Henry William MILLER

Brief Life Sketch #1
Brief Life Sketch #2
History of Henry William Miller
A Second History of Henry William Miller

Born: 1 May 1807 at Lexington, Greene, NY
Baptism: 1 [8, 30] Sep 1839 by Abel Lamb
PH: High Priest 1840
End: 23 Dec 1845, Nauvoo, IL
Died: 9 Oct 1885 at Farmington, Davis, UT
Occupation: Lawyer, farmer and stockraiser
Father: James Gardner Miller
Mother: Ruth Arnold
Spouse 1: Elmira Pond
Born: 14 Feb 1811 at Barlow, Washington, OH
Marr: 19 Jun 1831 at Quincy, IL
Elizabeth, 25 Sep 1832 at Quincy, Adams, IL
Ruth Ann, 30 Mar 1834 at Quincy, Adams, IL
Lucy, 10 Jan 1837 at Quincy, Adams, IL
William Henry, 22 Dec 1838 at Quincy, Adams, IL
Alam“B”, 20 Jan 1841 at Quincy, Adams, IL
Mary Elmira, 10 Sep 1843 at Nauvoo, Hancock, IL
Freelove, 24 Jul 1845 at Nauvoo, Hancock, IL
Hyrum Smith, 4 May 1847 at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, IA
Sarah Jane, 22 Mar 1849 at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, IA
David, 14 Feb 1851 at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, IA
Daniel Arnold, 2 Mar 1852 at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, IA
Spouse 2: Fannie Gunn
Marr: 25 Oct 1862 at EH, Salt Lake City, UT
James Gardner, 19 Sep 1863 at Farmington, Davis, UT
George Albert, 16 Oct 1865 at Beaver Dams, Mohave, AZ
Lovenia Ellen, 14 Dec 1867 at St. George, Washington, UT
John Henry, 11 Sep 1870 at St. George, Washington, UT
Albert Edwin, 9 Jan 1873 at St. George, Washington, UT
Spouse 3: Hulda Pond (??)
Marr: 25Oct 1869 (TIB)

Brief Sketches of His Life

Henry, together with others, was appointed at a general conference of the Church to travel and gather funds for the Nauvoo Temple. He attended a conference in Hamilton County, Ohio, visited branches in Indiana, etc. Journal History of the Church

In 1879, Henry had a household of seven, a real wealth of $3000, and a personal wealth of $3000. Utah Federal Census; Year: 1870

Henry served as Stake President of the Freedom Stake in Adams County, [IL].

Henry was associated with Abraham Lincoln. [Due to his associations with first the Illinois Militia and later the Nauvoo Legion.] Mormon Manuscripts to 1846. Andrus, Hyrum. 1977

Henry came to Utah in 1852. He served as a high councilor. He was a representative for the Iowa legislature. He served a mission to the Indian Territory in 1852. He assisted in bringing immigrants to Utah; he was a member of the Mormon Battalion. He was a pioneer to southern Utah in 1865. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. Esshom, Frank. 1913 Page:1039

MILLER, Henry William, a church veteran, was born in 1807 in Green county, N.Y., the son of James G Miller and Ruth Arnold. In his youth, he learned the trade of carpenter and builder. In 1831 (June 19th), he married Elmira Pond (daughter of Thadeus Pond and Louisa Miner) who was born Feb. 14, 1811, in Barlow, Washington county, Ohio. Bro. Miller moved to Illinois about 1829, and while living there became a convert to “Mormonism.”

Joining the Church in 1839, he soon afterwards moved to Nauvoo, Ill. In 1841-42, he assisted in getting out timber for the Nauvoo House and the Nauvoo Temple. He was with the Saints in all their first persecutions and mobbings in Illinois and participated in the exodus west, crossing the plains to the Valley in 1850 with Apostle Orson Hyde.

He returned to Council Bluffs the same year, and during the winter of 1850-51, he visited his relatives in New York. In 1852, he migrated with his family to the Valley, crossing the plains as captain of a company. He settled at Farmington, Davis county, Utah.

In 1854-55 he went on a mission to the Cherokee Nation, and in 1862 went to the Missouri river as a captain of a Church train, with which he returned safely to Salt Lake City Oct. 17, 1862.

