Contributor: RWhisnant Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Written by Madalene Dailey Gardner, daughter, as told to her by Milton Dailey.
Milton Dailey was born was born 14 October 1827, at Falls township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. He died at Paragonah, Iron County, Utah, 28 October 1913. He was the son of Luther Dailey and Minerva Townsend. They had a large family of five boys and three girls. Luther and Minerva moved from Pennsylvania to LaMoille, Bureau County, Illinois about 1837 when Milton was ten years old. This was a very sickly locality and the family were all stricken with some kind of fever. Luther, the father, and Myrtle, the youngest son, died in about two years after locating there. The father was weakened by a long illness, and a would-be doctor insisted on his taking an emetic (to produce vomiting). He begged not to take it saying he was too weak to stand it, but after persuasion he consented on condition that the doctor would stay with him and see him through the ordeal. This the doctor said he would do but no sooner had the dose been swallowed than the doctor left, and the poor old gentleman strained so hard he broke a blood vessel and bled to death inwardly in a few moments.
Wilson Dailey (the oldest son) married soon after and went for himself, which left the family on the hands of the three younger brothers, Merrit, Milton, and Mallory, the eldest only fourteen years of age. These lads fenced a farm and worked it for several years. They had very little chance for schooling. In 1850, hearing of the gold mines in California, father says...
“My brother Wilson and I decided to go there and try and get work to obtain money to prove up and get the title to our homesteads. When leaving, I told my youngest sister, Maria, not to get married until I came back. After about fifty years, she wrote and wanted to know how much longer I wanted her to wait!” While on our journey west, we saw large companies of people from Missouri going to California on account of the gold excitement. Cholera broke out among them and a great many died. Their friends buried them so shallow that the wolves dug them up and devoured their flesh, leaving their bones to bleach on the plains. Thus fulfilling a prophecy made by Joseph Smith (that the bones of the Missouri mobcrats would bleach upon the plains) as I learned later.
When we reached Atchison County, Missouri, we had to lay by for two months waiting a company and a more suitable time to cross the plains. Here we found an old acquaintance by the name of Nathan Meeks. Here I first met my first wife, Sarah Jane Wilson, the daughter of Whitford G. Wilson and Mary Wilson, living at Council Point, on the Missouri river. We got Nathan Meeks to take us up to where her fold lived and we were married by William Shaw in 1850. And my wife crossed the plains with me. While traveling up the La Platte river, cholera broke out in our company and one man by the name of John Burns and his wife, a daughter of James Porter, died, leaving an infant son named James Burns. My wife and I having a cow along, took care of the babe and brought him to Lehi to his grandparents, James Porter and wife. Young James Burns grew to manhood and was serving as sheriff in Sanpete County, Utah where I learned he was killed by a desperado. On reaching the mountains I took the mountain fever and had quite a siege before reaching Salt Lake City, about 1850. My wife's health being not very good, she decided to remain in Salt Lake with a family named Drake (she had lived with them when a small girl,) while I went on to California.
After recruiting our animals a while in Salt Lake we continued our journey on to California the same year. We went through Tooele and Rush Valley, South West of Salt Lake, crossing the big desert about Hastings Cut Off. When we reached the Humbolt River about one hundred and fifty miles from where we desired to go, our provisions gave out. As there were no provisions to be bought only from emigrants on the same trip, we had quite a rough time of it. One of the company had a heifer, which had been driven that far across the desert. This they killed and sold to help those less fortunate. Not very appetizing food. We reached Northern California some time the last of August or first of September. Provisions were high. Flour, pork, potatoes and dried fruit were all twenty-eight dollars per hundred. Many cows and oxen were sold by the emigrants, at the edge of the desert, at a place called Rag-town, for five dollars a piece, to get provisions to go on with over the mountains. Cattle in good condition were worth one hundred dollars each.
