Biography - Elias Miller

Elias W. MILLER, farmer, P. O. Raymond, is descended from the Knickerbockers of New York and the Huguenots of South Carolina, and the eldest of a family of ten children, and was born December 16, 1827, a mile and a half west of Eaton, Preble Co., Ohio, near the monument on an Indian mound, which marks the site of one of the bloody fights preceding St. Clair's defeat. In 1840, his father removed to Somerville, Butler County, and in the summer of 1846, Elias W. enlisted, at Newport, Ky., as a private in Company D, Eighth Regiment United States Infantry, for five years, or during the Mexican war. Landing, under Gen. Scott, at Vera Cruz, his regiment bore its part in the siege of that fortress; it rendered conspicuous service in the affairs of the march to the capital, and distinguished itself in the sanguinary battles in the Valley of Mexico. In July, 1848, he was honorably discharged at New Orleans, and returned to his home in Preble County. Marrying Miss Eminoh C. SWALLOW in the summer (May) of 1850, he departed in the fall for the West; reaching Alton by the river, he walked to Hillsboro, and, in May, located his land warrant for a quarter of a section in Butler Grove Township, about two miles north of Butler, on the great road from Hillsboro to Springfield. Youth, health, courage, hopefulness, industry, land and a prudent wife, are the thresholds to wealth; while not neglecting his farm, Mr. MILLER cut cord-wood and worked on the railroad, and for two years was Roadmaster of the Western Division of the Alton & Terre Haute Railway; he tilled his land well, and was fully rewarded; several times be sold his farm, only to buy another in the neighborhood, and in 1866 became the owner of the extensive domain near Raymond widely known as Seward's Point. In the modernized aspect of his home, the traveler will see little to remind him of the brick house which, in 1827, was the best residence in the county, and had its nearest neighbor to the north a day's journey distant. During his minority, he attended school only six months, going only on the days when it rained too hard to work on the farm; yet he is well educated in whatever helps a man to succeed in his sphere of life; his home abounds with books and newspapers, and he was a keen politician; mathematically, he is a plus man, and is best described by positive qualities; when a political party in his State formally denounced in 1863, the further “offensive prosecution of the war,” Mr. MILLER penetrated the order of the Golden Circle “which, in its sympathy with the South, aimed to precipitate the county into armed resistance to the Government“ compelled its leaders to avow their schemes and purposes, and refused their favors; once discovered, their plans came to naught, and at last were publicly abandoned. He was conspicuous in the Grange movement; no man in the county was more industrious or valuable in the local canvass which, in 1873, defeated the dominant party and restored the normal relation between the office holder and the tax-payer. Thrice elected Supervisor of Raymond, he was seeking a seat in the Legislature, when the death of his wife, in 1876, led him to give over those labors and quit the political arena. In April, 1877, he married Miss Lucy J. LAMSON, of Ipswich, Mass., and home and farm life now bound his ambition; he has thriven in fortune, and is hospitable and prudent.

Extracted 20 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, Part 2 Biographical Department, page 227.

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