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Biography of Samuel Miles the son of Samuel and Prudence Marks

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSS7599
Image of Biography of Samuel Miles the son of Samuel and Prudence Marks
Image of Biography of Samuel Miles the son of Samuel and Prudence Marks


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Samuel Miles autobiography must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Miles (1826-1910) was a teacher and farmer in St. George, Utah. He served in the Mormon Battalion.

Samuel Miles Jr., son of Samuel Miles Sr. and Prudence Marks, was born on April 8, 1826 in Attica, New York. During the winter of 1833-1834, after moving to Freedom, New York, near to the Warren A. Cowdery (brother to Oliver Cowdery) family and receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ though Elders John Murdock and Orson Pratt, the Samuel Miles Sr. family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1835, to follow the saints, the Samuel Miles Sr. family left Freedom, New York for Missouri, and then in 1839 to Nauvoo, Illinois.

Samuel Miles Jr. was educated at the University of the City of Nauvoo under the tutelage of Orson Pratt, and became a teacher in various schools and counties, including Hancock County. He left Nauvoo with the Saints in 1846, but enlisted freely in the Mormon Battalion after arriving in Council Bluff, Iowa in July of that same year. After arriving in San Diego and moving to San Francisco for work near Sutter's Mill, he traveled with a group of Battalion men to the Salt Lake Valley, arriving on September 10, 1848.

On September 6, 1849, Samuel Miles Jr. married Hannah Marinda Colborn in Salt Lake City, Utah. The couple had nine children, eight of whom grew to adulthood. In January of 1851, he was ordained a Seventy in the 8th Quorum. He farmed and ranched on his own land, but also returned to work as a schoolteacher. In the fall of 1861, the Samuel Miles Jr. family was called by the Mormon Church to assist in the cotton mission in St. George, Utah. The family moved and settled in St. George, and Samuel continued work as a teacher. In 1874, he took part in the short-lived St. George United Order as a laborer. By 1875 he began working on a farm in Price, Utah. The St. George Temple was dedicated in 1877, and Samuel Miles spent the majority of his time for the next several years farming and teaching to earn a living for his family and working at the temple, completing work for his ancestors. Samuel Miles died on May 22, 1910 in St. George, Utah.

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Barbara Guisinger in 2009.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Barbara Guisinger; 2009.

General Note

Manuscript biography, with thirty-two pages of a handwritten life story by Samuel Miles. The story includes a life summary from 1826 to 1851, and short yearly summaries for each year between 1852 and 1881. The text includes information that is particularly familial and spiritual, but often references broader historical events that contextualize his life. He mentions several events in Mormon history including the violence in Missouri, his reaction to the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, and the settlement of the cotton mission in St. George, Utah. Also described is the contention between states on the verge of Civil War in 1860, and the Gold Rush at Sutter's Mill.

General Note


Processing Information

Processed; Audrey Spainhower, student manuscript processor, and John Murphy, curator; 2010.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States