HARMON, Appleton Milo: My Ancestor

HARMON, Appleton Milo: My Ancestor

Submitted by John Freihofner, a student at Arrowhead Elementary School in Santa Clara, Utah.

HARMON, Appleton Milo: My Ancestor
(1820-1877)

I chose to research Appleton Milo Harmon because I was interested in the fact that as he was a pioneer crossing the plains he helped build an early version of the . The “roadometer” was built in 1847 during the trek of Brigham Young’s vanguard company. It made it possible for the pioneers to count daily mileage by counting the number of wagon wheel 

Appleton Milo Harmon was born May 29, 1820 in Conneaut Pennsylvania. He was devoted to his religion and a leading pioneer in the immigration to Salt Lake City. He was a builder who constructed sawmills, a cotton gin, furniture, wagons and even helped build pony express roads. He was also a farmer and blacksmith. He was a successful missionary and led 200 people from England to Salt Lake City.

Appleton kept detailed journals of his trek west from 1850-1853. His journals were published in a book called Appleton Milo Harmon goes West. It was interesting and sad to read about his trek the cold hard winters, surviving sicknesses and burying his sister Sophronia on the Trek to Salt Lake City. I was even more surprised to read about fear of attack from the Indians called the Omhawas. In his journal he told a lot of wild stories, including one story of when the Omhawas attacked and killed many people and cut off their noses in revenge. It was cool to learn from his journals that my ancestor survived attacks from Native Americans as well as the Cholera epidemic.

In 1862 he was asked to settle in Southern Utah. He settled in Toquerville where he built a lumber mill farmed and made furniture. In 1869 Brigham Young asked him to help build a factory for producing cotton In Washington Utah and it is still there today.

He did all of that along with having 12 children to take care of. It has been a great experience learning about my ancestor and reading about his experiences makes me realize how easy my life is. Tonight I won’t have to worry about crossing the plains, freezing, or being attacked by Indians.

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