Histories of Milton Datus Hammond

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Grandfather of Grandpa lrus Hammond.

Milton Datus Hammond was born Oct. 7, 1831 in Randolph, New York. As a young boy he moved several times within the state of New York and then in Michigan. He enlisted as a private in the Michigan Regiment for the Mexican War in July 1847. He marched to Mexico and returned without doing any fighting.

He and his father started for California in 1850. They arrived in Salt Lake City and were compelled to stay in Utah to earn money. He accepted a position as a teacher and became a convert to Mormonism, being baptized on March 30, 1851.

He married Lovisa Miller and left the same day on a mission to Sanpete county to assist in protecting settlers from Indian depredations.

He was a member of the Salmon River Company of settlers, this company was called as missionaries in 1856, he presided over a branch of the mission known as the Lower Fort, 2 1/2 miles north of Fort Lemhi.

Following is an excerpt from his diary:

"While loading our loads we noticed that the Indians were traveling toward upper fort in small bodies, yet there seems to be a great many of them. We began to fear that they did not mean any good by the coarse they were taking. We all loaded up our loads and started with 2 loads of hay and 2 loads of wood, there being 5 of us. We left lower fort about 1:00pm. Soon after we started we could see that the Indians had taken the herd and was guarding them on the bench that the trail crosses about 1/2 way between the 2 forts. We took the lower road and had not gone but a little ways before the Indians see us and commenced getting and rushing towards us. Just before we got to the crossing of the creek they began to surround us and shot at O.L. and myself, we being close together. ... They kept firing at us and riding in circles close to us. We could hear the Indians whooping and also heard 3 guns after we had got into the brush. We could see that they had set our loads on fire. We could hear the Indians drive the cattle as they were passing us."

After it was over 2 men were killed, several badly injured, one scalped. By order of President Brigham Young the mission was abandoned.

He served as an officer in the Nauvoo Legion from 1850 to 1870, part of the time as an aid to General Brigham Young's staff. In October 1870 he was ordained a high priest and Bishop by President Young.

He served in many Church capacities throughout his life, living most of his adult years in the Cache Valley area.

He had a large family, 4 wives, and 26 children. He labored as an officiator in the Logan Temple for 12 or 13 years. He was at the Temple on Friday, January 13, took sick on Saturday and died on Sunday, January 15, 1905.

Milton Datus Hammond

Milton Datus Hammond was born October 3, 1831 in Randolph, New York. His mother died when he was 13. At 19, he started for California with his father and arrived in Salt Lake City on July 22, 1850 but through loss of teams, they were forced to stay in Utah. He was baptized a member of the [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] the next year on March 30, 1851. He gave up the idea of going to California and became an energetic worker in the Church.

He married Lovisa Miller on December 11, 1853. Together they went on a mission to San Pete County to help protect settlers from the Indians. They returned to Salt Lake City in July 1854.

He was called to be a missionary in the Salmon River Co. He served as branch president at Lower Fort. Trouble with the Indians made them decide to move to Fort Limhi. They were doing this when the Indians attacked and killed two missionaries and wounded others.

Brigham Young abandoned the mission and they returned to Salt Lake City on March 27, 1858 in time to participate in the general move south. Brother Hammond stopped at Mona, Utah for several years. He was a church leader.

He moved to Cache County in 1864. He served as Bishop in Providence, Utah (1870-1877) then as second councilor to the President of the Cache Stake. He was a trustee of Brigham Young College. He was appointed Church Agent and Superintendent of the Alberta Canal in Alberta, Canada.

He married Lovisa Miller on December 11, 1853 [and they had] eleven children. He married Freelove Miller in 1864. They had eight children.

Milton married Chesty Transtrum (the great-grandmother of LaRue, LaRee, Alta, and Nancy Holbrook) on March 25, 1872. Milton and Chesty are the parents of seven children including Horton Hyrum Hammond and twins Diantha and Diana. His fourth wife was Emeline Tibbits [with whom he had four children].

When he died on January 15, 1905, he left two wives, twenty-six children, and fifty-six grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. Gone before him were two wives and four children.

Sketch of the Life of Milton Datus Hammond

Milton Datus Hammond, only son of Nathaniel Robinson Hammond and Alzina Spencer, was born October 7, 1831 in Randolph, Chenango Co. New York. When he was still young his father moved to Bataive, Genessee Co. New York. Then when he was six years old his parents moved to Maume in Ohio and lived there for one year. Milton was sick all that year. They moved next to Hanover, Jackson Co. Michigan, living there one year. They then moved to Jackson, still in Jackson County, where his father was made Deputy Keeper of the State Prison. Here they lived for three years. Milton went to school all the time here. His father then went into the mercantile business with his two brothers Issacher and William and they moved to Mason, Ingham Co. Michigan. They had moved around trying to find a place where his mother might have better health. She had been ill with consumption since her child was born, but she grew steadily worse, however, and died in Mason in the year 1844 when Milton was thirteen years old. Milton went to live with his grandparents Randoll and Amy Spillman Spencer in Hanover, Michigan. He lived with them a year and went to school. He then got a job, clerking in his Uncle William's store, so went back to Manson, then for one more year. Then he secured a job working on a farm of his uncle David Weatherman, his father's brother-in-law in Summersett, Hillsdale Co. Michigan. He worked there for a year when he married Lueretia Bristol, widow of Charles Bristol, so he went to live` with them in Moscow, Hillsdale Co. going to school winters and working on the farm summers. The last winter that he attended school was in Albion to the Wesleyan Semmoha Seminary, boarding at Dr. Prochard's. The following summer he worked on his father's farm.

