My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ROBERT MILLER, senior member of the undertaking firm of Miller & Bryan, is operating at Fairfield with a good understanding of his business and is looked upon as one of its representative men. He comes of a good family, is well-to-do financially, liberal and public-spirited, a Democrat in politics and an active member of the German Reformed Church.

Mr. Miller was born in Bath Township, May 2, 1826, and was reared to farming pursuits. His father died when he was a lad of ten years and thereafter he was his mother’s chief assistant on the farm. His education was limited to the elementary spelling book, Pike’s arithmetic and the New Testament. He never saw a blackboard until his school days were over, these terminating when he was sixteen years old. After reaching his majority, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Deborah A. Kinney, the wedding taking place at the bride’s home in Bath Township, October 5, 1848. Mrs. Miller was a native of the same township as her husband and was born February 10, 1830. Her father, John Kinney, was a native of Pennsylvania, an early settler of Bath Township and became one of its most prominent and successful farmers.

After his marriage Mr. Miller settled with his young wife upon a rented farm of one hundred and twenty acres near the old homestead and where they lived for a period of ten years. He then purchased the heirship to his mother’s estate and secured the home farm, paying therefor $40 per acre and until the outbreak of the Civil War was successfully engaged in farming and stock-raising. During the war he served in the State Militia and assisted in driving Morgan from the soil of the Buckeye State.

In 1874 Mr. Miller, having resolved to retire from the arduous labors of farm life, rented his place and removed to Fairfield of which he has since been a resident. In 1879 he embarked in the undertaking business, which is the source of a comfortable income. He owns his residence and several lots in the city and is looked upon as one of the solid citizens who have been no unimportant factor in lending dignity and importance to the community.

Mrs. Deborah A. (Kinney) Miller departed this life at the family residence in Fairfield April 21, 1886. Of the three children born to her and our subject, the eldest, a daughter, Vinette J., met a painful death at the age of three years, being fatally burned, her clothing having caught fire from a candle which she was carrying; Sarah M. died at the age of four years; Robert Edwin, the only surviving child, is pursuing his studies in Heidleburg College at Tiffin, this State, and expects to graduate in the class of 1892. Mr. Miller cast his first Presidential vote for the Democratic candidate in 1848 and has always supported the principles of the Democratic party. Until recently, he has been quite active in politics, frequently officiating as a delegate to the county and State conventions. He was Township Assessor for a period of sixteen years and until resigning in 1887. For many years he was a School Director in his district and is now the Treasurer of the school funds. He has been a member of the Town Council of Fairfield two different terms. Socially, he belongs to the Masonic Lodge at Osborn.

The father of our subject was Capt. Thomas Miller, a native of Lancaster County, Pa., and born in 1801. The paternal grandfather was Robert Miller, likewise a native of that county and who occupied himself as a contractor and builder. He came to Ohio as early as 1807 and purchased of Elias Kerkendall three hundred and twenty acres of land at $3 per acre, a part of which is included in the land owned by his grandson Robert. He resided upon this until his death, the circumstances of which were very painful, as he was fatally injured by being thrown from a vehicle in which he was riding.

Capt. Thomas Miller was a farmer by occupation and gained his title by services in the Ohio State Militia. He was a man of note in his community, an Elder in the Presbyterian Church and departed this life September 26, 1836. He was married in early manhood to Miss Sarah Wolfe who was born in Lancaster County, Pa., in 1800. Grandfather John W. Wolfe was also a native of that county, where he learned the trade of a tailor. He emigrated to Ohio about 1805, and purchasing a large tract of land became well-to-do and was a prominent and public-spirited citizen. He passed the closing years of his life at the old homestead in Bath Township.

The mother of our subject, after the death of her first husband Mr. Miller, contracted a second marriage with Judge Simeon Dunn of Trenton, N. J. Judge Dunn was likewise an early settler of Bath Township, a very intelligent man and a leading politician. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and about 1830 or 1832, represented the county in the State Legislature. He was for years a Township Trustee and served as Associate Judge for fourteen years. To Thomas S. and Sarah Miller was born a family of eight children, viz: Elizabeth, Mrs. Drake, now a widow and a resident of White County, Ind.; Robert, our subject; John and Abraham deceased; Christiana, Mrs. Nickey, a widow, residing in Muncie, Ind.; Mary, Mrs. Stine, of Walla Walla, Wash.; Margaret, Mrs. Newman, a widow, who is residing in Quincy, this State, and Sarah, Mrs. Batdorf, of Bath Township. There was born to the mother by her second marriage three children — Francis and Joseph L., deceased, and Thomas S., whose home is in Decatur, Ill., but who is now sojourning at Ann Arbor, Mich., for the purpose of educating his son.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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