Abraham Mueller (Miller) and his Family
Abe was 26 when he left for the Revolutionary with the militia. At its end he was 34 years old. Catherine Clopper had waited for him throughout the war. On his return they married immediately. Before the war he inherited from his father, Christian, the farm at Stony Ridge, MD.
Their first child, Susannah Miller, born June 5, 1784, was soon followed by another daughter, Catherine on August 15, 1785. The family days were spent at beautiful Stony Ridge and their days were filled with chores, babies, religion, fun while attending attending other weddings and funerals. Abe's uncle David made his will January 20, 1795 and asked "to be buried decently by my children within my orchard fence." David's farm was along the Potomac River near Sharpsburg. He settled there in 1783. Upon his death, Abraham Miller had become the patriarch leader of the family. Washington Co. records show that David had come there in 1763 and that he was a German from Rheinpfolz.
Abe Miller was born in Germany in 1749. Their Kinsman John Miller was in Maryland and was buying many tracts of land and had come to the new country with money to so. Records show that Abe and his father Christian were in Dorchester Co. before 1760 which would make Abe 11 years old and not a grown man when he arrived in an American port. Christian was involved in the Seven Years War in Germany.
John Miller owned the Rocky Ridge tract and then Christian owned it, leaving it to his oldest son Abe. Between Sharpsburg and Funkstown, the countryside was dotted with related Millers. As their sons grew to manhood and married, more cabins and stone houses would go up in the wilderness settlements. In 1740's there were few pioneers in western Maryland, and those early settlers arrived there through old Indian paths.
One of the first settlers was John Hager, who cleared the swampy lands and built a stone house directly over a spring giving his bride, Elizabeth Kirshner, the first "indoor-plumbing" of Fredrick Co. His wife was one of the very few women then in his area in 1740 when they married. Jonathan had his surveying done on his tracts in October 1739, just ten years before John Miller purchased his western section south of Hagers.
Jonathan was ambitious, in his two-story house, he kept a room for his growing fur trade and bed chambers were ready for the family he hoped to have that would take root in his land. He planned to lay off lots for a town and he was determined it should be named in honor of his dear wife: "Elizabethtown". It was 28 miles from what later would become the bustling Frederick Town to the east, and Hager founded that little settlement in 1762, just as planned.
As more frontiersmen made their clearings close to Hager's Trading Post, like John Miller, and others either from Maryland or from Pennsylvania, the settlers kept calling it Hager's town despite it's founder's firmly expressed wish to honor Elizabeth Hager. The majority won out simply from everyday habits and it became Hagerstown. German ministers were hard to come by and the Millers and Hagers welcomed even Moravian preachers as they passed their way. Hager gave land to the German Reformed Lutheran Church to be built in his settlement; he helped the workmen and supervised its building. On November 6, 1775, a long, heavy plank the men were lifting to the second loft level fell on Mr. Hager, while he was helping the carpenters secure it - he died on that day leaving son Jonathan Jr. and a daughter to inherit his vast estate.
After the birth of on March 18, 1786, Catherine Miller gave birth to her first son born at Stony Ridge, John Miller, would wait a long time before he took a wife and then he would marry twice in Ohio's wilderness. Abe Jr. born January 31, 1787, Catherine must have died and little Elizabeth Clopper, her sister, came to take care of Abraham's toddlers and the new baby. They were her blood and kin and she loved them - and she loved Abe. It must have been a trying time for her during those years seeing her sister married to the man she, too, loved. Between 1787 and 1788 Elizabeth Clopper became the wife of Abe Miller and their first child was born May 31, 1789, baby Elizabeth Miller, Abe's fifth child.
In 1790, Abe decided to ride northward to visit Huntingdom Co. in Pennsylvania for their Sharpsburg friends, the Fouse and Brumbaugh families had migrated into the valley of Morrison's Cove along Clover Creek. Both Fouse and Brumbaughs, were former neighbors of old David Miller. Grandpa Brumbaugh left first with sons in 1788 to seek a less expensive section, for by 1788 tracts were already settled in Washington Co. MD. The pioneer wanted to buy up a larger piece of virgin land for less and then he would be able to leave more acres for his sons - land was the gold they were after. The more settled a frontier became, the more money land cost and parcels became smaller. All this mountain valley land was not tillable for there were swamps and hills and the best was already taken.
