Henry Miller

Male 1804 - 1824  (19 years)
Person ID: I42444 

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  • Name Henry Miller 
    Relationshipwith Jeffrey Scott Vitter
    Born 23 Apr 1804  Somerset, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 Feb 1824  Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Peter Benedict Miller (ID:I37421),   b. 17 Jun 1805, Garrett, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jul 1879, Johnson, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     2. Mary Ann "Miriam" Miller (ID:I37436),   b. 21 Jun 1807, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jun 1878, Summit Mills, Summit, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     3. Salome Miller (ID:I37420),   b. 21 Jun 1808, Grantsville, Garrett, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Mar 1885, Kalona, Washington, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     4. Catherine B. Miller (ID:I42486),   b. 15 Jan 1810, Garrett, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 1852, Springs, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years)
     5. Joel Benedict Miller (ID:I37438),   b. 27 Mar 1811, Springs, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Aug 1885, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     6. Susanna Miller (ID:I37423),   b. 5 Oct 1812, Garrett, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jun 1889, Washington, Johnson, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     7. Elizabeth Miller (ID:I37419),   b. 9 Nov 1813, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Dec 1859, Richmond, Kalona, Washington, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 46 years)
     8. Benedict B. Miller (ID:I37422),   b. 20 May 1815, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Oct 1883, Wellman, Washington, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)


    Family ID: F28322 Group Sheet  |  Family Chart  
    Father Bishop Benedict Miller (ID:I37389),   b. 19 Nov 1781, Sugar Creek, Berks, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jun 1837, Springs, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Mother Catherine Beachy (ID:I37431),   b. 20 Nov 1778, Elk Lick, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Sep 1834, Springs, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Married 17 Jul 1803  Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
  • Event Map

    Link to Google MapsBorn - 23 Apr 1804 - Somerset, Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 Feb 1824 - Ohio, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
  • Source Citations

    1. [S1344] Notes of Cheryl Rothey, Benedict and Catharine Miller, posted 07 May 2012.
      3-3 & 6-1] Great2-grandfather: Benedict Miller (b. Berks Co. PA, Nov. 19, 1781; d. Somerset Co., Pa. June 11, 1837; son of Jacob Miller [3-4 & 5-1] and Anna (Stutzman) Miller [3-4w & 5-1w]); farmer, carpenter, blacksmith, teacher, ordained minister in 1809 and bishop in 1813 of ‘Old Order’ Amish Church; married on July 17, 1803, to first wife
      [3-3w & 6-1w] Great2-grandmother: Catharine (Beachy) Miller (b. Berks Co., PA, Oct. 20, 1778; d. Sept. 23 or 24, 1834; daughter of Peter Beachy2 [6-2] and Sally [Sarah] (Blauman) Beachy [6-2w]).
      Continue Catharine Beachy’s ancestry below Chapter 7, The Beachy [Bitsche], Blauman line of descent.
      Married second wife, Catherine Eash (life data unknown).
      Their 14 children: Henry*, Peter*, Miriam* [Mary], Salome*, Catharine*, Joel B*, ***., Susannah*, Elizabeth*, Barbara*, Benedict Jr.*, Moses B. [3-2]* (m. Susannah Hershberger [3-2w]), Jacob B.*; Lydia**, Magdalena**

      *children with first wife, Catharine Beachy;
      **children with second wife, Catharine Eash.
      ***This Joel Sr. is father of the Joel B. Jr., author of the Miller family history extensively quoted herein.

      Benedict Miller [3-3, 6-1] (often spelled Bendig or Benedick in contemporary references) was born in Berks County in eastern Pennsylvania on November 19, 1781 and was only one year old when his father, Jacob Miller [3-4], moved with the family to Berlin Glades in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County in western Pennsylvania. Like his father and three brothers, Benedict was a farmer and carpenter by trade. In addition, Benedict mastered the art of iron working, a craft in which he became expert. He married Catherine Beachy (also spelled Bitsche) on July 17, 1803. They were parents of twelve children, of whom our ancestor, Moses B. Miller [3-2], was the eleventh.

      Except for very early childhood, Benedict and Catherine resided their entire lives in the Elk Lick Somerset County community. His wife, Catherine was born on November 20, 1778 and died September. 23 or 24, 1834, at age 56. Benedict married second wife, Catherine Eash, in 1835 and they had two children. Benedict died on June 11, 1837 in his 56th year. Both Benedict and his first wife, Catherine Beachy Miller, are buried on his homestead farm about half a mile south of Springs in Somerset, County, land now owned by their descendants in the Yoder family.

      I have no personal life-death data on Benedict’s second wife, Catherine Eash, but will insert here a small note of interest concerning the colonial settlement of Springs, Somerset County, PA. It originally was a valley with dozens of natural never failing springs of fresh water that made it a favored location for an Indian settlement of great age that predated, possibly by centuries, the arrival of Pennsylvania settlers around 1770.

