Much of the following comes from the writing of Sarah, daughter of Daniel and second wife, Hannah.
Daniel Arnold Miller was born 11 Aug 1809, in Windham (or Lexington, according to his daughter, Sarah, from a later marriage), Green County, New York, the 6th of seven children born to James Gardner Miller and Ruth Arnold. Mother Ruth died 5 Sep 1816 in New York. Father James ultimately died in Nauvoo on 27 Aug 1845, at the age of 74. Whether James ever joined the Church is not known. Daniel was a 4th generation American on his father’s side and a 7th generation American on his mother’s side.
At the age of 20, Daniel left home with his brother Henry, sister Sally, brothers James and David, and their father, and went west to Chicago with Daniel and Henry working as carpenters. From there they moved and located on Bear Creek, near Quincy, Ill., where they purchased some government land and erected and operated a steam grist and saw mill that prospered. At this place, they became acquainted with the Pond family. Both brothers ended up marrying sisters. Henry married Elmira Pond 19 Nov 1831 and Daniel married Clarissa Pond 29 Dec 1833, when he was 24 and she was three years older at 27.
Clarissa Pond, also a 7th generation American, was born 18 Jan 1806, the 6th of 13 children born to Thaddeus Pond and Louisa or Lovisa Miner. Thaddeus was born in Vermont and died in Adams County, IL on 29 Aug 1847, at the age of 77. Louisa was born in Connecticut and also died in Adams County, IL on 31 Oct 1844, at the age of 68. The Ponds and the Millers were among the locals in the Quincy area when, in Feb 1839, many Latter-day Saints, driven from Missouri, arrived at Quincy. Citizens met to adopt means for their relief. The Millers joined in the relief effort and becoming interested, investigated the Gospel, and were baptized the following Sep 1839. They all joined the Church, being baptized by Elder Able Lamb, who, with others of the Saints from Missouri had settled nearby. Just prior to their baptism, their brother James Miller died 30 Aug 1839, leaving a wife, one son, and two daughters.
We have the record that Daniel was baptized 8 Sep 1839 at the age of 30. Clarissa would have been 33 at the time of Daniel’s baptism, when she may have also been baptized (we do not have the record), which was either three days away from giving birth to daughter Susan, or one week after giving birth. At the same time, they also had three children, 4 and under. Lovisa, born 1 Oct 1834, would have been 4, almost 5. She married Milton D. Hammond, and died 11 Dec 1884. Jacob, born 9 Dec 1835, would have been 3, almost 4. He married Helen Mar Cheney. James Thaddeus, born 19 Dec 1837, would have been 1, almost 2. He was killed by Indians at Fort Limhi on 15 Feb 1859, at the age of 21. Susan Hulda, born 1 (or 11) Sep 1839, was either one week old or 3 days away from birth. Susan married William Van Orden Carbine. Two other children were born after they joined the Church. Clarissa Jane, born 1 Aug 1841, married Oscar Rice, and died 15 Feb 1896. Daniel Arnold, Jr. died at birth on 8 Oct 1843.
One unverified report says that within a year of his baptism, Daniel was made a bishop. In 1840, Nauvoo having become the center for the Saints, and following their desire to live closer to the other members of the Church, the Millers exchanged their property in Adams County for a farm property in Hancock County, 3 miles south of Carthage, the county seat, 18 miles from Nauvoo. Only a small portion of this land was under cultivation, nearly one-fourth was covered with time, which was hickory and walnut.
Henry and Daniel soon enrolled in the Nauvoo Legion and aided in building the Temple and Nauvoo House. Henry took his family up the Mississippi River to the pine country, erected a mill and with the help of others, sawed most of the lumber for the Temple and some for the Nauvoo House. When he returned, he was one of the Prophet’s guards.
They soon had most of their land under cultivation, raising mostly corn, some other grains and hay. Some fruit, large and small, was growing on the place when they got it.
Henry and Daniel were ordained high priests by either the Prophet Joseph or Hyrum Smith in November, 1840, in Nauvoo. (Their father was ordained a high priest by Henry a few days before his death on 27 Aug 1848.) Their sister, Sally, died 21 Oct 1841, unmarried. Daniel served as a missionary to Indiana in 1842, returning in the spring of 1844.
The martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum on 27 Jun 1844 caused much grief and anxiety. Henry went to Nauvoo to see what action would be taken. Daniel stayed home with his sick wife, who wept bitterly at the news of the death of Joseph and Hyrum. Her sickness continued until on 1 Sep 1844, in Carthage, IL, just three months following the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum, Clarissa died of tuberculosis, at the age of 38. Daniel was 35 years old and daughter Susan was almost to turn five. She was buried near Carthage.
Four months later, on 29 Dec 1844, Arnold married Hannah Bigler, near Carthage. They ultimately had ten children. In 1846, Daniel and Henry sold their property and in the spring of 1846, crossed the Mississippi, joined with the advance companies in the general westward ove of the Saints. They joined others in building bridges and doubling teams over the almost impossible muddy roads of Iowa.
On 24 Apr 1846, the advance reached a place on the east fork of the Grand River, 145 miles west of Nauvoo, which they named Garden Grove. After unloading their wagons and tents, the Millers and others went back with their teams to move forward the less fortunate Saints. The companies started from Sugar Creek, nine miles from Nauvoo. The advance teams were 55 days making roads and bridges, doubling teams, etc., and traveling 136 miles.
