Pvt James Myler

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James Myler

Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Paddys Run, Shanden, Butler, Ohio, USA
Death: May 21, 1894 (72)
Lewisville, Jefferson County, Idaho, United States
Place of Burial: Lewisville, Jefferson County, Idaho, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Myler and Olive Maine
Husband of Julia Ann Myler (Brownell)
Father of Joseph Elias Myler; Charles C Myler; Julia Alzina Goody; William Myler; Orrin Maine Myler and 2 others

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About Pvt James Myler


Son of James Myler & Olive Maine [ ] Married Julia Ann Brownell, 5 Oct 1843

Children- Lovina Myler, Elzina Myler, Joseph Elias Myler, Calvin Ozro Myler, Charles Rick Myler, Margaret Lavina Myler Harmon, Rosetta Sofronia Eliza Myler Archibald, John Young Myler, Julia Alzina Myler Goodey, George Frank Myler, Frank Myler, Orrin Maine Myler, William Oscar Myler, James Russell Myler

James Myler was born 3 February 1822 in Shaddy's Run, (now Shandon), Butler County, Ohio(1)

He was the son of James Myler (born Nov. 19, 1794 Westmoreland, New York) and Olive Maine (born May 16, 1796 New York)(2) James was the 4th son in a family of eight; four sons and four daughters.

They were of sturdy New England stock, farmers who with all their pioneering managed somehow to eke out a living. They moved frequently as the custom of most families those days. A few years were spent in a little town in Ohio, not too far from Kirland. "Grandfather told us many times of the wonderful manifestation their family witnessed when he was 14 years old, in Kirtland on 3rd April 1836 when the Savior appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The Myler family beheld the glorious illumination around and above the Kirtland Temple on that memorable night. We children loved to hear him relate this heavenly manifestation."(3) Even after all this, he was the only one of his family to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that did not happen for a period of eight years.

When he was 21 years old, he married Julia Ann Brownell on the 5th of October 1843 in Buchanan, Berrien, Michigan. Julia's parents, Gideon Brownell and Elizabeth (Betsy) Wheeler Brownell had been baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in May of 1841 in Ohio. Julia Ann was baptized by her father at this time. She met James Myler while living in Ohio. His parents moved to South Ben, Indiana when James was quite young.(4)

James and Julia settled in Michigan where their first son, William Oscar was born in Bertrand, Berrien, Michigan on 27 December 1844. The Mylers then went to Nauvoo, Illinois where James was baptized 26 January 1845, by his father-in-law, Gideon Brownell.(5) Prior to his baptism, James had an interesting experience when mobbers were persecuting the Saints. James Myler went to get a bucket of water which was some distance away, and when he returned there were three Mormon women at the house and three mobbers came to get them. James faced the mobbers bravely (for he was quite small in stature) and said that although he was not a Mormon, if any one of them touched either of the women in any way, he would wipe up the earth with them. The mobbers looked at each other and rode away.(6)

They were in Nauvoo amid much persecution of the Saints after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and James helped build the temple. They named their second son, Joseph, possibly after the Prophet. He was born January 31, 1846. During this time, the Saints were going through the Nauvoo Temple to get their endowments before they were forced to leave on account of the mobs. James and Julia received their endowments January 28, 1846, just 3 days prior to the birth of baby Joseph. One February evening, soon after Joseph's birth, the mob came to their door and told them they had one hour to vacate their homes and get out of Nauvoo or they would be killed. It was 26 degrees below zero. James rushed out and hitched his team onto his wagon and loaded as many things as he could. They fixed a bed in the wagon for 14 month old Oscar and Julia carried the baby. When they rushed out of their home, the mobs, screaming, with torches were only a block away. They drove down to the Mississippi River and crossed on ice. The recent severe cold spell had frozen the river solid in a very short time, no small feat for the mile wide Mississippi River! As they walked across the ice, Julia's shoes were so worn that with every step the last half of the way, she left imprints of her blood on the ice.

They camped with the Saints in Montrose, Iowa until spring, then traveled on to Winter Quarters on the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska. James was called by the prophet to plant crops for the coming Saints. When the crops were growing well, on June 26, 1846, Colonel S. W. Kearny of the United States Army issued a "Circular to the Mormons" demanding 500 able-bodied Mormon men to join the army to fight the war with Mexico. This was delivered to the Mormons in Winter Quarters in July by Captain James Allen. James Myler and his father-in-law Gideon Brownell enlisted. The men had three days to get everything in order and be ready to march with the Mormon Battalion. The afternoon of the day prior to their departure a farewell ball was held. It was a festive occasion and everyone had a good time.