Milton enlisted as a private in the War with Mexico in the Michigan regiment in July 1847. he marched to Mexico and returned a year later -July 1849- without doing any fighting. The rest of the time he attended Summer School and went to teach school that fall in Hillsdale. He continued to teach till April 1850 when he started with his father to California. They crossed the Missouri River May 27, 1850 and reached Salt Lake City on July 22. Since they had lost a team they were compelled to remain in Utah instead of going on to California.

He worked at farm work for Daniel Arnold Miller of Farmington until school started when he accepted a position as teacher in the Farmington schools. He studied Mormonism and became converted and was baptized March 30, 1851 by Gideon Brownell. Consequently he abandoned the idea of going to California and became an energetic worker in the cause he had espoused.

He fell in love with Lovisa Miller, daughter of Daniel A. Miller and Clarissa Pond Miller. They were married December 11, 1853 and started the next day on a mission to Sanpete Co. to assist in protecting settlers from Indian Depredations. They returned from Sanpete in July 1854. He left Salt Lake City on October 11, 1856 as a member of the Salmon River Company of L.D.S settlers. This company was also called missionaries. Milton Hammond presided over a Branch of the Mission at a point known as Tower Fort which was located two and a half miles north of Fort Lemhi. During the month of February 1858, the Indians were so unfriendly that the brethren decided to move the Branch to Fort Lemhi. While in the act of moving, they were attacked by the Indians on the 25th, and two of the Missionaries were killed - James Thaddus Miller and George McBride and others were wounded.

When Milton Datus Hammond was called on the mission, his wife was in delicate health, and it was very hard for both of them to have him go leave her. For they knew it was a dangerous mission on account of the unfriendly attitude of the Indians. But they felt that a call from the President of the Church must be accepted mo matter what obstacles had to be surmounted. So he went and had a Patriarchal Blessing. And in this blessing he was promised Divine protection and that he would return in safety. He was divinely protected. When the Indians made the attack the men started to run, being out numbered six to one. Milton was running by the side of his brother-in-law James Miller when he slipped and fell down in the tall grass and brush. Only a few seconds later his brother-in-law James was shot and killed. Milton would have been too if he had not fallen out of sight.

By order of President Young of the L.D.S. Church the Salmon Mission was abandoned. The company started on the return trip to Utah on March 27, 1858, reaching home in time to participate in the general move south at the approach of Johnson's Army which came to Utah to exterminate the Mormons. The Saints left their homes with a feeling that possibly they would never return to them. But through the protecting care of their Heavenly Father they did return a few months later and found their homes and surroundings as they had left them. They lived at the present site of Mons, Juab Co. where for several months he was secretary of the 40th Quorum of Seventy and later its President.

He moved with his family to Cache valley in the summer of 1864. He had a good education and was very anxious that his children should have the same, so he gave them the best the schools could afford. He always saw the humorous side and enjoyed a good joke and a good laugh. He was sympathetic and kind and considerate of his family and associates. He would play with his children like one of them but when the play was over they knew their place and knew they could not take undue liberties.

From 1850 to 1870 he served as a member of the Nauvoo Legion and a Aid to General Brigham Young. He was ordained a High Priest and Bishop under the hands of Pres. Brigham young in October 1870 and presided over the Providence ward in Cache Stake until 1877 at which time he was set apart by Pres. Young as Second Counselor to Moses Thatcher, President of Cache Stake, and labored in that capacity until the reorganization of the Stake in 1879. He served as a Trustee of the Brigham Young College in Logan from its establishment till 1890. He was Probate and County Judge of Cache Co. from March 1874 to August 1883. He also acted as Church Agent during the construction of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. In 1898 he was appointed Church Agent and Superintendent of the Alberta Canada 1 in southern Alberta, Canada, which was completed in 1900.

For twelve years he was an Officiator in the Logan Temple and was laboring there at the time of his death. He was in the Temple on Friday, January 13, too sick Saturday, and died Sunday January 15, 1905.

Milton Datus Hammond helped pioneer the Valley, standing guard against Indian attacks, fighting grasshoppers and crickets that their crops might be saved, and going hungry with the rest of the people when crops were destroyed.

Through his fair treatment of the Indians, many of them became his lifelong friends and they befriended him in many ways. He learned to speak Sioux languages and talked to them, and they said: "Hammond has a big heart."

He died, leaving a large family. He had four wives, two of whom survived him, as did twenty-six children, fifty-six grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. Two wives four children preceded him to the Great Beyond.

Transcribed by: John Bowman
Summer 2002

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