About Tamma Curtis Miner (Durfee)
Following is a short biographical sketch of the lives of Albert Miner
and his wife Tamma Miner, (nee Durfee)
Albert Miner was the fourth child of Asel and Sylvia Monson Miner.
His parents were farmers and lived in the State of New York. In the
year 1815 when Albert was six years of ages his parents moved to New
London, Huron Co., Ohio. Here they lived for the balance of their lives
following the avocation of farming. They lived to a ripe old age, both
having died on the farm, and there buried side by side,
In August of the year 1851 Albert married Tamma Durfee, daughter
of Edmund and Dalancy Pickle Durfee, who lived near New London, During
this year Albert and his wife were for the first time greeted with the
sound of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In obedience
to the Divine mandate Tamma was baptized in December, but Albert did
not embrace the Gospel until February of the following year.
In May 1835 Albert and his wife moved to Kirtland, Lake Co., Ohio,
along with Brother Durfee and family who had also embraced the Gospel,
Here Albert and wife worked jointly together in tilling the soil and
in assisting each other in their daily work.
Albert and Tamma were faithful Church workers, and were constantly
in close communication with the Prophet Joseph Smith. They assisted
very materially in the building of the Kirtland Temple. They were
present when the First Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in this dispensation
were chosen and ordained. They also attended the dedication of
the Temple, Their narrations of the manifestations seen at the Temple
by the Prophet Joseph and Oliver Cowdry when Moses and Silas revealed
to them the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of
the earth and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the North,
and the committing of the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham saying:
"that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed, etc."
These and many other incidents which took place have been
powerful testimonies and guiding stars in the lives of their posterity.
It was about this time that Brother Miner was taken extremely sick
and his wife was under the necessity of procuring a sleigh in which
be was placed upon a bed. She got into the sleigh, holding her youngest
child upon her lap, and with an umbrella protected his head from
the bitter storm of snow and rain which prevailed at that time. Thus
they made their way back to New London, the home of his father.
The next fall they moved to Far West, Mo., and there shared in
all the persecutions the Saints were compelled to endure. Soon after
their arrival at Far West, they found themselves, and others, without
flour, and in rather a bad condition generally, for the mob had them
pretty well surrounded and were breathing threats of maltreatment. A
council was held by the Saints to decide who should go for some flour.
Albert was selected and when returning the mob captured him and took
him to their camp. After Albert explained that his family and others
had no bread to eat, he was permitted to deliver the flour under
guard sent by the mob to bring him back to their camp. Here he was
held as a prisoner until they broke camp, taking his best horse, and
leaving him with the other to get home with his wagon the best he
Under the exterminating order of Gov. Boggs of Missouri, the
Saints were forced to move their families into Illinois. This was
in the fall of 1858 when winter weather was coming on and the Saints
poorly prepared for such harsh treatment. Brother Miner, being one
of the leading spirits among his brethren, was appointed as one of
the committee who signed a pledge that they would not move from Missouri
until every family of the Saints had been safely planted from
beyond the boundary lines of that State. While fleeing from Missouri
where they had suffered so much they crossed the Mississippi River
and located near the City of Quincey, Ill., A kind reception was
extended to the Saints by the people of Quincey and much aid was
given them, for their physical condition was verging on to starvation,
Here Bro. Miner and family remained for a few years, farming
and doing such work as was necessary for the comfort of his family.
In the year 1842 they moved to Nauvoo, settling on a tract of
land four miles east of the Temple site, and here they resided four
years. At intervals during this time Bro. Miner assisted in the
erection of the Nauvoo Temple, and therein he and his wife received
their endowments just prior to the atrocities heaped upon them and
the rest of the Saints, and their final expulsion from Nauvoo.
Prior to this Bro. Miner was one with others who assisted in
guarding the Prophet Joseph Smith, at the time he and his brother
Hyrum were martyred at Carthage.
In the fall of 1844 the mob, having renewed their energies,
though unjust and cruel they were, the Saints were in constant turmoil
and fearful of their lives, continued to gather around them
what little was left of their effects and ungathered crops. At this
time Bro. Durfee was permitted by a treaty between the mob and the
Leaders of the Church, to return and gather his grain. When the
grain was stacked the mob set. it on fire. Bro. Durfee in attempting
to put it out was shot by a man by the name of Snyder, who
did it to win a bet of two gallons of whiskey. Snyder boasted of
what he had done and it was told some years after to a missionary
traveling in that locality. Later, in a drunken row, Snyder was
shot and the wound never healed, he actually rotted alive, with the
stench so offensive that his friends forsook him, although he linger-
ed for months before he died. Durfee died a martyr for the cause
of Truths from the shot he received from Snyder.