From the edge of the desert we traveled up the Carson River some distance then crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains through the Carson River Canyon up to Tragedy Springs, then down to California Mine at Plassa Ville or Hangtown, after having traveled something over two thousand miles with an ox team. Here we worked most of the winter and until next sprint in May, in a company of Weber creeks near Cold Springs, for five dollars a day on an average. After provisions were bought out of this we didn't have much left.
May 1851 I went to Sacramento, bought pack animals and started back to Utah. I was four days crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains on account of snow. I was obliged to feed my animals part of my provisions to keep them alive to cross the mountains, which again made me short. When I reached Carson Valley, I found a man named John Reese, with flour and bacon to sell at fifty cents a pound each. Being short of provisions I was obliged to buy some. My brother Wilson Dailey remained in California about two years after I left. I intended to go to Utah, get my wife and go back again to California, but she refused to leave the church and go to the mines. I packed my animals and was going to go back alone then decided I better stay with my wife, so unpacked again and remained in Utah.
On reaching the main road at Plassa Ville I waited a while until a company of sixteen men came along on their way back to the states again, so as to have company to cross the desert. Our provisions became so scarce before reaching the valley, we had to eat anything we could kill. One day I killed a hawk and we made soup of it. When we reached Bear River there was no ferry so we had to swim the river. All the provisions we had were put on one pack mule, and it drowned while crossing the river taking our provisions with it. We then had to go to Box Elder, something like fifteen or twenty miles before we had any breakfast. A gentleman named Davis let us have some provisions.
When I reached Ogden, I found my wife still living with Father Drake. By this time my wife's folks had arrived, and had settled in Salt Lake and her father was working at his trade as a blacksmith. I remained a short time in Salt Lake, then I moved to Ogden Bench, got me a piece of land and made me a small place. Soon after settling there the Indians became so troublesome, President Brigham Young told us to fort up and be prepared to defend ourselves. Erastus Bingham, my bishop, wanted us to fort up on his farm. Forty or fifty families built a fort and called it Fort Bingham. I built me a double log house, an adobe granary, bought me a garden spot and fenced it to itself and put up fifty feet of fort wall. About two years after settling in Fort Bingham, President Young came down and preached to us and said he had not told Bishop Bingham to build up Bingham Fort but wanted Ogden built up, as it would yet be the second city in the valley in size. He told us to come back to Ogden. I then had to leave my two year's work and go to Ogden Bench and start over. I built me another log house and dug me a well and rocked it up. Here I was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, the 11 day of June, 1852 by Charles R. Daney. I was ordained a Seventy and placed in the thirty-eighth quorum of seventies—Benjamin F. Cummings being my senior president.
Birth of first wife's family:
Mary Minerva Dailey (Jolley) born 21 March 1852
Martha Emmoline (Earl) born 31 March 1854
Amanda Maria (Robb) born 9 April 1857, died at Paragonah, Utah September 10, 1915.
While living in Ogden I was called by Bishop Chauncy West to go out and meet the (Willy/Martin) Handcart Company. I was appointed captain of the Ogden company. We were gone thirty-five days in the dead of winter and it snowed every day while we were gone. We went out as far as Sweet Water and found the people at about eleven o'clock at night, --the snow still falling heavily. Some of the people had their feet frozen. I took two women with frozen feet and three little children into my wagon. I had to carry the women to the camp fire at nights and dress their feet nights and mornings. I also froze my own feet quite badly while coming in.
When I reached home again I had to get out my winter wood from the mountains. I was called into the standing army to protect the saints. I was with the militia at Echo Canyon. Not having much to go on my family became very destitute.
I was called to go to Salmon River, that same winter, about four hundred miles, to protect the saints who were surrounded by Indians. The Indians had killed George McBride and James Miller, wounded Dick Welsh and Thomas Smith. They had driven off most of their stock. One company of our men went down to the Ten mile to see if they could recover a few head of the animals. They found a camp of Indians and recovered a few head, but most of them had been killed or else driven off by marauding bands of Indians. We took the camp and brought the saints in our baggage wagons. One day while looking for a camping ground, James Grover and I found Bailey Lake, lying on the ground murdered by Indians with an arrow in his back. He was an express boy bringing in the pony express to President Brigham Young. He was killed near a stream called Portneth. He had been shot from a cliff of rock. We packed his body in snow and brought him home and buried him.
