona, Bateese had to remain in Fairview as his health was too poor to make the trip. He lived with Walter until he died, about a year after John left. He was buried in the hills west of Walt's home.

Nancy provided a home for many in her lifetime. Walt homesteaded the farm south of town in 1882. The house was too close to the corral and the water was bad. The children were always sick and the family was warned to find a better water supply or move. When Walt's brother, Al, moved to Mexico, they moved into his house in town. In 1893, an earthquake opened up a fresh spring on their property. They built a three story farm house of good solid wood with kitchen, parlor and parents bedroom downstairs, and six bedrooms upstairs.

The farm was a mile south of town. Walter raised cattle and grain, milked cows and made cheese. He had bees and in 1911 shipped a carload of honey back east. When he was setting up the blacksmith shop on the farm prior to 1900, he needed an anvil for it. He went east on the train and carried it as ‘hand baggage' back home. That was cheaper than having it shipped (mail order) and paying the freight. Walter worked the farm until all his children were gone and then he moved to Fairview where he lived with Belva and visited with his children. He spent many winters in Arizona. The house stood until the severe winter of 1983. The timbers were used on the dairy farm of his descendants.

Walt and Nancy often had relatives living with them. Olive Loretta and David Darius Sanders were raised as their own. Walt's nephews stayed some time with them. There was always work and fun on the farm. The older boys rigged up a tall swing. Teenagers from town were welcome and would often come and swing, play in the pond and then cook up a batch of honey candy to pull and have fresh bread and milk and maybe fruit while it was cooking, getting home long after dark. The boys also took any scrap metal they could find – old nails, horseshoes, and bits of wire – and melted it down. They made clamp-on ice skates and skated on the nearby mill pond.

Nancy went to school whenever she could. Tuition was $3 a quarter. She often helped with the younger children and her last teacher was John Acton. He quite often got drunk and Nancy taught for him then.

Although Nancy was well educated and subscribed to magazines and bought good books,Walt was very aware that his schooling was lacking. He only had a few days here and there and one 3 month period when he was nearly grown, but he did as much reading as he could and saw that the family all went to school. They both served on the school board. One year when some of the town teenagers were hanging around, he hired a teacher to teach them.

Nancy and her family raised ‘starvy' lambs, picked the wool off of fences and so on and washed and spun the wool. Walter's mother wove some for her before she became too old. By the time they moved in the new house, Nancy had decided that it was easier to take the wool to the mill to have it rolled and spun – the yarn and the cloth were better, but her children learned the complete process.

Nancy picked the down off the geese each spring for bedding and saved the feathers of the geese and chickens for feather ticks. She died apples and canned fruits and made jam. She cared for the bees. The honey provided the education and extras in the home. She made soap and washed clothes in the wash tub. She knit stockings and other articles for the family. She was glad when her girls were big enough to make their own clothes and could even sew for her. The cows were taken to the mountain each summer and there the boys took care of them and made cheese.

Her oldest son, Fred went to Canada and was killed in 1905. Her daughter, Frances Ella Cox was a year old when she died in 1896 and was buried next to her grandmother. Nine children (including twins) lived to maturity. Her daughter, Amanda Irene Cox, married Charles E. Watson in Canada. Two of their children, Charles Walter Watson and Ida Grace Watson died after the family moved back to Utah and are buried by their grandparents.

Nancy remembered many with a call and a kind word. When the circus came along for so much for a family, she would gather all the neighbors and for butter and eggs, go to the show. They never said how big a family, so she gathered quite a few. Even when Nancy was so sick she knew she couldn't live, she was thinking of others. She wrote letters and prepared everything she could before she gave up to say she was sick

Nancy Irene Sanders Cox died 1 Jan. 1916.

Walter entertained the grandchildren with songs like Old Dan Tucker, Yankee Doodle, Sailing in a boat, I Bought Me a Cat and the Cat Pleased me, Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star, and Whackety Whack Upon Your Back.

Walter Cox died in 1940 and is buried in the lower cemetery with his wife. Also in the same lot next to the path is an Anderson girl about 10 years old. Little is known except that the family could not afford to bury the girl, so Walt said to put her on the edge of his lot.

-Given to Rhonda by Chuck Sanders
Nancy Irene Sanders is the daughter of Mary Irene Clement and Franklin Sanders.

She married Walter Cox October 9, 1876 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.

To this union were born: Frederick Walter Cox, Amanda Irene Cox, Franklin Sanders Cox, Nancy Elvira Cox, Adelia Belva Cox, Almer Burns Cox, Amasa Bruce Cox, Olive Mary Cox, Frances Ella Cox, Prudence Vermona Cox and Orville Stanley Cox.

* Check out the Cox Family History site by Carl T. Cox

Family links: 
  John Franklin Sanders (1830 - 1896)
  Mary Irene Clement Sanders (1837 - 1875)
  Walter Cox (1852 - 1940)
  Amanda "Irene" Cox Watson (1880 - 1939)*
  Franklin Sanders Cox (1881 - 1970)*
  Nancy "Elvira" Cox Bench (1882 - 1964)*
  Adelia "Belva" Cox Watson (1884 - 1974)*
  Amasa Bruce Cox (1885 - 1925)*
  Almer Burns Cox (1885 - 1951)*
  Olive Mary Cox Powell (1889 - 1983)*
  Frances Ella Cox (1895 - 1896)*
  Orville Stanley Cox (1899 - 1987)*
  Nancy Irene Sanders Cox (1856 - 1916)
  John Franklin Sanders (1858 - 1912)*
  Mary Eliza Sanders Thompson (1861 - 1940)*
  Amanda Elizabeth Sanders (1863 - 1864)*
  Phebe Jane Sanders Jones (1865 - 1950)**
  Martin Henry Sanders (1866 - 1891)*
  Amanda Ann Sanders (1867 - 1868)**
  Thomas Alma Sanders (1868 - 1934)*
  Olive Loretta Sanders Pritchett (1870 - 1963)*
  David Darius Sanders (1873 - 1952)*
  Ellen Clymena Sanders Cardon (1874 - 1953)**
  Joseph Myron Sanders (1876 - 1944)**
*Calculated relationship
Fairview Pioneer (Lower) Cemetery
Sanpete County
Utah, USA
Plot: Lower Pioneer_Block 1_lot 77
GPS (lat/lon): 39.63619, -111.45209
Created by: Rhonda
Record added: Mar 22, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25445869
Nancy Irene <i>Sanders</i> Cox
Added by: Tammy Thomson
Nancy Irene <i>Sanders</i> Cox
Added by: Dan Convery #46800076
Nancy Irene <i>Sanders</i> Cox
Added by: Anonymous
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Tammy Thomson
 Added: Feb. 4, 2014
For my cousin.
- David Metcalf
 Added: Apr. 26, 2012

- Rhonda
 Added: Sep. 15, 2010

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