Monday, June 29, 2015

A Letter from Somerville Tennessee

This letter appeared in the Latter Day Saint Southern Star in 1900.

Somerville Tenn Oct 2 1900 
     As I haven t seen anything from Fayette county, I will pen a few lines to the much prized little Star that visits our home once a week. We are always anxious for it to come, it has so much valuable reading in it that it does my soul good to read it. I think it ought to be in every home. I never saw a Mormon Elder until last March two came to our house -- Elder Larson and Elder Redd. They were invited in they came in and talked a little on their faith and left a tract which we read with interest. Sunday following Elder Larsen spoke to the people at a school house nearby. Myself and family attended and were well pleased with his sermon. In May following Elder Osborn and Elder Redd came back and preached to the people at the same place again. 
     They stayed with us while in the neighborhood and while here spoke of wanting a place to spend a few days for their President [of the North Alabama Conference] to visit them. We were only too glad to hear them speak pf wanting to stop in the neighborhood. We invited them to come to our house and told them that our doors would always be open to receive them that they were welcome at any time. 
     President [Alvin C.] Strong, Elder [Ray Rich] Humphreys, Elder [Frank Loren] Osborn, and Elder [James Monroe] Redd came to hold a three or four days meeting. They preached Saturday night, Sunday night, and Monday. We attended every time. I never heard the Scriptures explained so clearly in my life The people most of them in the neighborhood would not go to hear them: they treated the Elders very unkindly. As for myself and family we went to hear them and treated them the best we were able to while here. I thank the Lord for sending His servants in our midst, for if they had not come I would have been groping in utter darkness yet, for I fail to see the right Gospel preached in these other churches. I am no member of the Church, but hope at the earliest opportunity to become a member of the Latter day Saints for I do believe that they teach the Gospel that Christ taught while here on earth. I also believe that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God. May the blessing of God attend all the Elders and Saints in His service is the wish of your most devoted friend.
Mrs S E Cox 

     Athough in Tennessee, Somerville was part of the North Alabama Conference, and would be until late in 1902, when it became part of the short-lived Middle States Mission.
     Mrs. S. E. Cox is probably Sarah Elizabeth Cannon Cox, who with her husband Thomas Cox lived in Fayette county, Tennessee for the 1870, 1880 & 1900 Federal Census. In the 1880 census there were two of Sarah's brothers living with them and their last name was Cannon. Sarah and Thomas moved to Cass county, Texas before 1910 and where she died in 1916, and he died in 1917. I have no evidence that she joined the LDS Church before her death, though someone did submit a pedigree resource file for her and her family. No baptism date was indicated on that file.

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