SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LIFE OF ENOS CURTIS 1783 - 1856
Enos Curtis, born 9 Oct 1783, died
1 Jun 1856, son of Edmond Curtis and Polly Avery. He was born
in Kinderhook, Clmb., New York. Hattie Esplin Durfee notes that
Enos Curtis, the eldest son of Edmond Curtis and Polly Avery
Curtis, spent his boyhood days in the little town of Kinderhook,
a few miles east of the Hudson River, in Columbia County, New
York. A few miles farther east is the large town of Latham. Not
much is known of his early life. The story is told by one of
his descendants in Utah that Enos, at the age of 14, was apprenticed
to learn a trade. His master was so cruel and unkind that he
begged his father to let him return home. His father refused
saying that the agreement was made, papers signed and that he
must finish the contract. Young Enos had courage and an adventurous
spirit. He planned to escape from this man and did make his escape
by stowing away on a ship sailing down the Hudson River to New
York City. He was discovered enroute but the crew learned to
like him and asked him to stay with them.
Arriving in New York City, Enos met Ruth Franklin. They were
married in that city on the 15th of December, 1805. Ruth was
born on 14th November 1870 in Sterling, Windham, Connecticut.
After their marriage they went to Pennsylvania to seek a new
home and settled in Tioga County. The northern boundary of the
county is the state line between the Pennsylvania and New York
state. It was a new county. The county having been formed in
1804. The Curtis' lived in Susquehanna County, Sullivan County,
Rutland and Tiago, where their fourteen children were born and
raised. Five died small while nine grew to marry and have families
of their own.
In 1831, at the age of 48 Enos was baptized into the LDS Church
[on a trip to Kirtland, Ohio] by Lyman Wight. According to Louise
Durfee Rooney, shortly before the birth of their last child,
Celestia Curtis Durfee, the family became converted to the restored
church the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Both Enos and his wife
were endowed in Nauvoo Temple in 1846. They were devout in their
religious convictions and went through the hardships of the early
church pioneers. He was a farmer and carpenter by trade. (Historical References) Millennial Star, Vol. 25 p.
428 & Brigham Young, The Man & His Works, by Preston
Nibley, pp 5 & 11.
Brigham Young says in the fall of 1831
Alpheus Gifford, Elial Strong and others came to Mendon to preach
Mormonism, which I heard and believed. (pp 5 & 6 quote: "Five
Mormon Elders, from an
isolated branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
in Columbia Co., Penns. were making a tour through the state
of New York. They visited the town of Mendon where Brigham Young
met them. He had a copy of the Book of Mormon in his possession
over a year. The actual contact with these Elders, their testimonies
and personalities so impressed him, he began an extensive study
From autobiography of Heber C. Kimball,
p 6 "Heber C. Kimball says, about three weeks after
I joined the Baptist Church in the fall of 1831, five Elders
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came from
Pa. to the house of Phineas H. Young in Victor, N.Y. Their names
were Eleazer Miller, Elial Strong*, Enos Curtis, Alpheus Gifford
and Daniel Bowen. Hearing of these men, curiosity prompted me
to go and hear them, when for the first time I heard the fulness
of the Everlasting Gospel." These five Elders must have
been very devout spiritual minded men. They so thoroughly impressed
Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball with the truth oftheir teaching,
they decided to pay them a visit which they did in Jan 1832 at
the branch in Columbia, Pa. They remained there one week. (See
Millenial Star, Vol. 25, p 424). After they returned to their
homes in Mendon and a family council was held. The father John
Young and sons Joseph and Phineas planned a trip to the branch.
This was the beginning of the family joining the Church.
*Note: Elial Strong was a son-in-law of Enos Curtis
Journal History Notes
29 Jan 1839. Because of persecution the Saints removed
from Jackson to Clay Co., then Caldwell. 1836-1838. Here Enos
filed a claim against the state of Missouri for 1856. 1 Sep 1844
at a Conference held in Quincy, Ill. at the homeof Joseph Pine,
it was voted that the Presidencey of the Branch remain as it
had for the last three months, that is Enos Curtis as President
with Moses Jones and John Riley as Counselors.
25 Oct 1845, Enos Curtis appeared before the Justice of
the Peace in Hancock Co. He swore that on or about 18 Oct 1845,
in the settlement of Morley in said county, he saw two houses
and three stables burning, and that he saw two mobbers armed
with guns, running away from the fires. He also swore that he
saw the house belonging to the Widow Boss, burning on Monday
21 Oct in same areaas the former fire.
6 Feb 1846 Enos Curtis had his Endowments in Nauvoo.
26 Apr 1848 emmigration records say Brigham Young left Winter
Quarters and assembled a group on the west side of Elkhorn River
and organized a company in three divisions for emmigration across
plains and mountains from Missouri River to Salt Lake City. Enos
Curtis, Theodore Curtis and Joseph Curtis were numbered in one
of these groups. They left the Elkhorn River 1 Jun 1848 and arrived
in Salt Lake City, Sep 1848.