When we reached home in the spring of 1857 we found the saints leaving their homes and moving south, on account of Johnson's Army. I was in a poor condition to move. I had no wagon, just one horse and one cow and calf. A man by the name of John Child took my horse and loaned me his yoke of oxen to move with. I went to Farmington where my father-in-law lived. He hadn't a wagon either; so we went to work and fixed us each a wagon out of old cart wheels—he doing the iron work and I the wood work.
We moved as far as Payson, and stayed that summer. While there I traded my horse for a yoke of steers, but had not had them long when one was stolen out of the herd and my team was again broken up. A young steer about the age of mine came into the herd branded with the church brand. I decided to brake him in to have a team to move back with when the time came to go. When I returned to Farmington, I told Bishop Hunter what I had done and he said it was right and when I was through with him, to return him to the bishop of my ward.
A man came and wanted me to rig up a cradle and cut his grain for him and he would give me a bushel an acre for cutting it. I cut twenty-two acres for him in seven days. This gave me a little grain to start with that fall. I located in Farmington for two or three years after the move. My father-in-law and I had to go back to Payson for some more of our things we had left there. On our return, we stopped over night with Oscar Mayfield at Pondtown. He wanted me to let my father-in-law take my steers home and get the use of his oxen, and help him get out some lumber to take to camp Floyd (the soldier's camp) to sell. Oscar and I got out a load of lumber a piece and sold it for $90 a load. I then returned home after having been gone a month. I gave my father-in-law $20 for the use of his oxen.
While living in Farmington, President Brigham Young called for volunteers to go to Dixie (southern Utah) and raise cotton and cane. I volunteered to go. I sold out my place to get a team and wagon to go with. I settled in Harrisburg. Lived there eighteen years and made nine trips back to Farmington peddling cotton and molasses on my way. My eldest brother came to live at Harrisburg in about 1871. Built him a good rock house, I doing the rock work, and making himself a comfortable home. I also put up a rock house for Alfred Randle.
In October 1873 while making molasses in the field with By McMullin, my wife Sarah Jane camped in the field with me for her health. When done I took the mill down to haul home. My wife wanted to stay in the field while I took the first load and came back for another. I wouldn't consent to it, saying in a joking way Old Fatty might pack her off. Old Fatty was an Indian that helped around our place quite a bit. When we got home, she went to the house and I unhitched and put up my team and went to the house. While I was tending my team she was going to comb her hair, but had a stroke and fell on the floor. Amanda, our youngest daughter, came in and helped her to the bed. When I came in she said all one side was numb. I told Amanda to make a cup of tea soon as she could. While the tea was being made she talked quite a bit. Said she felt worried about herself, drank a part of a cup of tea and fell over on the bed and died almost instantly. I felt thankful I hadn't left her in the field.
Our two eldest daughters Mary Minerva, and Martha Emmoline were married and Amanda Maria, the youngest was near eighteen. I see I would soon be left alone if I didn't find me another companion, so began to look around. I went to Saint George, and asked brother Henry Hardy Wilson for his daughter Mary Malinda. He said he had no objections if we two could agree so after a few months we went to Salt Lake and were married in the Endowment House by Daniel H. Wells June 1, 1874.
I had quite an extensive farm of 6 acres in Harrisburg, located down the Purgatory Canyon. I raised cotton and cane and peddled it in the northern settlements to get my breadstuff. One fall I went as far as Fort Ephraim about two hundred miles. I took one of father Meek's little boys about twelve years old with me to help the old gentleman get his breadstuff, as he was getting quite aged and I wanted to help him. One of the boy's team was a mare twenty years old. We made the trip in the dead of winter and as the boy was poorly clad, he suffered considerable with the cold. We peddled four days in Fort Ephraim, got our load and started back. Arriving home in safety.