Abe road past Chambersburg on into the mountain valley where his uncle's friends resided and he was persuaded to join them. When he returned to his farm near Reisterstown, Elizabeth wasn't ready to move to a strange place without some deep thinking and it would take time to find a buyer for Stony Ridge. Then son Henry Miller was born in 1792. Abe became more interested in migrating when he saw more and more of their friends leaving to go west to "Caintuck" or into the Shenandoah Valley or into the northwest of Pennsylvania. Fouse and Brumbaugh had sold him on the north.
Elizabeth's first wedding had apparently been performed simply and quietly by a Justice of the Peace; unlike her older sister, Elizabeth wanted a church wedding and especially a wedding read by a Lutheran ordained minister. If she was going to move with seven children to that Clover Creek wilderness, and no church, she insisted on being married at Hager's church. Abe obliged and they were married in the German Reformed Church in Hagerstown by the minister Rev. Jacob Weimer on April 28, 1793. Now Elizabeth felt married spiritually as will as legally. All the Clopper-Miller children knew only Elizabeth as their mother. Catherine lay buried behind Stoney Ridge cabin, deceased early in 1787. Elizabeth's last child, Lewis, was born March 17, 1794. The location of his birth is not known - whether at Washington Co., Maryland or Clover Creek in Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Miller died in 1796 and her grave is in the cemetery of the church in what is now Blair County in Pennsylvania's Morrison's Cove.
When Abe migrated to Pennsylvania, he purchased 170 acres in Huntingdon Co. (October 27, 1796 - Book E, No. 1, Huntingdon Co., PA, Page 428). He paid 200 pounds to William Phillipa. He also bought 50 acres from Phillip Hartman (Book G, No 1, Page 511, October 3, 1799). This tract was 4 miles north of Nicholas Fouse's farm and along Clover Creek. Later Abraham sold a parcel of 4 acres from his land to Adam Sorrick. When this deed was filed (June 27, 1798), we find that he was a Widower as the deed has only one signature.
Along the Clover Creek in Pennsylvania, Abe built along the creek in a beautiful valley near a spring and again, he improved his farm with well-built cabins, barn, and cleared fields for grain and cattle. The farm was situated on both sides of the creek. The Clover Creek public road, leading to Williamsburg, passes near the spring and the buildings, which are 3 miles south of the town and one mile north from the Union Church and graveyard.
His little family ranging in ages from 12 years old Susannah to the baby Lewis, not yet 2 years old, eight in all, tried to manage for two years without a mother. Abe continued to teach them their bible stories, but it was difficult for young Catherine and Susannah to try and mother the younger children. Abe was in his prime years at 49 years old and needed a wife. With his children's approval, Abe married neighbor Sabilla Lauer. Some sources have her name as Savilla. It was a complete home once more and he could offer her a comfortable house filled with pieces of walnut furniture he had fashioned. Abe was an expert cabinet maker and his son John was adept at it in later years. The third wife and Abe had one offspring born in 1801, Christena. Their Clover Creek farm was to become one of the best on the charming valley of Clover Creek.
In the cabin along Clover Creek, strict attention was placed on keeping fires going at all times in the huge fire places in each cabin. There were no matches and if one fire did go out, the children had to run to the neighbor's place and request a burning ember to bring home, rain or shine. There were no schools and parents, after evening prayers, would teach their off-spring simple numbers and reading and writing.
During Colonial times, more women tended to outlive their men; in these post-war periods of western migrations, more men outlived their wives and were marrying and remarrying for a woman was needed for survival. There was always work to be done and with babies every year or two, many wives died before they reached 30 years old. They were very fortunate to reach 50.
While the family lived on the farm, their records show that the Wm. Penn family paid Abraham for clearing a right-of-way for construction of the "Horseshoe Curve" portion of a proposed railroad north-west from their property.
Abe's Clover Creek farm, nested in the fertile Huntingdon Valley, was becoming the best, most improved place among these clearings; the spring flowed constantly with fresh water and his barns were filled with excellent stock and grains, Sabilla hoped they would never have to leave it. They had everything they needed - except a church.
