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.
Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications. Volume XX. COLUMBUS: PUBLISHED FOR THE SOCIETY BY FRED. J. HEER. 1911
which we had bought. We had to drive again on a pretty steep road, after half a mile we came to a little creek, and again half a mile farther to the "Black Water," a large creek with steep banks. After another mile we came again to a creek; and two miles farther to another, where we ate our dinner. There were several mud holes here, but we passed them safely. There the road branched to the left up the mountain. We missed it, by turning to the right and coming to an old mill race at Ringfros Mill. We then stayed on the left and turned up again to the mountain, where we came to the right way. Going a mile we came to a little creek and mud hole. Half a mile beyond we came to another creek, a mile farther to the left was a new plantation, and half a mile from it we had to pass through a bad swamp and creek. A mile farther we came to Robert Johnsen, from whom we bought some hay. He accompanied us half a mile to show us the way across the creek and a comfortable place, where we could pitch our tent. Our course to-day was west and southwest. We had gone sixteen miles. The road was pretty good, except some mud holes and steep banks along the creeks. It was twenty-five miles from this point to the Smith River.4 On November 6, we continued our journey. Bro. Herman stayed back to thresh oats at Mr. Johnsen's place. We had to pass through many mud holes. Frequently there was danger of our wagon becoming stuck. We were often compelled to hoist the wheels out of the holes, and we had much trouble in cutting our way through, because it was very narrow. Frequently we hardly knew how to get through when turning our long wagon. Two miles from our camp we went through a fence. We had to pass through much mud and about thirty times over a creek, which runs through the great swamp. Bro. Herman also joined us again and brought with him several bushels of oats, which he had threshed out. Mr. Johnsen had a pleasant conversation with Bro. Herman. He said that he had not heard a sermon for nine years. In the evening we pitched our 4 This estimate is certainly too high, because the whole distance from Magotty creek to Smith river is not more than twenty-five miles. Johnson, Renfro, Rentfrow
Brethren.* In the afternoon we continued our journey, and stayed over night with Michael Ernst. On November 6th, we continued up along the South Branch through the Gap. On the way we visited the sister of my father-in-law.† They related how they had saved themselves during the flood. The man and his wife with their six children had climbed into a tree, which had fallen down halfway. There they spent the whole night. Above the Gap we came to the Germans, where we called on George Zeh. Here we appointed a sermon for the next day. When the neighbors heard of our arrival, several came at once and implored us to baptize their children. I turned them off as well as I could. This continued for a long time. In the evening our host asked us: "Why do you teach that the Saviour accepts all men, and yet you refuse to baptize these children?" I told him because these people give their children such a poor training. On November 7th, a woman came very early to us asking for the baptism of her child. In the same way six others came whom we could not refuse. Brandmueller preached on the words: "Behold the Lamb of God." After the sermon a general request was made for baptism. Hence, I baptized two girls and a little boy. In the afternoon we went back part of the way to Mr. Joachim, where we had appointed a sermon. George Zeh took us twice through the river on horses. On November the 8th, I preached at Joachim's. After the sermon there was again an urgent request presented to us for baptism , We traveled yet several miles up along the South Branch and stayed over night with Michael Stump. * The reader will discover from this paper that the Germans in Virginia west of the Blue Ridge had not at this period erected any churches. all the sermons referred to having been preached in private houses. This was not true of the German settlements in the Piedmont region of the state, as will be shown by diaries of other missionaries to be presented later. † The name of Schnell's wife was Elizabeth Brown. See Register of Moravians, p. 82.