Apostle Snow set me apart as presiding Elder over the Harrisburg Branch. I also acted as Superintendent of the Sunday School for several years. I was appointed as watermaster of the Harrisburg ditch and served ten or twelve years, receiving for my services only one dollar and a half for the whole time. The ditch was five miles long and would break every time it rained, so it was quite a laborious task as the citizens were mostly all freighters and away from home most of the time during the cropping season.
When the Silver Reef Mines started up they settled on our ditch about four miles above us. They put up mills and wanted water to run them with. Three of our citizens sold their water right to the company and then they segregated the water to run these mills with. The stream being small in a dry season it dried Harrisburg up and ruined our homes and we had to hunt some other location to make a living. My brother Wilson and I decided to go to San Juan county.
(Hole in the Rock Expedition)
We went by way of Potato Valley, now Escalante. When about six miles from the Colorado River we had to camp and work a road through to the river. This we did by blasting the rock with powder through a small crevice or channel which led through to the river. When it was done it was very steep and dangerous to travel. The first forty feet down the wagon stood so straight in the air it was no desirable place to ride and the channel was so narrow the barrels had to be removed from the wagons in order to let the wagon pass through. It had to be rough locked on both hind wheels and then a heavy rope attached behind to which about eight men held back as hard as they could to keep the wagon from making a dash down forty feet. The women and children took hold of hands and slid down the first forty feet as they couldn't walk.
Charles Hall built a ferry boat to cross the river. My brother Wilson Dailey was a blacksmith and put up his forge after crossing the river and went to work making nails and fitting up horse-shoes to shoe the horses in order to be able to pull out of the basin on the other side of the river as it was icy and slippery. The winter was very cold and we had a very hard time of it. We lost the most of our cattle and had to camp a month or six weeks while making the road through the mountain. In order to make it as comfortable as possible for our families, my brother and I made a dugout near a small stream to live in. After crossing the river and shoeing our horses we pulled into San Juan sometime in March. When we reached there, we found there was only about half enough land for the company of eighty wagons. Tickets were put into a hat, half blank and half with numbers. The men were to draw out a number or blank, which ever it happened to be and those drawing blank were to go on and hunt farther for a home. Those who drew a number remain and go to work. I drew a blank and traveled on to Parrot City, Colorado. My third child, by my second wife, was born May 20, 1880. A son whom we named Birt, to please a young lady living there, who took a fancy to the baby and asked to name him. The young lady was named Ida May Brown.
My two eldest children by my wife, Mary Malinda, were born in Harrisburg, Utah while we lived there. Their names were Madalene born 3 February 1876 and Marion born the 11 of August 1877.
I worked about six weeks at Parrot City, hauling lumber for a company that was building a flume. While here, I lost the last cow I had giving milk for my children. She got poison weed of some kind. I then had to buy me another cow. When I left Parrot City, we traveled out by was of Fort Wingate, then down to Saint Johns, Arizona and then on to Bush Valley, Arizona in Apache Country, so called because a man by the name of Bush first settled there. It is high up in the mountains where large, long leaf pine trees grow and other hardy trees and shrubs such as Oak, Quaking Aspen, Fir trees, etc.
When I first settled there you could mow grass almost anywhere on the level and I remarked to my wife it could never be eaten off, but after being settled a few years and large herds of cattle and horses brought in, together with a few years of drought and grasshoppers, it became quite bare. It however was a scenic little place and in good seasons was beautiful with its meadows and beautiful wild flowers and ferns and locust tree shrubs. Berries such as currants and gooseberries could be raised with success. In the mountains were found raspberries, service berries, a thorny gooseberry, strawberries and thimble berries growing wild. There were numerous mountain streams fed by snow in the mountains and deer, bear and wild turkey were plentiful. Small grains were not a very sure crop and corn couldn't be matured very well, only a dwarf kind they called tucket. The soil was a rich black loam and the Irish potato and hardy varieties of vegetables did fine. The name of the place was changed and called Alpine, later on.
