Our Dead Relatives — John Jacob Miller

Written by Mary Lou Brown

John Jacob Miller, Sr. emigrated with his family from Bavaria and settled in eastern Pennsylvania in what is now Lancaster County. He was a man of considerable wealth and quite influential in the community in which he resided. Before coming to American he married Aguesia Seesholtz and they had several children who accompanied them to this country, among whom was Jacob, in later life known as Jacob Miller, Sr., and who shortly after coming over married Elizabeth Edwards, a daughter of Judge Thomas Edwards of Chester County, Pennsylvania and who for many years was a member of the general assembly of Pennsylvania from Lancaster County.

Mrs. Katie Wilson Frend, of Independence, Iowa, who is a direct descendent of John Jacob Miller, Sr., and Judge Thomas Edwards, both pioneers of Chester and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania.

She states that some years ago she visited the site of the Miller Blockhous which stands on a high precipitous bluff overlooking a fertile strip of bottom land lying between the Dutch Forks of Buffalo Creek on the West and located at Coon Island in Donegal Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania and near the town of West Alexander, Pennsylvania.

She saw where the blockhouse stood and the grave yard back of it. She was much distressed to see the condition of the grave yard as it appeared at the time overrun with cattle from the adjoining fields, which had broken off many of the grave stones and the stone marking the single grave of Hupp and Miller and almost completely destroyed.

She states that at that time she visited the Washington County courthouse in Washington, Penn., and saw among the archives there the clothes worn by Jacob Miller, Sr., at the time the Indians at the attack on the Miller Blockhouse killed him on Easter Sunday morning, 1782. She says that they were in an excellent state of preservation and that he surely was an aristocrat, was probably dressed for church that Easter Sunday morning, his outfit consisted of knee britches with silver buckles, a velvet waist coat and buckskin hat which turned back from the face. She further says that it gave her quite a thrill to visit these historic places of her ancestors and see the garments that her forefather wore when the Indians took his life.