Enos Curtis had his share of troubles and grief. He lost six
of his fourteen children before he lost his wife Ruth. She was
probably burried in Iowaville on the plains in 1848. He came
on to Utah with the rest of his family and their children.
In 1850 Enos Curtis met and married Tamma Durfee Miner. They
moved on a farm owned by Lorenzo Snow in Willard, Utah. Tamma
had a large family, having burried her husband Albert Miner 3
Jan 1848 on the trip across the plains. The two families lived
together and got along very well. Moroni Miner (now 100 yrs.
old in 1935) a step-son of Enos, speaks very highly of him. He
said Enos always treated us as a kind, loveable and patient father.
John White Curtis, David Avery Curtis, Ozias Strong, Albert Starr
with others were sent out by Brigham Young as surveyors for new
settlements. They reported the conditions in and around Springville.
Moroni Miner, when telling this incident, was greatly moved by
memories of this period. His mind was clear and keen. He said
he well recalled how hard the two families struggled to build
a home, they were so anxious for a home of their own, they were
willing to go through any hardships. They built two large rooms
with a shop and patio between them.
Enos was an excellent carpenter and an expert chair maker, also
made all kinds of furniture. Moroni said he and his brother Mormon
became very efficient and helpful in carpentery and building
business. They all said Enos was like their own father. He was
ready to help anyone, regardless of weather conditions, went
anyhour of night to administer to and help the sick.
Enos Curtis was ordained a Patriarch in 1852 by Heber C. Kimball,
Parley P. Pratt, George A. Smith and John Taylor. He died 1 Jun
1856 and was burried in Springville beside his wife Tamma,
who died 30 Jan 1885.
Notes from Lue Payne Merrill and Notes from Ruth Curtis Payne
daughter of Ezra Houghthen Curtis, as she remembered them from
her father who is a son of Enos Curtis.
This story was told by Ezra H. Curtis:
After the meeting where Brigham Young heard the five missionaries
including Enos, bear testimony of the Gospel, he hurried home
to his wife who was sick in bed. He went to his room
and in praying to the Lord, he asked: "If this religion
is true, to send the missionaries to his home, that they might
pray for his sick wife and also explain the Gospel to her."
The next night as the Elders were passing his home, they were
impressed with the tidiness of his yards and said any man that
has that much pride in his home must be worth visiting, so they
went in. Brigham was watching from the window to see if his prayer
would be answered. He hurriedly opened the door and welcomed
them in. They administered to his wife and she seemed more at
ease. Brigham then told them he had prayed for them to come and
that he had faith she could be healed through their administration.
A Nauvoo Incident At The Time Of The Presecution And Martyrdom:
The sons of Enos were out on the prairies putting up wild hay
and things were bad, Enos being worried about his sons, rode
out in the night to get them. They were asleep, but were awakened
by the noise of a horseman coming toward their camp. They were
much afraid as they knew the anxiety and nervousness to all the
Saints who constantly feared the mob. Enos had a peculiar cough
and as he rode toward them he coughed, they gave a sigh of relief
and said 'do not fear, it is father'. They had a real race with
the nearby mob, who were in ambush and chased them all the way
A Story From Chloe Spencer,
Daughter Of Celestia Curtis Durfee and Grand Daughter Of Enos
When the mobs were in some of the vicious raids two or three
families would gather together in one home for protection. On
one such occasion the mob came to the home of Enos Curtis, the
men were away. The mob ordered the occupants out of the house.
The family told them that Grandmother Ruth Franklin Curtis was
ill and could not leave the house. The mob left, but came back
the second and third time and finally set fire to the house.
The women carried Grandmother away out on a sheet. As the men
folks heard about the raid, they rushed back and carried Grandmother
away in a wagon as she could not walk. The mob even chased the
wagon, but they finally got away.
Enos Curtis, family and a family by the name of Stowell were
on the ferry crossing the river from Montrose, Iowa to Nauvoo.
A terrific wind came up and as some people had previously gone
down the rapids below the ferry crossing there was much anxiety
and excitement. People on shore shouting and screaming for help.