In 1806 Nicholas Fouse, the Brumbaughs, the Nicodemis families and Abraham Miller started planning for such a building. They discussed this among the other Germans and settlers and formed a committee to supply this need. Young Abe Miller Jr. was already "eyeing" Elizabeth Fouse and the day would be coming when there would be a marriage for all these youngsters growing up and German Lutherans thought that a church was the only place for a "joining" and Baptisms of their children was their duty. Here we can conclude that these two families were friends for many years. Three of the Miller children - Abe Jr., Elizabeth, and Christina all married Fouse children.
The Millers were taking root along Clover Creek. One mile from Abe's farm rose the new Union German Reformed Church. It was completed in 1810. Here were former Hessian soldiers who had liked what they had seen while fighting against the American patriots as paid mercenaries. Some settled near other Germans.
When the next war approached in 1811-1812, these patriarchs ordered their sons to go when called. It was their duty. Abe Miller, now 62 years old, did the same. Their boys drilled in the Fouse farmyard and formed their own militia. Abe had been urged to remove to Ohio's wilderness by some of his Clopper kinsmen, John and sons - Henry and Daniel Clopper. In 1808, John and his sons left Beaver Co., Pennsylvania for Ohio's Lawrence Twp in Stark Co. While felling trees for a clearing, John was killed when a large branch struck him.
Finally Abraham Miller and his son Abe Jr. rode their horses over the mountains and visited Stark Co. - they liked what they saw. Even at the age of 63, Abe was in prime condition and the urge to migrate was still in his mind. It was the lure of the land. Abe and his son felled some trees on a section they liked with the thought that these would hurry the building on a section they liked with the thought that these would hurry the building of a cabin one day when they came back to stay, They had some talking to do to convince Savilla and the girls.
Back in Huntingdon Co., Abraham was offered top price of $5,850 for his farm of 216 acres by Michael Bosler. It was in a perfect spot, fields were cleared, buildings were expertly fashioned, the barn, the house, the spring, the workshop cabin and orchards, formed what was most certainly called - an improved farm. Not all pioneers were expert builders - some could hardly build a simple fence. Buyers with money would much prefer to purchase such a place. Abe signed his document April 13, 1812 and the Clover Creek farm belonged to Michael Bosler, but he would not move until the Miller family left it.
On June 13, 1813, Abe and his son rode once to the land office in Ohio and purchased the two sections of land they had earlier requested. Each section was 640 acres and Abe paid $1,344.48 for both of them. Before they journeyed back over the mountain path, they felled more trees so there would be a field for their grain, and logs for a barn. During the war, they chose to remain in Pennsylvania until they found their sons were not called for service. They were far from news of strife between the United States and Britain, but the militia still drilled. Michael Bosler started to press for his farm. He was anxious to move in and Abe decided the time had come to migrate to his Ohio acres. Should his sons be called to duty, they could ride to the lakes to the north for militia duty.
Before they left, Abraham Jr. married Elizabeth Fouse in the Union Church on Clover Creek in 1814. The bride and groom had their own wagon covered with heavy Osnaburg cloth. Abe's was a larger Conestoga Freight-type wagon covered with the same cover, over the looped hickory rods. Other wagons accompanied them with their furniture and household needs and made shelters for their many children. This was a slower trip over a trail filled with tree stumps, rocks and on stormy days, the ruts and mud made traveling impossible for the wagons. The jolting and squeaking wheels accompanied the sounds of his stock being driven by his sons to their new home.
By June 1814, he set about his task with muscles of strong German sons to erect the first cabin. There was just one problem, The family stories relate that for those first days it rained a gentle constant rain. The Miller women and Elizabeth Fouse Miller tied sheets together to spread over bushes and small trees so they could cook without being hit directly by constant spray and droplets - it was depressing especially when the wolves howled. It did nothing but rain day after day for three days before the cabin was completed. When the roof was on, the women rushed into the house before the walls were even daubed and sealed. Abe promised Savilla he would build a real house for them - just give him two more years. He did. Abe Jr. and Elizabeth lived in the original cabin until their own house was completed. Abe Sr. had made a good trade. Now he had 1280 acres pus $4,500 in coin pieces.
