Question: What great sacrifice did David and Caroline Lisk Fox make for the Gospel after moving to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1844?
Answer: David Williams Fox was born 10 August 1805 in Adams, Jefferson, New York to
Samuel John Fox and Lucy Williams. He married Caroline Lisk in 1830 in New York, and they had five children: Samuel, Elvira, Edward Williams, Helen, William (died as a baby).
In 1842 David and Caroline joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in New York, along with other family members. In 1843, David and Caroline left their home in New York to join with the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. Other family members that went on the journey were David’s oldest sister, Charlotte Fox, and his younger brother, Jesse W. Fox. They arrived in Nauvoo about 1844 at the time of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. David and Caroline had their last child, a son, in April 1844 in Nauvoo, and they named him David.
The environment of Nauvoo at that time brought on the death of the youngest son, David, in July 1844. Then the father, David, died on October 25, 1845, and his wife, Caroline, died on November 15, 1845. All were buried in the old Nauvoo burial ground. The remaining children were left orphans. David’s brother, Jesse, cared for the children until they reached Council Bluffs, where Elvira died in May 1846.
David’s sister, Charlotte, received her initiatory and endowment on December 25th, 1845 in the original Nauvoo Temple. She was married and sealed to Lucian Woodworth in the Nauvoo Temple on January 19, 1846 and eight months later she died in Nauvoo, Illinois, on September 13, 1846.
Then, in 1847, the oldest son, Samuel, age 17, joined Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company headed for the Salt Lake Valley. The Journals of William Clayton, Heber C. Kimball, and Thomas Bullock all identify Samuel as a member of the Fourth Ten of this Company. Samuel later moved to Oregon, and it is not known what happened to him later in life.
David’s brother, Jesse W. Fox, raised the remaining son of David and Caroline, Edward Williams Fox. In May 1849, Jesse headed to the Salt Lake Valley in the Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer Company, and Edward followed in July 1849 (at age 15), driving an ox team in George A. Smith’s Company of fifty wagons. He learned surveying under the tutorship of his uncle Jesse, and in Salt Lake City, under Gen. David H. Burr, the first U. S. Surveyor-General for Utah.
The daughter, Helen, made it to Salt Lake and married Henry S. Smith, had three children in California, and nothing more is known of her.
In the fall of 1850 Edward went to Manti, and in 1851 went to Mount Pleasant and engaged as sawyer in the Hambleton, Potter & Lowry sawmill, where he remained about two years. He then attended school In Salt Lake, taught by George Mousley, studied surveying, and then moved back to Manti. His uncle, Jesse W., did the first surveying in Manti and laid off the city.
Edward was elected County Surveyor and was the first Surveyor of Sanpete, which office he held for fourteen years. He was City Treasurer one term, postmaster of Manti about eight years. He was associated with L. T. Tuttle in general merchandising, opening the first general store in Manti. Edward married in Manti on July 4, 1860, Belle Peacock, and they had eleven children, ten who lived and married. Edward died on March 1, 1911 in Manti.