It was so strong it looked as if it would break the cable that
controlled the ferry when Enos Curtis raised his arm to the square
and commanded the wind to take them to shore. It ceased its velocity
and changed so the ferry drifted to shore and both families were
saved. As soon as they were on shore, the gale began as fierce
THE FAMILY OF ENOS CURTIS AND RUTH FRANKLIN
Enos Curtis, b. 9 Oct 1783 in Kinderhook, Clmb., New York,
son of Edmund and Martha or Polly Avery, he md. 1st Ruth Franklin
15 Dec 1805, she was b. 14 Nov 1790 in Starling, Windham, Conn.,
dau. of (Col.) John Franklin & Abigail Fuller, she died 6
May 1848 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
To this union the following children were born:
1- Lydia, b. 5 Feb 1808 in Southerland, Penn., d. 5 Jul 1809.
2- Maria, b. 22 Mar 1810 in Southerland, Penn., she md. 1st Abram
Brown 13 Sep 1844 [?]; md. 2nd
Milo Everett, she died 5 May 1841.
3- Martha, b. 12 Aug 1812 in Southerland, Penn., she md. 1st
Elial Strong; she died 22 Dec 1834.
4- Edmund, b. 5 Nov 1814 in Southerland, Penn., d. 6 Jun 1815.
5- Jeremiah, b. 12 Nov 1815 in Southerland, Penn., he died 22
6- Seth, b. 8 Mar 1817 in Southerland, Penn., d. 8 Mar 1817.
7- Simmons Philander, b. 28 Mar 1818 in Rutland, Penn., md.1st
Emaline Buchanan 4 Jul 1840; 2nd
Asenath Lawrence, he died 10 Apr 1880.
8- David Avery (twin), b. 10 Aug 1820 in Rutland, Penn., md.1st
Amanda Starr 10 Oct 1841; md.
2nd Lettia Shearer 28 Aug 1852; md. 3rd Sarah Harriet Howard
2 Oct 1857; md. 4th Harriet
Howard 2 Mar 1869, he died 5 Oct 1885.
9- John White (twin), b. 10 Aug 1820 in Rutland, Penn., md.1st
Almira Starr 13 May 1841; he md.
2nd Matilda Miner 21 Oct 1855; md. 3rd Tamma Durfee 3 Apr 1857,
he died 7 Aug 1902.
10- Ezra Houghton, b. 19 Feb 1823 in Rutland, Penn., he md. 1st
Lucinda McKenney Carter 18 Dec
1846; md. 2nd Juliaette Everett in 1855, sld. 21 May 1856 EH,
he d. 28 Aug 1915.
11- Ruth, b. 4 Jan 1825 in Rutland, Penn., she d. 4 Oct 1825.
12- Ursula Curtis (x), b. 14 Dec 1826-7 in Rutland,
Penn., md.1st Abraham Durfee in 1846; she md.
2nd Samuel Kendall Gifford, she died 20 Jan 1902.
13- Sabrina, b. 3 Apr 1829 in Rutland, Penn., she md. 1st David
Abram King; md. 2nd Thomas Harwood
6 Apr 1851, she died 27 Jun 1890.
14- Celestia, b. 21 Apr 1832 in Rutland, Penn., she md. Jabez
Durfee 25 Dec 1850, she died 17
THE FAMILY OF ENOS CURTIS AND TAMMA DURFEE
Enos Curtis, md. 2nd Tamma Durfee 20 Oct 1850, she was born
6 Mar 1813 in Lennox, Mdsn, New York, dau. of Edmund and Delaney
or Magdalena Pickle, she md. 1st Albert Miner Aug 1831; md. 2nd
Enos Curtis 20 Oct 1850; she md. 3rd John White Curtis 3 Apr
1857, she d. 30 Jan 1885 in Springville, Utah.
To this union the following children were born:
1- Clarissa, b. 13 Oct 1851, she md. Chauncey Harvey Cook.
2- Belinda, b. 23 Feb 1853, she died 15 Nov 1873.
3- Adelia (twin), b. 12 Jun 1855, she died 2 Feb 1856.
4- Amelia (twin), b. 12 Jun 1855, md. Samuel James Bartlett.
Enos Curtis, died 1 Jun 1856 in Springville, Utah, Utah, he
was burried in Provo, Utah, Utah.
Tamma Durfee's 1st husband, Albert Miner died in Iowaville
in 1848 while crossing the plains. She was left with seven small
children. She saw her own father shot down by the mob. She suffered
severe hardships, but came on to Utah with her small family in
Captain Snow's company in 1850. Shortly after arriving in Utah,
she married Enos Curtis. [Enos had lived at Morley's settlement
south of Nauvoo, where Tamma's parents, the Durfees lived. Tamma
likely knew Enos very well before arriving in Utah.]
LIFE STORY OF ENOS CURTIS
By Lucinda Payne Merrell, Mesa, Arizona
NOTE: The following account are direct quotations
from a history written by Lucinda Payne Merrell of Mesa, Arizona.
The original is found in the Special Collections Department at
the Brigham Young University and filed under the name of Enos
Curtis, Words in parenthesis were added by the proofreader in
order to make the history read more clearly.
