Lee County Biography

Daniel Miller
Brooklyn Township


Daniel Miller is a prominent and highly respected farmer of Brooklyn Township, who has filled various offices of trust and has taken an active part in the public life of this section. He wsa born in what is now Summit Township, Somerset County, Pa., October 12, 1822. His father, Abraham Miller, was a native of Lancaster County, that State, the son of a farmer who spent his last years in Pennsylvania.

Abraham Miller went to Somerset County as a pioneer when a young man and bought a tract of forest-covered land in what is now Summit township. He built a log cabin, cleared the greater part of his land, and at the time of his death in 1832 had a goodly farm, When he settled in that place there were no railways, canals or carriage roads in that part of Pennsylvania then or for some years after, and at one time he went to Harrisburg, three hundred miles distant, for salt. The people were principally home livers, subsisting on the products of the soil and on wild game, such as deer, bears, etc., which were very plentiful. The mother of our subject used to card and spin flax and wool and her daughters wove all the cloth used in the family. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Mary Troutman, and she was a native of Pennsylvania. She spent her last years on the home farm, surviving her husband many years. She reared five children by her second marriage, and three by a former marriage. The father of our subject reared ten children by his first marriage.

Daniel Miller was ten years old when his father died. After that he resided with an older brother in his native county until he was fourteen years old, and then went with him to Ohio, making the removal with a team. He worked for his brother by the month for four years and at the end of that time returned to his old home, and worked out there by the month the ensuing four yeurs. During that time he was employed in teaming with six horses between different parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. It was then that he saw a railway for the first time. It was a primitive affair of wooden rails with iron straps on top, and extended from Washington to Baltimore.

Returning once more to Ohio at the end of the four years mentioned, in the year 1844, our subject rented a farm in Wayne County and resided there until 1855, when he came to Illinois to try farming on the fertile soil of the Prairie State. The journey was made by rail to Mendota, whence he made his way to this part of Lee County, and invested in eighty acres of wild prairie in what is now Brooklyn Township, and commenced at once the pioneer labor of developing a farm. Subsequently, he bought eighty acres more, making one hundred - sixty. He has put his land under fine cultivation, and has placed upon it many val­uable improvements, including a substantial dwelling. In the terrible cyclone of June 20, 1890, that devastated the country hereabouts, much of the work of years was destroyed in a second's time; all his buildings were demolished except his residence and that was removed from its foundations about three inches, the fence and fruit trees were laid low, and the crops were spoiled.

Mr. Miller was first married, in 1844, to Miss Elizabeth Lewis, who was born in Virginia near Wheeling. She died in 1848, leaving one child, Ephraim, who died at the age of thirty-five years. Mr. Miller was married to his present wife, formerly Leah Kittenger, August 2, 1849. They have nine children living; Sarah, wife of Hubbard Ran­stead; Milo T., Lewis, Frank, David; Mary, wife of William Troutman; William, John, and Martha, wife of Edward Berry.

Mrs. Miller was born in Lancaster County, Pa., January 3, 1831. Her father, David Kittenger, was a native of the same county as herself, and was a son of Abraham Kittenger. Mrs. Miller's great grandfather was born in Switzerland. Her grand.father was married in Pennsylvania, and subse­quently removed from there to Stark County, Ohio in 1837, and passed the remainder of his life there. He was a pioneer of that region, and engaged at his trade there as a carpenter. The father of Mrs. Miller was reared and married in Pennsylvania. He went to Ohio to settle in 1837, making the en­tire journey with a team and camping and cook­ing by the wayside at noon and nightfall. He was a pioneer of Canal Fulton, where he passed the rest of his days in the comfortable home that he bought in that place. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Kling. also lived in that town until her death. She was a native of Lancaster County, Pa., and a daughter of Lewis and Martha Kling. Mrs. Miller is a member of the Reformed Church and a sincere Christian.

Our subject has been true to Republican princi­ples ever since the formation of the party. His fellow-citizens have shown their appreciation of his merits by entrusting to him various important offices, and he has been honored by election to the County Board of Supervisors to represent Brooklyn Township nine terms. Whenever he has occupied that responsible postion, he has done his whole duty as a civic official, and has exerted himself to push forward the numerous plans for the advancement of the county since he became one of its active citizens.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL Pg 769


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