I bought me a claim and then took up enough land to make a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres. Built me a couple log houses of hewn logs also a good, hewn log barn with shingle roof 20 by 48 feet. After proving up on my homestead I sold forty acres to Hubert Burk, and fenced the rest to itself. I made me a cellar, a fish pond and fenced me a good garden spot by itself and set out currants, gooseberries, plums, and apple trees, rose bushes, and lilacs, etc. The shrubs responded and bore fruit, but it was too cold for the apple and plum.
Births of the rest of the family:
I lived in Alpine fourteen years and here the rest of my family were born.
4. Wilson Dailey born 12 November 1881
5. Milton Luther born 25 November 1884
6. Ephraim born 16 January 1887
7. Sarah Frances born 10 July 1889
8. Flora Belle born 7 July 18981
(All born in Alpine, Apache County, Arizona.)
In 1882 I was ordained a High Priest under the hands of Edward A. Noble and Jesse N. Smith, Stake president of eastern Arizona, or Snow Flake Stake, Smith being mouth, and set apart as counselor to Bishop Edward A. Noble. I served nine or ten years with this Bishop Noble and learned to love him as a brother. I also acted as Superintendent of Sunday School for a number of years until on account of my age they released me.
Sometime about 1883 I made a trip back to Utah, to take a family by the name of Ted Pitcher, over the long dreary road among the Indians for about four hundred miles in the company of Frederick Hamblin. I took back some young apple, plum, gooseberries, currants, blackberries, roses and lilac roots to set out. Bought ten hundred pounds of dried fruit to take home and expected to meet Frederick Hamblin in Kanab and make the return trip with him, but through some misunderstanding missed him and I made the return trip alone. I reached Sunset Arizona on Christmas Eve and Lot Smith would have me spend Christmas with them. I then had a distance of one hundred and forty miles to travel in order to reach home to spend New Years with my family which I did.
After getting home I went to cutting logs and making a log fence around my farm. In rolling the logs up with my team, somehow a chain slipped off and let the log back so quickly I was knocked backwards into the snow on my back. The snow was about a foot deep but very wet. The snow prevented my leg from being crushed but packed so hard I could not dig it away with my fingers enough to release my leg and no other instrument was in reach. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon and I was without my coat on. I knew I would soon perish when the sun went down, so my only chance was to holler for help which I did as lustily as I could yell. “I want help; I want help.”
A young man by the name of Prime Coleman living a mile down the valley heard my cries and, having his horse saddled ready to go look for some horse, mounted his steed and rode on a gallop the whole distance to where I lay. He took the head of my ax and dug the snow away releasing my leg. I had just got out when three more men from town arrived on the scene having heard my cries for help. When I got on my feet I could not stand as my knee was pulled out of place in my efforts to get loose. I had a lizzard on which I hauled wedges so they put me on it and hauled me home, where everything kind hands could do was done to make me comfortable. It was about six weeks before I could walk with any ease.
About the next winter I had the misfortune of getting my first finger on my right hand bit off by a cow. One of our neighbors had a cow that had been eating turnips and in some way had got a frozen one down her throat and was choking. The woman was excited at the thought of losing her cow and came running to see if I could do something to dislodge the turnip. She thought she could hold the cow by the horns while I put my hand down her throat and tried to loosen it, which I did. Just as I was about to accomplish the task, unluckily for me one of the woman's little children gave a sharp cry as if it had fallen out of its chair into the fire. She let all holts loose on the cow and ran for the house. No sooner had she released the cow's head than it swung round and her jaws snapped together and took my finger off all but a tiny piece of skin on the underside. I could do no more and they lost their cow. I caught up the piece of finger and placed it against the other part and went home as quickly as possible where my wife bound it up and after a long time of suffering it knit back on again, but one of the cords that operated the finger rotted in the center of my hand and I had a part of it cut off. Thus leaving my finger stiff and in the way and I've often wished I'd cut the little skin off and let it go. I'd have been better off as it has always been stiff and sensitive to cold.