Ella Curtis Record has been gathering
genealogical data and history on the descendants of Enos Curtis.
They had expected to have it published by now...it hasn't come
out. I decided to write
what I could of the life of this noble ancestor for my own book
and for my descendants. I haven't had an opportunity to do much
research on his life. Ella's story will probably be more
complete...I want my children to know something of Enos Curtis
so (the following) is what I have collected.
From family and church records, we find
that Enos was born 9 Oct 1783 in Kinderhook, Columbia Co., New
York. From the record of the ancestors, it seems the family for
several generations had lived in Connecticut. Much of the land
there had been taken up and many of the young men were reaching
out to new frontiers and no doubt that is what brought Enos's
father to New York.
Enos Curtis had a patriarchal blessing
29 Sep 1841 by Patriarch Hyrum Smith in Nauvoo. It gives his
parents as Edmund and Polly Curtis.
We know nothing of his (Enos's) childhood
or young manhood. Some genealogist in California said he was
married to Ruth Franklin 15 Dec 1805. He (the genealogist) didn't
give the place of marriage or source of information, but that
is the first record we have of him except his birth record.
We do find a little record of his father and grandfather in Columbia
Co., New York land records. Book A, p. 369 says 21 Mar 1800 Edmund
Curtis buys land of Jeremiah Curtis and wife Lydia.
Deeds say that the parties concerned are of Cheery Valley, Atsego,
New York. Another Deed Book A, p. 376 says Edmund Curtis and
wife Martha soled this land to Samuel Niles.
It appears from genealogical records that Edmond Curtis (the
father) was not true to his first wife (Polly). We find he had
children by another woman while still having children by Polly,
mother of Enos. His first wife bore him six children; then she
drops out of the picture and he had eight children by Martha
Now these land deals were probably by
his 2nd wife as her name is Martha, and it was 1800. The last
child born by the first wife was 1793. Genealogists have never
found a death date or any record more of this wife. They probably
separated, so we don't know where or under what conditions Enos
grew up. Jeremiah Curtis, grandfather of Enos, died in the town
of Russia, Herkimer Co., New York in 1807. Two years after the
marriage of Enos, county records state that Jeremiah had no real
estate but his personal property he willed to his grandson, Enos,
son of Edmund. So he (Enos) probably grew up, or at least at
this time, must have been living near his grandfather, or was
that just an act of providence to give to descendants of Enos--a
connection into the Curtis family for
genealogical and Temple work. Jeremiah must have had lots of
other grand sons.
Where he spent the next few years we
don't know. In the family record there is no place of birth for
his first three children. He may have been in New York, but in
1814, he had a son born in
Southerland, Tioga Co., Pennsylvania. He must have had some respect
for his father for (he named his first son) Edmond for his father;
the next son was named Jeremiah for his grandfather.
So now we have him located in Tioga County, Pennsylvania and
there we find him on the tax roll for several years and he had
children born in the county for the next eighteen years or until
1832 and there he was when that part of the country was being
stirred up by the story of Joseph Smith.
Tioga is right on the line between Pennsylvania and New York.
It is about fifty miles from Harmony, Pennsylvania where Joseph
Smith translated the Book of Mormon and is probably less then
a hundred miles from where the Church was organized so he had
a good chance, no doubt, to hear Joseph Smith.
Family tradition says he had remarked
that some day the true church would be restored to the earth
so he was in a receptive mood. Tradition says that he (Enos)
accepted Joseph Smith before
the Church was organized and that there were not more than forty
persons baptised into the Church before Enos Curtis. He was baptised
into the Church by Lyman W(r)ight in 1831.
In the fall of 1831, five missionaries
went from the little branch of the Church in Columbia, Pennsylvania
to New York on a short missionary trip and they stopped at Mendon,
New York. Here they met Heber C. Kimball, he says: "About
three weeks after I joined the Baptist Church (fall of 1831)
five Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ came from Pennsylvania
to the house of Victor Young in Victor. Their names were: Eleazer
Miller, Elial Strong, Alpheus Gifford, Enos Curtis and Daniel
Bowen. Hearing of these men, curiosity prompted me to go and
see them, when for the first time, I heard the fullness of the
I also heard the gifts of the spirit
manifested among the Elders for they spoke in tongues and interpreted
which tended to strengthen my faith. Brigham Young and myself
were constrained by
the Spirit to bear testimony of the truth, and when we did thus,
the power of God rested upon us."