      It is not surprising that Benedict was deeply involved in activities of the Amish church in which his father, Jacob Miller [3-4], was minister and bishop for approximately twenty years (from around 1787 until 1809) after which most of the Miller tribe left Somerset County for their new lands in Homes County Ohio. What is surprising are the events that account for Benedict’s decision to remain behind in Somerset County after the rest of his immediate family—his parents and three brothers and their families—moved west in 1809.

      In 1808, Benedict Miller put up for sale and sold his farm in Somerset County in anticipation of accompanying the rest of his family’s migration to Ohio. In 1809, the segment of the Amish community that decided to remain in Somerset County, realized they would no longer have a religious leader after Joseph Miller made his final departure. Therefore, looking to fill the pastoral void, they held a preliminary meeting, as was church custom, to test the sense of the house (i.e., elect a new pastoral leader for the congregation). Much to Benedict’s surprise he was the first choice by the congregation to fill his father’s shoes even though he had not yet been ordained a minister. A church record states:

      “ He (Benedict Miller) was ordained a minister in the Amish Church in 1809. At the time of his selection for the ministry he had already sold his farm and was planning to remove to Ohio with his father. His selection for the ministry decided him that his place was in the ministry among the people that he had been chosen to serve, and he arranged to buy back his farm again, that he might remain and preach the gospel. He was ordained as Bishop on Whit Monday (Pentecost), in 1813.”

      The following comments on Benedict Miller come from a copy made by my aunt, Edna Lehman, from a manuscript of reminiscences by Benedict’s grandson, Joel B. Miller, which probably was written toward the end of the 19th century since Joel’s life dates are 1811—1885 and I suspect it was composed near the end of his life. It must be a record of considerable length because Aunt Edna indicates that the parts she copied were from pages 18 to 22. The entire manuscript would be interesting to review because it undoubtedly covers details on history of the Millers not now available to me. A copy of the full Joel B. Miller manuscript probably can be obtained from the Springs Museum located in Springs, Somerset County, PA. I profoundly wish I had access to the entire Joel Miller’s book, but I have not attempted to avail myself of that opportunity.
      In the following transcript: ‘. . .’ denote omissions and ‘(parenthetic Italics)’ are explanatory comments of my own. Aunt Edna’s excerpts from the Joel B. Miller history, page 18 and following, are:

      “. . . That Benedict was a man of real talent, as well as a progressive pioneering spirit, is evidenced by a number of stories which have come down through the decades:

      “HIS PIONEERING SPIRIT: As will be evident from our discussion, Early Land Holdings of Jacob and Benedict Miller, our ancestors loved to tame the wilderness and convert forest tangles into productive farms. He (Benedict Miller [3-3, 6-1]), like his grandfather, (John Miller [3-6]), and father, (Jacob Miller[3-5]) before him, took over the land from the Indians during the early period of settlement in these hills, the land, at the time, being designated as “vacant” was granted to him by the land offices of Pennsylvania and Maryland at various times. In a number of cases this land was later sold to recent immigrants at reasonable figures. The writer is inclined to believe that this is one of the primary reasons for his extensive purchase of lands.
      “EDUCATION: In the matter of education, Benedict was an equally pioneering spirit. Before any school buildings had been erected anywhere in the Springs area, Benedict invited parents of the community to bring their children to his humble log house for instruction. In 1836, about one year before his untimely death, Benedict built a log school house on the present site of Springs. This was the first school building at Springs and fourth in Elk Lick Township. In 1844, this humble structure was replaced by a “better house” built by his son Joel (the father of Joel Miller, Jr., author of this work).
      “CRAFTSMANSHIP: There is considerable evidence that our ancestor, Benedict, was a man of no mean abilities, and a good craftsman for his day. Colonel Jim Johnson of Garret, Pennsylvania, has a very fine, well balanced spinning wheel, still in use, with Benedict’s initials carved in the wood. A number of tools and pieces of metalwork are also found in the Springs community, some in the Springs Museum. There is a hand-forged name plate for a Conestoga wagon toolbox, dated 1829, various hammers, soldering irons, garden tools, as well as early animal traps are attributed to his skill. . . . According to the testimony of his descendants, he built a log carpenter shop and one or more blacksmith shops on his farmstead. . . .
      “INGENUITY: A Miller legend that has been handed down is the story of Benedict and the Corncrib. Benedict, so the story goes, had a corncrib in his springhouse loft with a ladder or stairway leading to it. One day he began to miss corn. As the matter grew worse, Benedict finally decided to set a trap to catch the marauder. One morning while the Miller family was at breakfast a shout was heard coming from the direction of the corncrib. Upon investigation, the figure of a man was seen at the entrance to the crib. “Good morning.”, called Benedict, “Do you need help?” “Yes.” replied the man, “Could you release me from this trap?” “Oh, are you caught?” asked Benedict innocently. “Yes, I can’t get loose.” “I’ll release you on one condition.”, returned the host. “What is that?”, muttered the crestfallen visitor. “I’ll release you, provided you come in and eat breakfast with us.”, was the answer. “Oh, but I’m not hungry. ” replied the “guest.” “But that is the only condition under which I’ll release you.” insisted Benedict. “All right, I’ll come in with you.”, the man finally replied. At the breakfast table the talk turned on all sorts of subjects, that is, except the missing corn. When the guest finally left after a hearty breakfast . . . Benedict gave the man a bag of corn. They remained friends for life. . . . (In this story) we see a pointed lesson in practical and charitable nonresistance in action.
      “Another tale relates to the disappearance of corn from Benedict’s bin at another time: Noting the dwindling supply of corn, our inventor ancestor Benedict drove nails (he had forged by hand) into the ends of the cobs. When he next missed corn, he paid a visit to the suspected neighbor and commented on the cobs in his pig pen. The neighbor denied any connection between the cobs and Benedict’s stores. Whereupon, Benedict stooped and picked up a cob and pulled a nail out of the end. “Here is one of my nails I drove into my corn.”, he said, quietly looking at his crestfallen neighbor. No more corn was lost from Miller’s bin after this incident.
      “CHURCHMANSHIP: That Benedict was highly esteemed for his church leadership is evidenced by the readiness of the Amish brotherhood in Germany (another reference mentions Zurich, Switzerland) to consult him in matters pertaining to church policies and problems. . . . During the years when Benedict was bishop and shepherd of the little flock in the hills, conveyances were extremely rare in out-of-the-way places and it was commonplace to ride horseback for hundreds of miles if need be. Our ancestor’s parish was indeed a scattered one, reaching from the Maryland hills to present Meyersdale and beyond. He found it necessary to spend much time in the saddle in all kinds of weather. Whether this had anything to do with his untimely death, we will never know. We do know that he had his people’s interest at heart, and spared himself not at all to fulfill their needs.”

      Here the quotations from Joel B. Miller end. The following transcriptions are from a second set of several anecdotal notes on Benedict Miller made by Aunt Edna Lehman, that may also be based on the Joel Miller book. It is not quite clear to me which of the statements are originally from Joel or Edna, but feel they may be paraphrased in Edna’s prose. The facts, however, are of interest, irrespective of the source:

      “The writer (probably Edna ?) has gained this information from numerous sources, but in all the stories related, only one name was mentioned—that of Peter Miller, the German minister who crossed the ocean in 1837. Evidently Peter Miller himself had frequently consulted our ancestor (Bishop Benedict Miller) in his line of duty as minister to a church in the process of change.* It is said that he (Peter) rejoiced greatly when he had the opportunity to embark for America, as he would now be able to speak, face to face, with the churchman who had given him so much assistance by letter. The immigrant was deeply disappointed and saddened when he learned, upon arrival, that Benedict had passed to his reward while he himself was en route on his long ocean voyage. Later on, Peter Miller settled in the area of Aurora, West Virginia, and the above story filtered through to me from the Springs—Meyersdale community through Kate Hershberger, Lewis Beachy and Bishop Joe Yoder, Meyersdale. PA. . . . After his father (Jacob Miller [3-4]) and brothers (John, Henry & Jacob, Jr.) had moved to Ohio, Benedict rode regularly, several times a year, across the raw, newly penetrated Alleghenies to visit his relatives and preach in the new Amish church in the Walnut Creek, Ohio, area. A great-grandson, Gideon Miller, once related how Benedict was received by a German tavern keeper in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he put up for the night. Benedict was asked to preach to his fellow travelers at the inn. This he did with a poise born of deep conviction, rising graciously to the unusual challenge confronting him. . . .
      “The benevolences of our patriarchal ancestor were well known among the people of the hills. A rather striking evidence of his concern for others is the planting of apple trees along the highway for the benefit of wayfarers. There is also a legend that he grafted trees, as did his great-grandson, Jacob S. Miller several generations later. . . .
      “When an Irish orphan boy, Tommy Lee, found his way into the Amish community, he could not speak German and was taken advantage of by some of the local residents. Benedict learned of his plight and paid off Tommy’s debts by giving his creditors corn and eggs from his own farm. He allowed Tommy to repay his debts by letting him work and learn the skills of woodworking which provided Tommy with a means of provender for the rest of his life. . . .
      “Throughout his short but full and useful life, Benedict, had the heart and mind-set to help, not only his neighbors and the Amish brotherhood of which he was pastor, but also the people of like-faith who immigrated from the motherland. Time after time, so the story goes, Benedict brought recent immigrants into his home to aid them in becoming established in the new and strange land.” . . .