Sometime in 1886 I moved my family out on my farm for the purpose of homesteading and improving my place which took five years. After which time I intended to have built me a rock house in town on my city lot. I already had the rock hauled and foundation laid; but a man by name of Sylvester H. Pearce interred some land on one side of town which took in my lot and a large portion of the town lots and I could get no satisfaction as to whether I could get my lot back or not, so I made no more improvements in town but prepared to live permanently on my farm something like a mile out of town but in plain view of it. We had to farm dry land at this time as we had not water with which to water our crops until later on. We built a town reservoir and I had got my ditch built to bring the water to a portion of my farm but the climate was cold and uncertain and the grasshoppers destroyed my crops for three years in succession, taking my grain and hay (which was wild hay from my meadow) so I had no hay for my animals nor flour for my family which made it very hard for me to support my family which was getting quite large. I would have to resort to mason work to get provisions to live on and seed grain to plant in the spring only to have it all destroyed again by grasshoppers.
I built some fifty-two chimneys of rock and several foundations while in Arizona, but this work was too hard for my strength; so I got me a shingle mill and myself and the family made shingles. I and my two oldest sons Marion and Birt did the sawing of the blocks by hand. The two lads only about twelve and ten years respectively took turns sawing against me. My wife and children doing the bunching.
In July 1889 my second daughter Sarah Frances was born. That winter 1890 sometime in February there was a siege of the grippe through our settlement of which many families suffered. I took the disease and for five weeks lay helpless. Then my wife before my recovery took the same disease and it seemed we both would have to go and leave our family for a time, but after about seven weeks, I began to mend slowly and my wife recovered also after about five or six weeks. This was a trying time to our children—one they feel they will never forget. Had it not been for the mercy of our Heavenly Father and the kindness of our neighbors, we would have fared still worse. Sister Jepson, a faithful old nurse, hardly left our beds during this time and seemed to never tire of doing for us. While recovering from my sickness, I thought a great deal of my condition—being the only one of my father's family belonging to the church, and of the work in the temple to be done, and felt like I wanted to get nearer by where I could do some work for my dead kindred. I heard of a settlement on the Muddy stream in Nevada and decided to try my lot there as the papers praised it up so highly. So I set about trying to sell my place to which I had a patent at this time, but as times were hard I could not sell; so I decided to go anyway and chance selling later on. After trading around and getting teams and wagons to make the journey as I thought, a heavy thundershower came up one night after we had gone to bed, and such terrific peals of thunder as we had that night seemed as if the earth would open up and take us in. In the morning, sometime in August or September 1894, when we got up and looked around we found one of our mares and colts and a fine young stallion all prostrate on the ground. They had been killed by lightning striking the tree under which they stood for protection from the storm. I then had to trade four other young animals to get me another team as two of these that were killed were animals I had intended for my team.
We left sometime about the 28 or 29 of October 1894, taking what we could in two wagons and about twelve head of cattle, all milk cows but one—it being a fine Holstein bull. We had no company and so made the trip alone. When we arrived at the big Colorado River, I had to let one of my choice heifers and my Holstein bull go to pay our ferry bill and get feed over night. At the foot of the Buckskin mountains, Nephi Jolley, my son-on-law from long valley, met us with a fresh span of horses and helped us into the valley, where we spent a week sometime in December, visiting with my daughter Mary Jolley, Nephi Jolley's wife, and family. We then went down to St. George, Utah and visited with my wife's folks there. I intended to leave my family there while I went down and looked at the Muddy settlements, but the folks in St. George thought it was a fine place from what they had heard so I decided to go on down with my family. I felt sick of it, though, as soon as I reached the sand on leaving the last crossing of the Virgin River. Such sand I had never seen before. Our teams being pretty well drilled made travel quite slow. Before reaching the foot of the meascy dugway we broke one wheel and had to leave one wagon and go on into the valley. We went in by St. Joseph, the upper settlement of the three in the valley. Here we spent most of the remaining winter. I then bargained for a piece