The Miller Family Descendants of Abraham (Mueller) Miller I - by Dr. Richard E. Werstler, Ed.D.
Stark County Library - Stark County Genealogical Society, December 2003
These were stirring times and after considering the situation of the Revolutionary patriots he enlisted as a private in a company then recruiting near Funkstown. See Records of Maryland Troops in the Continental Service during the War ofAmerican Revolution 1775-1783, - "Capt. Henry Hardman's Return, made July 19, 1776. Passed by Henry Shryock, July 19, 1776: page 51, Abraham Miller." "A List of Recruits belonging to the German Regiment Commanded by Lieut.-Col. Weltner, White Plains, September 5, 1778;" page 267, Abraham Miller, 9 months. The same reference, page 324, "A List of Substitutes Furnished by the Different Battalions after their being Classed in Order of the Draught Frederick County, - Passed June 3, 1778 Abraham Miller, Jr., 9 months, German Regiment." We thus have records of Revolutionary service apparently for both father and son at the same time, with terms of service coinciding.
To serve as a soldier was nothing new to Abraham Miller, Sr., as from tradition we learn, he had served in the Seven Years War in the army of the German Kingdom before coming to this country. There is not a record of the full number of engagements in which he participated, but it is known that he served with his company and regiment in the following battles: Stony Point, Brandywine, Germantown, Trenton, Monmouth, at the siege of Yorktown, and was with Washington's army at Valley Forge. He fought with credit to the close of the war, and then was honorably discharge. After their discharge, these soldiers returned to Funkstown, the place of their enlistment.
Abraham Miller Jr.
Elizabeth Fouse, daughter of Nicholas and Margaret (Brumbaugh) Fouse, was born August 11, 1788. She married Abraham Miller, Jr., March 10, 1814. He was born January31, 1787, the son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Clapper) Miller. A few days later the father and son and their wives, and family started on their trip to Ohio. They used a Conestoga wagon and a team of horses. They had no shelter in Ohio, so they camped under a large maple tree. They slept in the wagon at night for refuge from large brown wolves and other wild animals. They soon erected a small log house, which was occupied for some years until a better one could be built. The farm was purchased June 24, 1813, part of Southeast Quarter, Section 4, Plain Township, Range 8, six miles north of Canton, Stark County, Ohio, where they resided during the rest of their lives. They were among the pioneer settlers of the state and were members of the Reformed Church at Cairo, Ohio. Goods for the supplies of merchants at Canton had to be hauled by teams from Pittsburg, a distance of 100 miles. When in need of salt and sole leather, whey would take a load of wheat to Cleveland, a distance of 50 miles. There were many swamps in Ohio. Early settlers suffered much from fever and ague. In those days all were producers but few customers. Land was cheap and cash very scarce.
In 1764, the George Miller family was in their log cabin about 12 miles south of Woodstock, Va. The daughter was in a little bedchamber that was attached to the main cabin, for she was sick that day when the Indians attacked. Her father and mother and a younger brother and sister were in the other room. When she heard the agonized screams, she jumped out the window in the back and ran into the forest seeking kelp, which was at least 1 mile away. She could hear more shots and screams as she ran frantically down a path toward Newell's place. She found Newell, a young fellow, and related what had happened. Newell jumped on his horse, taking his gun, to ride back to the Miller's place. Somewhat farther on she found 16 year old Abraham Bowman. She shouted out her story hysterically and at first he didn't believe he or misunderstood. When he did he rode his horse to join Newell.
When Abe Bowman drew near along with a couple of other men he's aroused, they found a burning cabin and Newell bent over two dying little children bleeding to death. George and his wife were already dead, shot and hacked. The Indians were gone, a small band of them, and only a large German Bible was saved from the fire. The little girl who had run for help was cared for by her kinsmen.
George Miller along with Christian (son of John) and his brother David Miller had leased lands in Frederick Co. in all three names. It was leased for life, they had 186 acres there belonging to Daniel Pittenger in the Manor of Monocacy. William Miller had been with them in Dorchester Co. in 1760, but he and George had removed to the Shenandoah Valley. After the above tragedy, William Miller sold his right to 500 acres of land int he Virginia mountain valley and sold all his stock of cattle and horses. Then he moved to South Fork near Fort Royal. As Christian Miller did not call them brothers in his 1781 will, it is assumed they were cousins.
