A SHORT BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF MORMON MINER
I, Mormon Miner, the third son of Albert and Tamma Durfee
was born Sept. 26th 1837 at Kirtland, Lake Co. Ohio. Baptized
Council Bluffs June 1848 by David Garner, and Confirmed a Member
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by James C. Snow.
My father having died when I was about ten year old, It was
necessary that I should assist my mother's and older brothers,
I possibly could in battling with the trials of life, to make
meet, during those trying scenes the Saints were called to pass
through in the early history of the Church In Missouri, Ohio
My recollection of how difficult it was to keep body and soul
together is impressed most vividly on my mind to this day. (Oct.
1914) I cannot enter into any discussion or even narrate for
sketch without feelings of sadness swelling up in my breast towards
my parents and others who endured so much. My mother, a woman
of God, with the endowments which go to make up character, with
a divine nature of her soul most prominent, was not to be defeated
her religious convictions; though her husband was taken, by death,
she pressed on, holding her children together, trusting in the
to assist and make her equal to what may come, She, with her
left those scenes of persecution in June of 1850 for Salt Lake
Arriving there the following October, I was then a boy of twelve
years, and not having much responsibility resting upon me while
crossing the plains, it was more of a pleasure trip to me. I
impressed with the vast herds of buffalo that then roamed over
prairies. So numerous were they that often times they had to
away from the road to keep from interfering with the wagon train,
Needless to say we had plenty of buffalo meat. Cholera broke
In our camp while on the plains, and I drove one man's team for
weeks, as he was sick and could not drive it. I walked the greater
part of that long journey, barefoot, and drove loose stock most
the way, and slept on the ground.
Not long after reaching Salt Lake mother met and married Enos
Curtis. My oldest brother, Orson, who bad taken the lead in all
doings, died the following March, l851. It was in this month
shortly after Orson's death, that we moved to Springville and
on Block 6 Plat A. We at once began plowing and planting grain
our crop was the first to mature in Springville. I helped In
the first water ditch to bring water on to our land and others
think it was the first irrigation done An Springville. We were
compelled to live in our wagons until we built a house which
first house built outside the fort. We built it from logs brought
from the canyon, and covered it. with cut poles, straw and dirt.
Springville built up rapidly the next few years and I aided in
In the Spring of 1854, I along with other young men, went
the mountains east of Mapleton and cut logs and slid them down
mountain sides, which were covered with snow, for the erection
meeting house. It was hard work, yet for young men we enjoyed
it afforded much excitement in seeing the logs go with great
I was not enlisted in the Walker Indian War, but did service
and stood guard many times during the year 1853. I assisted in
the Fort walls. In 1855 mother lost her second husband, and the
responsibility of caring for the family fell on me. I was ordained
a teacher this year. It was either this year or 1856 that the
came and we did not have enough water to irrigate our lands,
people were called upon to help in making a ditch from Spring
running southwest to Dry Creek, about three miles, I assisted
work, A log 55 feet long, was needed in making a dam across Hobble
Creek. I volunteered to get it and did so. Going to the canyon
alone with my oxen. I delivered the log at the desired place
sundown. My land was the first to be watered under the ditch.
the assistance of my two brothers, we watered 18 acres the first
Our crops were saved, and a good harvest was the result of unity,
work and perseverance.
Much has been written and said about the year 1854 when the
grasshoppers came and took most of the crop of that year. I remember
very distinctly that myself and brothers harvested about 75 bushels
wheat, As our family was large and we had relatives who partly
depended upon us, mother took it upon herself to deal out the
small quantities. Before our crop the following year was harvested
we were without flour and had to subsist on bran bread, and barley
flour cakes. The manner in which the grasshoppers left was marvelous,
for about the time the wheat was in the dough, from some unseen
cause they took to the wing, and flew, some to the east and others
the north, many were drowned in the lake and were washed upon
shore in great heaps.
In 1857 I was ordained a Seventy by Noah T. Guymond, I took
part in the Echo Canyon, expedition at the time Johnson's army
coming to Utah to wipe out the Mormons I was called in the early
fall and camped in Echo Canyon where breast works were cast up
to meet the army if It should attempt to come through. When the
army went to camp at Fort Bridger for the winter, I was released
In 1858 I assisted two families in the general move Southward,
and my mother cared for them at our house. When peace was declared
I moved one of the families back to their home while the other
remained in Springville. After Johnson's Army was permitted to
the Valley they were located at Fairfield, Utah County, and made
Floyd. The army brought many things the Saints were in need of.