On 11 May 1846, they started on with part of the companies and on the 18th arrived at the middle fork of the Grand River, 27 miles further, where another settlement called Pasgah was established. They were delayed here a few days then moved on to the Missouri River arriving about the middle of June. Here the Millers bought some land from a Frenchman named Hildreth near Misquito (sic) Creek, later called Council Bluff, which was about 9 miles east of the river where several families temporarily located and where headquarters were made for the enrolling of the Mormon Battalion, consisting of 500 men. Four companies were enrolled during the middle of July. Col. Thomas L. Kane and Captain Allen with Brigham Young and others were present. A liberty pole flying the American Flag was the enrolling place. Many married men enrolled, leaving their families camped in wagons to be cared for by others. A number of men were selected to provide care for these families left behind by their enrolling husbands. Henry and Daniel were among those selected to provide this extra care. Some of the first log cabins erected were for the families of the Battalion volunteers. Daniel was called to serve as a bishop in Kanesville, Iowa, 1846-1847.
In the fall, after the people were housed in log cabins, President Young called them together and arranged to have a large tabernacle built for meetings, amusements, dancing, etc., to cheer the despondent, which he named a “JUBILO.” When asked what a Jubilo was, he said it was half way between a jubilee and a jubiline. With merrymaking, dancing, etc., the saints might be called a happy company of exiles.
That winter, while the snow was deep, most of the stock was taken up the river some distance, where for want of hay, soft wood trees were felled so they cold browse on the leaves and limbs.
In 1847, the Miller’s uncultivated portion of land was broken up and planted mostly in corn, and with the usual incidents to frontier life, another winter passed.
The two brothers had operated with all things in common, from their locating in Illinois, to sitting at the same table, and no questions asked as to which animals belonged to which brother, and they always stayed together in everything, until in the spring of 1848, it was arranged between them that Daniel should move west to the Great Salt Lake Valley, the place selected by the pioneers of 1847. Daniel was asked to head a wagon train going west and Henry was asked to remain and help take care of the Kanesville settlement saints.
So Daniel assisted in bringing immigrants to Utah in 1848. Most of the moving west was done by ox teams. The outfit Daniel had consisted of 4 ox teams with two yoke of oxen each and a team of horses driven by his wife Hannah, and one more horse to drive loose stock, 7 cows, a small herd of 17 sheep, 4 pigs, and 5 chickens. Daniel was made a captain of part of the company. After a very tedious journey of making roads, building bridges, ferrying wagons across rivers, losing stock and many other hardships, they arrived in Salt Lake Valley 4 Sep 1848. Daniel located on a small tributary of the North Cottonwood Creek.
In 1850, Daniel was called, in connection with the apostle George A. Smith, Thomas S. Smith, and J.S. Robinson, with 30 families, to locate a settlement in little Salt Lake Valley.
Daniel left his family at home, the farm to be cultivated by his two sons, Jacob (15) and James (13), and assisted by Milton D. Hammond (19), who also taught school there in the winter. Daniel returned from locating the settlement in the Salt Lake Valley in time to aid in getting the crops in and preparing for winter. In the fall of 1850, brother Henry Miller came to Salt Lake Valley with the mail. After a short visit, he returned to Kanesville.
In Sep 1852, Daniel was called by President Young to go back to Kanesville and bring another company west in the spring of 1853. He spent the winter visiting acquaintances and preparing the saints to move on to Utah in the spring. Daniel left Winter Quarters 9 Jun 1853 and arrived in Salt Lake City 9 Sep 1853, with an ox team of the last saints from Pottawattamie County, Iowa, consisting of 282 souls, 70 wagons, 27 horses, 480 head of cattle and 152 sheep.
Daniel and his family settled north of Salt Lake in Davis County, where he was Treasurer of Davis County, Utah. He was asked to take another wife, which he did, Eleanor (or Ellen) Williamson, whom he married on 15 Feb 1857. They had four children, followed by Ellen dying soon after the birth of her fourth. On 2 May 1858, Daniel moved to help settle Parawan, in southern Utah. Returning to Salt Lake, he and his brother ran sheep on Fremont Island.
In 1869, Daniel went east to visit his oldest sister, Susannah Wilcox, and other relatives and to gather genealogical data of his ancestors for temple work. Soon after the St. George Temple was completed, he went there with his wife, Hannah, and did temple work for his ancestors and among other work, he was sealed to his first wife, Clarissa.
Daniel and his family lived in several places, including Farmington, UT where they were asked to live the United Order, consecrating all his property, $3,871, to the Church. He dedicated his life to the doing the things the Church asked of him. He was a director of ZCMI, a farmer, and a stock raiser. (Early Settlers and Pioneers of Utah)
In 1881, Daniel’s health was poor and it was proposed for him to take a trip to Cache Valley and visit two of his daughters and other realtives who lived there. He also visited the Logan Temple that was being erected at that time, but not completed. He was taken very sick at the home of his daughter, Lovisa Hammond, at Providence, Cache County, UT, where he died 4 Dec 1881. He was a noble man, true and faithful to the Church, to his brethren, and to his God.