Tamma Durfee Miner Curtis

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About Tamma Durfee Miner Curtis


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.


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Tamma Durfee Miner Curtis's Timeline

March 6, 1813
Lennox, Madison, New York, United States
August 9, 1831
Age 18
New London, Huron, Ohio, United States
May 9, 1832
Age 19
Huron, Ohio, USA
October 22, 1833
Age 20
Kirtland, Lake, Ohio
June 4, 1835
Age 22
Kirtland, Lake,Ohio
June 18, 1836
Age 23
Kirtland, Lake, Ohio
September 26, 1837
Age 24
Kirtland, Geauga, Ohio, United States
January 12, 1840
Age 26
Lima, Adams, Illinois
September 7, 1841
Age 28
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois
June 12, 1843
Age 30
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois