Lee County Biography

Adam Miller
Willow Creek Township


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Adam Miller, who now lives in retirement in the pleasant village of Steward, was for many years actively engaged in farming, and is still identified with the agricultural interests of the county as the proprietor of a farm in Willow Creek Township, whose substantial improvements are the works of his own hand, as it was a tract of wild prairie when it came into his possession.

The birthplace of our subject is in that part of what was once Northampton County, now included in Pocono Township, Monroe County, Pa., and there he was born amidst primeval snrroundings August 19, 1816. Frederick Miller, his father, was a native of the same State, and was a son of another Frederick Miller, who was a farmer of Hamilton Township, Northampton County, where he died in the course of time. The father of our subject was reared in Pennsylvania to the life of a farmer, and also engaged in lumbering. He was a pioneer of Pocono Township, settling Lhere in the primeval forest, from which he cleared a good I farm, which he occupied a number of years, but his last days were spent in the home of a daughter at Chestnut Hill. For some years after his settlement on his land, deer, bear and other kinds of wild game were plentiful, and there were but few signs of approaching civilization. Easton, Allentown and Bethlehem were the nearest markets, and as there were then no railways, all transportation between those points and Philadelphia, eighty-seven miles distant, was by teams. The maiden name of the mother of our subject was Catherine Brown; it is thought that she was a Pennsylvanian by birth, and she was a daughter of Sebastian Brown. She died on the home farm.

Our subject is the only survivor of a family of seven children, and the names of his brothers and sisters are as follows - Elizabeth, Frederick, Peter, Barbara, Catherine and Sarah.

Adam Miller grew to manhood and was educated in his native county. He attended the pioneer schools of his day that were taught on the subscription plan. As soon as large enough to be of any use he was set to work on the farm, and he also helped his father in the lumber business. He remained with his parents until he was eighteen years old and then commenced life for himself by working on a farm. He was thus employed a few years and then engaged in milling. He worked for a man in that business one year, and at the end of that time rented a mill in Lackawanna Township, Luzerne County, which he operated successfully for some years. In March, 1857, he abandoned milling in Pennsylvania, and coming to Lee County, turned his energies to tilling the soil. He bought eighty acres of wild prairie, of which never a sod bad been turned, which was located in what is now Willow Creek Township. As there were no improvements on the place, he rented for three years, and then erected suitable buildings, and resided on his farm until 1883, when he came to Steward, where he has since lived retired, having an income ample for all his wants. During his residence on his farm he put it into good shape, placed the land under excellent tillage and added another eighty acres to the original acreage, so that he now has one hundred and sixty acres of well­improved, arable land,

For more than half a century Mr. and Mrs. Miller have enjoyed life together, their marriage taking place January 20, 1839. They have been blessed with the following children - Merritt, a resident of Steward, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this book; William and Seldon, who are residents of McPherson County, Kan.; Holden, who lives at Forreston, Ill.; Charles, who is on the home farm; and Leonora, the wife of Edgar Morgan, of Greene County, Ind.

Mrs. Miller was Mary Neyhart prior to her marriage, and she was born October 10,1818, in Hamilton Township, which then formed a part of Northampton County, but is now included in Monroe County, Pa. Her father, Peter Neyhart, was also a Pennsylvanian by birth and was of German descent. He followed the trade of a tailor in Hamilton Township until within a few years of his death, and then removed to Pocono Township, where he passed the remainder of his life. The maiden name of his wife was Mary Kester. She survived her husband some years and died at the home of a daugbter in Pittston Township, Luzerne County. Mr. and Mrs. Miller joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in their younger days and were connected with that church for many years. They are conscientious Christians, kindly and charitable in their dispositions, and are held in univertsal esteem throughout the neighborhood.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL Pg 374

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