They furnished labor that brought good wages to the young men
Church. I spent some time there making adobes, and hauling supplies
to them. I also assisted the blacksmith in making nails, etc,
of old iron. During this year I assisted in making the first
road up Provo Canyon, and received pay in paper money from the
or scripts as was used in those days.
In March of 1860 I moved to Fairview, Sanpete County, My brother
Moroni accompanying me. We were among the number who took part
guarding the north end of the valley against the Indians and
following .Johnsons Army. We spent about three months guarding
Valley and during that time we assisted In making a ditch across
Valley from which the people watered their land, Prior to this
more or less barren, but after being watered it became a beautiful
meadow and is to this day. (It is now known as Indianola.) While
on this trip I assisted in moving an Indian to Fairview. He had
attacked, by a, bear in the head while up Salt Creek Canyon,
were hostile toward us, but this act of kindness did much toward
making them think we were their friends, I was one to pilot Orson
through Spanish Fork Canyon, before there was a road through
Beginning with the year 1861 I furnished a yoke of Oxen for four
years in succession to assist the Saints from Missouri River
Lake City, Utah. On the 24th of February 1861 I married Emeline
Phoebe Curtis of Springville who bore unto me thirteen (13) children.
We began our home in Springville, residing there for over a year.
during which time I was overseer of Bringhurst and Houst freighting
outfits hauling supplies to Nevada to support the overland mail
July 4th,1862 our first child, Martin Mormon Miner was born.
fall of this year we moved to Salem and I worked in the mountains,
getting out timber for the old Springville Cotton Factory, then
by Bringhurst and Houst, During the spring and summer of 1865
worked In the timber. The fall of 1863 I moved with my family
to Fairview. I here bought a saw mill and then entered into partnership
with Brother Terry who had a mill site, and we moved the mills
to his place below town. Licorgus Wilson was taken in as an equal
partner in the business, through being an experienced millwright
After the mill was in readiness, the people furnished logs and
lumber from which the meeting; house and many homes were built
bought land and opened a farm of 150 acres and went into farming
I served through the Black Hawk Indian war as a Lieutenant
Captain John Saunders, During the months of May and June 1866
Indians in and about Fairview, were very hostile. They seemed
have in mind that all whites should be killed off. One Christian
Larson was killed while herding sheep. James Ivie and Henry Wright
lost their lives, and many cattle and horses were stolen, and
into the mountains. The people raised in arms and pursued the
but they, being so well fortified in their mountain retreats,
whites had to fall back, with but few of their animals secured.
these troublesome times President Young, dispatched General David
H. Wells with his militia to assist the settlers in protecting
lives and property. This incident took place, June 30, 1866.
skirmishes followed and I took part in them. I was who assisted
preparing the bodies of John Owen and family (six in number")
burial. They were massacred by the Indiana in Thistle Valley.
was one of the posse who gave chase for the Indians who killed
Jones and wounded William Avery, while Hyrum Wilson escaped unhurt.
They were on picket duty outside of Fairview. The Indians made
escape to the mountains and it was thought not safe to follow.
In 1868-9 I worked on the Union Pacific Railroad, also on
Utah Central from Ogden to Salt Lake City, receiving for my labor
on the later, credit on tithing. In 1872 I was called to act
Sunday School teacher at Fairview and continued In that capacity
until 1902. I also served as a Trustee from 1875 to 1877 in the
Public Schools. The positions of trust I have filled are numerous.
During the seventies I was superintendent of the United Order
Farm in Fairview. Was City councilman for ten years and assisted
in all the important enterprises, such as aiding the Arizona
in 1876, building meeting houses sawmills,, Roller Mills, etc.
Through an order from President Young to Pres. Peterson I was
to go and assist in locating the Indians in what is now known
Indianola. After Bro. Peterson and others had bought the land
the White settlers. I stayed with the Indians, assisting them
plowing and planting their crops. (This was in 1875.)
From 1883 to 1885 I served as a missionary in the Northern
States. Have also sent four of my sons on missions; three in
United States and one to the Sandwich Islands, who is still there,
Their expenses were borne principally by myself. In 1886 I was
ordained a President of the 26th Quorum of Seventy, and acted
that calling until 1902, when because of old age I was honorably
released, and ordained a High Priest by John R. Baxter Jan.14,1905.
In 1905 I was called to act as one of the workers in the Manti
Temple and was there for six months. In February of 1905 I was
upon to part this life with my wife, I afterward sold my home
in Fairview and moved to Provo the same year. October 1906 I
Elvira Euphrasia Cox in the Salt Lake Temple. The following
year I bought a small home and a small farm on Provo Bench and
at present still living there.