When the time came to go, James gave Julia his clothing allowance of $42.00. Her home was to be a wagon box that had been taken off its wheels and set upon the ground under the shade of some trees. She and her two babies lived in this "home" for the 18 months that James was away. Julia's father at age 57 was the oldest member of the Battalion.

Everything went fine for the Mormon Battalion until the death of the Captain Allen. Then a Lt. Allen Smith took command and appointed Dr. George Sanders Sgt. The men were then reduced to 1/3 rations, and brackish water. Many took sick, but would rather stand guard than take the medicine and abuse the sergeant gave them. The Doctor had a brass kettle and spoon and to the tune of "Join Along Joe" the sick and the well had to take the medicine. James Myler was the first to refuse. He said if he was going to die, they could shoot him, but he would not take any of their poison drug. There was no more of the medicine given to anyone.

When the battalion got to the mountains, winter came upon them. They were half-starved, half-frozen, yet went on through the snow and cold winds. There was a non-Mormon traveling with them. He had his own outfit, consisting of six mules and a wagon. He would often pick up the sick and let them ride with him. The officer in charge ordered the sick out of the wagon, but the non-Mormon told he they could ride as long as he could pull. They left the mountains and dropped down into the valley, which seemed like heaven or paradise. The wild oats or grasses were as tall as the mules as they drove through and neared a beautiful stream of water. Before they could unhook the animals from the wagons, a herd of buffalo came upon them and upset the wagons, killing the mules, but none of the men were hurt. The man had plenty of meat from this incident to last them for a long time. Brigham Young had promised the men they would not have to fight, and they didn't. The war was over when they reached California. After being discharged from the army, the men had to find their own transportation back to their families.(7)

In later years, James often told his grandchildren stories of his experiences with the Mormon Battalion and of waking to the pacific Ocean, San Diego, up the coast to Los Angeles, back to Winter Quarters, then turning again with his family and going west again to Utah. He told them frequently of the suffering they endured marching barefoot over hot desert sands, without water or food much of the time, and how they would eat any kind of vegetation they could find, especially roots.

When James returned to his family, he had been gone 18 months. Not being able to find any work to support his family and obtain the necessary funds to go on to Zion, he crossed over into Missouri and found work. After six weeks he returned. It was late spring, but still he plowed some land, planted corn and one bushel of wheat, that being all the seed he could obtain. The Myler family remained in Council Bluffs until 1849. A third son, Calvin was born in 1848.

In Captain William P. Miller's 5th Company, James, Julia and their three small sons, together with the Brownells, came west arriving in Salt Lake City on 22 September 1849. James served as a wagon master while crossing the plains.

They settled in North Cottonwood, in what is known as Farmington. James was a water master for several years, and was active in Church and community affairs. They remained in Farmington for 10 years. Baby Calvin died there in 1851. Five more children joined the family in Farmington: James Russell 18 Nov 1851, Alzina Julia 25 Jul 1854, John Young 14 Jan 1856, Orin Main 14 Sep 1858, and Margaret Lavina 1 May 1859.(8) In Farmington ward records, we see that he was a home teacher and also that he was ordained as one of the seven presidents of the 56th Quorum of the Seventies in January 1855 by David Hunt.

On July 24, 1857, as the Pioneers were celebrating 10 years since entering the Valley, word was brought that Johnston's Army of the US Government was coming. That caused a lot of trouble and commotion. The Saints left their homes and went to Southern Utah thinking it would be safer. They returned in the summer of 1858. James Myler also served in the campaign known as the Echo Canyon War.

While in Farmington, James had a terrible experience with evil: One night a man came to his house who had such an evil influence that just his presence in the house awakened the whole household. James told him to leave, and so he went outside to where there was a cow. The cow began to show such agony that James had to go to her. He prayed and she was immediately alright.

In the summer of 1860, the Myler family moved to Logan, Utah. Their son, Charles R. was one of the first babies born in Logan. The was born 22 April 1861. Two more children were born in Logan: Rosette Sophrona 15 May 1863, and George Frank 31 August 1866. In July 1866, their son, James Russell died here.

While in this part of Utah, James was an Indian Scout as the Indians were very troublesome to the Saints. One morning as Julia was cooking breakfast over the fire, a large Indian and his squaw and Papoose came walking into the house. The Big Indian walked over to the fire and began rubbing his dirty hands together over the food. This made James mad and he grabbed the fell and put him onto his back in the corner. Now the Indian was mad and he came at James with a large knife raised, ready to strike. James quickly seized a stick of firewood and advanced to meet him, saying "YOU GET OUT OF HERE!" Well, Indians admire bravery and although James was a small man he was no coward. The Indian backed out of the house and his family followed him.

