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.
As soon as the Patowmak is crossed it is necessary to inquire for a certain German, named Oliver Craemer,38 a host of the Brethren, who has shown me much love and loyalty. Bro. Joseph can lodge with him. He lives about fifteen miles from Colonel Chrassop. This Oliver Craemer will not only be able to give the best information where and at how many places we can preach at Bateson's Creek, but he can also announce the services. I preached, English and German, at William Degart's house, seven miles from Oliver Craemer's. As "Bateson's" Creek is a pretty long district, it would be well to preach below and above. Below39 [?] at the "Bateson's" Creek toward the South Fork lives William Degart's brother, Abraham Degart, who also showed me much love. Information can be secured from him. He would also afford us an opportunity and make the arrangements for a sermon. About two miles from Abraham Degart's the justice of that district lives, a friend of the Brethren. He can also sign the passport and best show the way up the South Fork, where Matthaes Jochim lives. In the Soulh Fork Matthaes Jochim, a very well-to-do man, resides, the host of the Brethren, with whom Bro. Schnell stayed with great blessing. There is our English and German pulpit. As surprisingly many Germans live there and as it is a large district, it would be well to preach at more than one place. Matthaes Jochim, who is an intelligent man, can give the best advice as to this. The South Branch will occupy Bro. Joseph probably several weeks, so that he will hardly have sufficient time to return for the meeting of the Synod. [The following table of places and distances should have been printed in connection with the diary of Rev. Mr. Schnell, which was published in the October number, 1903, of the magazine. The distances given may be of value in identifying localities visited by the missionary. The names of places are given in the spelling of the orAiginal.-Editors.] 38 "Oliver Kremer " was killed by the Indians. See Kercheval, History of the Valley, ed. 1833, p 128. 39 It ought to be "above."
Preface. Upon reading some short sketches of several of the old pioneer brethrten about three years ago, I became interested in pioneer history. From that time to this I have embraced every opportunity to gather up incidents from which has been written this booklet. I hereby acknowledge indebtedness to Brethren David and Isaac Berkey, Daniel S. and Benjamin C. Cripe, John Weybright, John Arnold, Thurston Miller, David Evans, Daniel Whitmer, A. I. Mow, Eli Roose, George Zollers, William Leatherman and others, and several old county atlases and histories for the information herein contained. At first I had no thought of publishing a work of this kind, but gathered the information for an essay or two, to be read in literary society while in school. But as the work developed, several of my friends urged me to publish it in booklet form, thinking that the historical facts contained, would be appreciated by the Brethren and friends. Therefore I do not claim the responsibility for the appearance of this work. Properly a sketch of the northern district of Indiana ought to contain a short history of each congregation; while in this, many are not even mentioned. I tried to notice, in a general way every step of progress. And as several churches have always been in the lead, much of the contents of this work clusters around them. It is not what I should like to have produced but under the circimstances it is the best I can do, and as such, I submit it for what it is worth. Owen Opperman.
Potsdam Church of the Brethren, Brother Lester Heisey, Pastor Alvin C. Cook, Pastor Robert W. Kurtz, Pastor Craig Brown