My entire life and energies have been direct toward the salvation
of souls, and the up-building of Gods work on earth. All the
Temples which have been built in our State, I have assisted in
erections and have spent considerable time in them working for
I take great pride in serving the Lord and living my religion,
the best of my ability. I have received many testimonies through
the Inspiration of the Holy Spirits and will endeavor to give
of the impressions.
At the time of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith When
the news was brought to Nauvoo, the Spirit of the Lord came upon
in great power. It first gave the feeling of deep indignation
the thought of such a wicked crime, then the feeling of mourning
and later a consoling prompting that all would be well. At the
time I was too young to understand fully the meaning of it all,
reflecting upon it later in life and seeing the results, I have
been able to explain these powerful manifestations.
During the time that is spoken of as the Reformation. I was
exercised to know my condition before the Lord and made it a
matter of prayer and supplication. In May 1856 the Lord gave
testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of the Lord, and later
that my sins were forgiven. This came to me the same as if a
person had spoken, driving It in with great force Into my very
At one time my wife was in a very delicate condition and looking
to be confined. We kneeled down in prayer to the Lord and as
we raised to our feet, the whispering of the still small voice
to me: If you will attend to your prayers in the season
she will get along, all right." When my wife came to be
she went through her labor without being sick, and could have
up as soon as her baby was delivered, and felt no further feelings
Just before 1895 I had placed a mortgage on my farm for $l000.00
to start a Roller mill and turned the money over to the Mill
Hard times come in and it looked as though I would not be able
lift the mortgage. I applied to the Mill Co. for help, but they
said my Capital stock was good for it and would take the $1200.00
I owed by process of law. I told them to take it before the Courts,
but as I was walking home the whisperings of the Spirit said;
would be given power to meet my obligations." I then placed
mortgage on my farm and made settlement with my creditors. A
few years later I sold stock and grain and cleared the indebtedness
on my farm and at present am a free man.
On the 7th of December 1894 I was thrown from my wagon and
team ran away. I lit upon my shoulder and was badly hurt, so
so that I could not turn myself in bed. The Sisters administered
to me, but no help or relief came. The second day the Spirit
to me and whispered the names of three Elders, Otto L. Terry
Andrew Rasmussen and Neils Larson to come and administer to me.
They came and during the administration an unseen power seemed
pull my arm and shoulder three times, causing me so much pain
I thought I would have to cry out, but when the Elders said Amen
the pain all left me and the next morning I got up and ate my
breakfast with the family. Since that time my shoulder has been
just like the other one, except that it is a little weaker. After
the completion of the Manti Temple, I was chosen a director from
Fairview to aid in setting up the business of the Temple and
arrange for the beginning of Temple work.
I have spent about seven years on the Miner family record,
placing In it over one thousand names, and doing much of the
for them in the Temples of the Lord. I have been to considerable
expense in gathering genealogies and the hunting up of histories
that will give some idea of our ancestors.
Springville, Utah, March 4, 1859.
A Patriarchal Blessing by Isaac Morley Sr., on the head of
Mormon Miner, son of Albert and Tamma Durfee Miner, born. Sept.
1837 in Kirtland, Geauge Co. Ohio.
In the name of the Lord, I lay my hands upon your head and
I seal your Fathers blessing upon your heart and upon your
memory, that His counsels may be revered by thee. I seal His
blessings whilst thou art In the days of thy youth, I bless
thee with the sons of Abraham by promise unto an everlasting
I seal upon thy memory the attribute of prudence, that
keys of knowledge may be given thee to be the governing principles
of the mind in all thy councils,. By promise I seal upon
thee the blessings of thy washings and anointings, where thou
wilt obtain keys of knowledge pertaining to the exaltations of
man; where thou wilt receive the light that no eye hath seen
ear heard, except those who do receive the keys of salvation
This promise I seal upon. thee that thy heart might be preparing
for the mysteries and glories of Christs Kingdoms.
In thy descent thou art from Ephraim. Keys of knowledge will
be committed to thy care pertaining the redemption and exaltation
of thy fellow-man. Thou wilt have labors to perform and missions
to fill, for the exhortations of thy fellow-man from the fall.
Cultivate in thy bosom the attribute of faith with its keys
of power, and it will be a lamp in thy path, by it thou wilt
disease, the discerning of spirits will be manifest before
The Lord will bless thee in thy basket, and in thy store.
Thou hast obtained an heirship to Immortality and Eternal lives.
Even so, Amen and Amen.
In account with JAMES A, OLIVER.
