Carroll County Biographies


This biography honors Jane Hatfield Miller, who against all odds, raised her boys

Frederick W. Miller was born in Germany and obtained his schooling there. He was a sailor for seven years on a German vessel and while he was so engaged his parents came to America and located near Hanover, in Jo Daviess County, Ill. When he was released by the company for which he was working, he left the water and joined his parents in Illinois. Shortly afterwards, in 1860, he was married to Jane Hatfield, who was born in Henry county, Ind., April 17, 1835.

Soon after their marriage Frederick W. Miller and wife rented a farm in Savanna Township and in 1862 he bought eighty acres in the northwest part of Mt. Carroll Township.

In the spring of 1864, Mrs. Miller moved to the farm in Mt. Carroll Township, which, at that time was wild land, entirely unimproved. She purchased lumber and hired a man to haul it from Savanna to the farm, piling her household goods on top of the lumber, the family also traveling on the same load. She was a resourceful woman. Utilizing four trees for corner posts she erected akind of shack house. Enough to shelter the family and then started to solve the problem of clearing and cultivating her land. She had neither oxen nor horses but among her possessions there was a small wagon and she made the best possible use of it. She was living five miles distant form Savanna, and the only way she could secure goods from the town was to walk over the rough, hilly road and haul Charles in the wagon and carry John in her arms. The neighbors, all poor themselves, were as helpful as they could afford to be and during the summer of 1864 came to what was called a chopping bee and by fall she had a log house built and the family moved in although there was, as yet, no glass in the windows. She was a brave, stout-hearted, hard working woman and necessity had taught her to handle a gun as well as a man. The country was wild and wolves were particularly troublesome and on many an occasion she had to stand guard at night over her hogs and chickens. About 1866 she sold her farm and bought another on Apple River, in Jo Daviess County, which she sold in 1871 and moved to Savanna. One year later she purchased the Gleason farm on section 21, Washington Township and there she lived during the rest of her life, her death occurring in February 1875 (Actually it was 11 February 1876). In 1874 she was married to Charles Cochran of Jo Daviess County."

History of Carroll County 1913 Book Page 855
Found this on Rootsweb - family of Lyn Miller Smith

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