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History of Don Carlos Smith Miner

Don Carlos Smith Miner (better known as Carl Miner) was born in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, June 12, 1843. He was the eighth child of Albert and Tamma Durfee Miner. His parents were among the first members of the LDS Church. They were closely associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his father was a bodyguard for the prophet. His father ferried the Mississippi River fourteen times moving the Saints from Nauvoo. At the time Carl was born, his family lived four miles east of the Nauvoo Temple. The family suffered a great deal from the persecutions of the mobs, as did all the Saints at that time. In March, a baby sister named Melissa was born, but seven months later, at the time they crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa, she died and was buried on the banks of the River. The family went on to Iowaville where Carl's father worked at hauling and running a ferry boat. It was there that he died from exposure and fatigue, leaving his wife and eight children, the oldest fourteen and Carl being the youngest only five years old. Tamma, Carl's mother, worked for two years to get provisions to come to the valley. They started on June 10, 1850, (with Thomas Foote Company) with two cows, a wagon, two oxen, and scant provisions. Her oldest son Orson drove the wagon across the plains, and her son Moroni drove the cattle and walked all the way. Tamma Married Enos Curtis, who said he would furnish the family a home, on October 20, 1850, and they lived on the Jordan River that first winter. They were all sick that winter with irriciplis in the throat and Orson died with it on March 5, 1851. SPRINGVILLE The family lived in Salt Lake Valley during the winter of 1850, and in the spring of 1851, came to Springville and obtained a farm. The boys of the family built their home, the first to be finished on the south side of the fort. It was located at 1st West and 4th South where the Chester Hutchings home now stands. It was a log house with dirt floor and dirt roof. They never lived inside the fort, but helped to build the big fort wall. Carl's job was to carry water with which they wet the dirt for the wall. During this time four more children joined the family, Clarissa, Belinda, and twins Amelia and Adelia. Enos Curtis took sick and died June 1, 1856. His mother was married in polygamy to John White Curtis in April 1857 and had one child, Marriette. As Carl's older brothers married and moved to new homes, Carl was left with the responsibility of supporting his mother and little sister. His kindness and love for little Marriette are still remembered by those who knew him. Later, he built his mother a new home, an adobe house with shingled roof. It was built on the same lot as their old one and the old one was used for a school house where his sister Clarissa taught school. Around the lot, he built a "Ditch Fence". This was built by digging a ditch and throwing all the dirt on the other side of it. Then poles were criss-crossed over the pile of dirt and long poles reached between the crossed ones. In the new house the young people of town gathered for gay parties and dances. Carl was the first beau of Abby Whiting Bird. Their first date was a trip to the circus where they both went bare footed. This got Abby a scolding from her parents. Carl was a good dancer and a favorite partner of the young ladies of Springville. His closest friend was Solomon Chase and whenever he had been away at work for a while he quickly found his friend and visited with him and his sister Mary Jane (Finley). The chief recreation at that time was "visiting". "Aunt Tammy", as his mother was known, took along her basket of straw and while she sat and talked her fingers moved swiftly braiding and sewing the straw into hats, which she sold and donated the money to the old `White Meeting House'. While he was a young boy, Carl was sent to herd cattle east of the fort and, when there was trouble with the Indians, he stood guard and had to watch for the Indians and be ready to give the alarm at any sign of trouble. Later, he joined the home guard and was a member of it until he died. He hauled freight to Pioche and other places in Nevada and received gold dust in payment. He worked in the canyons cutting logs and hauling them to Springville for buildings. In 1869, he and his brother Moroni took a contract with the Central Pacific Railway Company to build the grade at Promontory Point where the golden was driven, marking the spot where the East and West railroads met. He assisted in building the `Old White Meeting House' and also the first four school houses. He hauled rocks which were used in building the Second Ward Chapel. In 1868, Carl and Moroni homesteaded a farm south of town. It consisted of 160 acres which gave each of the 80 acres. Carl built a one room house on his property and lived there because it was necessary to live on a homestead and `prove up' on it. MARRIAGE For some time, he had been courting Ann Eliza Holden who lived with the Jesse Ballinger family. When the Ballingers were called to move to Arizona, Eliza and Carl were married on October 13, 1877. Carl built another room leaving a small space between it and the first room. Later he walled in the space making a third room. Eliza had a heart ailment and was never very well from the time she was married so she kept a girl with her much of the time. She did very nice hand work when she was unable to do other work. In June of 1880, they had a baby boy whom they named Don Carlos Jr., but in September of 1881, he died. In May of 1882, Eliza gave birth to twin boys and gave her own life for theirs. It was a great blow to Carl to lose her and be left with the two babies. Aunt Abby Warren, a dear friend of the family took them and tried to get them started. At this time, they sent for Delilah Davis, who had helped Eliza and stayed with her several times. She stayed with Mrs. Warren and helped care for the tiny babies. For awhile they seemed to grow, but in September they died, one on the 13th and the other on the 29th. REMARRIED Carl kept seeing Delilah until in January, they decided to be married. They and another couple went in a covered wagon to Salt Lake City to be married in the Endowment House on January 4, 1883. It was a hard trip to go so far in the middle of the winter. They spent several days in Salt Lake City and when they returned home, Delilah really took over his home. She was a young 18 year old girl (Carl was 40), in good health, and she kept up the house so that Carl was again happy after his sad experience. The farm was large and not all under cultivation. Carl kept hired men and boys on the farm with his so there was always lots of work to be done and it was Delilah's job to cook for them, etc. At one time when he was hauling timber down Spanish Fork Canyon, Carl became very thirsty. When he reached Cold Springs, he drank too much of the cold water. It made him seriously sick and affected his stomach for the rest of his life. The doctor told him to leave the farm for a season. He rented the farm, took his family in the wagon, took his cows and went up into Spanish Fork Canyon to Mill Fork and Old Tucker where they lived in two tents. There they herded and milked the cows and made butter. It was always spoken for. The tie choppers and railroad people were more than glad to buy it. After two summers of this life, Carl took over the farm again and with farm help kept it going. Carl was a good Latter-day Saint. He kept the Word of Wisdom, paid an honest tithing, and was very faithful with his meetings, his ward teaching and whatever was asked of him, but he was a quiet home man, not leading out in many ways. He walked the distance (more than a mile) to church at the Old White Meeting House. His children remember walking with him. Carl was one of the men who first obtained and developed the Big Hollow Water for irrigation. DEATH In the winter of 1902, (a very cold winter) he had been butchering hogs when he took sick. For two days he stayed close to the fire and, in the meantime, his wife went out in the cold and cured the meat. On the second day the doctor was called and he said Carl had pneumonia. They worked with him night and day until the ninth day of his illness, February 8, 1902, when he died. His wife, at 38, was left with eight children, the oldest 18 years old, the youngest a baby (Ross) who took his first steps the day his father died. CHILDREN His children are: Melissa (Thompson), Lafayette; Charles D., Hilda L., who died at the age of six weeks; Tamma Delilah (Johnson); Velma (Hjorth); Alma, Willard, and Ross. All the children have made their homes in Utah. Don Carlos Smith Miner came to Utah with the Thomas Foote Co. They started June 10, 1851.



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