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CURTIS, Enos

CURTIS, Enos

Enos’ childhood remains a bit of a mystery. He was born October 9th 1783 at Kinderhook, Columbia, New York, the oldest child of Edmond and Polly (Avery) Curtis. Shortly after his mother died, when Enos was about 5 years old, his father left him in the care of neighbors who were travelling west. The record does not indicate that he ever saw his father again.

Those who raised him had a positive influence on him, for instilled in his nature were many truly great and noble qualities. He was especially known for his kindness. Somehow he was blessed to receive some education which enabled him to read, and sign his name.

At the age of 22 Enos met and married Ruth Franklin in New York City, December 15, 1805. They moved to Pennsylvania where they had the 1st of 14 children. Of these, six daughters and three sons lived to grow up and marry.

Enos heard of the restored gospel from his son-in-law Elial Strong and Levi Gifford and soon joined the Church in late 1830 or early 1831. He was baptized by Lyman Wight.

He was ordained an Elder in early 1831 and served a mission with his son-in-law, Alpheus Gifford, Eleazar Miller and Abraham Brown. On this mission they met with Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. Both of whom said that it was the testimonies of these elders that helped to convert them.

They were able to speak and sing in Tongues. He served at least two mission at the time, one of them to Canada for about 6 weeks, creating the first branch there.

Enos never lived in Kirtland, but did move to Missouri and suffered through the trials and hardships the Saints suffered there, being driven out of, of having their homes burned. They fled to Quincy, then on to Yelrome, a community established by Isaac Morley.

Here too they had troubles. One of the stories is told here:

When Enos Curtis and his family lived near Nauvoo he and his four grown boys took a contract to put up some wild hay probably 40 or 50 miles away from home. The boys were at the hay camp and the father Enos was in Nauvoo when he heard that the mob was coming thru the country and that the camp where the boys were would be in their path and they would be in danger, so he rode horse back in the night to the camp where the boys were.  They were sleeping in a barn and about two o’clock in the morning could hear the horseman coming across the prairie.  Of course, in those times they were always on the watch for danger and they knew it was some trouble a horseman coming at that time of the night so  they hurried into their clothes and were somewhat alarmed.  When one of the boys said don’t be afraid I heard him cough and it was father.  (He had a little cough that they all knew.)  When he got there he said, “Boys saddle up your horses and prepare for a chase.  The mob is expected through here by daylight.”   The saddled up and going home met the mob. A chase ensued with the family getting home safely.

Enos and Ruth were the first of the Curtis family to attend  the completed temple and receive their Endowments on 1 January 1846. Enos was a faithful priesthood holder who exercised that priesthood well. One story is told about the time when his family took the ferry across the Mississippi River at the Montrose crossing. A terrible wind came up causing anxiety and fear they would be swept away. People on the shore were screaming for help because of the force of the wind. It looked like the cable controlling the ferry would break.

Enos raised his arm to the square and commanded the wind to take them to shore. It ceased its velocity and changed  direction so the ferry drifted to shore and the family was saved. As soon as they were safely on shore, the gale became gain as fierce as it had been before.

Enos live a wonderful life, enduring the trials of crossing the plains, becoming a Patriarch, and helping to build up the Kingdom of God in Utah. He helped to build the city of Springville, Utah, and went with Brigham Young to the South  of Utah, coming back in the winter of 1856. He didn’t feel well that spring, but kept on working.

On June 1st of 1856, he  went about his daily tasks although feeling a bit faint. In the evening, the family had assembled for a reunion. Enos joined them in the various activities and after eating, sat back in his favorite chair and died as peacefully as if going to sleep. He was buried in the Springville Cemetery.

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