HISTORY OF JAMES MILLER
James Miller the third child born to Charles Steward Miller and Mary
McGowan was born on November 28, 1829. (Birth certificate from Registry
office in Edinburgh) at Rutherglen, Larkshire, Scotland. Nell Creer Frame
his granddaughter and her husband Dr. J. Wallace Frame visited Rutherglen
once a suburb of Glasgow, now a thriving business section of Glasgow, still
named Rutherglen, however. They visited the old Parish Church of Rutherglen in
October of 1958 where Grandfather James Miller attended and was baptized on December
29, 1829 into the Church of England. It has been renovated from time to time
and it's still in perfect condition.
James was one of eleven children, six daughters and five sons - born to
Charles Stewart Miller and Mary McGowan Miller. They were: Mary Miller, David
Miller, James Miller, William Miller, Archibald Miller, Margaret Miller, Agnes
Miller, Jane McGill Miller, Elizabeth Ferguson Miller, Helen McCulloch Miller,
and John Miller.
James then named his eldest daughter Mary Elizabeth after his mother and
sister. His second daughter Margaret Ann Miller after her Mother and sister.
His third daughter Agnes Ellen Miller after his two sisters
Agnes and Helen,
Grandmother Miller also had a sister Helen (Ellen). Agnes
Ellen Creer Frame; (Nell) named also after his two sisters and
her own mother. His three sons were named after his brothers and
his father. John Archibald Miller after his brothers John and
Archibald, James David after himself and David is brother and
also David his Grandfather. Charles William after his brother
William and his own father Charles. Note these names are now
scattered through all of James Miller's descendants.
At seven years of age, James went to work in the nearby coal
mines. At Hamilton, outside of Glasgow, one can still see large
hills of coal slack, still standing. He worked first as a door
keeper but advanced to various other positions as he grew older.
Not very old, just sixteen when he met up with Mormon
missionaries and was converted and joined the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints. One year later he was baptized,
February 11, 1846, by Andrew Ferguson and was confirmed on
February 28, 1846 by William Gibson. He spent the next two years
converting his parents. They accepted the gospel and started
for Zion, leaving Scotland in 1848. They were six weeks crossing
the ocean and landed at New Orleans. There is a lovely plague
erected where many converts and settlers to America, landed. "I
stood on the very spot where twenty one of my known convert
ancestors landed, Millers and Andersons, Grandfather James
Miller, his Mother and Father and their family of eleven
children, Grandmother Margaret Ann Anderson, her Mother and
Father, and their six children. The Andersons left two children
buried in Barony Lanarkshire, Scotland.
The Charles Stewart Miller family crossed the ocean in the ship
"Carnatic" of Boston, John Devereux, master, sailing from Liverpool
20 Feb 1848, arriving in New Orleans 20 Apr 1848, under the leadership
of Elder Franklin D. Richards. They are listed on the ship's passenger
list as C. Miller, age 43, Mary Miller, age 44, David Miller, age 20,
Mary Miller, age 22, James Miller, age 18, William Miller, age 16,
Archibold Miller, age 14, Margaret Miller, Agnes Miller, Jane Miller,
Elizabeth Miller, Ellen Miller, John Miller (ages of the 6 youngest
children not given.
James Miller, his Father and Mother and his eleven brothers
and sisters sailed up the Mississippi River and landed in St.
Louis, a family of thirteen. Shortly after landing in St. Louis,
his Father, Mother, and his brothers William and Archibald
contracted Cholera and died within ten days of each other. They
had settled at Gravois, an area about ten miles out of St.
Louis. We searched for their graves at all the cemeteries there and
at an old cemetery way out that some of our church people had
told us was called the "Cholera Cemetery". However, all the headstones
were weather worn and had crumbled to just tiny pieces of stone that were
lying buried in weeds and sand. We then tried to find cemetery
lists; but still no trace of their graves. So we gave up
believing that they were buried quickly after death in a common
grave, because of cholera being so contagious.
There James the next to the oldest son took over as head of
the family of nine children; and after they all lived together
and worked in coal mines and knitting mills and saved and in two
years were able to come in the Joseph F. Sharp Company across
the plains, it took four month. There were James, two brothers
and six sisters. James Miller drove an ox team across the plains
for Charles Richards and brought his family safely to Utah
arriving in September of 1851. There they were married, raised
lovely families and lived in Utah their entire lives. Please
refer to his family group sheet.
James Miller was one of the first adobe makers in Salt Lake
and he did a good deal of work on the Salt Lake City Temple, and
worked in a meat market as a clerk for Charles Richards. His
daughter Margaret Ann Davis writes, "While working in Salt Lake,
my Father met and married my Mother Margaret Ann Anderson on
November 24, 1852. They moved to Spanish Fork and arrived there
in September of 1856. My Father made adobes and built a home for
his family. He assisted others in building homes by making
adobes for them.
