· G7 Enos Curtis was born 9 Oct 1783, married 15 Dec 1805, NYC (age 22), age 36@FV, baptized 1831 (age 48), died 1 Jun 1856 (age 72).
· G7 Ruth Franklin born 14 Nov 1790, married 15 Dec 1805, NYC (age 15), age 29@FV, baptized 1831 (age 41), died 6 May 1848 (age 57) Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Enos was born in October two years after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, in New York state, at Kinderhook, about 20 miles south of Albany, on the Massachusetts side of the Hudson River, and about 150 miles west of Boston. Enos was the 2nd child and 1st son of his parents. His father, Edmond Curtis, from Connecticut, was 20 when Enos was born, and died at 72 in Niagara, Canada. His mother, Mary Polly Avery, also 20 at Enos’ birth, was born and shown on FSFT to have died at age 65 in Connecticut, but probably died much earlier since Edmond married Martha Harris in 1783 shortly after Enos’ birth, and had more children with her who were Enos’ half siblings. See story below for more details. Enos’ grandparents and six of his eight great grandparents were all from Connecticut, multigenerational Americans in the years prior to the Revolutionary War. Enos was 10 years older than his friend Alpheus Gifford, and 12 years younger than Joseph Smith, Sr.
Enos was always known for his kindness. Like most people of the time, he was religious, and as his story describes, was receptive to the Restored Gospel, gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon from the copy given him his neighbor, Levi Gifford, younger brother of Alpheus. He had married at age 22, was 36 in 1820 with 5 living of 9 children at that point, and was 47 when he was baptized, and died at 72 in Springville, UT, the father of 14 children, with 6 children still living.
In the Spring of 1820, Enos and Ruth had been married 14 years and were living in Sullivan Township of Tioga County, PA, where all of their children were born except their first, Lydia, who was born in Rutland Township, same county, but died 17 months later in Sullivan Township.
As near as we can determine, in our ancestry, Enos was the second First Convert to join the Church.
The Life of a Noble Pioneer, Enos Curtis, by Jaydene Buhler, July 10, 1998 (edited by Scott Hepworth)
Enos Curtis was born on 9 Oct 1783 at Kinderhook, Columbia, New York, the oldest child of Edmond and Polly (Avery) Curtis. The family Enos came from were evidently farmers and settlers. His ancestors on both sides were of English and Welch descent, most having left their homelands to come to the New World in the early 1630’s. They were either looking for religious freedom or wanted a new life and the ability to possess their own land. They most likely had strong religious feelings for they chose to settle in New England, an area known for its fervent religious interest. On the Curtis side of the family, Enos was the seventh generation to live in the United States. Most of his American ancestors lived in the area of New Haven County, Connecticut, a state known for it’s independent thinking people who gave freely of their creative energy and skills to build up the nation.
Enos’ father, Edmond Curtis (1763-1814), had been raised in Sharon, Litchfield, Connecticut. He was one of seven children. Apparently after the death of Enos’ grandmother, Lydia (Grannis) Curtis (1730-before 1806), his grandfather, Jeremiah Curtis (1728-1807), relocated in upstate New York, in Herkimer County, an area which was beginning to be settled. It is from a will left by this grandfather in 1807 that Enos’ parentage was established.
Enos’ mother, who was called Polly (1763-~1789), was likely christened Mary, as Polly was often a popular nickname for Mary at that time. She was apparently the only child of Solomon (1719-1791) and Hannah (Petteneill) Avery, of Preston, New Haven, Connecticut. Enos’ parents were married on 2 Jan 1779, and lived on the eastern edge of New York at Kinderhook when Enos was born four years later. It is possible that there were other children born prior to his birth who did not survive, but such records are unavailable. There is also some confusion about whether Polly had other children besides Enos and his sister Clarissa, who was born in 1788. It is thought that their mother died not long after this little daughter was born. [My PAF shows other children, and no date for the death of Polly.]
After the death of Enos’ mother, his father, twenty-five year old Edmond, apparently left his children, or at least his son, Enos, in the care of others and traveled west, to settle in Cherry Valley, Otsego, New York, where he met and married Martha Wilson (born 9 Oct 1768) in 1790. They eventually had eight children there. These half brothers and sister of Enos may not have been aware of his existence though they seemed to know of Clarissa as she is mentioned in her half brother Cordillo Curtis’s Bible. Enos would have been about five years old at the time of his mother’s death, making his and Clarissa’s care a challenge for their widowed father. Placing children of this age with relatives or willing neighbors was not an uncommon practice in frontier times. Whether or not Enos or his sister ever knew much about their father’s life cannot be determined at this time.
It appears that despite his mother’s early death, someone in Enos’ past may have had a positive influence on him. He was especially known for his kindness. Somehow, he was blessed to receive a little education, probably typical of frontier times, in that he was able to read and sign his name.
In 1812, the United States was involved in another war with England. Much of that war was fought in New York where the Curtis family lived. Many able bodied men of that state enlisted, coming to the aid of their threatened country. Enos’ father, Edmond Curtis was no exception. Joining a cause he believed in, he fought valiantly for his country and gave his life during the decisive battle at Fort Erie, on 17 Sep 1814. He was fifty-one years old then, leaving Martha a widow at age forty-six.
By the time of his father’s death, Enos was thirty-one, married, and living in Pennsylvania. When Enos was twenty-two, he married fifteen-year old Ruth Frankin, daughter of John (1749-1831) and Abigail Fuller (1753-1834) Franklin of Sterling, Windham, Connecticut. It is not known how they met but they were married in New York City, on 15 Dec 1905 (just a week before the Prophet Joseph Smith was born). There is a question of whether they were living in that city at the time or if they had traveled there especially to be married.
Three years later, they were living in Pennsylvania, apparently at various times in Rutland and Sullivan townships, or their land was between the two townships in Tioga County, which is situated on the mid-northern edge of Pennsylvania, bordering Steuben County, New York. Here their first child, a daughter named Lydia, was born on 5 Feb 1809. She lived only 18 months, dying 9 July 1809, but was the first of fourteen children. She was followed by Maria (1810-1841), Martha (1812-1834), Edmond (1814-1815), Jeremiah (1815-1816), Seth (1817-1817), Simmons Philander (1818-1880), twins, John White (1820-1902) and David Avery (1820-1885), Ezra Houghton (1822-1915), Ruth (1825-1825), Ursula (1826-1902), Sabrina (1829-1890), and Celestia, born after Enos and Ruth joined the Church (1832-1891). Four of these children, two sons and two daughters, died young, and the other nine, six daughters and three sons, lived to grow up and marry.
I am descended from Ursula who married Araham Durfee and had Mahala Ruth Durfee who married Samuel Parker, Jr., the grandson of Alpheus and Anna Nash Gifford. This is the young couple whose grandparents had known each other well, one (Alpheus Gifford) instrumental in the conversion of the other (Enos Curtis).
Sometime in the mid to late 1820’s, Enos and Ruth’s third daughter, Martha, became acquainted with Elial Strong from Vermont. They were married in early 1827 when he was eighteen, and she, following in the footsteps of her mother, was only fifteen. The Strongs apparently had a farm in the eastern neighboring county of Bradford at Columbia. Enos and Ruth became grandparents on 14 January 1828, when Martha gave birth to a son they named Ozias Strong. It is possible that Elial Strong was possibly from the same area of Vermont as Daniel Bowen (1801-1880) who was an acquaintance of the Strong’s, who was either visiting or lived in Columbia. Daniel was from Shaftsberry, Bennington, Vermont.
Evidently, some of the near neighbors of Enos and Ruth, in Sullivan, were Levi (1798-1860) and Deborah Wing (1794-1877) Gifford. Apparently, Levi’s older brother, Alpheus Gifford (1793-1841), who was an independent preacher, had at one time lived in Sullivan, then in Hector, Schuyler County, New York, then had come back to live in Rutland, Tioga County. It is possible that while in New York, he had been blessed to hear the gospel of the restoration preached. It is wondered if he somehow met with Samuel Smith, the first missionary and brother of the Prophet Joseph, for Alpheus was baptized in 1830. He took to heart the revelation given to the Prophet Joseph, in December 1830 (D&C 36:5-7) that those who had embraced the gospel and been ordained Elders should be sent forth as missionaries to preach the gospel and call people to repentance. It must have been early in 1831 when he was ordained an Elder at Kirtland, Geauga, Ohio.
It is believed that Elder Alpheus Gifford first taught the gospel to his brother Levi who then shared it with his neighbor Enos Curtis. Then Enos and Levi, and some accounts say, Alpheus, traveled to Bradford County, to tell Enos’ son-in-law Elial Strong and daughter Martha the good news. Elial was baptized in June of 1831. They must have then shared it with the Strong’s neighbor, Eleazer Miller (1795-1876) who was baptized six months later in December 1831 by Levi Gifford. They then taught others in the area who had an interest, such as Abraham Brown (1806-1838) and Daniel Bowen.
There are differing accounts about who was involved and exactly what happened after this. Though some members of this group had not yet been baptized, they were apparently very interested in the things Elder Gifford was teaching. They decided to travel north with Elder Alpheus Gifford to visit with the Prophet Joseph in Kirtland so they could learn more. It may have been on their return trip that they passed through the area of Mendon, Monroe County, and Victor, Ontario County, New York. Some accounts say it was mid-summer; others in the fall or nearly winter of 1831.
Earlier, in the prior year, 1830, shortly after the formal organization of the Church, in mid to late April, Samuel Smith came to the area of Mendon where the Young and Kimball families lived. Much of the following is drawn from Brigham and Heber by Stanley B. Kimball, Larson, Clinton F., et al, Brigham Young University Studies, Volume 33, pp. 397-399, Provo, UT, BYU Press, 1959-1996. “He (Samuel) happened to visit Tomlinson’s Inn in Lima, eight miles southwest of Mendon, and proceeded to interrupt the lunch of the first person he saw who, providentially was Phineas Young (1799-1879), an itinerant preacher for the Methodist Episcopal Reformed Church and Brigham Young’s (1801-1877) brother. Samuel talked Phineas into buying a copy of the Book of Mormon – perhaps the single most important copy ever sold. Phineas read the book and in quick succession so did his father, John Young (1763-1839), his widowed sister Fanny Young Carr (1787-1859), his brother Brigham, and ‘many others,’ most of whom accepted it. It is believed that Heber C. Kimball (1801-1868) also read the same copy.”
Shortly after this group had read the Book of Mormon, there came some missionaries, led by Alpheus Gifford, from Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. He was traveling with his brother Levi and four friends – Elial Strong, Eleazer Miller, Enos Curtis, and Abraham Brown (some accounts say Daniel Bowen). Some of these men were apparently still investigating the new faith. Alpheus was possibly the only one ordained an Elder, though other records say Enos was also an Elder by this time. If this is so, he may have felt less experienced at preaching, as most accounts indicate that Alpheus was the leader. The group was sharing the gospel along the way as they traveled and in the course of this ‘mission,’ they came to the house of Phineas Young in Victor, New York. Some have thought that Elder Gifford knew that Phineas had a copy of the Book of Mormon and the visit was a follow-up, or perhaps because Phineas had read the book, he invited Elder Gifford and his companions into his home to preach to his relatives and neighbors.
Learning of this, five miles away, in Mendon, and prompted by curiosity, Heber and Brigham came to the meeting at Phineas’ white clapboard home to hear the Mormon Elders. That evening, they heard the simple, and direct message of early Mormon missionaries. They found Elder Gifford’s statements and those shared by the others to be earnest, simple convictions of the new prophet, and the new faith. Elder Gifford related “that a holy angel had been commissioned from the heavens, who had committed the Everlasting Gospel and restored the Holy Priesthood unto men as at the beginning.”
How much Alpheus Gifford knew or told of Joseph Smith’s 1820 vision and Joseph’s calling to be the new prophet is now known, but the missionaries surely related how Joseph received and translated the Book of Mormon and organized the Church of Jesus Christ in New York in 1830. In Heber C. Kimball’s writings, he noted that Elder Gifford called upon all men everywhere to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and these things should follow those that believe, viz., they should cast out devils in the name of Jesus, they would speak in tongues, etc., and that the Lord had restored these things was because the people had transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the Everlasting Covenant. The accent was on new revelation from God and the reopening of the heavens.
One sermon was enough for both Brigham and Heber. Even though some of the preachers were not yet members, they still gave their witness and the Spirit penetrated Heber’s heart for he later wrote of that occasion, “As soon as I heard from them, I was convinced that they taught the truth, and I was constrained to believe their testimony. I saw that I had only received a part of the ordinances under the Baptist Church. I also saw and heard the gifts of the spirit manifested in them, for I heard them speak and interpret and also sing in tongues which tended to strengthen my faith more and more. Brigham Young and myself were constrained, by the Spirit, to bear testimony of the truth, and when we did this, the power of God rested on us.”