Preston Nibley in his book "Brigham
Young, the Man and His Works", says that while Brigham Young
had had access to the Book of Mormon for more than a year prior
to his coming in contact with the Elders, he had not been led
to make any thorough or extensive investigation of "Mormonism",
but it seemed what profundly influenced Brigham more than reading
the book was his actual contact with the Missionaries. Brigham
said, "When I saw a man without eloquence or talents for
public speaking who could only say, I know by the power of the
Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith
is a Prophet of the Lord, the Holy Ghost proceeded from that
individual illuminating my understanding and light, glory and
immorality were before me. I was encircled by them, filled with
them, and I knew for myself that the testimony was true."
(Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, page 90)
Family tradition has the story that Brigham's
wife was sick and while he was at a meeting of the Missionaries
he had to hurry home to her and could not stay and talk to the
Elders. He was very
impressed and he prayed to the Lord and asked that if it was
the truth to send the Missionaries to him, that he might learn
more of the Gospel. The next morning, Enos and one of the other
Missionaries were passing his (Brigham Young's) home and the
yards and the premises were so neat and orderly and well kept
that it impressed the Elders, who said, "Well, anybody with
that much pride to keep his home so well, must be a fine person
and one worth contacting," so they went in and met Brigham
and discussed the Gospel with him. He saw them coming and was
watching to see if this prayer was going to be answered.
In January 1832, Brigham Young, his brother
Phineas and Heber C. Kimball paid a visit to Columbia, Pennsylvania
and spent about a week with the Saints at this Branch. Quoting
from the book, "Brigham Young the Man and His Works",
we read, "The five Elders from Pennsylvania must have
been most excellent and spiritual minded men. It was in their
little Branch at Columbia that the gift of tongues was for the
first time exercised in the Church." So we see that
Enos Curtis was very early a member of the Church and working
for the building of the Kingdom.
From "The Journal History of
the Church" in the Church Historians office, I have
found that Enos and family went with (the) Church in various
moves, suffering all the persecutions and trials of the Saints.
We locate him in Caldwell, Clay County,
Missouri, 29 November 1839 through a petition to Congress signed
by the Saints presenting claims against the State of Missouri.
Their names were
alphabetically arranged. Enos Curtis' claim was for $1,856. See 22 Nov., page 9 in Journal History.
Enos Curtis presided over a conference
at Quincy, Illinois, on 1 September 1844 (See page 5 of 1 September
Minutes of Quincy Branch of (the) L.D.S. Church held in Quincy,
Illinois, 9 March 1845 at the home of Joseph Pine: "Item
1- -Resolved that the Presidency of the Branch stand as it did
last three months--that is, with Enos Curtis, president, and
Moses Jones 1st and John Riley 2nd Councillors. The same to hold
office for the next three months."
On 25 October 1845 Enos Curtis made and
signed an affadavit stating that a mob had wilfully destroyed
the home of widow Boss by fire in Quincy.
Enos probably had accumulated land and
property in Pennsylvania which he, no doubt, disposed of when
he began to follow the Church. And in Missouri he lost nearly
two thousand dollars and that was quite a bit of money for those
One little story my mother remembered
her father telling that happened about this time while they were
in Illinois, was that the grown sons of Enos were out on the
prairie putting up wild hay. The
mobs were very active about that time and they had gotten the
report that (the mob) were going to attack the Mormons the next
day. Enos was afraid his sons would be sighted and attacked out
there alone on the prairie. So, he rode out in the night to bring
them home. In the night the boys heard a horse coming across
the prairie toward their camp and (they) were a little excited
wondering who it was and why coming in the night and made ready
to defend themselves when the rider of the horse gave a little
cough, then the boys said, "We know that cough, that is
father." After (Enos) and his horse had rested a while,
they started for home. After day light, they could see they were
being followed by a mob. The father, Enos, said, "Don't
get panicky. Speed up your horses-- just a little and we will
watch the mob." They could soon see that the mob were traveling
faster than they were and gaining on them. Enos said, "We
will go a little faster, but not run yet and our horses will
hold out better." They watched the mob carefully and found
they had to go a little faster and a little faster. As they neared
town and were on the last stretch, Enos told his sons that they
would now have to run their horses as hard as they could. The
mob was now not too far behind, but (Enos and his sons) beat
(the mob) into town.
Another story from Chloe Durfee Spencer, granddaughter of Enos
Curtis and Ruth Franklin Curtis: "When the mob were in some
of the various raids, two or more families would sleep together
in one home of Enos Curtis. The men were all away from home.
The mob ordered all out of the house. The (Mormon women) told
the mob (that) Grandmother, Ruth Franklin, was very ill and could
not be moved. The mob left, but came back a second and a third
time and each time were more vicious and finally set fire to
the house. The women carried Ruth out on a blanket. The shouts
of the mob were soon heard and some Mormon men rushed over and
carried Grandmother away in a wagon. The mob even chased the
wagon, but more help came and the mob turned back. (Grandmother)
died 6 May, 1848, after they started the trip across the plains."