In the fall of 1862, he married Fanny Gunn, who bore him five children, four boys and one girl. In 1863, he was called to make a settlement at Beaver Dams on the Rio Virgen river (now in Nevada), and spent the remainder of his life in Southern Utah.

While making a visit to his son, William H. Miller (who was a resident of Farmington), he took sick and died Oct. 9, 1885. He died, as he had always lived, strong in the faith. LATTER-DAY SAINT BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX, pp. 165-66




Compiled by Arnold D. Miller Jr., his grandson.

[page 1] Henry W. Miller was born May 1, 1807, at Lexington, Greene County, New York. The fifth child and first son of James Gardner and Ruth Arnold Miller, he was nine years old when his mother died, September 7, 1816. As a young man he learned the trade of carpentry and joiner, which served him well all through life.

When he became of age, along with his brother Daniel A., two years younger, he started west. They passed through Chicago when it was first a trading post. Here they were employed and did well, aiding them to purchase property farther down state. They finally settled near Quincy, southwest Illinois. Here he purchased land and built a large mill. (deeds for same being still among family papers.) Here he married Elmira Pond an June 19, 1831. She was born February 14, 1811, and had come there with her parents Thadeus Pond and Levisa Miner. They had come from Barlow, Washington County, Ohio.

When Elmira Miller’s first child was born, September 25, 1832, her sister Clarissa came to take care of her. Here she met Daniel A. and some time later they were married. The two bothers having married sisters, they were together working as partners most of their lives, or until 1862, when Henry was called south to settle the Beaver Dams in Arizona. Here he did farm work and is credited as being the first white man to do farming in Arizona, as stated in Arizona history.

When the Mormons were driven out of Missouri, on Governor Boggs' exterminating order of October 1838, these unfortunate people found exile in Illinois, at Quincy. Governor Carlin in a public meeting asked the good people of Adams County to assist them. It was during this time that Abel Lamb spoke in the Miller home and his teaching of Mormonism appealed to Elmira Miller, and she asked for baptism at once.

Elmira was of a religious nature, and had wondered if she should marry Henry Miller, as he did not appear religious to her. In her journal she writes, I loved him at first sight. Elder Lamb told her to wait and that her husband would join her, which he did in September 1839. (Vol.1, page 13, Documentary History of the Church, “Henry W. Miller and Daniel A. were ordained elders”. History records that they proved faithful members all their lives.

James Gardner Miller and his younger son James David came from their home in New York and joined Henry W. and Daniel A. near Quincy Illinois. Here James David died August 30, 1839. result of over exertion cradling grain. He left a wife daughters and a son Benjamin. Due to his early passing he enters very little into the Miller history.

On October 27, 1840, a stake was organized in Adams County with Henry Miller as its President. When the Saints began centralizing at Nauvoo, Henry and Daniel sold their mill, they had operated at Quincy, and moved there. Henry settled in Nauvoo and Daniel on a farm some distance away. They realized good returns from the sale of their mill and being asked to assist in the temple building at this time Henry W. Miller gave the church four Thousand ($4,000) dollars toward its construction. This was March 20, 1841. On his moving to Nauvoo, he was made a member of the building committee of the Temple. In the fall of 1841, he was called to go into the [Wisconsin] pinery and get out timber for the Temple and the Nauvoo House. On this trip they encountered stormy weather. Grandmother relates in her journal how the men had to go ahead of the teams (oxen) and break trails so the oxen would follow. At night they would shovel away the snow, fixing a place to make their beds. During the winter they run out of provisions and were out of bread for some time.

[page 2] At one time, Joseph Smith made Elmira the promise that her children should never cry for bread, through this ordeal, they lived up to this promise. She had cooked and cared for the extra men. When flour finally came the children asked for dough before it was baked.

James Gardner Miller died at Nauvoo August. 27, 1845. Just before his death, he was ordained a high priest under the hands of his son Henry W. James Gardner Miller's father was Henry, born in Connecticut, 1744. His wife was Elizabeth Gardner, born 1750, during the Revolution. During this time Henry served as a Sgt. in Saterlees company from Conn. (Reference: Cornwall, Military Division page 196, biographical div., page 489.) During the war of 1812 1814 he served under General Ethan Allen, and was Capt. under his command. Henry's father, William, supposedly came from Alsac and settled in Boston. (Reference: Note from Jacob Miller).

