NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
Miller was a very common name in colonial New York. Some of the families were of Scottish, some English and some of Dutch ancestry. The name is identical with Muller in many instances. According to the family of the surname Miller at Sephentown, Albany county, now Rensselaer county, New York, under the spelling Millard, evidently all of Dutch extraction. Elijah Millard had two sons under sixteen and four females in his family; Benjamin had two sons under sixteen and two females in his famly and John the same. [transcriber's note: I think this is referring to the federal census in 1790].
(I) Pliny Miller was doubtless of this Miller or Millard family of Stephentown. He had a son, Captain Miller, mentioned below.
(II) Captain Pliny (2) Miller, son of Pliny (1) Miller, was born in Stephentown or Greenbush, Aug. 14, 1775, died at Wilmington, N.Y., Aug. 14, 1860. He was a captain, serving in the war of 1812, and afterward located at Wilmington, Essex county, N.Y., where he was engaged for many years in the lumbering business, purchasing large tracts of land for the timber and owning many saw mills. He came first to Saranac Lake in 1818, but did not make his home there permanently until 1831. He bought three hundred acres of land on the present site of the village of Saranac Lake. He built a dam and saw mill where the electric light station now (1910) stands, and continued in the manufacutre of lumber. His home was on the present site of the Riverside Inn. He was one of the leading citizens of Harrietstown for many years. He lived at Saranac Lake until within two years of his death. His last days were spent at the home of his daughter at Wilmington and he was buried in that town.
He married Polly Hayes, born Feb. 24, 1782, died Feb. 24, 1871.
Homer, Pliny H., John J., Eleanor, Maria and Desire.
(III) Pliny Hilliard, son of Captain Pliny (2) Miller, was born in Greenbush, Jan. 1, 1802, died at Saranac Lake, Nov. 20, 1867. He received a common school education. He lived for a time at St. Armond, removing to Saranac Lake about 1846, and there he lived the remainder of his days. He was engaged in lumbering and owned a saw mill, where he manufactured lumber, wooden measures and baskets. He was a capable guide and fond of the woods and hunting. He kept a store in the village in his later years and continued in active business until within thee years of his death, when he retired.
In politics he was a Democrat. He was town clerk a number of years.
He married Lois Bushnell, born at Ausable Forks, N.Y. Nov. 14, 1808, died at Saranac Lake, June 14, 1854, daughter of James Bushnell.
1. Helen, born April 6, 1827 (deceased).
2. Ensign, Oct. 14, 1829; died 1877.
3. John Wesley, Feb. 9, 1832, died 1896.
4. Perley A., April 15, 1834.
5. James B., March 20, 1836; died June 12, 1909.
6. Alburtus, April 28, 1838.
7. Roxy, April 16, 1840; died Aug. 18, 1908.
8. Philura, Aug. 23, 1842; died Oct. 12, 1866.
9. Milo B., mentioned below.
10. Mary, April 13, 1847; died July 14, 1863.
(IV) Milo Bushnell, son of Pliny Hilliard Miller, was born at St. Armond, Essex county, N.Y., July 21, 1844. When about three years of age he went with the family to Saranac Lake to live and attended the public schools there until he was eighteen years old. He then worked alternately on a farm, in the lumber camps and at driving logs in the river in the spring. He spent many years as a guide in the Adirondacks in the employ of William F. Martin.
In August, 1864, he enlisted in Company E, One Hundredth and Sixth Regiment, New York Volunteers, and served in the Third Brigade of the Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, under General Philip H. Sheridan. During the first months in the service he took part in much hard fighting in the Valley of the Shenandoah under "Fighting Phil." He was mustered out of the service in 1865 and from the state service July 3, 1865.
He started a general store in the Van Buren Miller building in 1865 and continued for several years. Later he moved his business to a new building which he erected and which is now (1910) occupied by Goldsmith's store. In 1865 he bought for the sum of $250 all the land on the west side of Broadway from the present site of the town hall to the Iron Bridge. In 1888 he sold his stock and leased his store to C. L. Sherrill. He was very successful in real estate deals. He became the owner of the grist mill at Bloomingdale, where for eight years or more he made flour for the entire region. In 1876 he purchased land and built the Berkley House, which was the first public house intended for the entertainment of invalids seeking health in the Adirondack Mountains. He bought the Saranac Lake House in 1880, and later changed its name to Miller House, after remodeling and refurnishing at a cost of $100,000. He conducted this hotel for fourteen years. It was destroyed by fire, April 23, 1894, causing the owner a heavy loss. Besides his property on Main street and his hotel property on the Lower Lakes, he owns about a thousand acres on the south shore of Flower lake and the Saranac river. For the past few years his time has been occupied in the care and mangement of his real estate. He has erected several business buildings in the village. He bought the Runnell's farm of eighty-four acres, adjoining Flower lake, in the village, in 1883, and he has cut the property into three hundred seventy-one building lots on one of which he built his own handsome residence in 1892.
In politics he is a Democrat and he has held various offices of trust and honor. He was town clerk of Harrietstown and highway commissioner; for six years he was the sole village trustee, for fifteen years he was postmaster of Saranac Lake and during his term of office the revenue increased from $42 to $800 per annum. He was one of the prime movers in incorporating the village of Saranac Lake and at the first election was chosen one of the long-term trustees. In 1893 he was unanimously elected president of the village and re-elected without opposition in 1894-95. During his term of office the water works and sewerage system were installed in the village.
He is a member of Clinton Lodge, No. 106, Free and Accepted Masons, of Plattsburg. In religion he is an Episcopalian.