I don't know whether Enos and his family were at Nauvoo or still
at Quincy, Illinois during the last days before the exodus, but
they were near enough that in January and February of 1846. Enos,
his wife Ruth Franklin Curtis and the older boys, even though
the boys were not married, all received their endowments in the
Nauvoo Temple. Soon after this they began their trek across the
plains with the rest of the Saints. It seems that the mother,
Ruth, was having poor health and traveling as they did and in
the cold and unfavorable living conditions she grew worse and
passed away 6 May 1848 at Council Bluffs, at the age of fifty-eight.
We have searched long and hard for the ancestry of Ruth Franklin
without results, but she must have been a faithful wife and mother
as she was right at her husband's side through his experiences
and persecutions of the Church. We might well say she gave her
life for the gospel. She was mother of fourteen children. At
least two teen age girls were left to continue the journey across
the plains with their father.
We have another faith promoting story by Chloe Spencer, a granddaughter
of Enos Curtis. She said that her mother told this story often,
saying she remembered it well as it happened on her 15th birthday.
(If this is the case, it must have been before they got to the
Bluffs as they were not traveling on her birthday after they
left Council Bluffs.) They came to a large river and had to be
ferried across. They put two families on the ferry and the Stowell
family and Enos Curtis family were crossing when the cable broke
letting them downstream. There were some dangerous rapids not
below and of course there was fear and excitement among the families
of the other travelers on the shore. Enos Curtis raised his right
hand to the square and by the power of the priesthood in
the name of the Lord commanded the ferry to drift to the shore--
which it did. The ferry and the families and outfits were saved.
Sister Spencer said one time old Brother Stowell was at her house
and she talked to him about the incident and he said he had heard
his father tell the story.
From the Journal of History of the Church we learn something
of the company of the Saints in which Enos traveled. (See Supplement
to Journal of History of the Church, Church Historian's
Office 31 December 1848, 1st division emigration. Emigration
across the plains and mountains from Missouri River to Salt Lake
This company was divided into three divisions.
Brigham Young was in charge of the first division. Enos Curtis,
Theodore Curtis and Joseph Curtis were in this group.
This division left the Elkhorn River 1 June 1848 and arrived
in Salt Lake City, Sept. of 1848.
In this first division there were 1229 souls, 387 wagons, 74
horses, 19 mules, 1297 oxen, 699 cows, 184 loose cattle and sheep,
some pigs, dogs, cats, doves, geese and two hives of bees. (See
Journal History 16 Jun 1848.)
In 1850, Enos Curtis met and married
widow Tammie Durfee Miner. She had a family, having buried her
husband on the plains. They moved on a farm owned by Lorenzo
Snow, in Willard, Box Elder County, Utah. About that time John
White and David Avery Curtis, sons of Enos, along with Ozias
Strong and Albert Starr were sent out by Brigham Young as surveyors
for new homes. They reported the conditions in and around Springville
and a settlement was started there in 1850. Later Enos moved
to Springville and spent the remainder of his days there.
Enos was ordained a patriarch in 1852
by Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, George A. Smith and John
Taylor. (See Journal History, 9 April 1852, page 9) (Enos
had previously converted Heber C. Kimball). Brigham Young made
very few trips south of Salt Lake for colonization purposes without
sending a forerunner or a messenger to Enos announcing his plans
and inviting him to join the company (as Company Patriarch.)
A company organized 10 May 1854 by Brigham Young consisted of
82 men, 14 women and 5 children who traveled in 34 wagons. They
left Salt Lake City and traveled south. They took 95 animals
consisting of horses, oxen and cows. The company was well organized.
They had a captain, chaplain, historians, interpreters, doctors
and bishops and Enos Curtis was the Patriarch of the company.
He (Enos) was faithfully anxious to go and was very active--although
71 years of age. He traveled with his son, David Avery Curtis,
and Aaron Johnson in wagon number 29. David was the teamster
and as he liked animals, I suppose his team of oxen was kindly
treated. His love of animals grew as he grew older. He was often
cited for his kindness. (The company) traveled as far as Nephi
the second night. Little is recorded of the trip except to say
it was successful. Their aim was to clear new land and plan new
settlements. (See Journal History 10 May
In 1935, John Curtis visited Moroni Miner,
step-son of Enos, to learn what he could about our ancestor.
Moroni was then 100 years old, but had an excellent memory and
his mind was clear. He
told how the two families lived together and got along very well.
He spoke very highly of Enos and said he always treated them
as a very kind, loving and patient father and told how much Enos
like his own father. He appeared very touched in relating these
experiences. (Moroni) said after being driven and wandering for
so many years, they wanted so much to settle down and have a
home of their own, so in Springville they were all willing to
work hard and endure any sacrifices and hardships to build a
home. By this time Enos was sixty-seven years old. His wife must
have been quite a bit younger for she had three little girls
by Enos; (and more children by another husband after Enos' death).