(Note; Reference to James Gardner Miller. He was born March is, 1771 at Cornwall, Conn. in Litchfield County. he married Ruth Arnold there on August 17, 1798. Their first child was born March 7, 1800. Ruth was born July 31, 1768 at East Haddam, Conn., a daughter of Daniel and Ruth Arnold. Daniel, 1; Gideon, 2; John, 3; Jose, 4; John Arnold, 5; (1585) in England. He came to America and was made a freeman at Cambridge, Mass., 1635).

Daniel Arnold was born 1731, son of Gideon Arnold and Abigail Bernard. His wife was Ruth Arnold. They were parents of ten children; seven girls and three boys. He united with the Congregational Church, February 14, 1762; died May 27, 1774, aged 43 years. He was elected Deacon November 27, 1771, First Congregational Church of Haddam. His wife was appointed guardian of their children. (Ref; Probate Court records of Middlesex County, Conn., vol. 4, page 66, vol. 3 page 66.)

Gideon Arnold was born at East Haddam, Conn., abut 1702. He married Abigail Brainard, May 14, 1.724. She was born June 18, 1702. He died before June 3, 1772. His father was John Arnold. (Ref: the Two hundredth Anniversary of the First Congregational Church of Haddam, October 14 17, 1900, History catalog of Members of the Church, No. 18). He was a deacon from 1740 to 1772. (The Arnold family by Homer W. Brainard. Transcript, Brochure in the Library of the Conn. Historical Society.) Abigail Brainard was daughter of Elijah Brainard and Mary Bushnell. They were parents of eleven children.

John Arnold, father of Gideon, was son of Joseph Arnold and Elizabeth Wakeman. he was born 1664, at East Haddam. We have not been able to determine if his wife was Mercy Hulburt or Hannah Meakin.

Joseph Arnold was born 1625 in: England. He died October 22, 1691. He was the son of John and Susanna Arnold. He was one of the original settlers of East Haddam. Two men in 1662 bought a strip of land from the Indiana on both sides of the Conn. river. This was taken over by 28 settlers of which he was one; Daniel Brainard was another. The land on the west side was called Haddam, that on the east side was called East Haddam. (Ref: Haddam and East Haddam, by D.D. Fields, and Conn. Genealogy, vol. 3, page 1439.)

Here the Arnolds raised their families and they intermarried with the Brainards.

John Arnold was born 1858 in England. He came to America and was made a free man at Cambridge, Mass. 1635. He then moved to Hartford, Conn., and was one of the original proprietors of Hartford in 1639. (Ref: Sec. Church of Hartford, page 24). He acted an a Church committee, and (page 48), Susanna, his wife, was reported in full fellowship. (Conn. Genealogy, vol. 3, page 1349.)

[page 31 When the Saints were driven from Nauvoo February 1846, Henry left a two story brick house with its furniture and fixtures. He and Daniel made their way across Iowa.

When the Battalion was being organized under the direction of Colonel Thomas L. Kane, they both offered their services but the leaders decided it was best for them to remain with the Camp of Israel, which proved to be a wise decision.

On reaching the western borders of Iowa, he [William] secured a tract of land on the east side of the river just opposite Winter Quarter, between the two bluffs, later known as Council Bluffs. (see early Days of Council Bluffs by Charles H. Babbit, page 16.) It says: "Henry W. Miller settled a short distance from the old Block House where a village soon took form and was given the name of Miller's Hollow." it is evident from this that he was a pioneer settler of Council Bluffs.

When the apostles returned from their pioneer trip to the Salt Lake Valley, Henry Miller, through Brigham Young their leader, was requested to build a log tabernacle at Miller's Hollow; and in this building December 27, 1847, Brigham Young was sustained as President of the Church, with Heber C, Kimball and Willard Richards as Councilors. (Ref.: History of the Church, vol. 7, page 620 21). Eight apostles participated in this meeting. (compare this with sec. 107, verse 22, Doc. & Cov.)

