Appleton Milo Harmon

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Appleton Milo Harmon (May 29, 1820 – February 27, 1877) was an early member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a leading pioneer of the emigration to Salt Lake City and the settlement of Utah Territory. Harmon was born in Conneaut, Pennsylvania, the son of Jesse Pierce Harmon and Annie Barnes, he married Elmeda Stringham in 1846. He was devoted to his religion and was an industrious and multitalented builder who constructed sawmills, a cotton gin, pony express roads, furniture, wagons, and worked as a farmer, blacksmith and other trades.

Harmon is often remembered for building an early version of the modern odometer using the conceptual designs of William Clayton and Orson Pratt. It was placed on the wagon of Heber C. Kimball, and was key to the accuracy of the emigrant's guide later published by Clayton.[1] This "Roadometer" was built in 1847 during the trek of Brigham Young's vanguard company, and it improved the efficiency of logging the daily mileage, information that was vital to subsequent travelers of the Mormon trail.

During the 1847 trek, Harmon was left with 9 other men to operate a ferry across the North Platte river located near present day Casper, Wyoming [2]. After settling in Salt Lake City in 1848 he prospered, living in downtown Salt lake city, building one of the first sawmills and farming near where Sugar House Park is now located. Harmon kept a detailed journals of his trek west and his 1850-1853 mission to England that have been published. On the trail heading east in 1850, he saw throngs of gold miners heading west in the second year of the California gold rush, and he was an eye-witness to, and a survivor of, the tragic cholera epidemic that decimated the participants. In 1851 he visited the famous Crystal Palace exposition in London. He had success on his mission and led a company of about 200 Latter-day Saints from England to Salt Lake City on his return [1]. In 1862 he was called to settle southern Utah. After experiencing floods of the Virgin river in Grafton, he settled in Toquerville where he built a lumbermill, farmed and made furniture. In 1869 Brigham Young called him to oversee the design and construction of a factory for producing cotton fabric. The building that housed the factory, located in Washington near St. George Utah, still stands, although the cotton production ended soon after the railroad arrived in the 1870s [2]. In 1870 Harmon moved to Holden Utah where he built another lumbermill. He and Elmeda had 12 children.


  1. ^ Schindler, Harold, ed. (12 October 1998). "In Another Time". In Another Time: 18–26. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via JSTOR.
  2. ^ "Crossing the North Platte River -". Retrieved 12 October 2018.


  • Anderson, Maybelle Harmon. The Journals of Appleton Milo Harmon (Arthur H. Clark Company, Glendale, 1946), ASIN: B000EIPPVW

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