The mob forces having about completed their depredations by
driving from the State of Illinois, all those who professed Mormonism
or were friendly Inclined toward them, continued their unlawful acts
until the Saints, finding themselves unprotected by the Governor and
State Officials, agreed to leave the State as soon as possible. Before
this time, however, some engagements took place, and Bro. Miner was
right to the front. He was placed on the mouth of the cannon to load it.
The number killed and wounded is not known. Edmund Durfee, Jr. a brother-in-law of Albert, was wounded In the ankle and was unable to walk.
After the Saints agreed to leave the State they were compelled to surrender their arms, with the understanding, that they would be returned later, but such was
not the case.
In the fall of 1846 Albert, with his family, Edmond Durfee and
his family, fourteen in number, and in one wagon owned by Albert,
left Nauvoo, crossing the Mississippi River, landing near Montrose,
Iowa. where they remained for a short time only, then they left for
Iowaville, where they resided until 1848. While enroute to Iowaville,
(This has also been spelled Iowavale ) on Oct, 5th, 1846, Bro. and
Sister Miner were deeply grieved in the loss by death of their seven
months old baby girl Melissa. The child was buried on the banks of
the Des Moines River, under a big cottonwood tree.
Montrose, as mentioned above, is where the Saints camp was
filled with innumerable flocks of Quail, sent as it were from heaven,
and so tame that they were caught very easily and prepared for food
and thus the feeling of hunger was relieved by this miraculous occurrence.
At this point in the life of this family. Sister Miner went through the
most heart-rending trial yet allotted to her, in the loss by death of her earthly protector, her husband. Brother Albert Miner died January 5, 1848,
leaving her with but little means, and a family of seven children,
the oldest of whom was fourteen years. Undaunted and full of faith
in the Gospel of Christ, Sister Miner continued on in the work of the Lord.
She paid off the $90.00 funeral expenses of her husband and in the month of May moved her family to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Many trying scenes did this family pass through, one after the other, as such was the case with the Saints in general. In the Spring of 1847 when the Saints began that wonderful pilgrimage to the valley of the fountains, under the Leadership of Brigham Young,
Sister Miner, having a firm testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, and a great desire burning within her soul to go where the Saints were once again gathering. She began at once making preparations for that thousand mile journey.
In June of 1850, Sister Miner, having in readiness all her earthly possessions, which consisted of two yoke of oxen, and two yoke of cows, with one wagon, supplied with a limited amount of provisions, and the same of clothing, bid
goodbye to her brother Edmond, friends and all relatives, and with her family, started on this long journey.
In her comparative helpless condition she wended her way westward In
Wm. Snow's company of 100 until in October of the same year she arrived
in Salt Lake City, Utah. The journey was not made, however,
without some trying experiences, and only those who passed through
those trying times, can give an Inkling of the feelings of joy and sorrow
that took possession of their souls while pressing on for the
cause of Truth.
Shortly after the arrival of Sister Miner and her family In Salt Lake City,
she met and married Brother Enos Curtis. The family then moved on
a farm owned by Lorenzo Snow on the Jordan River west of
Union Fort. During the winter they made chairs for a livelihood.,
Here the cruel hand of death robbed her of her oldest son Orson and
be was buried on a knoll near the home where they were living. Soon
after the death of Orson, which occurred March 5th 1851, the family
moved to Springville where Sister Tamma enjoyed her long sought rest.
In 1855 she lost her second husband. From this marriage she
had four children, two of which were twins. In Springville Sister
Miner, as stated above, spent the remainder of her life in peace
and happiness, and had the privilege of seeing her family grow up
in comparative peace, and prosper in land.
January 30, 1885 Sister Tamma passed this life at the age of
71 years, 10 months, and 24 days, leaving nine children, 75
grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. besides a vast circle of
friends to mourn her loss. By a life of virtue and unflinching
integrity, as well as by her many excellent traits of character,
she had endeared herself to all. She died as she had lived, in full
faith of a glorious resurrection. The funeral services were held
at the old meeting house in Springville, Monday Feb. 2nd, l885.
At this writing November 19, l913, Mormon and Moroni Miner are
the only children living of Albert and Tamma Durfee Miner.
Tamma Durfee Miner Curtis's Timeline
March 6, 1813
Lennox, Madison, New York, United States
August 9, 1831
New London, Huron, Ohio, United States
May 9, 1832
Huron, Ohio, USA
October 22, 1833
Kirtland, Lake, Ohio
June 4, 1835
June 18, 1836
Kirtland, Lake, Ohio
September 26, 1837
Kirtland, Geauga, Ohio, United States
January 12, 1840
Lima, Adams, Illinois
September 7, 1841
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois
June 12, 1843
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois