This blog entry shall deal with finalizing, almost, the lands of Elder Daniel Miller (1755-1822). Elder Daniel owned land that today lies along the Upper Bear Creek Road of Miami township, Montgomery county, Ohio. When he owned it, and prior to that, the land was owned by Elder Jacob Miller (ca. 1838-1815). Normally to plat land it is fairly easy to transcribe a single deed and overlay that onto high-quality scans of the Montgomery County, Ohio Atlas of 1875. In this instance it is difficult as that particular section, in 1875 versus the early 18th Century, had been cut up into differing tracts. In other words, it was not easily done because of intervening deeds. To rectify this it fell upon me to pull all the deeds, at least those that were recorded for this section, which led to some discoveries.
Towards evening Abrahan Degart of "Bateson Creek" also arrived. I also found a man from New York, who is a cousin of Bro. Edmons. The Brethren have often lodged with him. He loves us and intends to visit Bethlehem. On March 16-27, I asked the Lord very urgently that, as I was to enter Virginia to-day for the first time, he should show me the right persons and places. I had hardly entered the house again when Abraham Degart offered to take me to "Batesons's Creek" [Patterson's Creek], where we arrived late, but safely, in the evening. On March 17-28, I went up to the South Branch. I had to climb a terrible mountain, and at the same time it rained very hard. I came to an Englishmiian, Daniel Onar, who showed me much love, and soon afterwards to a German, named Kasselnman, in whose house I felt a peculiar grace. The people sat around me and gave me an opportunity to speak to them. They would have liked to give me a horse to Matthaes Jochem, if it had been possible to take it across the South Branch. The weather being so bad Mr. Kasselman accompanied me three miles, he took me across the South Branch and assisted me in getting a horse from an Englishman, named Collins. Kasselman said to him: "Mr. Collins, here is a friend, who would like to hire one of your horses. Let him have one, and if he runs away with it, I will pay you for it." Whereupon the Englishman was not only immediately willing to give me one of his horses, but also asked me to preach in his house to the English people living there. I replied that I would be willing to speak as well as I could, if there were people willing to hear of the Saviour, and I appointed a sermon for the 18-29th, at four o'clock. Then I rode awav. During the night it became so dark that I could no longer see the way. I went astray several times, and finally, late at night, eight miles this side of Matthaes Jochem's, I came to a Germarn, nanmed Heiter, with whom I stayed over night. Early on the 18-29th, I went to Matthaes Jochem's. On the way I met several English people, who asked me for an English sermon, which I promised them. I appointed an English and German sermon for the 21-31st at Matthaes Jochem's. The visit of our Bro. Schnell is still a blessing to that house. At four o'clock in the afternoon I preached at Collins.' I felt very
He was the first settler there. He was very courteous when he heard that I was a minister. I asked him for the way to Carolina. He told me of one, which runs for 150 miles through Irish settlements, the district being known as the Irish tract. I had no desire to take this way, and as no one could tell me the right way I felt somewhat depressed. I asked the Lord to show me the right way, but slept little that night.* On the 21st, immediately after arising, one of the servants came to me and told me that two miles from there a man lived, who could tell me the right way. I went to him. He was very kind and quite willing to tell me the way. His name is Stephan Schmidt,† a Catholic, but hungry to hear the word of the cross. Many spiritually hungry people, of German nationality, live there, who have no minister. I bade him farewell and went magazine. Rev. Mr. Schnell again visited him in 1749, as shown in the October number, 1903, of the Magazine. Kercheval, in his History of the Valley, makes many references to him, always spelling his name Joist Hite. His real name was Jost (Joseph) Heydt, which fact is attested by many of his deeds recorded in the county clerk's office of Frederick county, Va. He was careless as to the correct spelling of his surname, and it is stated upon the authority of one of his descendants that he spelled it in three different ways on the same day in the execution of three deeds. He was not, as has been so persistently claimed in recent years, the first white settler in the Valley of Virginia. Adam Mueller (Miller) had lived for fifteen years on the South Branch of the Shenandoah when naturalized by Governor Gooch on March 13, 1741-2, which proves, beyond question, that he located there either in 1726 or 1727, while Hite, according to Kercheval, made his settlement on the Opequon, about five miles south of Winchester, Va., in 1732. As to the settlement of Miller, see William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. IX, No. 2, p. 132; also Vol. X, No. 1, p. 84, and Vol. XI, No. 2, p. 127, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. As to Hite, see Kercheval's History of the Valley, p. 41, et seq. * The way indicated to the missionary would have led him through the present counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge and Botetourt, then, in the fullest sense of the term, the land of the Scotch-Irish. Why an inoffensive missionary should have dreaded the prospect of a journey through their country, is a question to be answered by the historians of that race. † He is also mentioned in Schnell's diary of 1749. See Virginia Magazine, Vol. XI, p. 129.