The home they built had two large rooms with a carpenter shop
in between. Enos was an excellent carpenter and an expert chair
maker. All furniture in Utah at that date was home manufactured
and Enos made chairs for a living. Moroni said he and his brother
became very efficient in making the chair bottoms of reed, leather
or rawhide while Enos did the rest of the chair.
He said, Enos was always ready to help the sick in the neighborhood.
Enos Curtis's journey in life ended in his 73rd year. It came
as a great shock. During the day, although feeling a little faint,
he went about his daily tasks. In the evening, the family had
gathered together in a reunion. He joined in various activities,
then sat up to the table and ate with the family. Then he sat
back in his chair as if resting, but became so still and rigid
(the family) cautiously tried to make him more comfortable,
but discovered his rest was more then the little nap he so often
enjoyed in his chair. He died so easily--no struggle nor pain,
but such a peaceful death was well earned by our beloved progenitor
who brought the gospel to his vast band of descendants.
We, his descendants, all owe so much to this grandfather, whom
we know so little of. He was one of the stalwart of the Church,
perhaps not out in the front so much, but faithfully sustaining
supporting the authorities and the cause of truth. He embraced
the gospel in it's fullness and suffered great trials, persections
and hardships, giving us the privilege of being born heirs to
it's glories. We are greatful for his strength of character to
accept the gospel and his desire to follow the Church even though
it meant hardships and struggle. (We are also) grateful for his
accepting and honoring the priesthood and teaching his family
and setting them a noble example. He has a large posterity in
the Church and we have always been proud of the name and heritage
he left us--proud to say we were descendants of Enos Curtis.
It is said he kept a diary, but after his death, his step-sons
used it for smoking paper. Paper was so very scarce in those
days in Utah. Little did they realize what it would have meant
to us to have had those "day-to-day" experiences as
he recorded them.
May we carry on emulating his strength of character and faithfulness
and bring honor to his name and give thanks and honor and glory
to our Father in Heaven who gave us the privilege of coming to
the earth through such a choice lineage.
Lucinda Payne Merrell - Great Granddaughter of Enos Curtis
Reference Information: The above presentation of Enos Curtis
was taken from a book, "Our Family Chain --Elial "Radmall"
Coleman-- Ancestry and Youth" by Larry K. Coleman, 1982.
This book mentioned in the above ref. is in poss. of Ted &
Maxine Moody, Rt 2, box 765, Safford, Arizona 85546. (phone #)
State of Missouri Dr
to Moveing from Pennsylvania Tioga County Rutland
Township to Missouri time
and expence $300.00
To being Driven from Clay County to Coldwell having my
Crop to move the loss of
time and Expence 150.00
to the Loss of propperty having my house plundered of
Clothing and furnature 200.00
to the loss of Corn potatoes and other Loss 100.00
to the loss of Cattle and hogs 50.00
to the Loss of Land 408.00
to the loss of four Musketts 40.00
to the loss of time of four hands by the mob 100.00
to two bee Stands 8.00
to the Loss of time and Expence of Moveing being Driven
out of Missouri 500.00
I Do Certify the a bove a count to Be Just and true a cording
to the Best of my Knowledg
[Sworn to before C.M. Woods, C.C.C., Adams Co., Il, 8 May
Original spelling and capitalization have been maintained.
C.C.C. abbreviation - Clerk Circuit Court
Sacred Places of New York and Pennsylvania
Bradford and Tioga Counties [Pennsylvania]
by Larry C. Porter
It was in the spring of 1831 that Alpheus Gifford of Rutland
Township heard the doctrines of the gospel as taught by the Prophet
Joseph Smith. He was baptized and ordained a priest. He brought
home five copies of the Book of Mormon and placed them with friends
and family members. Soon after, Alpheus went to see the Prophet
in Kirtland and took with him friends from Tioga and Bradford
Counties. These included his brother, Levi Gifford, Elial Strong,
Eleazer Miller, Enos Curtis, and Abraham Brown. Alpheus was ordained
an elder while there. We also know that Enos Curtis and Elial
Strong were baptized in Kirtland. Lyman Wight performed the ordinance
for Enos Curtis. Eleazer Miller wasn't baptized until December
1831 in Pennsylvania. On their return to Pennsylvania these brethren
conducted extensive missionary work in Tioga and Bradford Counties.
Among those baptized under their ministrations were Daniel Bowen
in Columbia Township and Ezra Landon in Troy Township.