He went as a guard to Echo Canyon in 1858 to help keep out
Johnson's Army and was absent from his family ten weeks. There
he was given the uniform he is wearing in the picture. Wanda
Boyack Harmon writes from her research about the uniform great
grandfather is wearing in the picture. "It is supposed to be one
of several hundred such uniforms that were obtained from the
soldiers of Johnson's Army, when said army was withdrawn from
Camp Floyd at the onset of the Civil War." That Army came in
1858, four thousand of them with supplies to last them for four
When the soldiers were withdrawn sooner than the four years,
they sold all the supplies on hand to the people of Utah at very
low prices rather than having to haul them back East.
Some of the men took the trimmings off and used the uniforms
just as regular clothes as such things were scarce in those
days. Basically they were U. S. Calvary uniforms of just Pre
Civil War design. Many of them were used by the members of the
Utah State Militia and the re-organized Nauvoo Legion and by the
County and local Militia groups during the Black Hawk War.
A quote from "The History of Spanish Fork", written by Elisha
Warner pages 68 & 73: Black Hawk, another chief of the Utes,
waged war so successfully against the settlers for three years,
1865, 1866, and 1867, that the Indian troubles of that time are
called The Black Hawk War. From the list of men who took part in
the Indian Wars during the early history of Spanish Fork, James
Miller's name is listed.
Also from page 212, Title - "The Young
Men's Academy": Early in the spring of 1872 a number of
young men organized themselves into a literary and debating
society, among the leading spirits were George H. Brimhall,
Samuel Brockbank and others; with Mr. Brimhall as president. The
main object was to improve each other, to advance in the arts of
literary pursuits and public speaking. This group financed and
built their own school house. James Miller's name is included in
the list of members and shareholders of the Young Men's Academy.
This was submitted by Ann Youd Creer.
Elmer Miller, his grandson writes, "Grandfather James Miller
trained the County Militia at night in Spanish Fork and used to
direct sham battles on the 4th of July."
Margaret Wiscomb, his Granddaughter and now the only living
child of his son James David Miller, remembers him being short in
stature and very jovial. Loved by all his family and loving to
them. He liked horses and had one of the earliest organs in
Spanish Fork. Many song fests were held at his home. Scotch
songs and Scotch recitations were prevalent. Both Grandfather
and Grandmother belonged to the Scotish organization in Spanish
Fork and attended all Scotch functions where all danced the
Auther Bowen remembers him participating in the 4th of July
Parades as the Marshal of the Day, in his uniform and with his
Margaret Jones, Eiffel Beck, Margaret Kindred, Chalender
Bowen, Bill Miller and Wilma Witzell can all remember the good
times had at his home and his visits in the latter part of his
life to their homes. Also, Estelle Davis, wife of James Miller
Davis, his second oldest grandson's wife, remembers him very
well, as her husband was named after him. Grandpa was very proud
of his namesake and his wife Estelle. They were married just
eight months before his death. Estelle Davis and William Robert
Creer are both in their 80's being his oldest "grand kin".
After returning from his ten weeks in Echo Canyon, he took up
a little farm west of town near where the Freeway will now run
and along with farming he worked as a clerk in William Warren's
store. After a few weeks, he went into business for himself,
having the store in his home for three or four years. He then
bought a piece of ground on Main Street from George W. Wilkins
and built a home there and had a store in one room of it also.
He continued in business for a few years and then was ordered by
President Brigham Young to turn his establishment into a
cooperation. He took $900 worth of shares for himself and family
and the people of Spanish Fork bought shares, and the Spanish
Fork Co-op was started with James Miller as manager. He held this
position for nine years and was very successful and was always
able to pay the share holders a good dividend.
A full account of the Spanish Fork Coop is given under the
heading "Merchandising", page 409 of "Centennial History of Utah
Later, James Miller started another store of his own and
about this time, following teachings of his church, he went with
Grandmother Margaret Ann and was sealed for time and eternity to
a second wife Susan Lavender and to grandmother the same day,
September 19, 1861. Two other plural marriages followed, Lavenia
Andrus on December 6, 1869 and Lucy Davis, September 26, 1894;
sealed for time only. His second marriage to Susan Lavender
lasted only a short while; we have no history or pictures of
her. Lavenia Andrus and Lucy Davis pictures and histories
Margaret Anderson, six years older than Grandfather James
Miller having been so patient and wonderful during the raising
of the two families; Grandfather's third wife being like her own
daughter. She became tired and with her health failing she died
at the age of 70 in her beloved home.
The later years of Grandfather's life were spent in a home
near his son Charles W. Miller and his wife Minnie Kramer
Miller, who took very good care of Grandfather. He died on
October 1, 1905 at the age of 78 and is buried near his beloved
first wife Margaret Ann in the Cemetery at Spanish Fork.
Then it is to this wonderful man, our Grandfather, Great
Grandfather, and Great Great Grandfather and his beloved wife
Margaret Ann and their parents that we all give thanks and
appreciation for the great sacrifices they made in leaving their
comfortable homes and friends in Scotland and for coming here so
that we might all be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints and enjoy the wonderful heritage thereof.
Submitted by: Neil Creer Frame