      *This reference to ‘a church in process of change’ probably refers to the fact that, although the Amish remained strong in America, the sect was declining to near extinction in Europe.

      A note attributed by Aunt Edna to the History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, 1906, states that “As for wild animals, wolves, panthers, etc., we are not able to state in what year they finally became extinct, but as late as 1836, Benedict Miller and his son Joel Miller each killed a wolf in Elk Lick Township.” A trifling, but humanizing codicil on Benedict’s life mentions that he was paid a tax credit of $3.00 as bounty for “several shee wolf scalps and a painter (panther or mountain lion) scalp, in 1825.”
      It is appropriate to end the narrative on the life of our ancestor Bishop Benedict Miller [3-3, 6-1] with the above notes about Benedict and Joel Miller, not because they are trivial, but to emphasizes the changes that had taken place in the land during the century that had passed since his grandfather and grandmother, John Miller [3-5] and Catherine (Hochstedler) Miller [3-5w], had arrived in the colony around 1730. They had experienced real threat to life and limb in an alien land filled with marauding Indians and wild beasts. One hundred years later, taming of the wilderness was well under way by 1837 at the end of Benedict’s life. What a difference for his grandfather John to have a footnote in history in the Hochstedler Massacre in 1757 and for Benedict to find one in that he killed the last wild wolf in western Pennsylvania in 1836.
      In pointing out this contrast, it is not my wish to disparage the life and work of Benedict Miller, for whom I have profound admiration and respect. He performed wonderfully well in his selfless response to the calling of his church. He was born during the American Revolution and lived into the presidential term of Martin VanBuren. But there is no inkling as to his political views or interests in national affairs. His life must have been a total commitment to the church because, aside from references to consummate craftsmanship in the working of wood and iron, all other remarks are of his ministry and of service to others.
      The times in which Benedict lived were vastly different than those in which his son, our ancestor Moses B. Miller [3-2], faced. Yet, as will be seen in the following narrative on his life, their lives share much in common.

      I have no supporting documentary evidence, but now report a conversation with my Aunt Edna Lehman (my primary source on Lehman family history) many years ago. It occurred during a drive on the Bedford road southeast of Windber. She pointed out the farm of an ancestor who had been actively involved in the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. That was the organization in northern border states, including Pennsylvania, that gave assistance to runaway slaves from southern states who were illegally seeking freedom in the north. She (Aunt Edna) pointed out a low hill and said that the parcel of land had been set aside there as a graveyard for blacks who died during their passage through Bedford County. She added, “Country graveyards are always placed on high ground so the graves will remain dry.” I had the impression at the time that she meant that the relative was a lineal ancestor. If that be true, it would have to be Benedict Miller. If not he, it could have been a collateral relative of his generation in another of our lineages. I can add no more on this subject except to point out that Pennsylvania abolished slavery in 1812 and its people led the Abolitionist movement against slavery—events that would define the remainder of the century in America.


    2. [S1344] Notes of Cheryl Rothey, Hx for Benedict Miller, source from "Anniversary History of the Family of John "Hannas" Miller, Sr. (ca. 1730–1798)" by J. Virgil Miller pg 43 (info submitted by F.A.G. member Debra Polly).

      Posted 19 Feb 2015 by Cheryl Rothey
      Born Nov. 19, 1781 & died in June 1837. Aged 55 years 6 month 23 days. Benedict Miller was a Bishop in the Amish Mennonite Church. Perhaps the first Bishop that of this denomination in this section. It is said that he was a man of great eloquence. He made frequent trips, on horseback, to visit & encourage certain small congregations in Ohio, that had then just recently been established. Bishop Miller has many hundreds if not thousands of descendants in Somerset & Cambria Counties, Pennsylvania, Garrett County Maryland & in some of the Western states, notably in Johnson County, Iowa.

      Benedict was the second son of four sons born to Jacob "Yockel" Miller and Anna Stutzman. He married Catherine Beachy (daughter of Peter Bitsche (Beachy). They had six sons and six daughters. He came with his parents to Somerset County, Pennsylvania where they lived in the Glades area for several years. His father bought an Elklick Township farm. He helped his father on the farm until 1808 and then he moved to Ohio. Benedict felt called of God to become the minister of the Casselman River congregation. The rest of his family moved there too.

      In 1821, his father-in-law deeded over his homestead (near Springs and the Maryland border) to Benedict and Catherine. They lived there for the rest of their lives. Catherine died in 1834 and Benedict remarried to a widow of Nicholas Keim named Catherine Eash Keim. Benedict only lived a few years after that. He and Catherine had two daughters. After his death, his son, Joel B. Miller became the minister and bishop.