During the fall of 1831, Elial Strong, Brother Potter (possibly
Richard Potter of Columbia Township) and Brother Bowen (presumably
Daniel Bowen), undertook a short-term mission to Shaftsbury,
VT, where a few received the work.
In the winter of 1831 Alpheus Gifford, Enos Curtis, and Elial
Strong from Rutland Township, and Eleazer Miller and Daniel Bowen
from Columbia Township undertook a mission to Mendon, NY. Samuel
H. Smith, brother of the Prophet Joseph, had previously paved
the way for their labors by placing at least two copies of the
Book of Mormon with the Phineas H. Young and John P. Greene families
in that area. These copies were circulated widely among other
family members. The elders first visited Phineas in the town
of Victor and then spread to the larger Young and Kimball families
in the area before going on to Warsaw, NY, and other locations.
Prompted by a desire to learn more of Mormonism, Brigham and
Miriam Young, Phineas and Clarissa Young, and Heber C. Kimball
made and exchange visit with the Pennsylvania elders, They left
Mendon about Jan, 20, 1832, and traveled by horse and sleigh
to Bradford County where they met with the people of the Columbia
Branch. Brigham Young reported:
We travelled through snow and ice, crossing rivers until
we were almost discouraged; still our faith was to learn more
of the principles of Mormonism.
We arrived at the place where there was a small Branch
of the Church; we conversed with them, attended their meetings
and heard them preach, and after staying about one week we returned
home, being still more convinced of the truth of the work, and
anxious to learn its principles and to learn more of Joseph Smith's
mission. The members of the Branch in Pennsylvania were the first
in the Church who received the gift of tongues.
In the spring of 1832, Phineas H. Young, Joseph Young, and their
father, John Young again journeyed to the Columbia Branch. On
April 5 Phineas and John were baptized by Ezra Landon and Daniel
Bowen, respectively. And on the following day, April 6, Joseph
Young was baptized by Daniel Bowen. Returning to Mendon with
the visitors or shortly thereafter, Alpheus Gifford and Eleazer
Miller again began to proselyte. Brigham Young was baptized by
Eleazer Miller on April 15, 1832. Heber C. Kimball was baptized
by Alpheus Gifford on wither April 15 or 16, 1832. More than
thirty persons were baptized in the Mendon/Victor area in the
next few weeks.
The intensity of missionary work from such small branches of
the Church as those in Bradford and Tioga Counties is hard to
imagine. During the summer of 1832, Eleazer Miller, Enos Curtis,
Elial Strong, and an unnamed missionary from Rutland joined with
Elders Phineas and Joseph Young from Mendon and journeyed to
Ernestown, Midland District, Upper Canada (now Ontario Province).
They labored for about six weeks and were successful in baptizing
many and raising up a branch of the Church.
In summating his and his friend Eleazer Miller's missionary success
during this period, Elial Strong recorded, Brother Miller,
an elder that has traveled with me in the last two routes, has
baptized about twenty. I have baptized, in all thirty-five; nine
in Rutland and Sullivan [township adjacent to Rutland]; four
in Columbia; seven in Troy and three in Canton [Bradford County],
five in Shaftsbury, Vermont; one in Chenago, NY, and one in Mendon,
NY, and five in Ernst Town, Upper Canada.
Concerning his early missionary labors, Elial Strong specified:
We have labored under some disadvantage, not having instructions
till within a few months past, respecting this great work, other
that the Articles [D&C 20 and 22], Book of Mormon, and the
Among those recruited for Zion's Camp in 1834 were Elial Strong
and Levi Gifford from Tioga County and Eleazer Miller from Bradford
County. Unfortunately, Elial Strong was one of the members of
Zion's Camp who died of cholera in Clay County, Missouri at the
conclusion of the march.
TIMES AND SEASONS. Vol. V. No. 22.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. Dec.
1, 1844. [Whole No. 106
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
Quincy, Sept. 1, 1844.
At a conference at which Enos Curtis was president, and Henry
Pinney clerk, it was resolved that Moses Jones, Silas Maynard
and W. B. Corbitt be recommended to the High Priests' Quorum
to be ordained as high priests.
Six were received into the church by recommendations from
Brother Thompson was directed to be sent to hire a room to
hold meetings in for the next three months.
Elder Corbitt addressed the conference from Romans 2d chapter,
and made some remarks on the late epistle of the Twelve. Elder
McKenzie also addressed the conference.
Bros. Hollinghead and Corey were ordained priests.
The Lord's supper was administered; the minutes directed to
be published in the Times and Seasons, and the conference adjourned
ENOS CURTIS, President.
HENRY PINNEY, Clerk.
Enos' father, was born in Sharon, Litchfield, Connecticut.
He had two brothers Samuel Wadsworth and Henry
and a sister, Clarissa. Edmond was killed in the War of 1812,
at Fort Erie.