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.
Today’s blog, the first in a series that will hopefully be an on-going explanation of what I am presently working on, is about the various Brethren Miller families who were early settlers of Montgomery county, Ohio. The opening section below is some comments about the Miller families of note, followed by what I am working on at this time. In essence there are three Miller families that interest me, and I am not even remotely related to any of them, so, to that end, here goes.
we came to Colonel Crissop,* at night, pretty well tired out. He received us very courteously. He asked at once whether the Brethren had received his letter which he had sent to them through his son. He referred to several tracts of land which the Brethren might buy. Several other people were with him, a gentleman from Maryland and a servant from Virginia, to whom he gave all kind of good information about Bethlehem, and also about the conversion of the Indians. On November 1st, Colonel Crissop told us yet many things about the good sections of land that could be had. He also showed us on a map where the Six Nations live. We traveled from Mr. Crissop over the North Branch, and in the afternoon came to Urban Kraemer. As he was not at home, we crossed the South Branch and came to the place of a Hollander, Peter Peterson, where we stayed over night. On November 2nd, as on the "Elders' Festival" [an important Moravian festival] we intended to remain quietly at one place for the whole day, but as we found no good place to lodge, we traveled the whole day up along the South Branch, thinking meanwhile of our dear Bethlehem. Leaving the mountains on our right-hand, we passed the place where the Mohawk and Catawba Indians fought a battle.† * Colonel Thomas Cresap, who came to Maryland from England in 1686, then aged fifteen years, and died at the age of 106. He was active in the French and Indian wars, and was the father of Captain Michael Cresap, the alleged slayer of the Indian Logan and his family. This long accepted story is vigorously controverted by M. Louise Stevenson in the April number, 1903, of the West Virginia Historical Magazine, pp. 144-162. Cresap Town in Alleghany county, Maryland, represents no doubt the place of his settlement and is named after him. † Kercheval, in his History of the Valley, mentions two Indian battles as having been fought in this locality. One engagement occurred, according to this authority, at Slim Bottom, about one and one-half miles from the mouth of the South Branch of the Potomac; the other, at Hanging Rocks on the same stream where the river passes through the mountains. Both of these places are within the limits of the present county of Hampshire. The latter seems to be referred to in this diary. For the road passes from Cresap Town southeast over the Patterson Creek (which is mentioned in other diaries) to Springfield and from there it crosses the South Branch of the Potomack at Hanging Rocks.
“Potsdam.—A combined effort of the Ludlow and Salem congregations closed July 14. The meetings were continued for almost three weeks, following the dedication of the new churchhouse by Bro. Van B. Wright [Elder of Marble Furnace Church of the Brethren] of Peebles, Ohio. Though this was one of the busiest seasons of the year,--during harvest time,--the attendance was good from the first. Bro. Wright delivered his sermons in a simple, convincing manner that inspires and upbuilds the members, as well as those outside of the church. Eight souls were made willing to accept Jesus as their savior, four of them married people and four of them Sunday-school scholars. Mary Weisenbarger, July 15.” Gospel Messenger, July 27, 1918 Set Off as a Separate CongregationDecember 23, 1923 “Georgetown.—A called council of the Ludlow and Salem churches was held at the house in Potsdam Dec. 13, in order to perfect a new organization at this place. The reports were accepted and we were set apart as a separate congregation. Eld. Samuel Snell opened this meeting with appropriate remarks and Eld. Newton Binkley presided. We organized our new congregation Dec. 23 under the direction of Eld. Newton Binkley. Elders Wm. Minnich, A. Bucklew, Edw. Miller, S. A. Blessing, Enos Brumbaugh and G. W. Minnich were present also. Our organization will now be known as the Georgetown congregation. Officers recently elected were retained: Sylvan Bookwalter, elder; Harry Delk, church clerk; Jennie Eikenberry, “Messenger” agent. Auditing, finance, missionary and temperance committees were elected. Our house will be arranged for communion services in the near future. Our young people gave a Christmas program Sunday evening after which Bro. Walter J. Heisey gave a very interesting talk on China. Mary Weisenbarger, Dec. 25.” Gospel Messenger, January 12, 1924 164 Charter Members: Carl Arnett 1897-1983 Susie [Brown] Cain 1900- Lulu [Shuff] Arnett 1897-1997 Lydia [Dohner] Christian 1855-1932 David Baker 1882-1966 Mabel [Cassel] Cooper 1902-1940 Franklin Baker 1911- Ralph Cooper 1899-1976 Kate [Cordier] Baker 1883-1973 Hannah [Puterbaugh] Garrett Delaplane Lester Besecker 1903-1980 1907-1974 Lester Besecker 1903-1980 Blanche [Oda] Delk 1888-1973 Edna [Shanck] Minnich Bookwalter Cletus Delk 1889-19581878-1967 Harry Delk 1887-1970 Dortha [Heisey] Boomershine 1908-1990 Lola [Klepinger] Delk 1892-1961 Mary [Baker] Bridenbaugh 1907-2003 Elizabeth [Dohner] Ditmer 1863-1941 Pearl [Brunk] Brown 1907-1994 Emma [Fasick] Ditmer 1888-1961
tained in the book of M. J. and A. F. against. you."* The people had threatened that they would throw me into prison if I should come again. We did not say much, but pitied him, and, commending him to God's mercy and grace, we went to the house of a neighbor, an old Mennonite, who allowed us to preach in his house. We stayed over night with Caspar Funk, with whom a gentleman, "a King's attorney," lodged.† We gave the captain a copy of the act, [an act passed against itinerant preachers]. On December 8th, we visited a Mennonite, and in the evening came to a man in "Obeken," N. Schmidt Stepfa, a Catholic, in whose house we wished to preach because several Germans live in the neighborhood. But he assured us that the people were much incensed against us. He himself had heard how Rev. Mr. Klug had warned the people to be on their guard.‡ As for himself, he believed that we were sincere and faithful followers of Jesus. We would always be welcome in his house. On December 9th, we went ten miles farther to Benjamin Frey, the brother of William Frey,§ who was friendly in his way. In the afternoon we kept Sabbath, and as Bro. Brand- * The latter seems to be Andrew Frey, who engaged in very severe attacks upon the Moravians, in his books, Andreas Freyen, seine Declaration, etc., Germantown, 1748, and A True and Authentic Account of Andrew Frey, London, 1753. † Probably Gabriel Jones, the King's attorney of Augusta county, who was then a resident of Frederick. ‡ The conclusion seems to be irresistible that no German minister of any denomination was permanently located west of the Blue Ridge prior to 1749. Mr. Klug seems to have been the spiritual adviser of the Germans in all the region now comprising the counties of Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah and Frederick. In 1747 Rev. Mr. Schnell mentions a Rev. Mr. Schmidt, "a man now rejected by the people of Maryland and Virginia." The correct name of the Catholic mentioned above was Stephan Schmidt, as appears from another diary. § William and Verona Frey lived at Falkner Swamp, Montgomery county, Pa. See Register of Moravians, p. 121. Benjamin Frey lived on the Cedar Creek, see Journal of Rev. Mr. Gottschalk to be published later.