Life History of Sarah Ann Miles

Sarah Ann Miles was born on March 9, 1818, at Salsbury, Gallia County, Ohio. Her parents were Thomas Miles and Sally Seager. Sarah’s brothers and sisters were Adrian, Admiria, Albert, Benjamin Franklin, Sophia, Noah, Lucinda, Benajah, Belinda, Nathan, and Henry Seager. We know nothing about Sarah’s childhood.

The next record we have of her life shows that she was married to Chauncey Sellew on July 7, 1841. Chauncey was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, on March 3,1806, but moved to Mendon, Illinois, in 1838. Sarah and Charles had one daughter, Lavinia Maria, who was born on February 16, 1844 most likely in Mendon, Illinois.

When the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints carried the gospel message to her home, Sarah Ann was convinced of the truthfulness of it. She began her journey to Utah with her baby and her brothers. They traveled with a group of saints under the leadership of Captain Thomas Casper.

Sarah’s husband, Chauncey, was not converted to the teachings of the missionaries, nor did he want his child taken from him. With others, he overtook the travelers and demanded that Sarah return their daughter Lavinia to him, threatening violence if she denied his demand. This was a test for Sarah. She did not make the decision alone. Her captain advised her to return the child to Chauncey, stating that he felt sure that they would be united again. Her test was a difficult one, but her decision was made and she was obedient to authority. Sarah never saw her daughter again. By 1850, Chauncey had taken his daughter, Lavinia, and had moved back to live with his parents in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Chauncey died in Glastonbury on the 1st of June 1878 and was buried in the Green cemetery in Glastonbury. Lavinia married John Cameron in 1882 and had two children before she passed away in Glastonbury November 24, 1917.

Sarah married Milo Andrus Senior on January 1, 1848, and they were sealed on February 27, 1848, at Winter Quarters by Brigham Young. Shortly after their marriage, they left for a mission to England. Sarah gave birth to Milo Jr. on September 30, 1848, at Liverpool, England.

Milo Andrus kept a diary from February 1849 until his return to Council Bluffs, Iowa, on April 21, 1850. In his diary he frequently mentioned that Sarah and Milo Jr. were in poor health. On the homeward voyage, Sarah Ann and her baby were sick most of the time. Milo wrote that it was through the blessings of Heavenly Father that their lives were spared.

The family crossed the Atlantic in the sailboat Argo, a trip that required eight weeks and three days from Liverpool to New Orleans. Then they sailed up the Mississippi River on board the steamer Uncle Sam and landed in Council Bluffs in May. Council Bluffs, then known as Kanesville, was the headquarters for a substantial LDS presence in western Iowa. Thousands of Latter-day Saints stayed there for a time before they could relocate westward to Utah. In Kanesville, Milo was chosen as a captain over fifty-five wagons to make the trip to the Salt Lake Valley. They arrived in Salt Lake City on August 21, 1850.

Sarah’s husband Milo wrote in his diary, “When I contemplate the many hardships that the Church has gone through, it causes me to marvel that so many have lived as they have and taken the pressure.” He might well have been thinking of the sufferings and afflictions of his dear wife who suffered separation from her first husband and child; years of ill health for herself and baby, far from friends and relatives; and being deprived of a comfortable home, proper food, nursing, and medical care. Sarah died on November 28, 1851, and was among the first to be buried in the Holladay Cemetery.


One Response to “Life History of Sarah Ann Miles”

  1. Laura Anderson on September 2nd, 2008 12:56 pm

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