Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mary Ellen Brown, daughter of John Delos Brown

© Kathy Duncan, 2016

Mary Ellen Brown, daughter of John Delos and Nancy (Johnson) Brown was born 2 March 1862 on her father’s farm in Pike Co., IL, and spent her childhood in DeWitt Co., IL. At age 21, She married Alfred F. Miller, 29, in Weldon, DeWitt County, Illinois on 15 June 1882. He was the son of Mathias Miller. They lived in Gardner Twp (DeWitt or Sangamon Co?) until 1886 when they removed to their farm in Sangamon Co., IL.

A detailed biography of Alfred F. Miller and family was published c. 1891, just a year before Alfred' death.

Biography of A.F. Miller, published in PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS:

A. F. MILLER, who is engaged in farming on section 4, Gardner Township, has passed his entire life in this county and is a representative of one of its early families. He is of German descent on the paternal side, while his mother's people were early settlers of Kentucky. His grandparents, Peter and Margaret (Despard) Miller, were natives of Germany, where the husband followed farming until his death. which occurred about 1845. His widow afterward came to this country and died in Lincoln, Ill., in 1868, and her remains were interred in the cemetery at Springfield.

Mathias Miller, the father of our subject, was born in Bavaria, Germany, April 11, 1819, and spent the days of his boyhood and youth upon the homestead farm. He also learned the mason's trade which he followed until attaining his majority. It was during the early years of his manhood that, with a desire to benefit his financial condition, he crossed the Atlantic in 1842, and became a resident of Springfield, Ill., where he worked at various pursuits until 1844. He then made his way on foot to the prairies of Wisconsin where, in connection with a partner during the winter, he made twenty-four thousand shingles, which he rafted down the Mississippi River and sold. The return journey to Springfield was also made on foot and on again arriving in the city he formed a partnership with Jacob Willis in the coopering business, which connection continued some years, they having an excellent trade in that line. Salisbury was next the scene of his labors. In that place he also carried on a shop for several years until at length having acquired some capital, he invested in land, purchasing eighty acres on section 5, Gardner Township. His youthful training now proved of advantage to him and so successful was he in his undertakings that before his death he had become owner of four hundred and fifty-two acres, constituting one of the finest farms in the community. He was also owner of a house and two lots in Monticello. Mr. Miller was a man of good business ability, sagacious and farsighted, and to his own efforts may be attributed his success. He faithfully discharged his duties of citizenship, was a member of the Catholic Church and voted with the Democratic party. His wife, the mother of our subject, was in her maidenhood Miss Martha Ross, daughter of William and Maria (Morrison) Ross, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, where her birth also occurred. Their marriage took place May 17, 1846. Her father became one of the earliest settlers of Sangamon county and, purchasing land, devoted himself to agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1864. He was a Republican in politics. His wife survived him several years. The mother of our subject is living on the old homestead at the age of sixty-nine years. She is a faithful member of the Methodist Church and her life has been spent in the Master's service.

Of the ten children born unto Mr. and Mrs. Miller, five grew to mature years while four are yet living, namely: Mrs. Sarah E. Gard, of Gardner Township; A. F., of this sketch; Mrs. Florence Campbell and Mrs. Virginia McGraw, who are also living in Gardner Township. George William enlisted in the One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, in 1863, and at the battle of Guntown was captured, but succeeded in making his escape and for thirty-one days lived upon berries and such other food as he could find. At length he reached the Union lines, but was soon afterward taken sick and sent to the hospital in Louisville. He was then granted permission to return, but died a few days after reaching home.

A. F. Miller was born on the old homestead in Gardner Township, on the 5th of December, 1853. His boyhood days were spent in the usual manner of farmer lands, he attending the district schools of the neighborhood in the winter season and assisting in the labors of the farm during the summer months. Having attained to man's estate, on the 15th of June, 1882, in Weldon, DeWitt County, Ill., he led to the marriage altar Miss Mary E. Brown, daughter of John D. and Nancy (Johnson) Brown. Her grandfather, Isaac Brown, a native of New York, came to Illinois in a very early day and settled near Milton, Pike County, where he farmed until the war when he volunteered and entered the service. He had his thumb shot off and gangrene setting in, death ensued. John D. Brown, father of Mrs. Miller, was reared in Pike County, where he married Miss Nancy Johnson, a native of that county, and a daughter of Samuel Johnson, who was born in Kentucky, but is numbered among the early settlers of Pike County. After his marriage Mr. Miller [sic - Mr. Brown] removed with his young wife to Champaign County, where he devoted himself to agricultural pursuits until 1861, when he enlisted in the Twenty-first Illinois Cavalry. He served four years, during which time he was thrice wounded in the wrist, and received two rebel balls in his side. Returning home he continued farming in Champaign County for two years and then removed to DeWitt County, where he and his wife still make their home upon a farm.
They are respected citizens of the community, and in politics he is a Republican. Their family numbers ten children: Eva C., who died at the age of 
twenty-one in DeWitt County; Emma C., twin sister of Eva, who married and resides in Missouri; Hebert, who is living in Colorado; Mary E., wife of our subject; Mrs. Minnie A. Norfleet, of Montgomery County, Ill.; Isaac S., of Colorado; Florence M., Catharine E., Carrie V., and Charles A., at home.

