The now and then postings of the discoveries and contributions of the Miller and Bechtold families .

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spotlight on Persons: Levi Miller and his Log Cabin

Levi Miller's Pioneer Stake in Mexico, Indiana 
(probably something like that below)

Biographical and genealogical history of Cass, Miami, Howard and Tifton Counties, Volume 2

LEVI MILLER.—Man's usefulness in the world is judged by the good that he has done, and determined by this standard of measurement Levi Miller occupies a position among the most prominent citizens of Miami county. His life has been noble and upright, one over which falls no shadow of wrong; and long after he shall have passed away his memory will remain as a blessed benediction to those who knew him.

Mr. Miller resides at his comfortable home, near Mexico, where for more than half a century he has carried on agricultural pursuits. He was born in Augusta county, Virginia, on the 23d of February, 1817, and his parents, and grandparents also were natives of the same county. On the paternal side he is of German descent and on the maternal of German and English lineage. In his seventeenth year he removed with his parents to Preble county, Ohio, where he remained for nine years, within which time he was married, in the fall of 1840, to Miss Ursula Albaugh. They became the parents of ten children, seven of whom are yet living. For thirty-six years Mrs. Miller proved to her husband a faithful companion and helpmeet on the journey of life, and was then called to her final rest, in 1876, leaving many friends to mourn her death.

It was in February, 1842, that Mr. Miller brought his wife and their eldest child to Miami county, Indiana, and located on the farm which is now his home. For more than half a century he has watched the growth and advancement of the county, has seen its wild lands transformed into rich farms and beautiful homes, has seen the growth 'of towns and villages, and witnessed the introduction of the railroad, the telegraph, industrial and commercial interests and all those things which mark the progress of civilization. The county was almost an unbroken forest when he arrived within its borders, with only here and there a little patch of cleared ground, where some sturdy pioneer had begun the task of opening up the wild region. The Miller home was a typical pioneer cabin, of one room, supplied with furniture of primitive construction, heated by the old-time fireplace and lighted by little windows placed in an aperture made in a single log. From early morn till dewy eve Mr. Miller worked to clear and develop his land and in course of time his labors were rewarded with bounteous harvests. He wore home-spun clothes and experienced all the trials and hardships of life, but at length success crowned his efforts and there came to him a handsome prosperity as the reward of his labors.

Not long after coming to Miami county Mr. Miller joined the German Baptist church and has since been one of its most faithful and consistent members, doing all in his power to advance its cause and exemplifying his Christian belief in his daily life. In 1889 he founded the Old Folks' and Orphan Children's Home, has since been a director of the institution and greatly interested in its welfare. It is located just north of Mexico, where he purchased fifteen acres of land, erecting thereon an elegant two-story frame residence containing seventeen rooms. The German Baptist church has long felt the need of a benevolent institution, but was not able to build one. Among its wealthy members, however, a volunteer was soon found in Mr. Miller, who furnished the grounds and erected the buildings entirely at his own expense, on condition that the German Baptist church of the middle district of Indiana support it. At first the children and the old people were kept in the same rooms, but it was found that this was not the best plan, so other buildings were erected, and the young and old now have separate dormitories. In addition to these there are the necessary outbuildings, of substantial construction and all surrounded by a beautiful lawn. Superannuated ministers of the church and orphans of any or no denomination may be admitted, the latter being cared for until suitable homes can be found for them. This splendid institution, whose far-reaching influences are immeasurable, stands as a monument to the benevolent spirit of its founder, whose life has certainly been of great benefit to his fellow men.

The home is managed by aboard of five directors, selected by the church, and Frank Fisher has been superintendent since the home was opened. He is very popular and efficient as the head of the institution and is certainly well fitted for the position. He was born in Virginia in 1856, a son of Benjamin Fisher and a grandson of David Fisher. The family became early settlers of White county, Indiana, where the father died in 1866. Frank Fisher acquired a good education and for many years was successfully engaged in the profession of teaching, but on the completion of the Old Folks' and Orphan Children's Home, he was made superintendent and manager and has since acceptably served in that capacity. The buildings and grounds are valued at ten thousand dollars. Mr. Fisher is ably assisted by his wife, a most estimable lady, from whom the homeless little ones receive a motherly care.

More on the Old Folks' and Orphan Children's Home in another post.

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