Cordelia Morley Cox was born to Isaac Morley and Lucy Gunn on November 28, 1823 in Kirtland, Ohio. Because her parents were early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Cordelia became a member at an early age. In the late summer of 1831 the family moved from Kirtland to Jackson County, Missouri. After persecution in Jackson County, the family moved to Clay County, Missouri, then to Far West, Caldwell County. After Father Morley was released from jail the family moved to Hancock County, Illinois to build a family settlement to be called Lima (also known as Yelrom). While living Lima Cordelia taught school until threats from the mob forced her to stop teaching and burned her familyâ€™s house to the ground. The family subsequently moved to Nauvoo, where on January 27, 1846 Cordelia Morley was sealed to the deceased Prophet Joseph Smith. On the same day Cordelia was married to Frederick Walter Cox. The first child was born in 1846. The family lived for a time in Silver Creek, Iowa, where two more daughters were born. In the spring of 1852 they traveled across the plains, finally arriving in Manti, Utah on October 4, 1852. In 1853 Cordeliaâ€™s only son, Francis was born. The family lived in the Manti Fort for the next nine years and two more children were born while living there. On April 14, 1879 the Cox family was present at the cornerstone laying of the Manti Temple, where Frederick Cox gave the dedicatory prayer. Frederick Cox was killed accidentally on June 5, 1879. After her last daughter was married, Cordelia would live a week at a time with different children in Manti. She died on June 9, 1915 in Manti, Utah.
The autobiography of Cordelia Celista Morley Cox is a forty-page typescript soft-bound book. The book is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter, Girlhood of Cordelia Morley at Kirtland, Ohio, is a description of the Morley family conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The second chapter, The Morleys Move to Missouri's, recounts Cordelia becoming very sick with chills and fever, after moving to Clay County, Missouri. After living in Far West for a short time Cordelia and her family were persecuted by the mob and driven out of Far West. The third chapter, The Morley Settlement in Hancock County,describes their settlement in Lima as a happy one and where Cordelia met her husband. Cordelia was described as a leader in the Lima community. Lima was also a time of great sadness when the Prophet Joseph died. Cordelia said, The murder of Joseph Smith was an act of cruelty second only to the crucifixion of the Savior of the world. The fourth chapter, Early Years of Cordelia's Married Life, describes how under persecutions of polygamy Cordelia and another wife were hidden in a barn and the supplies were extremely meager. But after all their trials and tribulations Cordelia counted her blessings to have arrived safely in Utah. The fifth chapter, Polygamy and Temple Ceremonies at Nauvoo, describes how Cordelia consented to be Joseph's wife before he died and after his martyrdom she was sealed to him. Cordelia at one point in her life greatly questioned the truthfulness of polygamy, but in the end she believed all the words of the Prophet Joseph, including polygamy, calling it a blessing. The sixth chapter, The Workload of the Cox Family, recounts that living on the fort was a very enclosed area for four wives and many children. Cordelia sewed all of her children's clothing and produced silk. The last chapter, Family Incidents, describes that Cordelia was loved by all of her children and grandchildren. Cordelia would often get the family for reunions. On her ninetieth birthday the family had a small party for her and gave her many gifts. Cordelia was a woman of faith and love.