Mrs. Miller was born near Milton, Pike County, March 4, 1862, and her childhood days were spent upon her father's farm in DeWitt County. In Weldon the marriage of our subject and his wife was celebrated, and for a year they lived upon the Miller homestead. They next removed to a farm on section 4, Gardner Township, where they lived until 1886 when, coming into possession of one hundred and seven acres of land, they removed to their present home. The house was erected by Mr. Miller and all of the improvements on the farm have been made by him. He raises all kinds of grain adapted to the Illinois soil and climate and makes a specialty of the breeding of Poland china hogs. He has inherited the business ability of his father and is accounted one of the promising and prominent young farmers of Gardner Township. Socially he is a member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association of Salisbury, and politically is a Democrat.

An interesting family of five children grace the union of Mr. and Mrs. Miller, namely: Howard E., Stella P., Opal V., Lloyd Byron and Vance B. The family circle remains unbroken and its members are highly esteemed.
[Source: PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS.  Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1891, p. 338]

Alfred F Miller, husband, aged 38 years, 10 months, 19 days, died 24 October 1892 and is buried in Old Sackett Cemetery, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois.

Following Alfred F. Miller's death there was a flurry of lawsuits among the minor heirs of the estate:

In the matter of Estella P., Opal V., Lloyd B., Vance B., and Stanley R. Miller, minor heirs of Alfred F. Miller, deceased, of Gardner township, letters of guardianship were issued to John McGraugh, with bond of $2,100, with John L. Gardner and Alexander Campbell as sureties.
[Source: Daily Illinois State Register; Springfield, Illinois; Tues. 13 Dec 1892]

Howard E. Miller, Byron Miller, Vance Miller, Stanley R. Miller, Pearl Miller, and Opal Miller, minors, brought suit by their guardian John McGraugh, against Martha Miller, Mary E. Miller and Sebastian Miller to partition the estate of Alfred F. Miller, deceased, of Gardner township.
[Source: Daily Illinois State Register; Springfield, IL, Sun. 15 Jan 1893]

In the matter of Alfred F. Miller, minor heir of Alfred F. Miller, deceased, of Gardner township, letters of guardianship were issued to John McGraugh, with bond of $200.
[Source: Daily Illinois State Register, Springfield, IL; Sun. 6 Jan 1895]

6 June 1900, Weldon, DeWitt Co., Illinois:

112-112
Miller, Mary E. Head W F b. Mar 1862 38 Wd. 7-7 b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----, Howard E. son W M b. Apr 1883 17 S b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Estel P. dau W F b. Aug 1884 15 S b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Opal V. dau W F b. May 1886 14 S b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Lloyd B. son W M b. Nov 1887 12 S b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Vance B. son W M b. May 1889 11 S b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Stanley R. son W M b. Feb 1891 9 S b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Alfred F. son W M b. Mar 1893 7 S b. IL fb. IL mb. IL

By 1920, the widow Mary Ellen (Brown) Miller was married to James Edmond Walker and living in Springfield, Illinois just a couple of houses away from Mary Ellen's sister Carrie Viola (Brown) Lochbaum.

2 January 1920, Springfield, Sangamon Co., IL:

113 East Carpenter
Walker, Mrs J. E. Head M W 44 M b. PA ft. Ireland mb. Ireland
-----Mary Wife F W 55 M b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
Miller, Stanley stepson M W 27 S b. IL fb. IL mb. IL

15 April 1930, Springfield, Sangamon Co., IL:

2412 South Ninth
Walker, James E Head M W 65 M 21 b. PA fb. Ireland mb. Ireland
-----Mary E Wife F W 66 M 18 b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
Miller, Stanley R step-son M W 40 D 25 b. IL fb. IL mb. IL

Walker-Remains of James Edmond Walker, 2412 South Ninth street, were removed to the residence Friday morning where funeral will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Rev. R. F. McDaniel, officiating. Interment in Roselawn cemetery. Bisch & son in charge. Survivors are wife, Mary E. Walker; one son, Orville Walker, Los Angeles, Cal.; three brothers; three sisters; one step-daughter, Mrs. John Goodale; and three step-sons, Byron, Vance B. and Stanley R. Miller.
[Source: Daily Illinois State Journal; Springfield, IL; Sat. 2 Aug 1930]

Obituary of son Lloyd Byron Miller:

Lloyd B. Miller – Lloyd Byron Miller, 2160 S. 12th St., died at 4:30 p.m Thursday at his residence.
   He was born at Salisbury and had lived in this community most of his life. Mr. Miller was an employe [sic] of the Vredenburgh Lumber Co. 17 years. He was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
   He is survived by his wife, Helen Pearl; son, Byron V.; sisters, Miss Opal V. Miller and Mrs. John Houston, all of Springfield; brothers, Stanley and Vance, both of Florida; five grandchildren.
[Source: Daily Illinois State Journal; Springfield, IL; Fri. 13 Feb 1959]

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