Years later, Enos’ son Ezra H. Curtis, told a little more about what happened at the time the missionaries came to New York where Brigham Young was living. After the meeting at Phineas,’ Brigham hurried home to his wife, Miriam, who was very sick in bed with tuberculosis. He went to his room and prayed to the Lord, asking that, “If this religion is true He would 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 missionaries were passing his home, they were impressed with the tidiness of his yards and said something like, “Any man who takes that much pride in his home is worth visiting,” so they called at Brigham’s home. 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 told them he had prayed for them to come and that he had faith that his wife could be healed.
Based on the time frame, it seems likely that before teaching the Kimballs and Youngs, the group of friends had already been in Kirtland. It is not known if while there they had met or visited with the Prophet Joseph Smith, but whether or not they did, apparently, by this time, Enos Curtis was thoroughly converted for records state that he was baptized in 1831 by Lyman Wight (1796-1858) who was in Kirtland during the early summer of 1831. How Enos Curtis met Elder Wight has not been recorded, but history says that Elder Wight was in Missouri by August 1831, so the baptism had to have taken place before this time. It is not known at this time exactly when Ruth Curtis accepted the gospel.
After the impressive visit of missionaries from Rutland, Tioga County and Columbia, Bradford, Pennsylvania, Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young talked about the things they had learned and experienced. As they were doing this, they had a spiritual experience together concerning the future of the Church. Of this they later said that the “glory of God shone upon us, and we saw the gathering of the Saints to Zion, and the glory that would rest upon them; and many more things connected with that great event, such as the sufferings and persecutions….” This encouraged them to plan a trip to the nearest Church branch 130 miles south of Mendon.
A group went in January 1832. Heber took his horse and sleigh and, accompanied by Brigham and Phineas and their wives, Miriam and Clarissa, traveled to the nearest branch of the Church to learn more about the gospel. This was at Columbia (now called Columbia Crossroads), Bradford County, Pennsylvania. This was the branch where Enos Curtis’ daughter Martha and her husband, Elial Strong, lived. Also nearby were their new friends and Elder Alpheus Gifford. Vilate Kimball stayed in Mendon to care for the children.
The Young/Kimball group stayed in Pennsylvania about six days, so that they could attend the Mormon meetings there. They heard the members speak in tongues, interpret, and prophesy. Heber C. Kimball’s account reveals that he was fully converted. For some reason, however, none of them were baptized at that time. Later, at the end of March, Brigham’s father John and his brothers Phineas and Joseph Young returned again to the Pennsylvania branch to seek baptism. Both John and Phineas were baptized 5 Apr 1832, Phineas by Elder Ezra Landon. It is not recorded who baptized John Young. Joseph Young was baptized 6 Apr 1832 by Enos’ son-in-law Elial Strong.
It appears that the Columbia missionaries, including Enos Curtis, with the newly baptized Youngs, then traveled north again, back to Mendon, where on 14 Apr 1832 Brigham Young was baptized by Elder Eleazer Miller, and Heber C. Kimball was baptized the next day by Elder Alpheus Gifford. Elder Eleazer Miller had been baptized by Elder Levi Gifford, Alpheus Gifford’s younger brother and Enos Curtis’ neighbor. At this time, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball were 31, Eleazer Miller was 37, Alpheus was 38, Levi was 33, Enos was 48, and Elial Strong was 24-30 (records of his DOB vary).
Many others who had heard the preaching came into the Church at this time. The missionaries helped them establish a strong branch in Mendon which included the following who had been taught by Alpheus, Enos, and their group of missionaries: John Young and Hannah B. Young, Brigham Young and Miriam Works Young, Phineas H. Young and Clarissa Young, Joseph Young, Lorenzo D. Young and Persis Young, John P. Greene and Rhoda Young Greene and children, Joel Sanford and Louisa Young Sanford, Fanny Young Carr (widow then, later married Vilate Kimball’s brother Roswell Murray), Isaac Flummerfelt and wife and children, Ira Bond and Charlotte, Heber C. Kimball and Vilate Murray Kimball, Rufus Parks, John Morton and Betsy, Nathan Tomlinson (in whose house Phineas had met Samuel H. Smith), Israel Barlow and mother, brother, and sisters.
Two months later, early in June, Elder Enos Curtis and his son-in-law, Elial Strong, and their friend Eleazer Miller, accompanied Phineas and Joseph Young as they set out on a mission to Canada. Phineas later wrote: “We labored in Canada about six weeks with great success, raised the first branch in British America, and returned home rejoicing.” (Elden Jay Watson, comp., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844 [Salt Lake City: Elder J. Watson, 1968], pp. xxiv-xxv). Information from the book Heroes of the Restoration, Heber C. Kimball, Common Man, Uncommon Servant, by Jeffrey R. Holland, footnote 19, Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1997.)
Apparently, after this mission, the Curtis family thought it best to stay in Rutland for they did not go to live in Kirtland as many others did. That fall, on 13 Sept 1832, their second daughter, Maria, married the aforementioned Abraham Brown and settled in Guyandot, Lawrence, Ohio. There they had two children, Elizabeth (1833-1914) and Isaac.
By 1834, many Latter-day Saints had gathered and settled on Missouri land, first in Jackson, then in Caldwell and Clay Counties. But local feeling was rapidly growing hostile against the Mormon settlers. In a revelation, Joseph Smith was commanded by the Lord to take a group of Elders to Missouri to see if they could stop the trouble. So was formed the famous Zion’s Camp march. Elial Strong was asked to join the group. Sadly, he was one of those who died of cholera on the journey. This was followed by another sad event late that year, 22 Dec 1834, when Elial’s widowed wife, Enos and Ruth’s daughter, Martha Strong, died, leaving her six-year old son Ozias Strong an orphan. It is very likely that he was taken into the home of his grandparents and raised by them, for he grew up true and faithful to the Church and his life intertwined often with theirs in later years.
It is not known when the Curtis family decided to join with the saints in Missouri. But their friend, Alpheus, and his wife Anna Nash (1800-1879) Gifford, paid honor to Enos when their ninth child was born on 14 Feb 1837 at Log Creek, Caldwell County, Missouri, and they named him Enos Curtis Gifford. By then, the Curtis’ and their children and grandson were likely living in Clay County.
During the late 1830’s, the atmosphere in Missouri became difficult for the saints. Many families lost nearly everything as mobs combined and angrily destroyed homes and farms. The Enos Curtis family was no exception. In 1839, Lyman Wight was given the assignment to gather statements of the losses of the saints. In a Redress Petition, Enos Curtis made statements concerning his personal losses. From their move from Rutland to Missouri, he lost $300. Because of being driven from Clay County to Caldwell County, he lost $150. He says that their home was plundered of clothing and furniture at a loss of $200. They lost their crops, including corn and potatoes totaling $100, cattle and hogs came to $50, two destroyed bee stands came to $8, and four muskets $40. He tallied the loss of their land at $409. Being driven from Missouri came to $500. The total of their losses was $1648. Enos signed the same saying, “I Do Certify the above account to Be Just and true according to the Best of my Knowledge, Enos Curtis” (Clark V. Johnson Dr., ed. Mormon Redress Petitions. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, 1992, State of Missouri, p. 175.)
His twenty-one year old son, Simons P. Curtis, gave an affidavit which follows:
“I, Simons P. Curtis, a resident of Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, certify that in the year 1838, I was a citizen of Caldwell County, Missouri, residing in the city of Far West. Also that I went in search of a lost steer, and passing by Captain Bogart’s camp, while he was guarding the city, I saw the hide and feet of said steer, which I knew to be mine; the flesh of which I suppose they applied to their own use.
I also certify that Wiley E. Williams, one of the Governor’s aids, who was gunkeeper, caused me to pay thirty-seven and a half cents to him. I also paid twenty-five cents to a justice of the peace to qualify me to testify that the gun was mine. The said Wiley El Williams is said to be the one that carried the story to Governor Boggs, which story was the cause of the exterminating order being issued, as stated by the Governor in said order.” Simons P. Curtis (this was sworn to before C.M. Woods, Clerk Circuit Court, Adams County, Illinois, on May 9, 1839. (DHC, edited by BH Roberts, pp. 67-68)
Currently, in the year 2002, the guides who take visitors on a wagon ride around the north part of old Nauvoo make reference to the Redress Petitions filed by the Saints at the request of the Prophet. They indicate that the largest estimate of loss was turned in by a Brother Nelson who reported a loss of $5,000 for property and $500,000 for “loss of liberty.” In contrast, the smallest amount reported was 63 cents, by Simons Curtis. Apparently, the front site of his rifle had been damaged in a scuffle.
The dates here indicate that by 1839, the Curtis’ had removed to Illinois to be with the main body of the Church. After Maria’s husband, Abraham Brown, died on 12 May 1838, she must have come from Ohio to be with her parents, for within the year, Maria married Milo Everett (1814-after 1861), who had joined the Church in 1832, in Westfield, Chautauqua County, New York.
After all the years of struggle, their children had grown up and several were thinking of starting families of their own. In 1840, two of Enos and Ruth’s sons, Simmons and John, were married in Nauvoo. John married Almira Starr, of Connecticut on 13 May 1840, and Simmons married Emmeline Buchanan of Lexington, Kentucky on 4 July 1840.
Sadly, Enos and Ruth’s daughter Maria Brown died on 5 May 1841, in Nauvoo, leaving two granddaughters for Enos and Ruth to raise. Maria’s husband, Milo Everett, was ordained an Elder in 1842 by Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, but he must have become confused during the upheaval of the Nauvoo persecutions and leadership changes, for he is listed as a member of the reorganized church in 1861.
In October 1841, son David married Amanda Ann Starr, younger sister to Almira. This marriage left four of the ten children unmarried, not counting grandchildren. Their youngest, Celestia, born after they joined the Church, was nine years old.
After a period of recovery and intensive building, things began to get tense again for the saints early in 1844. Lies were spread by several apostate groups who felt tremendous hatred toward the Church and the Prophet. Despite heartaches and hardships, Enos and Ruth Curtis remained faithful to the gospel and continued to serve wherever they could. Like the other saints living in or near Nauvoo, they especially suffered just before and after the death of the Prophet Joseph.
A touching incident occurred during the time of persecutions and martyrdom in which Enos’ sons were out on the prairies putting up wild hay. Becoming worried about his sons, Enos rode out in the night to get them. They had been asleep, but were awakened by the noise of a horseman coming toward their camp. They were very quite frightened as they lived with the anxiety and nervousness of a people who constantly feared the mob. Enos had a peculiar cough and as he rode toward them, he happened to cough, which caused them to sigh in great relief and say to the others who were with them, “Do not fear. It is father.” But the group had a real race with a nearby mob who laid in ambush and chased them all the way home.
Violence continued to increase against the Saints. Ruth and her children used to hide in the woods to avoid the mobs. When it rained, they used a blanket as a tent.
Another story shows what effect their hardships had on Enos’ wife Ruth, who was only forty-five in 1844. This was preserved by a granddaughter, Chloe Spencer Durfee (1864-1964), who was born in Utah to Enos and Ruth’s youngest daughter, Celestia Curtis Durfee and her husband, Jabez (1828-1883). Chloe’s mother told her that while the mobs were doing their 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, but 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 a second and third time and finally set fire to the house. The women carried Grandmother 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.
Some notes have been preserved which show Enos’s position and activity in the Church at that time, taken at Quincy, Illinois, on 1 Sept 1844, by Henry Pinney, Clerk.
At a stake conference at which Enos Curtis was president, 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 other places. 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 2 and made some remarks on the late epistle of the Twelve. Elder McKensie 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 three months. Enos Curtis, President. (Times and Seasons, Edited by Ebenezer Robinson, et al., 6 vols., p. 725, Commerce, Illinois, and Nauvoo, Illinois, 1839-1846, Carmack, John K.)
So, between the mobbing times, they still tried to keep things as normal as possible and serve Heavenly Father by worshipping and carrying on the business of the Church.
Another affidavit was made by Enos Curtis concerning mob action in Illinois. This took place at Hancock County, State of Illinois.
“On the 25th day of October, A.D. 1845, personally appeared before me, E.A. Bedell, one of the justices of the peace in and for said county, Enos Curtis, who after being duly sworn according to law deposeth and saith—that on or about the eighteenth day of October A.D. 1845, in the Morley Settlement in said county he saw two houses and three stables burning and also saw two mobbets armed with guns going away from the same. And the deponent further saith that on Monday the twenty-first inst. he saw another house burning, said to belong to the widow Boss containing her potatoes and other vegetables. And further the deponent saith not. Signed, Enos Curtis. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 25th day of October, A.D. 1845. Signed, E.A. Bedell, J.P.” (DHC, edited by BH Roberts, p. 488-489.)
Being with their friends and leaders of the Church was very important to the Curtis family. Even though there were tremendous threatenings, the Curtis family remained in the Nauvoo area for nearly two years after the martyrdom.
