History of Abigail Daley (From “The Life and Wives of Milo Andrus”)

“The Life and Wives of Milo Andrus” is a readers’ theater play researched and written by Laura Anderson and DeLane Andrus Hyer in 2007.  In the play, the histories of Milo and his wives are presented in first person. This is the part of the play about Abigail Daley. Go here to read the entire play.


I am so glad to be with you today! My name is Milo Andrus Jr., son of Milo Andrus and his second wife, Sarah Ann Miles. I was born in Liverpool during my father’s mission to England. I was a sickly baby, and Mamma who was ill herself, had a difficult time while in England. She died while I was still young; however, I was not left without a mother’s care, as I was fortunate to call 11 women mother. All wives to my father, Milo Andrus— but, I’m getting ahead of myself.

We lived in a time when it was desired of the Lord for his people to practice the principle of plural marriage. It may be hard for you to understand this principle we were asked to live; but, one can appreciate the sacrifices we made to do so. My father married his first wife, Abigail Daley in 1833. When he was 19 and she was 18.


My name is Abigail Jane Daley, I was born in the year 1815, on the 26th of January. My husband, Milo Andrus, was a tall, blond, blue eyed man with broad shoulders. When he was 15 he paid his papa, Ruluf, $150 dollars which freed him from his obligation to work for his father until he was 21 ( see footnote 2). We were married on the 14 of February in 1833, shortly after; I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the same church my husband had joined in 1832 (see footnote 3). Milo was made an Elder in our new church and left for his first mission in May of 1833. When the call came for men to join an army called Zion’s Camp to help the Saints under attack in Missouri, Milo heeded the call. He left our home in Florence Ohio, in company with Orson Hyde, his former teacher and room mate. They had to pass through East Norwalk, where Milo’s father was waiting with the Sheriff to stop him. The brethren fooled them when Orson Hyde made inquire after the Tiffin Rd at Ruluf’s establishment. Then took off on the Mansfield road and was long gone before Ruluf realized he had been tricked.

Zion’s Camp was a march of trial and testing, and in the end much of the leadership of the church was selected from this small band of just over 200 men (see footnote 4). Along with other members of Zion’s Camp, Milo was set apart as a member of the first quorum of seventy (see footnote 5), In 1835 and left immediately to serve another mission.

Milo helped to build the Kirtland Temple. Later, he was called to preside over the Branch in Florence Ohio with a charge to move the Branch to Missouri, near Far West. We moved to Goose Creek, Caldwell County, Missouri in 1837. Milo and my brothers were among the brethren attacked by the Missouri mob at the Battle of Crooked River, where they had gone to rescue Nathan Pinkham Jr., William Seely, and Adison Green who had been taken prisoners. About 200 men on horse back came searching for Milo and James, my brother. My sister clothed James in a dress and sent him out, fooling the whole mob. Milo was in the field at the time and averted detection by the mob through the use of alias names we had previously chosen. When the antagonists inquired who he was, they were told “John Mapes” The men then rode out to the field and asked Milo who he was, and he said, “John Mapes”. At this they rode away.

 Along with my Daley family members, we were driven from our home at Goose Creek in the winter of 1839, and allowed to settle in Adam’s County, where Milo’s Aunt and Uncle Hancock also moved. We had peace for a while; but five years later in 1844 we had to move to Nauvoo because of persecution. Milo was called as Bishop of the 5th Ward there. When the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were martyred, Milo was on a political mission, seeking support for Joseph Smith’s run for president of the United States. He hurried back to Nauvoo just in time to see their bodies and to sneak into Carthage to check on John Taylor and perhaps his sister Lucina, who was living there.

 In 1848 we headed in opposite directions, Milo left for England with his new wife, Sarah Ann Miles; and I took our 5 young children and walked across the plains to Salt Lake City, with the Heber C. Kimball Company. It was hard to see the feet of my children cracked and bleeding from the journey. Our survival in Utah was very difficult, food was scarce and we ate weeds. I made bread from my ‘last bit of meal” (footnote 6) and then, went behind the house so as to not watch my children eating, as I was hungry myself.”

 I had a difficult time accepting polygamy and so I left Milo after his return from England and married another, Elisha W. Vannette, until—he too— took a plural wife, and then I left him as well. Finally, in 1886, I shed my resentment toward polygamy and remarried Milo, the husband and love of my youth.


  1. Andrus, Milo. Mission Journal – Liverpool, England, 1848-1850.
  2. Andrus, Milo. Autobiography.
  3. “In March 12th, 1832, I found myself in the kingdom of God” Andrus, Milo. Twenty-Eight Years’ Experience Among the Latter-Day Saints. Millennial Star Vol 22 # 25, June 23, 1860. (http://www.rulufandazuba.org/original_docs/18600623-milos_testimony.pdf)
  4. History of the Church Vol 2, pg 183,  third edition, revised. Published by the Church.
  5. History of the Church Vol 2, pgs 201-208, third edition, revised. Published by the Church.
  6. ABIGAIL JANE DALEY written by Stella Fisher Brossard, granddaughter


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