An American Journey
The Genealogy of the Curbow-Montoya Family
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Sketch of the Life of John Elmer written by Hannah E. Elmer
John Elmer was the son of William Elmer and Mary Kibbe, born 22 September 1776 or 1778 in Somers, Tolland County, Connecticut. He was a man of large stature and great strenth; he measured six feet tall, was one of the substantial and reliable citizens, though not much in public affairs. He was of genial temperament and pleasant humor, good to the poor, honest, upright and sympathetic. He as reared a farmer and continued to cultivate the soil during his life. On leisure days he would sit and split shingles and shave them. He was noted as being one of the best shingle makers in his native state, as well as in Utah. He made the first shingles in Utah as there were no machines. They brought a good price. Being one of the first settlers in Utah, he endured many privations and hardships. The country was uninhabited, except for Indians, and it took a long time to gain an influence over them, even to let the white settle among them. Many lost their lives, victims to the Indians. John had no enemies, beloved by all, he was a sincere Christian, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A kind and affectionate father and devoted husband, and up to the last hour of consciousness on earth, he maintained that calm serenity and abiding confidence in his faith and died in full belief of a glorious resurrection. Although 92 years when he died, his intellect was bright, he could converse on any subject. He married Sarah (Polly or Sally) Peake (Peaque). They had five sons and four daughters. In the spring of 1838, they started west by horse team. They stopped to rest at Oreon, Ohio, where his wife and oldest son, Samuel, took typhoid and died. He moved on to Adams Co., Illinois. In the following spring, he married the widow of Symour Bronson or Brunson (Harriet Gould), who had three small children. They stayed in Illinois until about 1843, then sold out and moved to Lee County, Iowa where they took up a farm. They later moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Here he sent his son William, and wife Hannah, back for his two daughters, who had remained in the East (San Prairie, Lee County, Iowa). In the spring of 1852, they all crossed the plains, arriving in Great Salt Lake Valley on October 3, 1852. He later settled in Payson, Utah County, Utah, where he died on February 28, 1870. The Priesthood record of John Elmer is: Baptized July 1831, by Haxon Eldridge, confirmed July 1831 by Abraham Butterfiled. Ordained a High Preist by William Shaw in 1848. He was endowed 30 March 1852 at Winter Quarters. Other notes of history: Moved to Adams County, Illinois late fall of 1838. After reaching Illinois, John and his sons began to build a cabin to live in. As soon as the walls were up and a roof on, father and sons went out to work as their supplies were running low. While away, the cabin, with all their possessions, burned to the ground. They managed to find enough work to buy more clothes to live through the winter. After John married widow Brunson, they all went to live at her house.