An incident around this time further indicates that Enos was a man of faith. The Curtis family was traveling across the Mississippi River on a ferryboat with another family named Stowell going from Montrose, Iowa to Nauvoo. While on the river, a terrific wind came up. Because some other people had previously gone down the rapids below the ferry crossing, there was much anxiety and excitement. The people on shore began shouting and screaming for help. The wind became even stronger so much that it appeared that it would break the cable that controlled the ferry. When this happened, 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. However, as soon as they were safely on shore, the gale began as fiercely as before.
After all the hard labor, it must have been wonderful joy to the Curtis family when the Nauvoo temple was finally completed. A day of rejoicing happened for Enos and Ruth on 1 Jan 1846, when they were able to attend the temple and receive their own endowments. Five days later they were sealed for time and eternity. Such comforting blessings were a great strength to the saints as they recognized they must again abandon their homes and face the unknown wilderness. Their twin sons, John and David, age twenty-six, and Ezra H., age twenty-four, also received their endowments early that year.
Not much later, on 4 Feb 1846, the main body of saints was driven across the Mississippi. Then the Curtis family was again without a home just as they’d been a few short years before in Missouri. Ruth was very ill when they crossed the Mississippi River and journeyed on to Council Bluffs. Finally, after a long cold tiring journey, the family stopped to gather with the saints again at Winter Quarters, Iowa. While in Iowa, Ezra Houghton, the Curtis’ youngest son, married Lucinda McKenny Carter (1831-1904) and Ursula Curtis, their fifth daughter, was married to Abraham Durfee (1826-1862), my great-great-great grandparents.
Enos and Ruth’s family as well as several of their married children’s families lived near each other in Iowa, working together making preparations to head west when the proper time came. On 26 April 1848, emigration records say that Brigham Young left Winter Quarters and organized a company in three divisions for emigration across the plains and mountains from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City. Enos Curtis, and two other unrelated men, Theodore and Joseph with the last name of Curtis, were numbered in one of these groups.
But before they were able to leave, Ruth came to the end of her suffering, when she passed away near Council Bluffs on 6 May 1848. When this occurred, Enos recognized that he’d have to face the journey west without his loving companion of forty-five years. This must have been a great disappointment to him, their children, and their grandchildren, as they sensed the challenges which lie ahead and how much they would miss her. Ruth Franklin Curtis, age fifty-eight years, was lovingly buried in that area. Brigham Young said of her, “She shall wear a martyr’s crown.” Then, a little less than a month later, the group left the Elkhorn on 1 June 1848, and began the long journey westward which lasted until 24 September 1848 when they finally arrived in Great Salt Lake, ready to start a new life.
Once in the Valley, sixty-seven year old Enos Curtis was likely feeling lonely and overwhelmed with the needs of his still large group of dependents. Yet he was ever willing to be a blessing to others who had more challenges than himself. He became aware of the situation of a thirty-seven year old widow, Tamma Durfee Miner (1813-1885). Sister Miner was an older sister of Enos’ daughter Ursula’s husband, Abraham, by thirteen years.
Tamma and her seven children, Polly, Orson, Moroni, Mormon, Matilda, Alma Lindsey, and Don Carlos, had come across the plains in 1850. Two of the Miner’s daughters, Sylvia and Melissa, had died previously. Despite their age difference of twenty-six years,
Tamma and Enos had quite a lot in common. Besides having both experienced the drivings and persecutions of the saints, they each carried a strong testimony of the truth in their hearts along with a strong desire to help build up the Kingdom of God on the earth. Also, each had lost cherished spouses in Iowa. Tamma’s husband, Albert Miner, had died of exhaustion and exposure on 3 Jan 1848, at Garden Grove. At that time, their youngest child was not yet two years old and the oldest, not quite 16. This put tremendous responsibility on Tamma’s older children to help the family survive and to accomplish their goal to come west.
After her husband’s death, in order to save for the trek, Tamma put her able children to work for their board and keep. She also worked very hard for two years to earn money for wagons and supplies they needed for the journey to Utah. Coming across the plains with Captain William Snow’s company had taken tremendous effort and nearly all of her strength. In her own history, she said they had landed in the valley and were taken in for two weeks time by a family named Wilcox. They were without a home or anyone to hunt one for them. She felt so very grateful when with kindness, Enos Curtis came to her and said he would furnish her and her children a home. Winter was coming and that is what they needed. So Enos and Tamma were married 20 October 1850. The combined families all lived in a house built by Enos and his sons that first winter near the Jordon River.
Winter presented them with more challenges. Tamma said that she and her children all came down with erysipelas in the throat. This illness is a streptococcus infection of intense inflammation. It greatly weakened Tamma’s oldest son, Orson, so that he passed away on 5 March 1851, at the age of 17. This was a very sad day for the Miner/Curtis family. Orson was such a loving, kind, good-natured person. It was partly his determination and strength that had made it possible for the Miner family to make it to the Valley as he was the driver for one of their wagons on the trek. Apparently, Enos and his children managed to stay well despite close exposure to the disease.
Thankfully, the spring of 1851 brought the rest of the family health and new hope. Brigham Young sent several groups of men out to survey the area for new settlements. Among these were the twins, John White Curtis, David Avery Curtis, Enos’ 23-year old grandson, Ozias Strong, and 21-year old Albert Starr (1830-1901), brother of John and David’s wives. They returned to report on the conditions in and around the area of Springville. This looked to be an excellent place to settle.
In April, 1851, Enos and Tamma’s group, along with John and David and their families, and Ozias Strong, moved to Springville, where they got a farm and a place to build. Moroni Miner, a stepson of Enos’ recalled, when he was 100 years old, how hard the two families struggled there to build a home. They were so anxious to have one of their own, that they were willing to go through any hardships. They built two large rooms with a shop and a patio between them.
In Tamma’s history, she said they all got along first rate. This wonderful expression of a second wife says a lot. Enos was surely a very exemplary man, showing others how to follow the Savior. He treated his step-children well. Moroni said that Enos always treated them as a kind, loveable and patient father. Tamma said that he and his sons and her boys all worked together to grow wheat and grain and stock so they could pay their tithing. Through this marriage, Enos and Tamma were blessed with four more children. On 18 Oct 1851, a baby named Clarissa was born. Fourteen days earlier, Tamma’s oldest daughter, 19-year old Polly, was sealed in marriage to Dominicus Carter (1806-1884). Polly was his fifth wife. Brother Carter was from Provo. Eventually, they were blessed with eight children.
Enos had several skills that were a great blessing to his family and others. He was an excellent carpenter and could make chairs and other kinds of furniture. He was an excellent teacher too, for his stepsons, Moroni and Mormon, also became very good carpenters and builders as well. Enos also knew the skills of a wheelright. Such abilities were very important for those times. All of the Miner children said that Enos was like their own father to them.
But his concern went beyond his home and family. Enos was ready to help anyone. Regardless of weather conditions, he went any hour of the day or night to administer to and help the sick.
In 1852, Enos was ordained a Patriarch by Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, George A. Smith, and John Taylor. He was always closely associated with President Brigham Young. Their friendship was life-long. Because of this connection, Moroni Minor, Enos’ stepson, recalls walking with his mother to President Young’s office when she went to him to seek advice. Another occasion of note happened in June of that year when Enos’ grandson, 34-year old Ozias Strong, married Mary Elizabeth Mendenhall. Eventually, they were blessed with a family of ten children.
On 23 February 1853, another child was born to Enos and Tamma. They named her Belinda. The Curtis family was always delighted to receive more children into their home. They knew the value of life and understood the purpose of it. Faithfully living the gospel was extremely important to them.
During the summer of 1853, the Indians had become a real problem. Back in November of 1851, some settlers had learned that certain Mexicans carrying licenses signed by James C. Calhoon, Governor and superintendent of Indian affairs of New Mexico, sometimes came into Ute territory to trade horses for firearms or Ute children and squaws. These unfortunates then became slaves to the Mexicans. The firearms were sold to the Navajos who were at war with the United States. This practice was considered kidnapping and a treasonous act by laws of the territory. When it was learned that such a group of men were in the Sanpete Valley on a trading trip, a warning was sent to tell them they were breaking the law. But they ignored the warning, saying they didn’t care and could do whatever they wanted. As a result, they were arrested and taken to court before a Justice of the Peace in Manti. The traders lost the case and were ordered to release their slaves and leave the territory.
But before these men left the area, they decided to avenge themselves. They spent considerable effort stirring up native Indians and sold them guns and ammunition, contrary to the laws of the territory and the United States. The result was that things became more and more tense for the saints in several communities. This was not too surprising as some native Ute Indians had begun to feel somewhat threatened by the Mormon disdain for slavery and the continual flow of new emigrants. And even more so, as pioneer settlements began to spread southward into traditional Ute lands, due to the invitation of Chief Walker or Wakara. However, other smaller groups of that tribe didn’t see things the same way he did and sometimes they simply changed their minds about what they’d previously said.
These feelings of hatred spread around various groups and the Indians became much less friendly. They began to steal grain from the fields and run off the livestock of the settlers. They especially liked stealing horses. Brigham Young’s policy that “it is cheaper to feed the Indians than fight them” had been helpful and previously had kept the Utes from causing them much concern. But by the spring of 1853, Indians even began shooting arrows at or near the settlers to frighten them.
On July 18, 1853, at Fort Payson, Indians came to get food and were given it as usual. Then some of them turned and shot Alexander Keel, who was standing guard. They later said they killed him because another settler, somewhere else, had interfered with an Indian who was severely beating his squaw. So began what was called the “Walker War.” The settlers were sure that more trouble was ahead and left their homes to gather for safety inside local forts. Then began a series of ambush attacks by the Indians on many settlers over the next few months. Eventually, scores of white people were killed as well as Indians including a Captain Gunnison who was in the area surveying for the government. This of course was very upsetting to the saints.
Right at the beginning of the trouble, President Young had sent a message to “Captain Walker” telling him he was “a fool for fighting his best friends.” With the note he had included gifts with the promise of beef cattle and flour if Chief Walker would encourage his people to make a peace agreement. Brigham Young tried several times during the next frustrating months to convince them to stop their aggression.
On 4 May 1854, Brigham Young and several apostles began a journey to central Utah to seek a peace treaty with the Indians. They took with them several other community leaders. The company consisted of 82 men, 14 women, and 5 children. They traveled in 34 carriages with 95 animals. Enos Curtis was one of those asked to accompany Church leaders on this important mission. The group arrived at Refreshment Springs by May 10, where they were organized to prepare for their meeting. They then traveled to Chicken Creek, near Levan, where they met with the Indians on May 12 hoping to effect a treaty. President Young was gracious as well as very generous with the Indians. After a long talk, the Indians finally realized that it was a mistake to continue the war. The peace pipe was passed around and a treaty entered into. Peace was finally established again.
President Young’s group then continued to travel southward visiting and speaking at the settlements along the way near Fillmore. As they went they saw that much work had been done and that grain had been planted for the Indians which was an important part of the treaty agreement.
The group returned north to the Springville area again by late May. Tamma was grateful to have her husband back. Enos was happy to be home again and to share the good news. The settlers were very appreciative that things had been worked out with Indians. As a result, life in settlement became much less stressful and the people could concentrate on other important matters.
A little over a year later on 12 June 1855, Enos and Tamma received another gift from heaven. This time two bundles of joy came to their family. Tamma named her babies. Adelia and Amelia. However, the Curtis’s were only able to enjoy little Adelia for a few short months as she became ill before she was eight months old and passed away.
In October of that year, Tamma’s 15-year old daughter Matilda was married to Enos’ son John White Curtis. She was John’s second wife. John’s first wife, Almira, was nearly an invalid; so Matilda raised her two children as well as bearing 14 of her own, four of these died young.
In the spring of 1856, Tamma notice that Enos did not have his usual vigor and he complained of not feeling well. He kept on working for awhile until at last he felt so miserable he couldn’t work. He tried taking something to help him and thought he felt better for awhile, but then he got worse again. Tamma said when he passed away on 1 June 1856 it was just like he was going to sleep. He was 76 years of age. The scriptures say that death is sweet to the righteous (D&C 42:46).
So ended the earthly journey of Enos Curtis, ever diligent and faithful to the last. Those who had known him always thought of him with great love and respect for he had always tried his best to be a good person. Family, neighbors and distant friends mourned his passing. Enos was surely welcomed by many previously departed loved ones as he passed through the veil to the other side.
Tamma was left a widow again after only five and a half of marriage. With Enos’ help, she had been able to raise her children in a much better way than would have been the case otherwise. Still living at home were her four unmarried her sons by Albert, Moroni soon to be 21, Mormon, age 18, Alma Lindsey, 14 years, and Don Carlos, age 12. Also, her three living daughters by Enos, Clarissa, age five, Belinda, 3 years, and Amelia, nearly a year old. She said that they continued to live in Springville City where they farmed and raised wheat and stock and paid their tithing.