He married, in 1868, Katherine Finnegan, of New Sweden, Clinton county, N.Y., daughter of Michael Finnegan. His wife died De. 22, 1900. Their daughter, Mary Lois, born at Saranac Lake, July 4, 1870, married Henry H. Tousley, of Keeseville, N.Y., now of Saranac Lake, member of the firm of Walton & Tousley (incorporated), dealers in hard-hardware. They have three children: Katherine Miller Tousley, born Dec. 11, 1892; Helen Eliza Tousley, June 1, 1894; Frederick Tousley, Aug. 7, 1899.
This family is of Dutch origin, and settled in the state of New York in the eighteenth century. It is quite possible that the first mentioned below was born in Holland, though he may have been born in this country of Dutch ancestry. The fact that he spoke almsot exclusively the Dutch language would indicate that he was very closely allied either by birth or parentage with the mother country.
(I) John T. Miller, a shoemaker and farmer, resided for some time in Dutchess county, N.Y., whence he removed to Argyle, Washington county, same state. He was born Agu. 20, 1774, and died Sept. 20, 1835.
He married Margery (Margaret) Dings, sister of Adam J. Ding, probably born in Dutchess county, N.Y. Their children spoke three languages, English, German and Dutch.
John, Mereca, Jacob, Elizabeth, Jennie, Tobias, Peter, James, Nicholas, Margaret, Hiram and Eleanor.
(II) Jacob, second son of John T. and Margery (Ding) Miller, was born Dec. 4, 1802, in the town of Kingsbury, N.Y., and died July 2, 1890, at Sandy Hill, N.Y. He married (first) Delila, daughter of Jeremiah and Abby (Marks) Fairbanks, born May 6, 1807, died Aug. 21, 1849. He married (second), Feb. 22, 1855, Sarah M. Dunham.
Alfred Alfonzo, James Edgar, Minerva Abigail, Mary Elizabeth, Jeremiah Fairbanks, William Henry Harrison, John Ding, Sarah Ellen, Lousie Jane, Frances Emerine, and Effie Delila.
(III) Jeremiah Fairbanks, third son of Jacob and Delia (Fairbanks) Miller, was born Dec. 10, 1836, in Kingsbury, and is now (1910) residing at Gouverneur, N.Y. He remained with his father on the paternal farm until his marriage, in the meantime teaching school during the winter. He established a grocery store at Smith's Basin, N.Y., which he conducted for a short time, and then removed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he conducted a prosperous grocery business during the civil war. In the fall of 1867 he removed to Gouverneur, where he engaged in the lumber business with the firm of Starbuck, McCarthy & Company. This continued a number of years, after which he operated manufacuring contracts in the woodworking department of the Gouverneur Machinery Company, retiring in 1905.
He is a Presbyterian in religious faith, and a wam supporter of the Republican party.
He married, at Sandy Hill, N.Y., Nov. 10, 1858, Harriet Melvina Nelson, of Fort Ann, N.Y., daughter of William Baker and Jane (Gleason) Nelson of that town (see Baker VII), born Oct. 16, 1839, in Fort Ann. She was baptized at the age of sixteen years in an open river in the dead of winter, and has ever since maintained membership in the Baptist church.
Dora Louise, wife of John D. Hardie, of Gouverneur.
William Orestus, died at the age of one year.
Eddis Nelson, mentioned below.
(IV) Eddis Nelson, only surviving son of Jeremiah F. and Harriet Melvina (Nelson) Miller, was born Feb. 1, 1872, in Gouverneur. He received his early education in the public schools of that town, and graduated from Gouverneur Seminary in the class of 1890. For two years he taught school in De Kalb, N.Y., and subsequently was employed for two years as shipping clerk by the Gouverneur Marble Company. He then took a position as clerk and salesman in the clothing store of James Brodie, of Gouverneur, where he gained a thorough knowledge of the clothing business. In the fall of 1897 he went to New York City and engaged as manger of the special clothing department at A. De Pinnin, on Fifth Avenue, and continued in this position until April 1, 1903, when he became buyer and manager of the clothing department of Franklin Simon & Company, about one block farther up Fifth Avenue. His efficiency and fidelity are demonstrated by the fact that he has continued in this position to the present (1910) time. For four years he attended night classes at Cooper Union Institute, making a specialty of modeling and illustrating, and was thus thoroughly equipped for his present postion. The establishment in which he is employed occupies five floors of the Fifth Avenue building and four floors in the adjoining building, and the department under Mr. Miller's charge is one of the most extensive in the city.
He is liberal in religious views, attending the Episcopal and Unitarian churches and like most natives of St. Lawrence county is an earnest Republican.
Mr. Miller is a member of many fraternities, having been made a Mason in Gouverneur Lodge, No. 217, F. and A.M., of Gouverneur, and took the Royal Arch degree in Gouverneur Chapter of that city. He is now affiliated with Prince of Orange Lodge No. 16, and Constitution Chapter No. 230, of Manhattan, in which borough he resides. He is a member of Union Coucil No. 2, R. and S.M., Palestine Commandery, No. 18, Knights Templar, Azin Grotto No. 7, M.O.V.P.E.R., and Mecca Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is a member of Gouverneur Lodge, No. 325, I.O.O.F., of Metropolitan Lodge, No. 266, Knights of Pythias, of the Society of Colonial Wars, State of New York, and Empire State Society, Sons of the American Revolution.
Have these webpages helped you?
Please let us know in the Guestook.
|[ Read / Sign my guestbook ]|
|Get a free Guestbook|
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids