David Milne, Husband of Ann Catherine Jarvis Milne

Life story as written by David Milne
Life history sketch as written by David Spencer Milne, grandson

David Milne was the son of John Milne and Margaret Scrymegour, born at Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland, March 13, 1832. He states he obeyed the Gospel at Manchester, England, in the fall of 1851, and was baptized by Elder Alfred Lamb shortly after. He wrote the following himself. His penmanship was very good.

I was very anxious to gather to Utah, but Father would not help me with means. I married Susan Young on June 10, 1856 at Dunkeld, Scotland. Our first child, John, died there in childhood. About this time, a number of farmers left that district of country for New Zealand. They sent back very favorable reports.

The idea struck me that Father might help me to go to New Zealand, then when I got means, I could go to Utah. I made this a matter of prayer and covenanted with the Lord, if He would open up my way, I would gather with the Saints. Father thought favorably of the enterprise, and said he would help me, which he did, to the extent of very near one thousand pounds of goods to start me in business there.

We sailed in the Bark Henbury, from London to Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1859 (about April 20). We were 125 days on the passage (landing in New Zealand August 23, 1859). We anchored out in the bay at Port Chalmbers—second night the ship was set on fire by the sailors poaching cargo. I and my wife lost all we had, leaving us nothing but what we stood in, also all our goods, and they were not insured.

My wife, Susan, gave birth to my son, Alexander Young Milne, two days after landing. We were kindly entertained by Mr. James Wilkie, Tailor, who knew our father. In a few days I commenced to work at my trade, painting, and was blessed in my labors financially.

In the beginning of the year 1865, while going to see about some of my work up town, the spirit of the Lord suggested to me that I was now in a position to gather to Utah. I stopped, went back to my shop, made up my mind there and then that I would sell out and gather. I have always felt thankful that I did not hesitate. That night I told my wife, Susan. (She had never been in the Church.) She said she would go where I went, so arranged my affairs the best I could in such short notice.

Then we went to Australia for a few months to visit my wife Susan’s brother, mother and sisters. We sailed from Australia to San Francisco in November, 1865, on board the Bark Albert; time on passage, fifty-seven days. I also paid the passage for on Joseph Spencer, and his family (who apostatized and joined the Josephites). I never got paid in full from him. Also brought Sister Howell. She died in Minersville.

A few days after landing at San Francisco, I wrote to President Young (January, 1866). He answered both by telegram and letter, counseled me to stay there until the winter was over.

Left San Francisco for Utah June 29, 1866, by way of Carson City, Nevada. Arrived in Salt Lake City August 20, 1866. Next day I called upon President Young. About the first words he said to me were, “Well, Brother Milne, you had to go around the world before you could get here.” I thought it strange, as I had not told him of my covenants with the Lord.

On October 4, 1866, my wife, Susan, and I were baptized by Bishop E.D. Woolley in City Creek; January 25, 1867, received our endowments; ordained an elder by Joseph F. Smith.

Called on the St. George Mission at the October Conference, 1867, arriving at St. George in November, same year. I was elected and received my commission as Captain of Company A Artillery, April 2, 1869.

I was ordained and set apart as Bishop of the First Ward, St. George, November 8, 1869. I was called on a mission to Europe at the first conference held in the St. George Temple, April, 1877. Before going, President Young invited me to receive my second anointings. I left St. George on my mission May 16, 1877. Arrived in Liverpool June 22. I was assigned to the Scottish Mission by President Joseph F. Smith. The Lord blessed my labors there. I baptized twenty new members, and rebaptized sixteen—in all, thirty-six; married two couples, blessed two children, organized three branches. Arrived home November 15, 1878.

In June, 1884, President Erastus Snow called me to go and superintend the painting work of the Manti Temple. Was there until its completion in 1889. At the present time, June, 1891, I have two wives and thirteen children; my wife Susan, and two of my children are buried in the St. George Cemetery.

The preceeding was taken from the Javan Jenson Family History web site, for which we are most grateful.


Written by David Spencer Milne, grandson, August, 1892.

David Milne was born in Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland on March 13, 1832. He was the oldest of ten children of John Milne and Margaret Scrymgeour. His father was an interior decorator and painter, which trade he taught to his sons. While on a trip to Manchester, England, David first heard of the Mormon Church, became converted, and was baptized on 13 March, 1851. He married Susan Young in Scotland on 10 June, 1856. She also became converted to the LDS Church and was baptized on 18 Oct. 1857. Their first child, John, died in Scotland in 1857 shortly after his birth.

David had long desired to gather with the Saints in Utah, but met great resistance from his father in his church activities. His father arranged to set David up in a business in New Zealand, and in the spring of 1859 they left England, arriving at Dunedin, New Zealand on 23 August, 1859. Two days later, the ship on which they had come to New Zealand caught fire and all of their belongings were lost. The day after their landing, their second son, Alexander Young Milne, was born on 24 August, 1859. After several years and being quite successful in his business, David felt able to continue his goal of gathering to Zion. In the fall of 1865, after visiting in Australia for a time with his wife’s family, some of whom had recently moved there, they sailed for America, landing at San Francisco, California in January, 1866. Susan’s health had been failing, since she had contracted tuberculosis, so they stayed in San Francisco until June, 1866. David hired a driver and carriage to take them to Salt Lake City, where they arrived on 26 August, 1866. David immediately called upon President Brigham Young, who went to the hotel where Susan was staying and gave her a blessing.

At the October Conference, 1867, David was called to the St. George Mission, where he arrived in November, 1867. He became active in the local militia, and was commissioned a Captain in 1869. He was ordained and set apart as Bishop of the St. George First Ward on 8 November, 1869. After the St. George Temple was begun in 1871 he did most of the painting and decorating of that temple. Previously, he had also worked on the St. George Tabernacle.

David married his second wife, Ann Catherine Jarvis, on 3 May, 1870, in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ann was the daughter of George Jarvis and Ann Prior Jarvis, pioneers in the St. George Mission. She was born in London, England on 27 October, 1848, and had walked across the plains with her family in 1861. She had been engaged as the nurse for the ailing Susan Young Milne, David’s first wife, and the two women were very close friends. It is said that Susan did as much of the courting in this second marriage as David did. Ann Catherine named her first daughter Susan Young Jarvis Milne after David’s first wife.

On September 10, 1871, David married a third wife, Anna Hess, a lso in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. She was born on 8 March, 1854 in Switzerland and came to Utah with her widowed mother, settling in the Santa Clara area. Evidently Susan Young Milne had not been consulted about this third marriage, and it was somewhat disturbing to her and to Ann Catherine also.

At the first Conference held in the newly completed St. George Temple in April, 1877, David was called on a mission to Europe. He left St. George in May, 1877, arrived in Liverpool, England in June, 1877 and was assigned to the Scottish Mission, where he labored for a year and a half, returning home in November, 1878. His first wife, Susan Young Milne, died on 19 January, 1881.

In June, 1884, David was called to superintend the painting work on the Manti Temple, where he worked until its completion in 1889. David took with him to Manti Anna Hess Milne and her four children, plus George Jarvis Milne, Ann Catherine’s oldest boy. Anna’s last two children were born at Manti, but the last born survived only a few days.

In April, 1890, David was called to Salt Lake City to work on redecorating the Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall. This took about two years, and he returned to St. George in 1892. While in Salt Lake he was accompanied by Ann Catherine and her two youngest children, Josephine and Joseph. He was in poor health following his return to St. George and was not able to do much work of any kind. He died on 5 July, 1895, and was buried in the St. George Cemetery.

His children were as follows:

By Susan Young: John Milne, 1857-1857; Alexander Young Milne, 1859-1929.

By Ann Catherine Jarvis: David Milne, 1871-1878; Susan Young Jarvis Milne, 1873-1947; George Jarvis Milne, 1875-1930; Athole Jarvis Milne, 1877-1976; Erastus Jarvis Milne, 1879-1949; Margaret Jarvis Milne, 1882-1920; Josephine Jarvis Milne, 1884-1982; Joseph Jarvis Milne, 1889-1951.

By Anna Hess: Fanny Hess Milne, 1872-1872; Mary Hess Milne, 1874-1942; Kenneth Hess Milne, 1879-1895; Elizabeth Hess Milne, 1881-1962; Jessie Hess Milne, 1884-1929; Anna Hess Milne, 1886-1970; and Catherine Hess Milne, 1888-1888.

Sources: Autobiographical notes by David Milne, written in 1891 and “Life of My Father,” by Josephine Jarvis Milne Hamblin, undated.