Harmon, Appleton Milo


Appleton Milo Harmon was born in Conneaut, Pennsylvania on 29 May 1820. His mother, Anna, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when Appleton was thirteen. In 1841, four years after the rest of his family had been baptized at Kirtland, Ohio, Appleton joined the Church. He married Elmeda Stringham at Nauvoo, Illinois in 1846.

Appleton crossed the plains to Salt Lake City in 1847 in the Brigham Young Company. It was on this journey that he constructed the famous odometer invented by William Clayton. The following year Appleton returned to Winter Quarters, Nebraska to help his wife and other family members immigrate to Utah. In 1850 he was called to serve a mission to England. Appleton returned to his family three years later.

Appleton and Elmeda lived in Salt Lake City until 1862 when Brigham Young called them to help colonize southern Utah. Their daughter, Maybelle, later reported that this was “much to Appleton’s sorrow” (Carter, Heart Throbs of the West, vol. 3, 20). The family lived in several southern Utah towns before Appleton decided to move to Holden, about 150 miles to the north, in 1872.

He was an excellent mechanic and built sawmills in Salt Lake, Washington, and Millard Counties. He built furniture for the residents of St. George. Appleton also constructed a cotton factory in Washington County, for which he received $1000 payment from Brigham Young.

Appleton and Elmeda had eleven children, nine of which survived to adulthood. “App” died on 27 February 1877 at the age of fifty-six in Holden, Utah.


Carter, Kate B. Heart Throbs of the West. Vol. 3. Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1941.

_____. Heart Throbs of the West. Vol. 12. Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1951.

_____. Our Pioneer Heritage. Vol. 2. Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1959.

Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1966.

Harmon, Appleton Milo. The Journals of Appleton Milo Harmon: A Participant in the Mormon Exodus from Illinois and the Early Settlements of Utah, 1846–1877. Edited by Maybelle Harmon Anderson. Glendale, CA: Arthur H. Clark, 1946.

                        Jenson,                         Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. Andrew Jenson Memorial Association, 1936.

Stringham, Guy E. “Appleton Milo Harmon: Builder in Zion.” Master’s thesis, BrighamYoungUniversity, 1970.