From Logan, they moved to Clarkston, living there until 1883 where the family grew up. James went to Escalanta from Clarkston, but not finding things satisfactory, he returned in a few months to Clarkston until he and his family of five married children and their families pioneered to Snake River Country in Idaho, settling in Lewisville, about 3 miles from Rigby. His three sons, Oscar, Orrin and Charles, and two daughters, Alzina Myler Goody and Alvina Myler Harmon all settled near the south side of the river near each other. The men all filed a homestead right on land, built homes from logs obtained near the river, built sheds for stock, made fences, took sage off the land, built canals and raised crops. By the 4th of July, the mosquitoes were so bad the family was compelled to go to the mountains and take all their animals. Tents were pitched and all made as comfortable as possible. The animals were herded, cows were milked and extra milk made into cheese. Two of the men took turns going to the valley to see that their wheat, oats and potatoes were properly irrigated and cared for. They would stay until they were practically eaten by the mosquitoes. They had no way of keeping them out of the house, so a fire would be built then something green put over the blaze to make a smoke, then the horrible creatures would go away for a while. Nothing is ever all bad, as their crops were bounteous beyond all expectations.

Some of his granddaughters wrote in their histories of things they remembered about their Grandfather Myler. "I well remember my father's farm joined Grandfather's so we crossed the field from one place to the other. Grandfather had a small sorrel mare he drove on a single black top buggy. She was a mean animal, but he got along with her very well. I remember going with him to milk his cow. Grandmother had a brass kettle and I remember Grandfather taking that to milk the cow, then Grandmother would strain it in pans, let it stand about 24 hours, skim the cream off, and make butter. It was very good butter. Grandmother was a real good cook and a neat housekeeper. We children always enjoyed going there. There were always cookies or doughnuts. One day when we were there to dinner, Grandmother left the table to get more food, my Grandfather quickly took a spoon and gave each of the smaller ones a generous taste of sugar. He was a great lover of children and they were always welcome on his knee. He would come to our house, take the little folks and sing and dance them on his knee."

Among his memoirs were these thoughts penned by himself:

:Dec. 6, 1886 . . . . . . I have been musing all alone about the times and places and trials and troubles I have been through. I thought I would write a few lines on my present feeling; I feel sure I have to try to improve in my course of conditions before the Lord and my brethren and this is the greatest desire of my heart. I also know I must speak diligently to my God in heaven. I know He is willing to hear me, because I have sought His help in the past in scores of instances and I know that He has heard and rewarded me and caused my heart to rejoice within me."

James Myler was the father of 11 children, 8 of which lived to raise families and all going to the Temple. He was always ready to help anyone in need. He was a good father and a good neighbor. He was always active in the Church. The Mylers were a very musical family and spent many evenings singing and playing the family organ. Two of his sons were Bishops and Bishop's counselors and held other offices in the Church. The girls were active and did a lot of good in the MIA and Relief Society. In the 1890's, his son, Charles put on concerts to raise money for a building fund. His children continued to seek his advice in any and all problems.

He suffered a cancerous death, and go so thin that he was the size of a very thin 10 year old boy. One of his granddaughters says: "When he was ill I remembered he had told me of a nut tree which grew on their place when he was a small boy and how very fond he was of them. I had no idea what was the matter with him as cancer was so hush, hush in those days. I took him some nuts, and when I gave them to him, he said, "I shouldn't but I'll eat the no matter what!" In no time at all he had to vomit and I was really shocked to see my Grandfather so very small and thin. Well, anyway, he said they tasted good."

The united States government paid him a pension the last few years of his life, the whole amount of $30 a month, coming in 3 month intervals.

After a life of devotion and service he passed away, 21 May 1894 and was buried in the cemetery at Lewisville, Idaho on May 23, 1894 at the age of 72. At the time of his passing, James left 43 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. His wife died 4 years later and was buried beside him.

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Pvt James Myler's Timeline

February 3, 1822
Paddys Run, Shanden, Butler, Ohio, USA
September 25, 1844
Age 22
Bertrand, Berrien County, Michigan, United States
January 31, 1846
Age 23
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, USA
July 25, 1854
Age 32
Farmington, Davis County, Utah Territory, United States
September 14, 1856
Age 34
Davis County, Utah Territory, United States
May 1, 1859
Age 37
Farmington, Davis County, Utah Territory, United States
April 22, 1861
Age 39
May 18, 1863
Age 41
Logan, Cache County, Utah Territory, United States
May 21, 1894
Age 72
Lewisville, Jefferson County, Idaho, United States