of land of Brigham Whitmore down the valley farther near Overton, Nevada. Here I set out a young orchard, but the mineral in the land killed most of the trees. Building material being hard to obtain, I set some small posts in the ground and wove into them some willows and covered with bundles of toolies which I hired an Indian to cut from the swamps along the river. This served as a room to cook in and store part of our belongings. I grubbed the land and put in wheat, sugar cane and cotton and some garden stuff, but about the time the cotton was ready to pick, most of the family was sick with malaria fever. The few that were able had quite an experience with picking cotton for the first time in their lives. While here, we lost all our cows but four. They got into the river and drowned as the banks sloped under, widening out underneath the surface of the ground. The cattle were poor and there was not much feed on the range near enough to the water to be of much use to the animals. And I hadn't means to buy hay. I was taken with a congestive chill and then fever after. I thought my time had about come but said if the Lord would spare my life to get my family out of there, I would surely do it as they had been raised in a cold climate and the hot climate didn't agree with them. While sick in my bed, our flour ran out and what to do I didn't know as it was so hot that it was almost unsafe to attempt to cross the seascy and sand as there was no water from the time you left the Muddy valley 'til you reached the Virgin River. My second son Birt only 15 years old was going to try to make the trip to Bunkerville on the Virgin where a grist mill was located to try and get flour. I hated to see him go alone, so my daughter Madalene volunteered to go with him. They went and made the trip and home again in safety for which we were very thankful.
My boys went at it and made adobes and put up a granary for our grain, their first attempt at mason work. After recovering some and gathering our crop, I decided to get my family out into Utah again. I traded my four cows I had left to Whitmore for $80 capital stock in the St. George store co-op, but the store was in bad condition unbeknown to me and I couldn't get anything out of it then. And afterwards traded it out over the counter for 25 cents on the dollar, getting only $20. And so my luck has run through life. We hired a load of cotton brought out up to the Washington factory as we came, where we traded it for cloth to help clothe the family. We went up and wintered in Paragonah. Then I rented a place in Harrisburg and went down there in the spring and stayed until fall when I saw there was no chance for me there. I then went out to Mt. Carmel in the fall of 1896 where I got a job of gathering crops for Haskel Jolley. Here two of my children, Madalene and Birt, had the typhoid fever. Madalene was sick seven weeks, then Birt six weeks, after which he died December 26, 1896. Sixteen years old past. This was a great blow to us and I could never understand why he had to be taken from us at this time unless the Lord needed him for some purpose, for he was a large, strong, well developed boy and had never been sick much before in his life.
I got hold of a small lot and house and set out an orchard and built an underground stable in the side hill and a barn on top, also a cellar in the side of the hill and rocked them up and built a granary on top. But, finding I could get no land, I again moved back over to Paragonah and bought a couple of lots and a house in the fall of 1899. My daughter Madalene married October 19, 1899 a man by name of Henry Gardner living in Mt Carmel, Utah, so she did not go to Paragonah with us.”
The rest of Milton's story is told by Mabel R. Robinson, Great-granddaughter:
Mary Malinda suffered terribly with Bright's Disease. Her hands and legs were swollen with “Dropsy” to the point of bursting. All the love and tender care of her anxious family did not help and on February 16, 1904 she died at her home in Paragonah.
This seemed to be the end of Milton's active life as he was content to stay at home with his girls, Sarah Frances and Flora Belle and leave wage earning and financial cares to his sons, who willingly shouldered the task. He continued to fulfill his Priesthood duties, however, and did some temple work for his dead relatives. He was a Ward Teacher until his death, paid his tithes and offerings and never missed a Sunday School or Sacrament Meeting when he was able to attend. The church records show that he was often called upon to offer a prayer, administer to the Sacrament, or to speak a few words of counsel and advice to the congregation.
He is remembered by the older members of the Paragonah Ward as being a kindly, quiet spoken man but very firm and sincere in his faith in the truthfulness of the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
When he was eighty-six years old, Milton was stricken with pneumonia and died October 28, 1913 in Paragonah, Iron County, Utah. He is buried at the side of his beloved wife, Mary Malinda, in the cemetery at Paragonah.