The following year, 1857, John White Curtis, 5th son of Enos and Ruth, asked Tamma to be his wife. Possibly, he and his wife, Matilda, had discussed her mother’s situation and decided that by his marrying Tamma they’d both be in a better position to help her. John, observing the example of his father, Enos, was also a person who cared for others who were in need. He and Tamma were married at April Conference in Salt Lake City. Tamma was seven years older than John. This made a rather unusual situation, for him to be married to both a mother and her daughter. But these two families had always worked well together to accomplish their goals. They really cared about each other. A happy event came to both Tamma and Matilda when each had little daughters in January of 1858. Matilda had Ellen on January 4, and Tamma gave birth to Marriette on the 16th, at the age of 45.
Tamma lived another 27 years, married to John White Curtis, longer than either of her previous marriages. She continued ever faithful in her labor of love to raise her children. She was blessed to be able to watch most of them grow up and accomplish good things and have families of their own. She died at Provo, on 30 January 1885, lacking just a couple of months of being 72 years old.
Before her death, she recorded the memories of her life. In those she said, “I do feel highly honored to be numbered with the Latter-day Saints.” The diligent and purposeful life of Enos Curtis expresses without words that he felt very much the same.
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Timeline of the Life of Enos Curtis
Contributed By janeenchristensen ·2013-08-02
Enos Curtis (9 October 1783 - 1 June 1856)
Enos Curtis was the father of sixteen children. He was one of the first members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, helping to bring into the LDS Church, with his missionary work, two men who later figured prominently in the LDS Church – Brigham Young (who became the Prophet after Joseph Smith) and Heber C. Kimball (who became an Apostle). Enos assisted with missionary work in Canada, suffered with the Latter-day Saints in Clay County, Missouri, received his endowments and was sealed to his first wife, Ruth Franklin, in the first Historic Nauvoo Temple, and then became a refugee in Council Bluffs, where he buried his first wife in a lonesome grave, and then crossed the Plains as a pioneer. Enos helped to settle Springville, Utah, as one of its’ first citizens, and also served as an LDS Patriarch in his later years. This is his story. (Records last compiled on 13 April 2010).
(Note of explanation: The italicized dates and information are taken from LDS Church History, and, since Enos Curtis was very involved in the early days of the LDS Church, and one of its’ first members, they are included in this biography for their historical interest. This timeline is compiled from sources found listed at the end.)
TIMELINE OF THE LIFE OF ENOS CURTIS
BORN: On 9 Oct 1783, Enos Curtis, the oldest son of Edmond Curtis and Polly Avery, was born in the little town of Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York, USA, a few miles east of the Hudson River, in New York. A few miles farther east is the larger town of Chatham. 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. The family Enos came from were evidently farmers and settlers. His ancestors on both sides were of English and Welch descent, most having left their homelands to come to the New World in the early 1630’s.
Enos was born two years after the Revolutionary War was over and peace was won. In New York City, then the capitol of the new nation, George Washington became the first President of the United States of America. Enos Curtis would have been six years old when George Washington took the oath of office April 30, 1789, at the Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, New York state. *1- for more information about Kinderhook, New York, see notes following biography.
1797, AT AGE 14, Enos 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 and papers signed and that he must stay. He finally decided that he could stand it no longer. He found passage on a steamer that took him to New York City (he probably traveled on the Hudson River). He found work that satisfied him, and forgot his troubles.
14 November 1805, AT AGE 22, ENOS CURTIS MARRIED RUTH FRANKLIN, the daughter of David Franklin and Hannah Simmons, at Sterling, Windham County, Connecticut. Soon after Enos and Ruth married, they moved to Pennsylvania.*2- See notes on Ruth Franklin family at end of Biography- Ruth’s parents were incorrectly listed as John Franklin and Abigail Fuller, in one record.
MOVED, Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin moved to Tioga County, Pennsylvania. The county had been recently formed in 1804. Pennsylvania is called the Keystone State, because it is the center of the Thirteen original colonies. The state was named after William Penn, and although he was a devout Quaker, his policy of religious freedom encouraged many to settle there. The state is rich in natural resources, forested areas, and many kinds of wild life and game. This country was inviting to Enos and Ruth and this is where they decided to live and raise a family. Enos was a farmer and carpenter by trade. *3- See notes on Tioga County, at end of biography
1807, Enos Curtis’s grandfather, Died. 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.
5 FEBRUARY, 1808, DAUGHTER BORN, Lydia Curtis, the first child and first daughter of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
5 JULY 1809, DAUGHTER DIED, Lydia Curtis, a toddler of 15 months, the first child and first daughter of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
22 MARCH 1810, DAUGHTER BORN, Maria Curtis, the second child, second daughter of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
12 AUGUST 1812, DAUGHTER BORN, Martha Curtis, the third child, third daughter of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
5 NOVEMBER 1814, SON BORN, Edmond Curtis, the fourth child, first son of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Edmond was named after his grandfather, the father of Enos Curtis.
1814 - Enos Curtis appeared on the Tioga County Census. The town was listed as Jackson at that time.
6 JUNE 1815, SON DIED, Edmond Curtis, the little, eight month old first son of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Sullivan, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
12 NOVEMBER 1815, SON BORN, Jeremiah Curtis, the fifth child, second son, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Jeremiah was named after the grandfather of Enos, who had left Enos some personal property in his will.
22 FEBRUARY 1816, SON DIED, Jeremiah Curtis, the little four month old baby, the fifth child, second son, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, was the second son and third child to die in this little family.
1816: Crops failed throughout New England in this “year without a summer.” Joseph Smith Sr. left Vermont and settled his family in Palmyra, New York.
8 MARCH 1817, SON BORN, THEN DIED THE SAME DAY, Seth Curtis, the sixth child, third son, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. He was the third son and fourth child to die in this little family.
26 MARCH 1818, SON BORN, Simmons Philander Curtis, the seventh child, fourth son, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Simmons became the first son of this family to live to adulthood and marry.
1820- Enos Curtis appeared on the census of Tioga County in 1820. His town was listed as Jackson, which later became known as Rutland.
Early spring 1820: Joseph Smith received First Vision, in which he prayed and saw God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, in a grove of trees near his home, which was located at the Palmyra/Manchester border.
10 AUGUST 1820, TWIN SON BORN, one of a set of twins, David Avery Curtis, the eighth child, fifth son, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. A day later, his twin brother, John White Curtis, was born.
11 AUGUST 1820, TWIN SON BORN, John White Curtis, the ninth child, sixth son, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. His brother, David Avery Curtis, was born the day before.
19 FEBRUARY 1822, SON BORN, Ezra Houghton Curtis, the tenth child, seventh son, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
21–22 Sept. 1823: Joseph Smith visited by angel Moroni and told of the Book of Mormon record. Joseph viewed gold plates hidden in a stone box in the Hill Cumorah. Annual visits to the site for instruction by Moroni followed.
4 JANUARY 1825, DAUGHTER BORN, Ruth Curtis, the eleventh child, fourth daughter, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
4 OCTOBER 1825, DAUGHTER DIED, Ruth Curtis, only nine months old, the eleventh child, fourth daughter, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Ruth Curtis was the fifth child in this family to die as a baby or toddler.
14 DECEMBER 1826, DAUGHTER BORN, Ursula Curtis, the twelfth child, fifth daughter, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
18 Jan. 1827: Joseph Smith married Emma Hale in South Bainbridge, New York.
22 Sept. 1827: Joseph Smith obtained gold plates from Moroni at the Hill Cumorah.
Dec. 1827: Joseph and Emma Smith moved to Harmony, Pennsylvania, where the gold plates could be translated safely.
About 1827, DAUGHTER MARRIED, Martha Curtis, the third child, second daughter, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married Elial Strong.
June–July 1828: The first 116 manuscript pages of the translated Book of Mormon were lost.
3 APRIL 1829, DAUGHTER BORN, Sabrina Curtis, the thirteenth child, sixth daughter, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
7 Apr. 1829: Joseph Smith resumed translation of the gold plates with Oliver Cowdery as scribe.
15 May 1829: John the Baptist conferred Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery near Harmony, Pennsylvania.
Sometime in late May 1829: Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, and John, near the Susquehanna River between Harmony, Pennsylvania, and Colesville, New York.
June 1829: Translation of Book of Mormon completed and copyright applied for (June 11). The Three Witnesses shown the plates and other Nephite artifacts by Moroni in Fayette, New York. The Eight Witnesses shown the gold plates by Joseph Smith in Manchester, New York.
1830, Enos Curtis appeared on the Federal Census of the United States: 1830 Census of Rutland, Tioga County, State of Pennsylvania (page 23) Enos Curtis - Males in family: 1 of 5 years & less than 10; 3 of 10 & less than 15; 1 of 40 & less than 50; Females in family: 2 under 5 years of age; 1 of 30 and under 40.
26 Mar. 1830: First copies of Book of Mormon available in Palmyra, New York. 6 Apr. 1830: The “Church of Christ” organized, by Joseph Smith, in Fayette, New York, first elders ordained, and “Articles and Covenants of the Church” revealed (D&C 20, 22).
June 1830: “Visions of Moses” received as part of Bible translation (now chapter 1 of the book of Moses, Pearl of Great Price).
9 June 1830: First conference of the LDS Church, Fayette, New York.
Dec. 1830: Sidney Rigdon called to assist Joseph Smith as scribe in Bible translation (D&C 35:20). First revelation on gathering given; command for Church to move to Ohio (D&C 37).
1 Feb. 1831: Joseph Smith arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, and commenced ministry there.
4 Feb. 1831: Edward Partridge ordained as first bishop of Church.
9 Feb. 1831: Revelation on Church government and law of consecration (D&C 42).
IN 1831, ENOS CURTIS LEARNS OF JOSEPH SMITH, AND HIS “GOLD BIBLE” Enos Curtis was a religious man and, not finding a church that suited him, made the statement, “Someday the true church would be upon the earth.” So, when Enos Curtis heard about Joseph Smith being visited by Heavenly messengers, Enos wanted to know more. Many rumors were circulating in Pennsylvania, about the “gold bible,” since Joseph Smith translated most of the Book of Mormon while living in Pennsylvania. A friend of Enos Curtis, named Alpheus Gifford, heard the doctrines taught by Joseph Smith, and was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (then called, “Church of Christ”). Alpheus Gifford brought home five Books of Mormon, which he distributed among his friends, including one to Enos Curtis.
3–6 June 1831: First high priests ordained at general conference of Church, Kirtland, Ohio, township.
3 Aug. 1831: Temple site dedicated, Independence, Missouri.
1831, AFTER RECEIVING A BOOK OF MORMON, at his home, in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, Enos Curtis accompanied his friends: Alpheus Gifford, Alpheus’s brother, Levi Gifford, and (Enos’ son-in-law) Elial Strong, Eleazar Miller, and Abraham Brown, to Kirtland, Ohio, to visit the Prophet Joseph Smith and the brethren. Enos Curtis and the other men from Pennsylvania who accompanied him, were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, exact date unknown. Enos Curtis was baptized by Lyman Wight. *4 - See notes on Lyman Wight at end of biography
31 DECEMBER 1831, TWO BRANCHES [small congregations] OF THE CHURCH WERE RAISED UP IN PENNSYLVANIA, one in Rutland, Tioga County, and another in Columbia, Bradford County. Enos Curtis was one of the first converts in the Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania Branch. Elial Strong (Enos Curtis’s son-in-law married to his third daughter, Martha Curtis), Enos Curtis, Alpheus Gifford, Eleazer Miller, and Daniel Bowen, all became Elders this same year (1831), and took a missionary journey to the state of New York, and among other places, preached in Mendon, Monroe County, New York.
16 Feb. 1832: Revelation on degrees of glory (D&C 76) received.
FALL 1832, ENOS CURTIS, and his missionary companions from Pennsylvania, taught in Mendon, Monroe County, New York, where they taught and bore testimony to many, including Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball, both of whom later joined the LDS Church.*5 - See notes on Brigham Young at end of biography.
April 1832, by APRIL 1832, HEBER C. KIMBALL WAS BAPTIZED a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Alpheus Gifford, in Mendon, New York. Heber C. Kimball later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1835, a member of Brigham Young’s First Presidency, and Lieutenant Governor in the territorial legislature of the provisional State of Deseret.
27 Dec. 1832: “The Olive Leaf” (D&C 88) received calling for construction of temple in Kirtland and establishment of School of the Prophets.
JANUARY 1832, BRIGHAM YOUNG AND HEBER C. KIMBALL VISITED PENNSYLVANIA, at the Rutland, Tioga County Branch, to see the Elders who had taught them the Gospel, and stayed with them for one week.
21 APRIL 1832, DAUGHTER BORN, Celestia Curtis, the fourteenth child, seventh daughter, of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, probably in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. She was the last child born to this couple.
JUNE 1832, PHINEAS YOUNG, JOSEPH YOUNG, (Brigham Young’s brothers), ENOS CURTIS, ELIAL STRONG, AND ELEAZER MILLER WENT ON A MISSION TO CANADA. During the summer of 1832, these men 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 Ernest Town, Upper Canada.” * 6 – See notes on Missionary trip to Canada, after biography
JUNE 25, 1832, WHILE ENOS CURTIS WAS ON HIS MISSION TO CANADA, his twin sons, John White Curtis and David Avery Curtis, were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at age 12.
