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Miller, Jacob 1845-1920


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 10/21/2018 at 18:36:02

Jacob Miller was born in the kingdom of Wuerteberg, South Germany in September 1845 and emigrated in 1855 with his parents to Zanesville, Ohio, and in 1857 came with his parents to Clayton county, settling in Neill's Grove. Here the deceased received his education in the Wakeman school which stood on what is now known as the Zurcher farm.

After several years at Neill's Grove the family moved into Giard township, Section 21, north of Froelich, where they lived for several years. It was here, in 1864, that the writer became acquainted with Mr. Miller. Here is where the ties of friendship were welded, ties that were never bent or broken.

Mr. Miller's father was a shoe-maker by trade and told us of many incidents of his boyhood days. How the great French dictator brought nearly all of Central Europe to its knees, the great hungry years of 1816-17, which were the greatest starvation years in the eighteenth century and also of the great Arabian chieftain, Abd ed Kader, from whom our country [sic] seat derived its name.

For a number of years, while still in his teens the deceased labored among the farmers in Farmersburg township. In the fall of 1864, Mr. Miller, possessed by the patriotic spirit to follow his brother, joined the Union Army to fight for freedom and democracy*. We remember well when he walked off one fine morning going down Jack Thompson's old railroad grade to enlist, his sister walking after him, crying and pleading for him to return, but all in vain.

In 1866 his parents purchased 80 acres of land in Section 5 of Farmersburg township, now a part of the present homestead which contains 240 acres and is one of the best farms in the township.

Here we again have an example of what thrift and energy can do. He was possessed of a frugal nature which always makes friends and knows how to keep them. On the other hand he was never afraid to express his opinion on things that were wrong. He was possessed with a gift to hold things together and as a result of these qualifications he served as school director for over thirty years. Being one of the best posted men in Farmersburg township, he was elected assessor for six terms and corrected many errors in descriptions that were made before. He also served as trustee for a number of years and for years was one of the directors in the Farmersburg Savings Bank.

He believed in Democratic principles - Jeffersonian simplicity, but not the autocratic principles of today. He had an open heart for the good and for charity and no needy person went away with an empty hand. His left hand never found out what good his right hand was doing.

Mr. Miller was united in the Holy bonds of wedlock to Elizabeth Helwig, of Giard, on the 13th of March 1877, and to this union eight children were born: one son and seven daughters; Mrs. Clara Datisman, Inwood, Iowa; Mrs. Ruth Erickson, Inwood, Iowa; Mrs. Nettie Tieszen, Chinook, Mont.; Mrs. Hulda Hubacher, Mason City, Iowa; and Emma, Ella, Norma and Grover at home. Besides these there are eleven grandchildren.

Mr. Miller was a member of the Evangelical Association and a pillar of the church, the evergreens around the church stand there as a monument to his suggestion. Only sickness kept him from his place in the house of worship.

Since last October deceased had been failing and he had been kept in his chair for he could not lie down. On Wednesday morning, April 7th, at eight o'clock without a struggle and keeping his strong, full mind to the last minute, he peacefully went to rest. His last few words were spoken to his beloved wife.

The funeral services were conducted by Rev. P.F. Walter, his pastor, and Rev. Banks, of Monona, assisting and was one of the largest gatherings held at the Prairie Church for many years. He was laid to rest Saturday, April 10th in the Farmersburg cemetery, near Giard.

Those left to mourn his departure besides his wife and children are: one brother, George, of Wessington Springs, S.D. ; one sister, Mrs. Fred Shalley*, of Storm Lake, Iowa, and two nephews, J.H. Miller and brother, of Cherokee, Iowa, all of whom were present at the funeral except Mrs. Tieszen, who had been here several weeks ago.

~Elkader Register, April 15, 1920

*His 1894 biography (see on the Clayton co. IAGenWeb site) does not mention Civil War service.

*Mrs. Fred Schaller = Catherine (his sister)

*Buried in the Giard cemetery, Farmersburg twp.


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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