Henry Miller was the bearer of a petition to the Iowa Territorial Legislature, asking for a post office at Kanesville (Millers's Hollow and Kanesville are one and the same place) and the creation of a county. (See Life of Wilford Woodruff, pages 27 28). In this he was successful and Pottawattamie County was created. (Quoting from pages 21 24 we find he was elected first representative of the General Assembly for the county, 1851)

Reading from history of Pottawattamie County page 91 regarding the settlement of Council Bluffs, it has this to say: “Henry Miller, a prominent Mormon squatter on a tract of land which included the ground now occupied by the Pacific House and the part on Pearl Street.” This he sold to Samuel S. Bayless. The claim bought from Henry Miller by Samuel S. Bayless was laid off into town lots. January 15, 1863. This included the Pacific House and all lots west of main street and southward from Broadway on both sides of Pearl Street, including that now known as Bayles Park. Kanesville Post office was changed to Council Bluffs, January 19, 1853. (See page 98, History of Pottawattamie County).

Daniel A. Miller and family crossed the plains to Utah in 1847 settling in Farmington, Davis County. Henry W. Miller was directed and counseled by President Brigham Young to remain at the bluffs and assist in raising crops for the Church. Grandmother's Journal says it was a good country and that he did well in crop raising.

In 1851 he went to his old home in New York, and on his return, James B. Wilcox his sister Susanna's son came with him. In 1852 he left with his family for Utah, acting captain of the train.

In crossing the plains emigrants, Mormon or non Mormon, in that day organized themselves in companies, over each of which a captain was appointed, The Latter day Saints were counseled and commanded to do this and their emigrants were organized into companies with a captain in charge. These captains had a multitude of duties    the company must at all times be safe from attack. Army posts are few, Indians and renegades are numerous. The company's health must be protected   it's livestock guarded, camp sites with sufficient grass and water must be had. Every wagon and every draft animal ox, mule, or horse, has been loaded to capacity. There are hundreds of miles to travel  grass, water and wood are not always to be had, particularly water. The foresight, judgment and care [page 41 of the company captain has much to do with the welfare of the members . . . .


In 1831 32 he enlisted in the Illinois militia to serve in the Blackhawk Indian War. It was at Quincy where Abraham Lincoln assisted in organizing a company. He was closely associated with Mr. Lincoln. They were much the same build only Mr. Lincoln was three inches taller. He delighted in telling of their measuring strength wrestling. This was the beginning of his military service. On May 7, 1842, Governor Carlin of Illinois commissioned him to the office of Adjutant to the Brigadier General of the second cohort of the Nauvoo Legion. On September 8, 1843, Governor Ford appointed him aide de camp to the Brigadier General of the second cohort of the Nauvoo Legion.

In the year 1867 Henry W. Miller, Jacob Hamblin and Jess W. Crosby made a boat and went down the Colorado River to see if it was navigable above Call's Landing. This was years before Major Powell made the same trip.


His grandson, Henry McBride, served as Governor of Washington. Another great grandson, Henry Hess, was candidate for governor in 1840 of Oregon. Another grandson, Bert Henry Miller, served four terms as Attorney General for the State of Idaho, and was then elevated to the Supreme Court bench.

His son Albert E. Miller served as Senator of Utah two terms, State Representative Utah Legislature four terms, and as Mayor of St. George City.


His son Arnold D. was bishop of St. Anthony for some years. He and his wife left in the later part of 1916 for a mission to Australia where he became President of that Mission. Arnold D. Jr. , was Bishop of Parker for many years. Arnold David was Bishop of Syracuse.

Presidents of Stakes: Arnold David Miller and Henry Robinson

Presiding Bishop of the Church [and later Apostle]: LeGrand Richards was his grandson.top


(page 1) Henry William Miller was born May 1st 1607, at Lexington, Green County, New York. He was the fourth child and first son of James Gardner and Ruth Arnold Miller. As a young man who desired to accomplish something, he moved west about 1829 or 1830, and in connection with his brother Daniel A. settled in western Illinois, at or near Quincy. Here they were joined by their father and younger brother.

Henry W. Miller married Elmira Pond on June 19th, 1831, at Quincy, Illinois. a short time after this his broth Daniel married Lavissa Pond, and elder sister of Elmira.

The two brothers operated as partners the greater part of their lives. In Adams County they built and operated a large mill.

In 1831 and 1832 he enlisted in the Illinois Militia to serve during the Black Hawk Indian War. It was at Quincy where Abraham Lincoln assisted in organizing a company, but it is not definitely known if this was the company in which Henry W. Miller served, but he was closely associated with Mr. Lincoln in young manhood, as he delighted to tell of their measuring strength especially in wrestling. On May 7th, 1842, Governor Thomas Carlin of Illinois commissioned Henry W. Miller to the office of Adjutant to the Brigadier General of the Second Cohort of the Nauvoo Legion. Thomas Ford, Governor of the State of Illinois on the 8th, day of September 1843, appointed him Aide de camp to the Brigadier General of the Second Cohort of the Nauvoo Legion.

In the fall of 1839, they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and upon selling their mill property moved into Hancock County, Illinois, settling in Nauvoo. They now became quit clearly identified with the affairs of the Church. Church History states that at the General Conference held October 8, 1839, he was ordained as elder in the Church. At the General Conference, October 3, 1840, he asked for the formation of a stake [page 2] in Adams County. On October 17, 1840 the Freedom stake was organized with Henry W. Miller as President. These outside stakes were later abandoned owing to the persecution and the people centralized around Nauvoo. At this time he disposed of his mill holding in Adams County.

Again Church History states that Henry W. Miller was appointed on a committee to help raise funds for the building of the Nauvoo Temple, at the General Conference of the Church April 8, 1841. Shortly after this he asked through the Prophet Joseph Smith the will of the Lord concerning his property, he was asked to sell and assist with his means with the building of the Temple and Nauvoo House, He then gave the Church $4,000.00. This was not his first gift to the church, as he assisted them greatly, giving 2,000 barrels of flour at one time. In the fall of 1841 he was called to go into the Pinneries to get out timber and lumber for the Temple and Nauvoo House. Here he went through many hardships due to cold weather and lack of food.

He left Nauvoo in the spring of 1846, leaving a two story brick house with its furniture and fixtures. Before leaving Nauvoo, he received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple.

He traveled across the state of Iowa and secured a tract of land on its western boundary between two bluffs, later known as Council Bluffs, and then known as Miller's Hollow. He settled a short distance from the old block house where a village soon took form and was given the name Miller's Hollow. From this record it is evident he was the pioneer settler of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Here an old log tabernacle was built and a conference held April 6, 1848. The settlement was later called Kanesville in honor of Col. Kane. In 1848, Henry W. Miller was bearer of a petition to the Iowa Territorial legislature asking for the Post Office at Kanesville, and the creation of Pottawattamie County. This he was (page 31 successful and he was elected the first representative in the General Assembly of Iowa from the County, serving in 1851. The History of Pottawattamie County, Page 91, regarding the settlement of Council Bluffs says: "Henry W. Miller, a prominent Mormon squatted on a tract of land. ...which included the ground now occupied by the Pacific House, and the Park on Pearl street. This he sold to Samuel S. Bayless." Kanesville Post Office was changed to Council Bluffs January 19, 1958.

Henry W. Miller was directed and counseled by Pres. Brigham Young to remain at the bluffs and assist in raising crops for Church use. In 1850 he made a trip to Utah and back to the bluff returning with Orson Hyde. In 1861, he went back to his old home in New York State visiting relatives. In 1862, he left with his family for Utah acting as captain of the train, a position filled with many duties.

Upon reaching Utah, Henry W. took up his residence at Farmington, at which place his brother Daniel A., who had preceded him across the plain, was already residing.

In the fall of 1852, Henry W. was elected as a member of the Second Legislative Assembly of Utah Territory, serving in the lower house. He was also elected and served in the Third Assembly.

At the General Conference at Salt Lake City held April 6, 1865, Henry W. Miller was called to go on a mission to the Indian Territory to labor among the Creek, Cherokee, and Chactaw nations. On April 14, 1866, he was blessed by Wilford Woodruff and Ezra Benson and set apart to preside over this mission.

1 Arnold D. Miller, Jr., “The Life Story of Henry William Miller,” typescript, LDS Church Archives. Grammar has been standardized.

2 Biography of Henry William Miller, typescript, LDS Church Archives. Grammar has been standardized.



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