Dec. 27, 1911 worked 7 hrs. @ 25¢ $ 1.75
28, " 7 " 1.75
29, " 6 " 1.50
50, " 9 " 2.25
Jan. 15, 1912 " 9 " 2.25
15, " 3 " .75
24, " 6 " l.50
25, " 4 " l.00
27, " 2 ½ " .60
Feb. 6, " 5 " .75
9, " 4 " l.00
12, " 5 " 1.25
27, " 2 " .50
28, " 2 " .50
Mar. 2, " 5 " l.25
5, " 5 " l.25
14, Wrote " Book of Genealogies " 2.50
Apr. 1, worked 4 hrs. @ 25¢ " l.00
16, " 2 " .50
17, " 6 " 1.50
20, " 5 " .75
29, " 1 " .25 $26.35
Jan. 15, 1912 By check $5.00
Mar. 14, " bu. apples 1.00
Apr. " 3 ½ Crates Cherries l.75
" 6 Qt. Gooseberries .50
" 38 " " " 1.90
" 5 Crates Raspberries 2.70
" 2 " " " 2.00
" 1 ¾ bu. Apples 1.55
" 1 " Peaches .60 $16.60
Bal. Due 9.75
The above time do not account for all the time that I have
put on your work, but It Is all that I have charged you for.
There have been times that I spent In looking up genealogy that
I was not sure about and felt that I could not ask wages for
all though It was necessary to be sure no mistakes were made.
During this time I have made two copies of a brief history, one
being placed with the High Priests records, of your life; I have
begun a more complete history of your life and brought it down
the end of the Indian troubles of Utah.
As you are aware, I have written the genealogies of nearly 1000
persons and made a complete copy of the genealogical work you
received from the publishers. Another book should be purchased
enter the remainder of the genealogies un-copied in the published
record. I also made a complete index of all the names entered
this genealogical record,. While it was put in a poor book for
purpose, I should not recommend at the present time the making
another, as I do not think It will be of much service after the
copying is completed. It may, however, be necessary if the family
continues the work to people that lived in other sections of
country, to see that no repetitions are made. I think it would
a good idea for the family to form an organization to carry on
work, as it is too great for one or two to undertake it and furnish
the necessary means. And another thing all should be interested
the accomplishment of this grand work.,
(Signed) James A. Oliver
A SHORT HISTORY OF MORONI MINER
WHO LIVED TO CELEBRATE HIS 100th ANNIVERSARY,
Moroni Miner, brother to our Great-Grandfather Mormon Miner,
oldest resident of Springville, Utah, celebrated his one-hundredth
birthday Tuesday June 4, 1935, with a family reunion. Invitations
were Issued to 500 relatives and friends, including the Black
Hawk Indian War veterans and committeemen, and a number of other
citizens; also to Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers and the
citizens of Springville, and Church Officials.
The program began at 10 a.m. at Park Ro-Shee in Springville.
It was carried on as follows:
Baseball and other sports, 10 a.m. to noon; 12 noon to 2 p.m.
picnic, program and stunts; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., swimming and other
sports; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., intermission and lunch. At 7:30 p.m.
pageant, portraying the life of Mr. Miners mother, Tamma
Miner, written and directed by Mrs. Eva Maeser Crandall, was
presented In the Second Ward Chapel. A dance followed,
Mr. Miner, whose formula for a long life includes much work,
a cheerful attitude and a desire to be useful, was born June
1835, in Kirtland, Ohio, a son of Albert and Tamma Durfee Miner.
His parents lived at Nauvoo at the time the Latter-day Saints
driven from that country, and Mr. Miner recalls seeing the Prophet
Joseph Smith many times.
After the family moved to a settlement on the Des Moines
river, Mr. Miners father died and he was forced to make
for himself at the age of 13 years. He started west with the
Brigham Company, but due to his age and not having the consent
his mother, he was advised to return to his family.
In June 1850, with his widowed mother and all her possessions-
two oxen, two cows and a wagon, scant provisions and seven children,
Mr. Miner crossed the plains. He walked the entire distance
of 1000 miles, driving cattle and sheep along the way. He states
that during this memorable journey, great herds of buffalo blocked
the road and had to be driven back to make passage.
Upon arriving in Utah, the family lived on a farm near the
Jordan River until 1851, When they came to Springville, where
Miner has since made his home.
Many are the Interesting stories of early Pioneer life and
early Indian uprisings, related by Mr. Miner in a history written
by himself. In 1854, with others, he went to Cedar Valley, to
burn charcoal for use by the Salt Lake City blacksmiths. The
Industry progressed well until they were discovered by the Indians,
who drove them away and burned their belongings. That same year
Mr. Miner was called upon to act as guard in the Indian War,
he assisted in moving all the houses outside the eight central
blocks in Springville, into a fort. It was during this year,
also, that he assisted in building a12-foot wall around the
original eight blocks of the City, the wall being constructed
taxation and donations against Indian attacks.