27 Feb. 1833: The Word of Wisdom (D&C 89) received.
2 July 1833: Joseph Smith concluded first draft of Bible translation (JST).
20 July 1833: Mob at Independence Missouri demanded removal of Latter-day Saints from Jackson County, Missouri. Printing office destroyed, halting printing of Book of Commandments, (the early edition of the Doctrine and Covenants).
23 July 1833: Latter-day Saints at Independence made treaty with mob to leave Jackson County. Kirtland, Ohio Temple cornerstones laid.
7 Nov. 1833: Latter-day Saints fled from Jackson County mobs across Missouri River into Clay County, Missouri.
18 Dec. 1833: Joseph Smith Sr., Joseph Smith’s father, ordained as first Church Patriarch.
17 Feb. 1834: First high council of Church organized, Kirtland, Ohio.
5 May 1834: Joseph Smith left Kirtland for Missouri as leader of Zion’s Camp to bring relief to Saints expelled from Jackson County.
13 SEPTEMBER 1834, DAUGHTER MARRIED, Maria Curtis, the second child, (first surviving) of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married Abraham Brown.
14 Feb. 1835: Quorum of the Twelve Apostles organized, Kirtland, Ohio.
28 Feb. 1835: First Quorum of the Seventy organized, Kirtland, Ohio.
28 Mar. 1835: Revelation on priesthood (D&C 107) given.
15 APRIL 1835, BRIGHAM YOUNG WAS BAPTIZED a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Eleazer Miller, in Mendon, New York. Brigham Young later became the second President of the LDS Church, in 1847, and later became the first Governor of Utah Territory, in 1850.
July 1835: Egyptian mummies and papyrus exhibited in Kirtland, Ohio; mummies and papyrus purchased. Joseph Smith began receiving revelation that is known as the book of Abraham.
17 Aug. 1835: Doctrine and Covenants adopted as official canon of Church; issued from press in Kirtland in September.
14 Sept. 1835: Emma Smith appointed to select hymns according to previous revelation (D&C 25).
21 Jan. 1836: Vision of celestial kingdom and revelation concerning salvation of the dead (D&C 137).
27 Mar. 1836: Kirtland Temple dedicated. First temple built in the last days.
3 Apr. 1836: Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland Temple; Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared conveying priesthood keys (D&C 110).
19 July 1837: Heber C. Kimball and others arrived in Liverpool, England, on first overseas mission.
14 Mar. 1838: Headquarters of Church established in Far West, Missouri.
26 Apr. 1838: Revelation specifies name of the Church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (D&C 115).
4 July 1838: Temple cornerstones laid in Far West, Missouri.
8 July 1838: Revelation on tithing received (D&C 119).
25 Oct. 1838: Battle of Crooked River. Mormons expelled from Kirtland, Ohio. Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued Extermination Order against Saints two days later. (Rescinded 25 June 1976.)
30 Oct. 1838: Haun’s Mill Massacre, Caldwell County, Missouri.
1 Dec. 1838: Joseph Smith and others imprisoned, Liberty Jail, Liberty, Missouri.
20–25 Mar. 1839: While still imprisoned in Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith wrote epistle to Saints containing revelations that would become D&C 121, 122, 123.
April 1839: Joseph Smith and others escape from unjust imprisonment in Missouri and take their journey to Illinois, where the Prophet goes first to Quincy, then to the Saints’ new place of settlement in Commerce, later renamed Nauvoo.
Nov. 1839: First issue of Times and Seasons published, Commerce, Illinois. SOMETIME PRIOR TO 1839, ENOS CURTIS AND RUTH FRANKLIN, MOVED TO CLAY COUNTY, MISSOURI. The family was driven to seek refuge in Caldwell County. *7 – See notes on Clay County Missouri, at the end of the biography.
NOVEMBER 1839, ENOS CURTIS signed a petition, with other Latter-day Saints, to Congress, presenting claims against the State of Missouri. Enos Curtis’s claim was for $1,856, in loss of land, home, and worldly goods.
1840, Enos Curtis is listed on the census of Fulton County, Illinois.
May 1840: First issue of Millennial Star published, Manchester, England.
JULY 1840, THE SITE FOR NAUVOO WAS SELECTED.
1840, THE NAUVOO CHARTER WAS SIGNED INTO LAW. This charter provided for the organization of the city of Nauvoo, the formation of the Nauvoo Legion, and the establishment of the University of Nauvoo.
4 JULY 1840, SON MARRIED, Simmons P. Curtis, the seventh child of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married Emiline Buchanan. FALL,
1840, JOSEPH SMITH’S FATHER, JOSEPH SMITH, SEN., DIED.
15 Aug. 1840: Baptism for the dead announced by Joseph Smith.
OCTOBER 1840, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a Conference, during which, the Church voted to begin work on a new temple, in Nauvoo. Joseph Smith taught the Saints about the priesthood, and the doctrine of baptizing for the dead.
19 January 1841, Hyrum Smith was released as a member of the First Presidency, and called to be Church Patriarch.
19 Jan. 1841: Saints commanded to build Nauvoo Temple, Nauvoo House (D&C 124).
February 1841, elections were held in Nauvoo. John C. Bennett was elected Mayor, and Joseph and Hyrum Smith and Sidney Rigdon were elected to positions on the city council.
1841, The doctrine of plural marriage was taught by Joseph Smith. Some leaders were asked to obey it. (See Doctrine and Covenants 132, on Celestial Marriage.)
March 1841, construction began on the Nauvoo Temple.
13 MAY 1841, SON MARRIED, John White Curtis, the ninth child of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married Almira Starr, the sister of John’s twin brother’s wife.
16 August 1841, a special conference was held in Nauvoo, during which, the Prophet Joseph Smith announced that it was time for the Twelve to stand in their place next to the First Presidency.
29 SEPTEMBER 1841, ENOS CURTIS RECEIVED HIS PATRIARCHAL BLESSING from Patriarch Hyrum Smith, brother to Prophet Joseph Smith.
At the October 1841 Conference of the Church, Joseph Smith announced that baptism for the dead would now be performed only in the temple, not in the river as had been previously allowed.
20 OCTOBER 1841, SON MARRIED, David Avery Curtis, the eighth child of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married Amanda Starr, the sister of David’s twin brother’s wife.
24 Oct. 1841: Palestine dedicated by Elder Orson Hyde for return of children of Abraham.
8 November 1841, the baptismal font in the Nauvoo Temple was completed and dedicated.
1 Mar. 1842: Publication of book of Abraham commenced in Times and Seasons, Church newspaper, Nauvoo, Illinois. This Book of Abraham is now contained in the Pearl of Great Price.
1 Mar. 1842: Wentworth Letter, containing the Articles of Faith, published in Times and Seasons. The Wentworth letter, a letter to the editor of the Chicago Democrat newspaper, was printed. This letter was the first published account of Joseph Smith’s early spiritual experiences and concluded with what we know as “The Articles of Faith.”
17 Mar. 1842: Female Relief Society organized, Nauvoo, Illinois; Emma Hale Smith as first Relief Society president.
4 May 1842: First endowment ordinances given, Red Brick Store, Nauvoo.
6 Aug. 1842: Joseph Smith prophesied Saints would be driven to Rocky Mountains.
February 1843, the City of Nauvoo held elections, and Joseph Smith was elected Mayor of Nauvoo.
12 July 1843: Revelation on celestial marriage recorded (D&C 132).
MARCH 1844, IN A MEETING WITH THE TWELVE APOSTLES, JOSEPH SMITH CONFERRED UPON THE TWELVE ALL THE ORDINANCES, AUTHORITY AND PRIESTHOOD KEYS, TO GOVERN THE CHURCH, IF HE SHOULD DIE. ( p. 66, “Our Heritage”)
6 April 1844: Approximately 30 percent of LDS Church membership was found in British Isles. British members contributed to continuous inflow of immigrants to Nauvoo.
May 1844, Joseph Smith was nominated to run for President of the United States, with Sidney Rigdon as his vice-presidential running mate.
7–10 June 1844: Nauvoo Expositor, anti-Mormon newspaper, published. Immediately declared a public nuisance and destroyed.
27 JUNE 1844: JOSEPH SMITH, JR., AND HIS BROTHER, HYRUM SMITH, WERE SHOT BY AN ARMED MOB IN THE CARTHAGE JAIL. Their bodies were brought back to Nauvoo in a wagon, and buried in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. (pp. 62-66, “Our Heritage”)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 1844: APOSTLE BRIGHAM YOUNG SPOKE IN A MEETING IN NAUVOO. AS HE SPOKE, BRIGHAM YOUNG SOUNDED AND LOOKED AS THOUGH HE WERE THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH. (See p. 66 “Our Heritage”)
1 SEPTEMBER 1844, ENOS CURTIS PRESIDED OVER A CONFERENCE AT QUINCY, ILLINOIS. Enos was President of a Branch. He was ordained as a High Priest, prior to this, in Lima, Illinois. Lima was about 25 miles south of Nauvoo, Illinois. At this time, Enos Curtis lived in Morley’s Settlement (also known as Yelrome) * 8 --See notes on Quincy, Illinois at the end of the biography. Also see notes on 9- Lima, Illinois. Also see notes on 10 -- Morley’s Settlement.
5 OCTOBER 1845: LDS GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS HELD IN THE ASSEMBLY ROOM OF THE NAUVOO TEMPLE.
25 OCTOBER 1845, ENOS CURTIS APPEARED BEFORE THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE IN HANCOCK COUNTY, and made an affidavit, which stated that, on or about Oct. 18, 1845, in Morley Settlement, (two and a half miles from Lima), Enos saw two houses and three stables burning, and saw two mobbers armed with guns running away from the fires. He also saw the house belonging to the Widow Boss, burning on Monday, October 21, in the same area as the former fires. Mobbers became increasingly more frequent in the Illinois area, around the Latter-day Saint settlements. About this time, one day when Enos Curtis was away from home, some mobbers came to his house. The families gathered there told the mob that their Mother, Ruth Franklin, was very ill and could not be moved. The mob left, but came back a second and third time . . . each time more vicious . . . and finally set fire to the house. The women rolled Ruth up in a blanket, and carried her out of the burning house. The shouts . . . of the mob were soon heard by the absent men, who rushed back and carried Ruth Franklin away in a wagon, as she couldn’t walk. The mob even chased the wagon, but when more help came, they stopped their pursuit.
10 DECEMBER 1845: ENDOWMENT WORK BEGAN, IN THE ATTIC OF THE NAUVOO TEMPLE, and continued until 7 February 1846. Over 5,500 Saints received their endowments, and many baptisms for the dead were performed, as well as sealings. (from the Church History Chronology, Maps, and Photographs, in the Doctrine and Covenants index)
1 JANUARY 1846, ENOS CURTIS AND RUTH FRANKLIN RECEIVED THEIR ENDOWMENTS, in the Nauvoo Temple, Hancock County, Illinois.
6 JANUARY 1846, DAUGHTER, URSULA CURTIS RECEIVED HER ENDOWMENTS, (Enos and Ruth’s daughter) in the Nauvoo Temple, Hancock County, Illinois.
22 JANUARY 1846, SON, SIMMONS P. CURTIS RECEIVED HIS ENDOWMENTS, (Enos and Ruth’s son) with his wife, Emmeline Buchanan, at the Nauvoo Temple, Hancock County, Illinois.
27 JANUARY 1846, SON, JOHN WHITE CURTIS RECEIVED HIS ENDOWMENTS, (Enos and Ruth’s son) with his wife, Almira Starr, at the Nauvoo Temple, Hancock County, Illinois.
3 FEBRUARY 1846, ALBERT MINER CURTIS RECIEVED HIS ENDOWMENTS, (Enos and Ruth’s son) with his wife, Tamma Durfee, and then were sealed for eternity by Heber C. Kimball, at the Nauvoo Temple, Hancock County, Illinois.
18 DECEMBER 1846, SON MARRIED, Ezra H. Curtis, the tenth child of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married Lucinda McKinney Carter, at Mt. Pisgah, Pottawattamie County, Iowa.
4 Feb. 1846: Nauvoo Saints commenced crossing the frozen Mississippi River to move to the Great Basin. THE EVACUATION OF THE SAINTS: had been planned for March through April, but because of mob persecutions, Brigham Young and the Council of the Twelve began sending groups out of Nauvoo on February 4, 1846, and nearly 12,000 Saints departed Nauvoo between February to September 1846.
4 Feb. 1846: Ship Brooklyn sailed from New York for California with 238 Church members, with Samuel Brannan as leader.
6 FEBRUARY 1846, SON, DAVID AVERY CURTIS RECEIVED HIS ENDOWMENTS, (Enos and Ruth’s son) with his wife, at the Nauvoo Temple. Also that day, Heber C. Kimball sealed Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin Curtis for eternity at 11:25 a.m., and then David Avery Curtis and his wife, Amanda Starr. John White Curtis and his wife Almira Starr were sealed for eternity by Brigham Young.
