Monday, October 22, 2012

The Life He Was Meant To Live

Milo Andrus (1814-1893)

My third great grandfather

me --> Bruce Albert Buchanan --> Robert Amos Buchanan --> June Miller Eckstein Buchanan --> Lavenia Andrus Miller McComb-->Milo Andrus

Milo Andrus is probably the most famous Mormon ancestor I'm related to.  His home is one of the sites at This is the Place Heritage Park.  

Most of the stories I know about Milo Andrus are about his later years.  He brought three handcart companies across the plains, including one that had two of my mother's ancestors in the company.  But recently I discovered a story he wrote about himself and his father.

When Milo's mother died, Milo was 15 years old.  He says that he "bought the balance of [his] time until [he] was twenty-one of [his] father."  I'm not exactly sure what he means by this, but all I can conclude is that he was considered to be an indentured servant or apprenticed to his father and wouldn't be released until the age of 21.

How much do you think he paid for his freedom at the age of 15?  


How much do you think that is in today's dollars?


As hard as it is to imagine having over $3000 at the age of 15, it's even harder to imagine giving it up just to be free of my father.  Milo must have had great conviction at such a young age to know that the life he was living was not the life he was meant to live.  

Milo joined the church a couple of years after he had bought his freedom.  Within of month of his baptism, he left his new bride and began missionary work in Ohio.  At one point, he was to travel to Mansfield, Ohio to join the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith.  Elder Orson Hyde was to lead the group.

To get from Huron County, Ohio to Mansfield, Ohio, the group needed to pass by Milo's father's home which was by Lake Erie in Henrietta.  His father caught wind of the plan and decided to get the sheriff to help him stop Milo at the county seat in Norwalk.

When Elder Hyde, heard of their plan.  He came up with a plan of his own.  He made inquiries about a road to Tiffin to make Milo's father and sheriff think they they were going to avoid Norwalk.

Not wanting to take over Milo until he camped, his father and the sheriff decided to wait until the end of the day.  During that time they, as Milo describes it, "drank freely."  Finally, in the evening they set out toward Tiffin to find Milo's camp.  Well into the night, they got tired and decided to head back home.  The next morning they discovered that Milo was 40 miles down the road on the way to Mansfield.  Realizing they had been duped, they gave up and went back home.

By this time, Milo knew he was living the life he was supposed to live, and nothing, not even his father or a sheriff, was going to get in his way.

No comments:

Post a Comment