He was called as a young man to assist in building a fence
across the mouth of the canyons east of Springville, as a protection
against Indians. He tells of many anxious hours spent guarding
the canyons from which Indians would swoop down into the valleys
burning and plundering as they came.
When a young man he also was called to haul freight from the
Missouri River to Utah enduring many hardships and dangers on
journeys. They also hauled the mail on these trips.
An interesting quotation from his life's history states: In
June of 1859, the holidays coming on, I was short of ready means
I therefore yoked up my oxen and took a scythe into the field
cut a load of hay. After curing it I loaded it onto my wagon
hauled it to Camp Floyd, forty miles away, and sold it for $10.00
This money bridged me along during the holidays in a very
In another portion of the sketch he states. "In the fall
1863, word came that there was a scarcity of flour in Montana.
loaded up 4000 pounds and with Alex Robertson, Bringhurst and
outfits, of four or five wagons, all loaded with flour, left
Montana. Arriving there we sold our loads for $25.00 per hundred
Pounds. I took a four mule team and wagon and some gold dust
as my share. That fall Mr. Miner states wheat took a jump
Moroni, with his brother Carlos Miner, took a contract with
the Central Pacific Railway company, in 1869, to build the grade
at Promontory Point where the golden spike was driven to mark
spot where the east and west railroads came together.
Mr. Miner also assisted in the construction of the first irrigation
canals in this vicinity and helped to build the first meeting
He was instrumental in bringing educational advantages
to pioneer family children in this community.
During his middle and later life, Mr. Miner engages in the
grocery business and also has been a successful farmer and stockman.
He married Nancy Elisabeth Chase in February 1861. She died
in 1928, at the age of 83 years. They were the parents of twelve
sons and three daughters. One child died in infancy, three boys
young, and the rest grew to maturity. Eight sons and two daughters
have been married in the Salt Lake Temple.
Aside from the work in Civic affairs, Mr. Miner has always
taken an active part in Church affairs, serving in numerous capacities
in the auxiliary organizations. He filled a mission to
the Southern States in 1893, leaving at the age of 58 years to
begin his mission. Because of his advance age, he resigned from
the Stake High Priests in 1914.
Despite his 100 years of life, many of which have been filled
with hardships and disappointments, Mr. Miner is still young
his years. He gets about his home, attends Church and sometimes
entertainments, converses on topics of the day, and enjoys tales
of pioneer life. He looked forward with a child's enthusiasm
his 100th birthday celebration and said he hoped to have many
(However, he passed away during the following year.)
He lived to see five generations of his family and was privileged
to attend the Golden Wedding celebration in 1933 of his eldest
son Bert and wife in Springville. Other living children at
the 100th anniversary of Moroni, were: Mrs. Elizabeth Miner Whitmore,
Gloyd, M.F, and Paul Miner from Springville, Utah; George
Miner, San Francisco, California; Thorn Miner, Philadelphia,
Austin Miner, Provo, Utah; Mrs. Ruth Miner Bennion, Vernal, Utah,
together with their families. He had 49 grandchildren; 69 great-
grandchildren and one great-great grandchild when he was 100
years of age.
Besides his own family, attending the celebration from
out-of-town, were: John Stevens and family from Amarillo, Texas;
Noble Lawrence and family from Rupert, Idaho; E. Bundy and family
from St. George, Utah; and LeGrande Durfee and family from Richfield,
Elder George Albert Smith of the Council of Twelve, and President
Samuel 0. Bennion, of the First Presidents of Seventy, rep-
resented the General Authorities, and spoke in the afternoon
Mr. Moroni Miner received hundreds of telegrams and letters
of congratulation during the day, among them a personal letter
from President Heber J. Grant, congratulating him on having lived
a full century.
Moroni immediately began his plans to go to the encampment
of the Black Hawk Indian War Veterans to be held at Nephi Aug.
13, 14, 15, 16 and expressed a desire to camp out all of those
days and nights.
Melvin Edwin Miner, son of Martin Mormon Miner and grandson
Mormon Miner, took his wife Pearl and their children, Melvin
Douglas, Barbara Jean, Mary Jane and Doris June Miner, to visit
the children's great-great Uncle Moroni Miner in Springville,
Utah, just before he reached his one hundredth birthday. He
was very alert, especially as to past history, and he immediately
recognized Melvin as being the son of Martin and Evelyn Miner.
He told us that he remembered as if it were yesterday, the
morning Martin and Evelyn rode off in the wagon to be married
the Endowment House.