Abe Miller had no trouble with Indian raids in Pennsylvania, but in the 1790's some of their former Washington Co. and Shenandoah Co. friends, who had gone west to Kentucky, were undergoing painful experiences with Indian attacks at their Stations, which were small log forts.
Robert and Ruthanne Miller
Ruthanne, age 86, passed away October 24, 2009 at Friendship Village Healthcare Center after lengthy battle with Alzheimer's and the loss of her soul mate. She was born April 5, 1923 in Logansport, Indiana. Preceded in death by her parents, Ellis and Mary Alice (Boyer) Butterbaugh and by sister, Bernice (Butterbaugh) Dewitt. Ruthanne graduated Valedictorian of her class at Arcola High School, Ft. Wayne, Indiana in 1941. She worked full-time as an Armature Supervisor at General Electric and part-time as a waitress at Jackson's Restaurant in Ft. Wayne. Ruthanne attended Sinclair College after moving to Dayton and studied shorthand and typing. She worked as a secretary at A.O. Smith for several years and part-time in appliance sales at Rikes. Ruthanne was a stay-at-home mom while their children were small. She kept busy being Bob's secretary for his many businesses and associations. As their children were in middle school, the Miller family fostered 23 infants, straight from the hospital at only a few days old, while the babies were waiting for adoption finalization, which usually lasted 6-8 weeks. The last two babies were a set of twins, who stayed for nine months. As the Miller children went into high school, Ruthanne went back to work in a secretarial position at the City of Trotwood, where she stayed for over fifteen years. It was at the Jackson's Restaurant in Ft. Wayne, that Bob first met Ruthanne. He would stop there at night for his fourth meal of the day, rushing thru the restaurant to the bathroom, telling her what he wanted, and when he came out, she would have his meal on the table waiting for him. They were married on September 3, 1947 at the Ft. Wayne Church of the Brethren and just celebrated their 62nd anniversary this year. Bob and Ruthanne were members at Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren in Dayton. They participated in the church bowling league for many years. Bob and Ruth both loved the outdoors. They planted huge vegetable and flower gardens and had many animals that came to live at the farm over the years including the cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, steers, and donkeys. The buffalos next door even came to visit the garden one summer day long, long ago. They built their dream house next door in the field and lived there 35 years. The bare field was transformed into a beautiful landscape with the many varieties of trees and flowers that were planted over the years, creating a natural wall of privacy. Another favorite pastime was playing cards. Ruthanne played Bridge with ladies in the church and as a couple they played Pinochle with several friends every month. Anytime there was a family gathering, after all the good food was eaten, the cards or games would come out. They enjoyed playing Euchre, Poker, Canasta, or Yathzee. In addition to the fabulous meals Ruthanne would prepare, she also loved music, whether she was playing the clarinet in the band in high school, playing the piano or just listening, you would always catch her tapping her toes. Bob and Ruth moved into a cottage at Friendship Village eleven years ago. Ruthanne liked to tend to her small flower gardens. Bob took advantage of the woodshop to create treasures for family and friends. Bob enjoyed wearing tee-shirts with clever sayings and he was known for always having his toothpick. Robert and Ruthanne are survived by a daughter, Robin (Miller) Bobak, and a son, Rodney (Debra) Miller and three grandchildren, Patrick Bobak, Daniel Miller, and Ashley Miller; and numerous very close friends that will always be considered part of 'our family'. A "Celebration of the Lives" of Robert and Ruthanne Miller will be held on November 15, 2009 at 1:00 PM in the Convocation Room at Friendship Village, 5790 Denlinger Road, Dayton, Ohio. A private burial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Interment Fairview Cemetery, West Alexandria, OH. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren and Trotwood Church of the Brethren. The family would like to thank the staff at Friendship Village for the tender care and attention provided during their final days, the numerous physicians and nurses who have been following and cared for them, and the friends who visited and made their days brighter during these past several months. Their memories will be cherished by all that knew them - they are together forever.Published in the Dayton Daily News on 11/13/2009