Welcome friends

Glad you came. Hope you enjoy your visit.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Amanda Morgan Miller

In honor of the 24th of July celebration I am posting a pioneer history. There are many pioneer stories that have become famous--either because of the calling of the person, or the extremeness of their situation. But the vast majority of the pioneers were men and women who did heroic things as a matter of survival and everyday sacrifice.

One of these, Amanda Morgan Miller was born in Vermont into a devout Quaker family. She was the last of 8 children. In about 1816 she married Josiah Miller. They had 8 children born to them but only 6 survived to adulthood. They had moved to Kirtland and it was there after her last child was born that she was baptized.

One of the recurring sacrifices that these pioneers encountered was a decision between family loyalty and church membership. The Millers had to face this decision several times. In March 1838 the Kirtland Camp was organized to facilitate the movement of the Saints from Kirtland to Missouri. Many of the Saints in Kirtland were in extreme poverty, and it was felt that traveling in a large company would be a good method of getting the Saints to Missouri. A previous plan to charter a steamboat had failed; and this new plan was the subject of much discussion. At a meeting of the Seventies on March 10 it is recorded that the Spirit of the Lord came down in might power, and it was felt by those attending the meeting that it was the will of God that the quorum should go up in a company together. A constitution was then drawn up under the direction of Hyrum Smith, who was the second counselor in the church presidency, which provided for an orderly organization of the camp. Six weeks later, however, Josiah was counseled to leave the camp because his son-in-law, who was not a member of the church, would not abide by the order of the camp.
The following is recorded concerning their leaving:
"Saturday, Aug 18, Josiah Miller, agreeable to the counsel given him, took his family and left the camp with the best of feelings existing between him and the Council of the camp; he left it only in consequence of the disposition of his son-in-law Aaron Dolph, to set at naught the Constitution by which the camp were bound by agreement to put their strength, properties and monies together to move the camp to the land of Zion."

The family stopped at Dayton, Ohio for a few weeks, then moved on to Indiana. They stayed there for a few years and then moved to Illinois.

The Millers left Nauvoo in 1846 with a group of Saints. Their daughter, Harriet had to make a choice again between church and family. She was married to Orton Warfield Burns, a school teacher who was not a member of the church. He did what he could to protect them but then was told if he did any more he would lose his job. Harriet, pregnant with their first child, could stay with her husband and be cut off from the church or leave with her parents and continue what she believed in but lose her husband. Harriet chose to go on with her parents. She had her baby boy, Miles Lamoni Burns in a sod-banked tent over a covered wagon in Council Bluffs.

Not long after leaving Nauvoo, the family had to sacrifice yet again. Captain James Allen arrived in June 1846 making a requisition for four or five companies of Mormon men to serve as volunteers in the war with Mexico. The Miller's only two sons then 27 and 25 both joined up. This left Amanda and Josiah with their three daughters to cross the plains.

On June 17, 1847, Amanda and her family left for the Great Salt Lake Valley in the Jedediah M. Grant Company. Amanda and her husband were 51 years old. Their daughters were 23, 20 and 17. Amanda's husband Josiah was a captain of ten in their company. There were so many companies coming at that time that they traveled in three or four columns across the plains. They reached Salt Lake on October 2, 1847. The next year, two of their daughters married.

In 1851 Josiah was called by President Brigham Young to help settle Salt Creek, which was later called Nephi. An so, in October of 1851--4 years after arriving in the Utah territory--their family moved yet again to Salt Creek. Their daughters and their husbands and 3 other families went together. By November, 17 families were settled in Nephi. Josiah was elected as Nephi's first mayor the next spring.

They experienced many miracles as colonizers in Indian territory. They had problems with cattle dying one winter in the extreme weather, but through united prayer and fasting, they beheld miraculous results. One observer said, "The first thing I realized on awaking the morning after the fast and prayer was a thorough thaw which continued steady, so that we have prospect now of our cattle doing well."

Fourteen years later on July 29, 1865 Amanda's husband Josiah died at the age of 69.

In September of 1872, another tragedy came into the lives of Amanda and her family. The younger of Amanda's two sons, Daniel, was killed by Indians, at a saw mill in Oak Canyon, three miles east of Spring City. He was the last white man in Utah to be killed in the Indian wars, leaving a widow and 9 children. Daniel's 12 year old son Danny, my great grandfather, was wounded in the attack.

Amanda Morgan Miller died seven years later in October 1879 at the age of 84.

She was a faithful pioneer woman who braved the elements, Indian attacks, and insect infestations with courage and faith. She lived out of a wagon for many months, perhaps years, moving as needed to stay with the Saints. She lost children but found strength and ability to forge ahead because of her testimony of the gospel. She was obedient to church leaders even in the face of ostracism, refusing to become offended or bitter. She saw her strong sons march off to war leaving a much weakened family to face the trek to Salt Lake Valley. Overcoming hardships developed strength of character which was recognized in the communities they served. I'm so grateful for this legacy in our family.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I forgot to load this picture. It goes with the next post.
These pictures are mainly for Emily's enjoyment. We did a little yard work in preparation for Gillian's wedding. You may or may not know what bad shape the yard was in prior to said preparations but here is the finished product, at least for the wedding. We are forever grateful that she asked to use the yard. It was the kick in the pants we have been looking for. Thanks again Gillian and Patti.

The picture below shows two new pieces of yard art we reclaimed from the Land of Desolation. Jethro designed these in one of his art/welding classes. The picture doesn't do them justice, you'll have to come and see them to appreciate how awesome they are. We thought they fit right in with the fresno...
Bus took out an extra pine tree that was languishing in this forest. It opened up the forest and made it look much better.
We had two bean plants sprout out of the whole package. Probably won't be needing to put up too many beans this year. We do have quite a few tomatoes though and the carrots came up pretty thickly. The peas have been tasty. Our yard looks quite a bit larger without the fence doesn't it? Luckily we have nice neighbors.
Ben Francisco really worked hard a couple of days cleaning up the Land of Desolation. He moved the wood stack (I KNOW) and the canoe, he rototilled the grass in, he moved bricks and brick pieces, he was wonderful.
Bus finally got his shed finished yesterday too. It looks great. John and Dorothy also came and helped a lot. Dorothy and Phil weeded our garden and the front parking space. John helped clean up the Land of Desolation with Ben. Bus and Ben hauled at least one truck load to the dump and then another truckload to the metal recyclers. We really appreciate all the hard work.

Blog Archive