Some history about my great-great grandfather, from an old file I had kicking around on an old hard drive: John Brewitt Milner.
JOHN BREWITT MILNER
John Brewitt Milner was born 27 Jan. 1830 in Gringley, Nottingham, England, the son of John Milner and Ann Johnson. John Milner was a shoemaker from Mattersey, Nottingham, who was christened 8 Jan. 1802. Three children were born to John and Ann. The first, about 1826 was a little daughter who died in infancy. The second born about 1828, a son named George who died as a young man. The third, John Brewitt, was born following the death of his father John, 9 Sept. 1829.
John Brewitt was raised by his mother Ann Johnson Milner with love and understanding. She cared for all his needs as she saw fit and necessary. She was his tutor at first, and later provided other tutors. He responded well and enjoyed reading. He said of himself that he could not remember the time when he couldn’t read.
He has written, “At the age of ten years I had read the Bible through from: the first to the last page completely three times. I attended a Methodist Sunday School from the time I was five years until twelve years old. At the age of thirteen, I heard a Latter-day Saint Elder preach and I knew that his words were true and in accord with the scrip- true. I became fully convinced of the truth of Mormonism and a year later I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” His baptism occurred on 4 Feb. 1844, and one year later his mother accepted the gospel and was baptised 4 Feb. 1845. They both continued to be active in their new found faith and looked forward to the time when it would be advisable to go from their home in England to the new land and be among the people and the leaders in Salt Lake City. Now as far as financial matters were, Ann probably had sufficient funds to make the journey, and true to her training she prepared ahead of time for such a voyage and in the meantime kept her house in order.
Her son also wrote: “At sixteen I was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood and soon thereafter I was appointed to accompany the Branch President in his visits to the neigh- boring villages to preach the gospel.
JOHN B. MILNER DIES AT PROVO
Deseret Evening News, October 17, 1912, p. 8
Active for many years in civic and religious affairs in Utah County, Provo. Provo, Oct. 17 – John B. Milner, 82 years old, for many years a prom- inent lawyer and active in civic and religious affairs in Utah County, died at the family residence here this morning, at 10 o’clock, of in- firmities incident to old age.
Mr. Milner was born in England and came to Utah in 1850, coming dir- ect to Provo, were he has made his home ever since. He was said to be the oldest member of the Bar Association in Utah. He was teacher of the first public school ever held in Provo, in the Third ward, and all his life was interested in educational affairs. He acted as secretary to President Brigham Young when the president came to Provo and was always ready for any service that might be required at his hands. At one time Mr. Milner was collector of internal revenue and served for a number of terms in the city council of Provo. He had been city attorney, county attorney, county surveyor, justice of the peace, and had been a member for one term of the territorial legislature. While George Q. Cannon was delegate to Congress from Utah, Mr. Milner was in Washington and sometimes acted in a clerical capacity for Mr. Cannon.
He is survived by three sons, three daughters and numerous grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.
JUDGE J.B. MILNER IS LAID TO REST
News Oct. 21, 1912, p. 9
Provo, Oct. 21 – A large assembly of relatives and friends gathered at the tabernacle yesterday at the funeral services of Judge John B. Milner. The Utah County Bar Association attended in a body. Bishop O.H. Berg of the First Ward presided. A biographical sketch of the deceased was read by H. F. Thomas. The speakers were Judge H. F. Thomas, Judge S. R. Thurman, Elder A. J. Evans of Lehi, President Joseph B. Keeler, Elder David John and Bishop Berg. All the speakers testified to the useful life and valuable public services of the departed, his ability as an attorney and in other lines of work, his eloquence as a public speaker, his integrity and love of truth and justice, and his faith in the gospel, which he had embraced as a boy.
Vocal selections were rendered by the Tabernacle Choir. The opening prayer was offered by Elder John S. Boyer, and the benediction by Elder S.S. Jones. The pallbearers were Albert Jones, W.K. Spafford, Joseph S. Berry, James A. Oliver, A.J. Southwick and Roy Passey.
The following committee of the Utah Bar Association were appointed by Judge J.E. Booth Saturday to draft resolutions of respect to Judge John B. Milner: J.W.N. Wite- cotton, George J. Packer, A.L. Booth.
From Winter Quarters and across the plains John Milner made the acquaintance of Esther Elizabeth Yardley Thurman, a young widow and her small son Thomas Edward Thurman. She emigrated to Utah in 1852. After living in Salt Lake for a year, she moved to Provo, where she married John B. Milner in 1854 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (March)
Their children were:
- Benjamin Franklin Milner b. 19 Sep. 1855, Provo
- John William Seaton Milner b. 8 Nov. 1857, Provo
- George Brewitt Milner b. 28 Feb. 1861, Provo
- Sarah Ann Milner b. 29 May 1862, Provo
- Mary Victoria Milner b. abt. 1864, Provo
- Lillie Jane Milner b. 4 Mar. 1866, Provo
- Isabella Yardley Milner b. 17 Oct. 1868, Provo
John Brewitt Milner married 2nd. Catherine Steiner, 1 Apr. 1870, in Salt Lake City. She was born 5 Feb. 188 (error) in Bern, Switzerland, daughter of Johan Steiner and Maria Ysenschmied. Their son Heber Joseph Steiner was born 6 Aug. 1871 in Provo.
He married 3rd, Margaret Penbroke 20 Oct. 1875 in Salt Lake City. She was the daughter of James Earl Pembroke and Sarah Day. No issue.
He married Ann Smith 9 Feb. 1888 in Logan, Cache, Utah. She was born 11 Apr. 1846 in Keithley, Yorkshire, England, daughter of Samuel Smith and Hannah Roper.
Update: From my Dad’s cousin Thomas Milner talking about John Brewitt Milner on a Facebook post:
“John Brewitt owned several papers including the Democrat and in St John’s Arizona, JBM purchased the local Newspaper and renamed it the Apache Chief.
Some years ago Glenn Ray Milner, John Brewitt Milner Great Grandson through George Brewitt Milner, told a story of Grandfather Milner going on a [LDS] mission to Arizona, he was an attorney at the time (John Brewitt Milner I’m referring to) and was defending a Polygamous man.
This story was told to Glen Ray by someone in Arizona and had no documentation, so after pondering the story bothered me so, out I went looking for documentation, and found a historian from St John’s who sent me a photo copy and verified that Grandfather Milner owned the Apache Chief.
James Thomas Jakeman also owned various Newspapers through out Utah.
His wife Ellen Lee Jakeman not only wrote for the Milner owned Democrat, but was active in the Democratic party in the late 1800s I found a new article in that paper were Republicans were accusing the church for putting in all the Democrat leaders because the major portion of church members were Democrats in the late 1800s it made me laugh as I have heard in my lifetime just the opposite. But there it was in Grandfather’s paper.
Both John and Ellen were leaders in the Democratic party and it’s listed in Grandfather’s paper, if I ever get this book you will see these documents.”