Appleton Milo Harmon

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Appleton Milo Harmon

Birthdate: (56)
Birthplace: Conneaut, PA, USA
Death: February 2, 1877 (56)
Holden, UT, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Jesse P. Harmon and Anna Harmon
Husband of Elmeda Harmon
Father of Appleton Milo Harmon; Mary (b.1848) Harmon; Briant Harmon; Henry Harmon; Willis Milton Harmon and 9 others
Brother of Elmeda Harmon

Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About Appleton Milo Harmon

Mormon Pioneer

"...Harmon, Appleton Milo – (Captain of the 10th Ten) Born May 29, 1820, at Conneaut, Pa., to Jesse P. and Anna Barnes Harmon. He served a mission in 1843, and was later part of the police force of Nauvoo. He married Elmeda Stringham. A mechanic, he was assigned to drive a team for Heber C. Kimball. He constructed a "roadometer" that was designed by William Clayton and used to measure distance. The device was attached to a wagon and measured he revolutions of a wagon wheel. Harmon was among those asked to remain at the ferry at North Platte, Wyo., where he learned the craft of blacksmithing. He remained at the ferry until the company returned from the Salt Lake Valley in the fall. He worked at Fort Laramie as a blacksmith until March 1848, when he returned to Winter Quarters. He returned to the Salt Lake Valley that year with his family. In 1850-53, he filled a mission to England. He later helped build sawmills in Salt Lake, Millard and Washington Counties, a furniture factory at Toquerville, Washington Co., and a woolen mill at Washington in the same county. In the last two buildings, he helped set up the machinery. He spent the later years of his life in Holden, Millard Co., where he died Feb. 2, 1877, at age 56..."


Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Appleton Milo Harmon (May 29, 1820 – February 27, 1877) was an early member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a leading pioneer of the emigration to Salt Lake City and the settlement of Utah Territory. Harmon was born in Conneaut Pennsylvania, the son of Jesse Pierce Harmon and Annie Barnes, he married Elmeda Stringham in 1846. He was devoted to his religion and was an industrious and multitalented builder who constructed sawmills, a cotton gin, pony express roads, furniture, wagons, and worked as blacksmith and other trades. He is often remembered for building an early version of the modern odometer, using the design of William Clayton and Orson Pratt. This "Roadometer" was built in 1847 during the trek of Brigham Young's vanguard company, and it improved the efficiency of logging the daily mileage, information that was vital to subsequent travelers of the Mormon trail. Harmon kept a detailed journal of his trek west and his mission to England that has been published..."" <SOURCE:

Extract of Diary

1. Reminiscence and diary, 251 pp. Entries take form of a diary during 1850-53 period. Birth in Pennsylvania, 1820. Heard Mormonism from Orson Hyde and was baptized, 1833. Family moved to Kirtland, 1837. Moved to Springfield, Illinois, 1838; to Nauvoo, 1840. Ordained an elder, 1842. Mission to relatives in Pennsylvania and then on to Canada; arrived November 1842. ("and by the 16th of August 1843 we had Suceeded in baptising 52 and got a Company of over forty organized and Started by land for Nauvoo.") Reached Nauvoo, October 1843. Death of uncle and cousin in snowstorm while returning from mission. In Nauvoo, 1843-44. Increase in persecution. Expositor incident. ("At the time I was acting in the Police, who was called upon to remove and destroy the press, type and all libilous prints etc.") Death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Became sick with chills, ague and fever; eight months to recover.

Married Elmeda Stringham, January 1846. Crossed Mississippi on ice. To Council Bluffs. Planted small settlements as they went along; bridged streams they could not ford. Calling of Mormon Battalion. Severity of winter 1846-47. Departure of pioneer company, April 1847; author driving for Heber C. Kimball. ("I completed a roadometer and attached it to the wheel of a waggon by which we could tell each night the distance traveled through the day.") At Platte Ferry for three weeks until river became fordable. Induced to remain blacksmithing at Fort Laramie until March 1848. To Winter Quarters; detailed journey. Preparations for journey. Journey to Utah. Author in charge of "hunting department." Various hunting stories. Emerged from Emigration Canyon, 24 September 1848 "into the open valley, which opened to the right and left in the Bright Sunshine, which gave it a golden hue, that made it look doubly rich to us after haveing been for the last 2 weeks Shut up between high mountains and passing over rugged ways." Built small adobe house. Cabinet work during winter, 1848-49. Scarcity of food. Planted some crops. Ferry on Platte. Description of Indians on buffalo hunt. Served in action against Indians of Utah Valley, 1850. Optimism at prospects just prior to call on mission to England, April 1850.

Trip eastward, May 1850. Detailed overland and overseas journey. British Mission. Liverpool. Assigned to Newcastle-on-Tyne. Called to preside over new Carlisle Conference. ("I now find my Self here alone to take charge of a Small Conference. to face a Superticious world. to Combat error with simple truth. altho I had a good we open I was not Skilled in useing it.") Discouraging prospects. Preached to a congregation of Methodists and their preacher. ("And when I got through I asked them what they though(t) of Sutch doctrine, but not one of them would say a word but walked Silently away.") Much work among members. Christmas tea party, 1850. Summary of activities at end of 1850.

Sent daguerrotype of himself to wife, 1851. Discouragement. Poem composed on death of William Burton. Problem of getting clothes and shoes. Attended Crystal Palace exhibition, 1851. Visit to zoological gardens. Public debates. Lecture on electric biology. Sees hypnotist work. Iron works.

Meeting at London in Temperance Hall, Christmas, 1852. Original farewell poem to Harmon by Mark Fletcher. From place to place preaching farewell sermons. ("l am Sanguine in the expectation of makeing my exit from the Island of Tyrany and darkness to the home of the Saints beyond the mountains of Ephraim and to my own famaly and home.") Read Joseph Smith revelation on marriage in the Star. ("Some of the Sisters looked rather Solid at it, but no kicking that I have as yet discovered.") Overseas voyage on Golconda; with company of saints. Reached New Orleans. Last entry in New Orleans just prior to going up to St. Louis, March 1853. ("The prospect before me is one of toil and care, which is destined to teach me of the real practical duties belonging to a servant of God. The watch care of a number of unexperienced Saints to assend the largest and most dangerous of rivers, and then to cross the Plains of a thousand miles to our mountain home, is what will call for patience and, I pray God my heavenly father that he will give me faith, patience, and perseverence to enable me to endure all things needful for Christ's Sake, while I endeavor to be his faithful and humble Servant.")

2. Detailed record of 1847. Started out with pioneer company as driver for Heber C. Kimball. Encountered Indians who insisted on food. Military organization of camp. References to Fremont. Several pages on ferrying at the Platte. Author among company appointed to stay with the ferry; written instructions included. Portion of patriarchal blessing (35-36). Letter from Brigham Young regarding James Bridger. Blacksmithing.

SOURCE: Davis Bitton, Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies (1977), pg.143. BYU [Lee Library] has two volumes of journal for period 1820)-53 (Vault MSS 75).

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Appleton Milo Harmon's Timeline

May 29, 1820
Conneaut, PA, USA
October 22, 1846
Age 26
Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska Territory, United States
Age 27
Age 28
Age 29
Age 30
Age 33
Age 35
Age 37
Age 39