7 FEBRUARY 1846, SON, EZRA H. CURTIS RECEIVED HIS ENDOWMENTS, (Enos and Ruth’s son) with his wife, at the Nauvoo Temple, Hancock County, Illinois.
1846, ENOS CURTIS AND HIS FAMILY CROSSED THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER at the Montrose crossing, with another family named Stowell, on a ferry. A terrific wind came up, which had previously taken others down the river into the rapids. The families were very anxious about crossing. While they were on the ferry, the wind blew so hard that it looked like the cable controlling the ferry would break. “Enos Curtis raised his arm to the square and commanded the wind to take them to shore. It ceased its velocity and changed direction so the ferry drifted to the shore and both families were saved. As soon as they were on shore, the gale began as fierce as before.”
9 OCTOBER 1846, After the last of the Saints had been driven out of Nauvoo, many were sick and some had died. Their provisions were meager. On the river bottoms near Montrose, Iowa, many quail miraculously flew into camp. The quail were cooked and fed to some 640 destitute people (see Stanley B. Kimball, “Nauvoo West: The Mormons of the Iowa Shore,” BYU Studies, winter 1978, 142).
30 April 1846: Completed Nauvoo Temple dedicated. Second temple completed in the last days.
JUNE 1846, Enos Curtis and his family joined the rest of the Saints at Council Bluffs, on the west side of the Mississippi River. People lived in log houses or dugouts, or other crude shelters. * 11 --see notes on Council Bluffs, at the end of the biography
JULY 16 1846: Mormon Battalion mustered into U.S. Service in Iowa.
31 July 1846: Ship Brooklyn arrived in California at San Francisco.
10–17 Sept. 1846: Battle of Nauvoo fought between remaining members and Illinois mob. SEPTEMBER 1846 THE NAUVOO TEMPLE WAS ABANDONED.
1846, DAUGHTER MARRIED, Ursula Curtis, the twelfth child of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married Abraham Durfee.
1846, DAUGHTER MARRIED, Sabrina Curtis, the thirteenth child of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married George King.
By the end of 1846, nearly four thousand Saints had gathered at Winter Quarters, and were organized into 22 wards.
14 Jan. 1847: President Young received revelation concerning organization of Saints for move west (see D&C 136).
5 Apr. 1847: First group of President Young’s pioneer company left Winter Quarters on the journey west.
21 July 1847: Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow made first LDS reconnaissance of Salt Lake Valley.
24 July 1847: President Young entered Salt Lake Valley.
28 July 1847: Salt Lake Temple site selected by President Young.
31 Oct. 1847: President Young and other members of the advance company arrived back at Winter Quarters.
5 Dec. 1847: President Young sustained as second President of the Church by Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Kanesville, Pottawattamie County, Iowa.
27 Dec. 1847: Conference of Church at Kanesville sustained Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards as First Presidency.
6 MAY 1848, RUTH FRANKLIN DIED, wife of Enos Curtis, of exposure and exhaustion. She had been ill for some time. The family buried her at Council Bluffs in a grave they may never have had the opportunity to visit again. Ruth had 6 children who preceded her in death: Lydia Curtis (b. 1806-d. 1809); Maria Curtis (b.1810- d.1841); Edmund Curtis (b.1814-d.1815); Jeremiah Curtis (b.1815-d.1816); Seth Curtis (b.1817-d.1817); Ruth Curtis (b.1825-d.1825). Ruth was survived by her husband, Enos Curtis, and nine children: Maria Curtis (Brown); Martha Curtis (Strong); Simmons P. Curtis; David Avery Curtis; John White Curtis; Ezra Houghton Curtis; Ursula Curtis (Durfee); Sabrina Curtis (Harward); and Celestia Curtis.
SPRING 1848, ENOS CURTIS TRAVELED WITH BRIGHAM YOUNG’S FIRST DIVISION, as part of the second wagon train to Salt Lake Valley. This first division of three was captained by Brigham Young, and was composed of 1,229 people, 397 wagons, 74 horses, 19 mules, 1,275 oxen, 699 cows, 184 loose cattle, 411 sheep, 141 pigs, 605 chickens, 37 cats, 82 dogs, 3 goats, 10 geese, 2 hives of bees, 8 doves, and one crow. The three divisions totaled 2,408 Saints, who called themselves the camp of Israel. The record of this journey is contained in a Camp Journal.
MAY-JUNE 1848- “Miracle of the Gulls” In Salt Lake Valley, crickets destroying crops were eaten by seagulls. Five thousand acres had been planted that year, and nine hundred acres of wheat. Five thousand Saints immigrated to the valley that year.
21 SEPTEMBER 1848, ENOS CURTIS ENTERED THE SALT LAKE VALLEY, a widower, with his two youngest daughters; Ursula Curtis (divorced), and Celestia Curtis (youngest). Enos’s other children and their families would arrive later.
1848, SALT LAKE VALLEY, The new city of Great Salt Lake (as it was called) consisted of a fort, enclosing a block of ten acres. The walls around this were made of adobe and logs. As additional companies came into the Valley, they added the south divisions (forts) which were connected by gates to the old fort. Tents and wagon boxes were brought into the fort, and served as living quarters, until better accommodations were provided. *12 – See notes on Fort in Salt Lake Valley, at the end of the biography.
OCTOBER 1848: THE NAUVOO TEMPLE WAS VANDALIZED AND DESTROYED BY FIRE.
1849, A convention was held in Salt Lake City, where a constitution for the new State of Deseret was drafted. The constitution was similar to that of the United States, except that everyone – man, woman, Indian, black, or white– was allowed to vote. Brigham Young was elected governor, and a year later, the United States admitted part of the State of Deseret into the Union as a territory. It was then called, Utah Territory.
Fall 1849: Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company established. This was a fund to help Saints who did not have the necessary money, to emigrate to the Salt Lake Valley.
9 Dec. 1849: Sunday School organized by Richard Ballantyne.
SEPTEMBER 1850, TAMMA MINER, a widow, arrived in Salt Lake with her seven children: Orson Miner, Polly Miner, Mormon Miner, Moroni Miner, Don C. Miner, Matilda Miner and Alma Lindsay Miner. Her husband, Albert Miner, had become ill and died in Iowa; Tamma had seen her father, Edmond Durfee, shot down in Illinois by a mob. They were without a home or anyone to hunt one for them, and they were very lonesome. They stayed with a Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox for two weeks, when Enos Curtis came along, and offered Tamma and the children a home.
c. 1850, SABRINA CURTIS KING, daughter of Enos and Ruth, traveling in an unidentified, independent wagon train, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. At this time, she was divorced from her first husband, George Elisha King, and had her one living child (the other two having died), David Abraham King, 3, with her. (George Elisha King moved to Puget Sound, Washington, rather than Utah. He remarried, and was killed in the White River Massacre in King County, Washington, in 1855.)
6 APRIL 1850, DAUGHTER REMARRIED: Sabrina Curtis (King), daughter of Enos and Ruth, married English immigrant Thomas Harward. Thomas had emigrated from England a year before, and crossed the plains in the George A. Smith/Dan Jones Company in 1849. Sabrina and Thomas were married in Salt Lake City, Utah. They moved to Springville, Utah.
20 OCTOBER 1850, ENOS CURTIS AND TAMMA MINER WERE MARRIED. They lived in a log cabin on the Jordan River the first winter together. While here, Tamma and all her children had “erysipelas” (probably a severe throat infection, such as strep) of the throat, and her oldest son, Orson Miner, 18, died, because of it.
15 June 1850: Deseret News newspaper began publication in Salt Lake City. 20 Sept. 1850: President Young appointed governor of Utah Territory. Salt Lake City’s population now numbered 5,000 people.
1 OCTOBER 1850, JOHN WHITE CURTIS, son of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, arrived with his wife, Almira Starr, and son, Elial Strong Curtis, 8, (1842-1924, named for his uncle) (their other son, Orson H. Curtis, (1844-1845) died before crossing the Plains) in the Salt Lake Valley, with Stephen Markham’s wagon train. John and Almira settled at first in Springville, Utah, where they lived for several years, then in 1876, moved to Aurora, Sevier, Utah.
In 1850, a census of Utah Territory was taken. The Curtis family was listed as follows, and Enos’s son David Avery Curtis and daughter, Sabrina Curtis King Harward also appeared on the census, although they are not listed here:
Enos Curtis, age 67, male, occupation, chairmaker, born New York
Tamma, age 38, female, laborer, born Ohio
Moroni, age 16, male, born Illinois
Mormon, age 14, male, born Illinois
Matilda, age 11, female, born Illinois
Alma, age 10, male, born Illinois
Carlos, age 8, male, born Illinois
John [White] Curtis, age 30, male, laborer, Pennsylvania
Almira, age 36, female, Connecticut
Elial, age 9, male, Illinois
25 DECEMBER 1850, DAUGHTER MARRIED, Celestia Curtis, the fourteenth child of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, married Jabez Durfee, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1851, EZRA HOUGHTON CURTIS, son of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, ARRIVED IN SALT LAKE VALLEY, with his wife, Lucinda McKenney Carter, in the Joseph Horne Company. Ezra and Lucinda settled in 1875 in Aurora, Sevier Valley, Utah.
APRIL 1851, ENOS CURTIS AND TAMMA DURFEE MOVED TO SPRINGVILLE, UTAH, with their unmarried children. They began a house and farm here. Enos’s son, John White Curtis, also moved to Springville. Enos and John each built a spacious one-room log home with a carpenter shop in between, which they both shared. They helped build homes, and built furniture in the shop. Enos and John were both good carpenters, and they also worked together a lot, building, surveying, and farming. Their crops were planted and were first to be harvested that first year. They paid their tithing. Tamma’s sons, Mormon Miner and Moroni Miner, helped Enos and John in the carpenter shop.
13 OCTOBER, 1851, DAUGHTER BORN, Clarissa Curtis, the first child, first daughter of Enos Curtis and Tamma Durfee, in Springville, Utah County, Utah.
1852, SIMMONS P. CURTIS, son of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, ARRIVED IN SALT LAKE VALLEY, with his wife, Emmeline Buchanan, and their children, Martha Jane Curtis, 11; Enos Leroy Curtis, 9; John Bache Curtis, 7; Simmons Franklin Curtis, 4; and Mary Ann Curtis, 1; in the Thomas C.D. Howell Company. The same year, daughter of Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin, Maria Curtis Brown, arrived in Salt Lake Valley, with the Isaac Bullock company.
23 FEBRUARY 1853, DAUGHTER BORN, Belinda Curtis, the second child, second daughter of Enos Curtis and Tamma Durfee, in Springville, Utah County, Utah.
8 OCTOBER 1853, ENOS CURTIS, 70, WAS SUSTAINED AS A PATRIARCH. He was set apart by Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, George A. Smith, and John Taylor at the
9 April 1854, General Conference.
10 May 1854: President Brigham Young decided to have a meeting with Chief Walker, the War Chief of the Ute Nation, and his band. Pres. Young organized a party of men to search out Chief Walker. Among others, Enos Curtis was selected as the Patriarch of the company. They traveled south to Chicken Creek, where Chief Walker and his band were camped. Pres. Young, Heber C. Kimball, several of the Twelve, Patriarch Enos Curtis, and others, visited with Chief Walker in his wickiup. They visited for hours, and concluded with a peace treaty. Pres. Young and the company then went on to visit Saints in the Iron County Mission, and other areas before returning home. Enos Curtis had four children that were part of the Iron County Mission: Simmons Curtis, Ezra Curtis, Sabrina Curtis, and Celestia Curtis. Now 71 years old, this was a wonderful opportunity for Enos Curtis to visit their families and his grandchildren living there.
12 JUNE 1855, TWIN DAUGHTERS BORN, Adelia Curtis, and Amelia Curtis, the third and fourth children of Enos Curtis and Tamma Durfee, in Springville, Utah County, Utah. These were the last children of Enos.
SUMMER 1855, THE GRASSHOPPER WAR. The pests had come in autumn 1854, and laid eggs. That summer, they hatched, eating everything. One fourth of the crops were saved, after much struggle.
SPRING, 1856, FOOD WAS SCARCE, as most of the previous year’s crops were destroyed by grasshoppers, and a recent Measles outbreak had left one of Enos’s daughters, Adelia Curtis, 8 months old, dead. ENOS’S SON, DAVID AVERY CURTIS, WAS SERVING A MISSION IN ENGLAND.
APRIL 1856, ENOS’S GRANDSON, Ursula Curtis Durfee’s little two year old boy, John Franklin Durfee, died.
AROUND 1856, ENOS CURTIS ’S SONS JOHN WHITE CURTIS, DAVID AVERY CURTIS, SIMMONS P. CURTIS AND EZRA H. CURTIS WERE ALL LISTED AS MEMBERS OF THE 20th QUORUM OF THE SEVENTIES.
1 JUNE 1856, ENOS CURTIS DIED, after attending a family dinner and putting in a full day’s work, falling asleep in his chair, in Springville, Utah County, Utah. He was buried, 6 June 1856, in Springville, Utah County, Utah. Enos Curtis’s then current wife, Tamma, was left with the four older boys from her previous marriage, to care for the farm, (Moroni Miner, 21; Mormon Miner, 19; Alma Lindsey Miner, 15; Don Carlos Smith Miner, 13) and three little girls (Clarissa Curtis, 5; Belinda Curtis, 3; and Amelia Curtis, 1;–Adelia Curtis had died as a baby) for Tamma to care for.
Enos was preceded in death by five children- Lydia Curtis (b. 1806-d. 1809); Maria Curtis (b.1810- d.1841); Edmund Curtis (b.1814-d.1815); Jeremiah Curtis (b.1815-d.1816); Seth Curtis (b.1817-d.1817); Ruth Curtis (b.1825-d.1825). Enos was also preceded in death by his first wife, Ruth Franklin Curtis (d.6 May 1848). Enos was the father of fourteen children, by his wife Ruth Franklin Curtis, and survived by eight. Enos was the father of four children, by his second wife, Tamma Durfee Miner Curtis, and survived by three. Enos and Tamma’s daughter, Adelia Curtis (b. 1855-d.1856) also preceded Enos in death.
1- IN HONOR OF OUR NOBLE PIONEER ANCESTORS, compiled in 1982 by Gloria Galloway and her mother, Duella Stevens Jakeman (daughter of Maud McDonald Stevens, daughter of Rozilla Curtis McDonald, daughter of John and Matilda Curtis)
2- [web links not copyable to FSFT at this time]
3- From the website: [web link missing]
4- 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 #) 1-602-428-1564.
5- TIMES AND SEASONS. Vol. V. No. 22.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. Dec. 1, 1844. [Whole No. 106 HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
6- [web link missing]
7- [web link missing]
8- [web link missing]
9- Notes about the Ruth Franklin family: (from an email from Maxine Belnap, firstname.lastname@example.org)
10- [web link missing] Source: History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania, with Illustrations, Portraits, & Sketches of Prominent Families and Individuals (1883), (New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., Press of George MacNamara), pp. 334-337. RUTLAND TOWNSHIP AND ROSEVILLE. By John L. Sexton jr. Retyped for SRGP - JMT by Wilma JOHNS Sakowsky
11- Families of Jackson Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania By J. Kelsey Jones 2010 Edition
12- Sacred Places of New York and Pennsylvania Bradford and Tioga Counties [Pennsylvania] by Larry C. Porter p. 277
13- Notes on Lyman Wight- In June 1831 D&C 52 was revealed to Joseph Smith the Prophet, regarding the rules of Missionary work- At Conference, new missionaries were called, including (D&C 52:7) Lyman Wight and John Corrill, as mission companions (served mission to Jackson County, Missouri, via Detroit and Pontiac, Michigan Territory, June-Aug. 1831)
14- S. Dilworth Young, “Brigham Young—The Early Years,” Tambuli, Jun 1989, 18
15- Marjorie H. Rice, “Living in a Chapter of History,” Ensign, Oct 2007, 56–61
16- “The Church in Its Canadian Setting,” Ensign, Sep 1988, 44–45
17- Richard E. Bennett, “Canada: From Struggling Seed, the Church Has Risen to Branching Maple,” Ensign, Sep 1988, 30
18- “Chapter 29: Living with Others in Peace and Harmony,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),339–48
19- “Chapter Four: Establishing Zion in Missouri,” Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 37
20- Church History in the Fulness of Times Institute Student Manual Chapter Seventeen-Refuge in Illinois)
21- Gracia N. Jones, “My Great-Great-Grandmother, Emma Hale Smith,” Ensign, Aug 1992, 30
22- Donald Q. Cannon, “Spokes on the Wheel: Early Latter-day Saint Settlements in Hancock County, Illinois,” Ensign, Feb 1986, 62
23- “The Way It Looks Today: A Camera Tour of Church History Sites in Illinois,” Ensign, Sep 1979, 34
24- Albert L. Zobell Jr., “The Prophet’s Last Christmas,” New Era, Dec 1976, 13
25- Donald Q. Cannon, “Spokes on the Wheel: Early Latter-day Saint Settlements in Hancock County, Illinois,” Ensign, Feb 1986, 62
26- William G. Hartley, “‘How Shall I Gather?’,” Ensign, Oct 1997, 5–17
27- “Sentinel in the East: A Biography of Thomas L. Kane” by Albert L. Zobell, Jr., M.S., which includes the article: “The Mormons” A Lecture by Thomas L. Kane, (A Discourse delivered before The Historical Society of Pennsylvania: March 26, 1850.) (Bolding, italics and subtitles added later)
28- [web link missing] Title: A Young Folks' History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Author: Nephi Anderson Release Date: August 16, 2005 [EBook #16534]
29- Ronald Esplin, “Utah’s First Thanksgiving,” Ensign, Oct 1982, 49–51
30- [web link missing]
31- TIMES AND SEASONS. Vol. V. No. 22.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. Dec. 1, 1844. [Whole No. 106 HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH. [p. 127] 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 other places.
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 three months.
ENOS CURTIS, President.
HENRY PINNEY, Clerk. [web links missing]
HARDSHIPS HAVE THEIR REWARD
Submitted By: David T. Hinton [web links missing]
NOTES SECTION *1- Notes on Kinderhook, New York– (bold type and underlining added later) [web link missing]
Henry (Hendrick) Hudson sailed as far north as Kinderhook on his exploration of the Hudson River and named the location "Kinderhoek." Kinderhook signifies in the Dutch tongue "the children's corner," and is supposed to have been applied to this locality, in 1609, on account of the many Indian children who had assembled on one of the bluffs along the river to see his strange vessel (the 'Half Moon') sailing up stream. Another version says that a Swede named Scherb, living in the forks of an Indian trail in the present town of Stuyvesant, had such a numerous family of children that the name of Kinderhook was used by the Dutch traders to designate that locality. Hudson had mixed dealing with the local Mohican natives, ranging from peaceful trade to minor skirmishes. As the Dutch attempted to colonize the area, further warfare broke out with the natives.
Kinderhook was settled around 1750. The town of Kinderhook was founded in 1788 from a previously created district (1772), but lost substantial territory to form part of the town of Chatham in 1775. Kinderhook was one of the original towns of Columbia County. More of Kinderhook was lost to form the town of Ghent in 1818 and the town of Stuyvesant in 1823.
Kinderhook is steeped in history. Washington Irving wrote his classic story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" while staying at Lindenwald, the home of Martin Van Buren. The Van Alen House, built in 1737, is just north of Lindenwald on route 9H. The house is now a museum, along with the original Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse adjoining it, quite faithfully described by Irving. A fascinating account of the early history of the Kinderhook area was published by the Village in 1976 for the Bicentennial.
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is another notable local person. He was born on December 5th in a house that was located at 36 Hudson Street, where an historical marker now stands. His father, who had fought in the war for Independence, was a tavern keeper and farmer. Martin attended village schools until age 14 when he started to read law with a local attorney, Mr. Sylvester. He then moved to New York City to pursue further legal studies.
Throughout the 1700's, there was prolonged trouble over the Massachusetts boundary line, with New Englanders claiming the Hudson River as their eastern [probably should read western -ed.] boundary and New Yorkers claiming control over land extending into Connecticut. This antagonism was further inflamed by the cultural disparity between the primarily Dutch New Yorkers and the English New Englanders. Many Kinderhook freeholders claimed title to land in the disputed area and vigorously opposed the incursions from the east. During the 1760's and early 1770's Kinderhook inhabitants were also threatened by the claims of powerful landowners in the Livingston and VanRenssalaer families. These controversies slowed this area's agricultural development and by 1763 the Village had fifteen homes and the Dutch Reformed Church.
In 1772, the English King interceded in the border dispute in favor of the New Englanders by creating the Kinderhook District and the King's District. However, final settlement of the boundary line did not occur until after the Revolution when the U.S. Congress established the present border in 1789.
The outbreak of the Revolutionary War found the Village, as well as most of the State, with sharply divided sympathies. In 1775, the division was so great that dual elections, one Tory and one Patriot, were held in the Village to elect representatives to the County Committee of Correspondence. Outside agitators further encouraged enmity between these groups and both sides frequently resorted to acts of violence. The protection of Patriot lives and property was entrusted to Committees of Safety. By the spring of 1777 Tory hostility was so great that General Gates ordered Continental troops here. Despite these instances of Loyalist partiality, many sons of Kinderhook rendered honorable service during our nation's fight for independence.
During the Revolutionary War, the Kinderhook area was the site of several historic events. In the winter of 1775-76 Colonel Henry Knox transported a vital shipment of artillery from the recently captured Fort Ticonderoga to the beleaguered City of Boston. Using ox and horse-drawn sledges, Knox led his hardy band through the frozen countryside, stopping only to rest and replenish their supplies. One of the areas traversed by Knox was the Town of Kinderhook. Our Village was the overnight resting place of Colonel Benedict Arnold in the spring of 1777 while he was convalescing from wounds received during the victory of Bemis Heights. When the redcoat army was captured by the Americans under General Phillips in 1777, the English General Burgoyne was entertained in the Village. Similarly, the American General Montgomery dined here while on his way to the ill-fated attack on Quebec.
After the Revolution was won, the area was slow to adjust to the disruption and dislocation the war had caused. Many prominent estates changed hands, either because the owners had fled to Canada or the land had been confiscated outright. In addition, there was increased settlement in Kinderhook by New Englanders. Most importantly, however, the post-Revolutionary period was one of major civic reorganization.
In 1786 Columbia County was formed in the division of Old Albany County. The County was originally comprised of seven towns whose supervisors established a County government.
Two years later the Town of Kinderhook was organized in the District which had been formed in 1772. The fact that the first town records were kept in Dutch is indicative of the strength of this area's Dutch heritage. Indeed, Dutch was spoken in Kinderhook well into the 19th century.
It was during this period of transition that turnpikes stretching in all directions were built. In 1785 the first stagecoach company between Albany and New York was chartered to run weekly coaches over the post road passing through Kinderhook. The turn of the century brought steamboat travel and helped set the stage for a period of extensive development in the Village.
Being situated on a plain which was "as a garden and abounded in agricultural wealth", Kinderhook derived much of its prosperity from the land. Aside from an extensive wagon-making industry, the lack of water power prevented the Village from sustaining large manufacturing industries. Nevertheless, Kinderhook Creek was noted as one of the best in the country for fine mill sites and generated a great deal of industry in neighboring areas. Due to its location on the old post road and the excellent highways which traversed it in all directions, the Village became a major commercial center. Goods and produce from the surrounding area passed through here on their way to the river where they were easily shipped to New York markets via sloops plying the Hudson.
Throughout its history, the Village of Kinderhook has graced the State and the Nation with many prominent people. One of Kinderhook's leading citizens was Peter VanNess who had commanded a regiment in the defeat of Burgoyne in 1777 and went on to become Kinderhook's first judge. Judge VanNess constructed the house which he called Kleinrood and which Martin VanBuren later occupied and renamed "Lindenwald". At this house, the VanNess children were tutored by a young writer whose name was Washington Irving.
During his stay in Kinderhook, Irving wrote Rip VanWinkle and garnered material for the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Although the latter story was set in Tarrytown (possibly because he was writing for a New York City audience), the principle characters were based on local Kinderhook folk. Letters subsequently written by Washington Irving attest to the fact that Ichabod Crane was patterned after Jesse Merwin who taught at the local schoolhouse.
One of Peter VanNess' sons was William P. VanNess whose main claim to fame is that, as Aaron Burr's personal friend, he communicated Burr's challenge to Alexander Hamilton and acted as his second at the fateful duel. According to local legend, VanNess gave Burr refuge in a secret sealed room at Lindenwald after he killed Hamilton.
Although Lindenwald passed to the VanBuren family after the President died, it was lost by his son John while gambling. The winner was a New York City financier named Lawrence Jerome who brought his family, including his daughter Jenny, to live at Lindenwald. Jenny Jerome, of course, was Winston Churchill's mother. [web link missing]
3 – Notes on Tioga County –
*History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania [web link missing]
Source: History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania, with Illustrations, Portraits, & Sketches of Prominent Families and Individuals (1883), (New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., Press of George MacNamara), pp. 334-337.
RUTLAND TOWNSHIP AND ROSEVILLE.
By John L. Sexton jr. Retyped for SRGP - JMT by Wilma JOHNS Sakowsky
THE township of Rutland was organized from the townships of Sullivan and Jackson, in February 1828. It is bounded on the north by the township of Jackson, on the east by Bradford county, on the south by Sullivan and Richmond, and on the west by Tioga. Its principal stream is Mill Creek, which flows westerly and empties into the Tioga River at Mill Creek station on the Tioga and Elmira State Line Railroad. Elk Run, a considerable creek, flows across its southwestern boundary.
We have alluded to the character of the settlers in the history of Sullivan, and will only say that after the formation of the township of Sullivan, in 1817, the inhabitants of the present township of Rutland began to agitate the formation of a township, whose center should be where the present borough of Roseville is located. It is not necessary to reproduce here the arguments that were advanced pro and con in the controversy. Suffice it to say that even among the early settlers of Sullivan and Rutland the spirit of envy and strife was not unknown. To call it by its mildest term, the spirit of rivalry was extant, and resulted in the formation of the township of Rutland. The heat of that early conflict has died out, but the recollection of it was for many years kept alive.
(The following is probably in 1882)
Rutland township and Roseville now have twelve schools, with 168 male and 154 female scholars, aggregating 322. The first school-house in the township was on the Mill Creek road, and one of the early teachers was Harris Soper.
According to the report of the secretary of internal affairs for the year 1880 the valuation of taxable property in the township and borough was $245.080. This is another of the low estimates. The real amount will approximate $700,000. The number of taxables in the township in 1881 was 353, and in Roseville borough 75, making a total of 428.
There are five churches in the township and borough, and one very flourishing Odd Fellows' lodge, No. 468, which was established over thirty years ago, and has been the parent of lodges at Seeley Creek, Austinville, Aspinwall, Mainesburg, etc. The lodge owns the building where it meets, the lower portion of which is used for a town hall, election purposes, etc. Myron Rose is the present noble grand.
Like the inhabitants of Sullivan the citizens of the township are in a prosperous and independent condition. The farms are under a good state of cultivation, with good dwellings and convenient barns and sheds, and the farmers are well provided with all the latest and most improved implements of husbandry. Corn, wheat, oats, barley and buckwheat are cultivated with success; tobacco also has been raised, paying well for the labor connected therewith. The orchards are thrifty and well cared for, and the herds of neat cattle and sheep to be seen in the fields show that this is one of the finest dairy and agricultural townships of the county.
A large portion of the lands in Rutland township as well as in Sullivan township originally belonged to the Bingham estate and what are known as the Bishop White lands.
Families of Jackson Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania
By J. Kelsey Jones
Ruth Franklin b. 14 Nov 1790 m. 15 Dec 1805 Enos Curtis b. 9 Oct 1783 Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York son of Edmond Curtis and Mary Avery.
Enos appears on a special assessment of Tioga and Delmar Townships, Tioga County, Pennsylvania, dated 7 Oct 1814 when it was submitted to the commissioners of Tioga County. This was a special tax enumeration of the two townships that existed in the entire County at that date. Enos Curtis is listed as age 30, farmer. Enos appears on the first assessment list in 1816 (compiled fall of 1815) of Jackson Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
On the 1820 assessment list unable to pay for schooling of Mariah and Martha. Enumerated in Jackson Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania in 1820 with three males under age ten (b. 1811-20), one male of age twenty six and under age forty five (b. 1776-94), two females under age ten (b. 1811-20), and one female of age twenty six and under age forty five (b. 1776-94). They resided in that portion of Jackson Township that became Rutland Township. Unable to pay for schooling of children Maria and Martha on the 1822 assessment list of Jackson.
Enumerated in Rutland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania in 1830 with one male of age five and under age ten (b. 1821-25), three males of age ten and under age fifteen (b. 1816-20), one male of age forty and under age fifty (b. 1781-90), two females under age five (b. 1826-30), and one female of age thirty and under age forty (b. 1791-1800). They removed west and embraced the Mormon faith.
Enumerated in Fulton County, Illinois in 1840. Ruth’s own endowment record in the Nauvoo Temple dated 1 Jan 1846 gave her birth as 14 Nov 1790 Sterling, Connecticut. Ruth d. 6 May 1848 Council Bluffs, Pottawatamie County, Iowa.
Enos m. 20 Oct 1850 Tamma Durfee b. 6 Mar 1813 Lenox, Madison County, New York daughter of Edmond Durfee and Magdalena Pickle and widow of Albert Miner b. 31 Mar 1809 Jefferson County, New York. Albert and Tamma m. 9 Aug 1831, were early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They assisted in the construction of both the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples and endured many hardships in their struggles. After being driven from Nauvoo, Illinois, Albert d. 3 Jan 1848 on the plains of Iowa at Iowaville and was buried there. After Albert’s death Tamma and seven of nine children living continued on to arrive in Utah in June 1850.
Tamma and Enos settled in Springville, Utah in April 1851.
Enos d. 1 June 1856 Springville. Tamma m. 7 Apr 1857
John White Curtis b. 11 Aug 1820 son of Enos and Ruth.
Tamma d. 30 Jan 1885 Provo, Utah.
Lydia Curtis b. 5 Feb 1808 Chatham, New York d. 5 July 1809.
Maria Curtis b. 22 Mar 1810 Rutland m. 13 Sept 1834
Abraham Brown (2)Milo Everett.
Martha Curtis b. 12 Aug 1812 Rutland m. Elial Strong and she d. 22 Dec 1834.
Edmund Curtis b. 5 Nov 1814 Rutland d. 6 Jan 1815 Sullivan.
Jeremiah Curtis b. 12 Nov 1815 Rutland d. 22 Feb 1816 Rutland.
Seth Curtis b. 8 Mar 1817 Rutland d. 8 Mar 1817 Sullivan.
Simmons Philander Curtis b. 26 Mar 1818 Rutland m. 4 July 1840 Emeline Buchanan and 7 Mar 1870 (2)Asenath Annette Lawrence.
John White Curtis (twin) b. 11 Aug 1820 Rutland m. 13 May 1840 Almira Starr and 21 Oct 1855 (2)Matilda Miner and 7 Apr 1857 (3)Tamma Durfee widow of his father.
David Avery Curtis (twin) b. 11 Aug 1820 Rutland m. 20 Oct 1841 Amanda Ann Starr and 28 Aug 1852 (2)Lutitia Shearer and 28 Aug 1852 (3)Harriet Sarah Howard and 25 Mar 1855 Sarah Harward.
Ezra Houghton Curtis b. 19 Feb 1823 Rutland m. 18 Dec 1846 Lucinda McKenney Carter and (2)Juliaette Everett.
Ruth Curtis b. 4 Jan 1825 Rutland d. 4 Oct 1825 Rutland.
Ursula Curtis b. 14 Dec 1826 Sullivan m. Abraham Durfee and 1 Jan 1879 (2)Samuel Kendall Gifford.
Sabrina Curtis b. 3 Apr 1829 Rutland m. 6 Apr 1850 Thomas Harward.
Celestia Curtis b. 21 Apr 1832 Rutland m. 25 Dec 1850 Jabez Durfee.
Children of Enos and Tamma:
Clarissa Curtis b. 13 Oct 1851 Springville, Utah.
Belinda Curtis b. 23 Feb 1853 Springville, Utah d. 17 Nov 1873.
Amelia Curtis (twin) b. 12 June 1855 Springville, Utah.
Adelia Curtis (twin) b. 12 June 1855 Springville, Utah d. 2 Feb 1856.
Child of Tamma and John White Curtis:
Maritta Curtis b. 16 Jan 1858 Springville, Utah. [web link missing]
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 an 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 either 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 than the Articles [D&C 20 and 22], Book of Mormon, and the Comforter.”
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. [web link missing]
The story of Ursula Curtis and Abraham Durfee is also shared later, but first, what follows is what is available on FSFT for other children of Enos and Ruth, Ursula’s older siblings.
Simmons Philander Curtis
No story yet
David Avery Curtis
No story yet
John White Curtis
John White Curtis, Jr. History
Contributed By RVW · 2013-05-15
CURTIS, JOHN WHITE, JR.; HISTORY
Pioneer, Settler, Indians
Written by John Franklin Curtis, Their Son
I was born 11th September, 1859 in Springville, Utah.
I was the first son of the second wife, my parents, John White Curtis, and Matilda Miner. (Editor's note: This John White Curtis Jr. is the son of the previous John White Curtis.)
Since past history is sure to indicate the general character of future families, this history will fall short of the very vital part of my parent’s lives. Nothing has been written of them until now, and I can only recall a small part of our family live. My parents were both pioneers and had to endure all the hardships of those days. Words fall short of expression of Father’s nobility and manhood. He had unusual fore-sight, used good judgment, and was always known as a fair dealing man. Both my parents were highly esteemed and their character is worthy of study for well-directed ideals. Mother walked across the plains when only twelve years old, and had no shoes except when some were loaned to her.
Our home life in Springville was quite adventurous because of savage Indians. They would steal our horses and cattle every chance they got. The women and children would all gather at one place at night and the men would stand guard. The squaws were bad to steal; they came often to our home and demanded food, etc., which Mother always shared.
I remember when I was very small my Father took me into the canyon with him for a load of wood. As we were leaving for home, an Indian stopped us and asked for a ride. Father let him ride but was rather uneasy, as then Indians were always treacherous. He had a rope under his blanket which he thought was well hidden, but we saw it and knew he was after something. He rode into the valley with us and disappeared. Hay was very scarce with us, so we had to turn our horses in pastures. The next morning, one of our horses was gone, and this Indian was later seen riding him.
On the 26th of June 1886, a band of these troublesome Indians stole horses from Spanish Fork and Springville pastures. They fled up Maple Canyon with our men in hot pursuit. As our men drew near they all began firing. One white man was killed and one seriously wounded. I was seven years old, and I remember they would not let me see either of the men they brought back. After this battle the Indians seem a little frightened and caused less trouble for a while. I loved the mountains, and being the oldest boy, my father usually took me along with him.
Times were very hard and my parents were poor, so we did any kind of work to get provisions and clothes. Father and his brother Ezra cared for the Utah County Co-op sheep for two years. It took a great effort, as Father did his part with the sheep and went to Springville often enough to keep the farm going. His first Wife, Elmira Starr, stayed at home with part of the family, while my Mother went with, taking me and the baby girl. I was old enough to help some. Both of father’s wives lived in the same house. They were very congenial and worked together on all problems. They were both fond of children and Aunt Elmira treated us as her own. We loved her, the same as we did Mother. They were both spiritual people and we were taught religion from our early youth. Father's timely guidance with the firm cooperation of his wives are to be admired by all his children.
My mother was born 12th January 1847 at Lima, Hancock County, Illinois, as was married about 1856. Her unwavering patience and sincere honesty are traits worthy of study by any person. To one who knew her casually, little note would be given, but to those who knew her innermost life, she is idolized as one among many. She devoted her all to those of her acquaintance and had a life of unusually hard toil and rough experiences.
Father had erysipelas of the bone and was very sick for two years, was never really well after this sickness, being somewhat crippled. Among experiences in these hard times, I remember helping Mother gather heads of grain in the fields that had been harvested. The hordes of grasshoppers which we always had to fight will always hold a place in my memory.
In 1877, we moved to Willow Bend, now Aurora. Father took up land, and by extra hard effort raised a crop the first year. He went to the mountains and cut logs immediately, then moved his family from Springville. Our furniture was limited. The chairs were made with rope, cane and leather, basket woven for seats. The beds were four posts beds, with rope for springs, and straw tick mattresses. Stools were commonly used for chairs. The fireplace was a substitute for a stove, shelves were used for cupboards, and the roof was dirt covered. Father traded one yolk of oxen to Mr. Coons in Richfield for water rights in the Rocky Ford Dam and Canal Company. I worked with father all my life until twenty-five years of age, helping him to support the family and get a start.
My mother could remember the death of the Grandfather, Edmond Durfee. How it grieved her childish heart. She told how she lay counting the stars to make herself sleep. She well remembered walking across the plains, or carrying wood miles for their evening camp. She often told of her white factory dressed dyed with blue. She told us of one little girl who traveled near us in crossing the plains who had two pairs of shoes. When they came to thorny, rocky roads, this girl wore the best pair and let Mother wear the other until they came to better roads, then Mother trudged happily along.
Grandmother Tamma kept a jar of dry salt-rising bread meal ready for emergency needs. When they couldn't have a fire, they had this bread to nibble on. Sometimes they soaked it in water so they might eat it.
John F. Curtis moved to Aurora with his parents when he was 18 years old.
Ezra Houghton Curtis
Ezra Houghton Curtis
Contributed By RVW · 2013-05-15CURTIS, EZRA HOUGHTON, note Born 19 Feb. 1823 in Rutland, Tiago, Co., Pa. Died Aug 1915 Aurora, Utah. He Md. 1st 18 Dec. 1846 Mount Pisgah, Iowa, Lucinda Carter born 14 Jan. 1931 Oxford, Maine, Died 26 Jan 1904 Aurora, Daughter of Domincus Carter and Lydia Smith. They had two children born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, then came to Utah in 1851. They settled in Provo where they lived till 1875 when Ezra and his sons moved to Aurora (Willow Bend). This family and George and Alma Holdaway were first settlers. They cleared and planted land, made the first irrigation systems. These early days were very difficult, but they opened the valley and soon others came. More land was planted and buildings were erected. In 1877 Ezra's father, Enos and some of his brothers came from Springville and permanent homes were established.