Miller, Leonard Hezekiah
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LEONARD HEZEKIAH MILLER
Carol Raymond and Sarah Burrell Miller
Based on Research and Compilations of Frances “Frankie” Alexander Miller
for Lorrie, Lance, Caryl and Suzanne
|I. Samuel R. Miller (b. 1803), from Cocke County, TN, married Mary Susannah “Sooky” Byrd from Yancey County, NC. They built a big log cabin in the Sandy Mush section of what is now known as Leicester, NC. Both are buried in Tennessee. According to 1850 and 1860 census reports, Samuel and Mary Susannah’s children were:
III. Hezekiah Gillem Miller, born 9-10-1868 in Sandy Mush, Leicester, NC, died 6-7-1953; married, in 1890, Irene Matilda Wells, born 1-6-1873 on North Turkey Creek, died 12-20-1964. They lived on the farm originally established by his grandparents, Samuel R. And “Sooky” Byrd Miller, and later owned by his parents, Chrisley and Kate Miller. (This house is now owned by one of Hezekiah and Irene’s grandsons.) Hezekiah was a “gentleman farmer” ad was active in establishing schools, and electricity and telephone services in the Sandy Mush area. Irene’s parents were Robert Christopher “Chris” Wells (born 12-15-1835, died 10-15-1905), and Angeline Reeves (born 9-17-1845 on Little Sandy Mush, died 1936). They were married 8-24-1865 and built a beautiful home in the late 1870’s on North Turkey Creek Road, just off NC Hwy. 63, Leicester, NC. The house has been restored and is still elegant. Robert Christopher was a Justice of the Peace, a Magistrate, a farmer and a large land owner. In the Civil War, he served in the VIII Volunteer Infantry, Co. H, 29th Regiment. Chris and Angeline are buried at Brick Church. Chris’s obituary stated, “His last illness was caused by a kick from a horse. He suffered very much until his death brought him relief.” Chris’s parents were Robert Pinkney Wells (born 11-21-1798 on Big Sandy Mush, died 10-31-1862), married 1821, Elizabeth Weaver, (born 7-16-1798 in Weaverville, NC, died 1-7-1865). They are buried at Brick Church.
In the fall of 1862, Robert Christopher Wells was serving in the Civil War with Company H, 29th Regiment VIII Vol. Inf. At Brandy Station, VA. He wrote a letter home to his parens, Robert Pinkney and Elizabeth Weaver Wells, that he was “cold, hungry and homesick.” Robert Pinkney, along with a trusted servant, loaded a wagon and provisions and headed toward Virginia. He hoped to find a train along the way to send the supplies to his son. However, the war had taken its toll on the railroads and he had to continue the journey. With care to avoid the Union troops, he finally arrived at Brandy Station and delivered the provisions to Robert Christopher. Little is known about the return trip, except, as they neared home October 31, 1862, Robert Pinkney became ill and he died. His servant brought the body home and Robert Pinkney Wells was buried at Brick Church Cemetery, Leicester, NC.
–Story information -Velma Miller Robinson, written by Sara Burrell Miller
John Weaver, of German-Dutch descent, was born in the Netherlands. He came to America with three brothers in the late 1700’s. John served in the American Revolution with the Pennsylvania Rangers on the frontiers. He heard a lot about the southwestern country, so he traveled into the “vast, wild and dangerous region” called the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and Kentucky. He staked land claims from the Ohio River into northern parts of North Carolina in 1785, buying hundreds of acres for 50 shillings an acre. He met a man named Albert Biffle who told him about his sister, Elizabeth, back in Happy Valley, Tennessee. John met and married Elizabeth and in the spring of 1787, they left Happy Valley for the mountains of Western North Carolina. One evening during their journey, they needed to find a place to spend the night. John saw a bed of wild hogs close to a cliff. He routed them out, built a fire and fixed a place to bed down. Early the next morning, they found a trail to the Blue Ridge Mountains. They set up a wigwam and lived with some friendly Indians for awhile. Soon, John bought 320 acres on the French Broad River where he built a nice log home, cleared land, and started farming. He, thus, became the first white settler in the region which eventually be known as Weaverville, NC. John and Elizabeth had eleven children:
Angeline Reeves Wells’s parents were Malachi Reeves, Jr. (Born 3-28-1823 on Little Sandy Mush, died 1-18-1892) and Elizabeth Robeson (born 9-12-1825, died 8-20-1912). Elizabeth and Malachi, Jr. built a large brick home in 1860. It is still in use and remains in the family. It is located at the foot of Doggett Mountain on the right side of Hwy. 63 after crossing from Buncombe County into Madison County. The bricks were made on the property. Elizabeth and Malachi, Jr. are buried at Little Sandy Mush Methodist Church Cemetery. Elizabeth’s parents were John Robeson (born 3-20-1790, died 6-9-1830) and Anna Palmer (born 1-23-1796). Anna Palmer’s parent’s were Jesse Palmer (born 6-28-1763 in Virginia, died 12-13-1850) and Elizabeth Hoffman (born 5-9-1764 Germany, died 7-13-1858). They were married in 1776 in Lincoln County, North Carolina and moved to Big Sandy in 1803. Jessie was a Revolutionary War hero who fought in the battles of Guilford Court House and Kings Mountain. Both are buried in the Big Sandy Mush Methodist Church Cemetery. Jesse was the son of George Palmer, born in England, and Elizabeth Wyatt, born 1718, died 1820 (102 years old), buried at Big Sandy Mush Church Cemetery (Elizabeth Wyatt Palmer was the first person to be buried in this cemetery.) Elizabeth’s parents and Hoffman forefathers were: Jacob Hoffman married Catherine Best; John Hoffman (born 1705); Hans Georg Hoffman (born 1689); Paulus Hoffman married Barbara Prudentia in 1691; Ludwig Hoffman (born 1622); Wilhelm Hoffman (born 1588); Andreas Hoffman (born 1568); Frederick Hoffman (born 1403, d. 1468); was the Baron and Hereditary Grand Marshall of Styria; and John Hoffman, (born 1371, died 1479) and was the Rector of the University of Leipzig. Elizabeth, her sister Catherine and her ancestors came from a region in Germany called the Palatinate. (Note: This represents 20 generations back from Carol Raymond Miller!)Malachi Reeves, Jr.’s parents were Malachi Reeves, Sr. (born 1792, d. 1875, buried in an unmarked grave at Big Sandy Mush) and Barbara Glance (born 1793, died 1875, buried at Little Sandy Mush). Malachi Reeves, Sr.’s parents were James Reeves (born 1750) and Elizabeth Wells, daughter of Newman Wright Wells. Newman Wright Wells is buried at Big Sandy Mush. James Reeves’s father was Isaac Reeves, born in Granville Co., NC, died in Rowan Co., NC. His father was William Rives, born 1680 in Virginia, died 1751 in Granville Co., NC. William’s father was William Ryves, born 1636 in Woodstock, England, died after 1695 in Virginia. “When he was 16 years old, he was imported by Littleton Sarburg into Surry Co., VA. By 1684 he appeared in county records as a freeman.”
Barbara Glance Reeves’s parents, m. 1792, were Charles Glance, born about 1770, and Catherine “Katy” Cross. There is a community and church named after Katy Cross known as Cross Rock. It is located on NC Hwy. 63 just across the Madison County line from Buncombe Co.) Charles Glance’s parents were Anton Glance and Catherine Hoffman, sister of Elizabeth Hoffman mentioned above.
Hezekiah and Irene Miller’s children were:
Hezekiah and Irene are buried at Brick Church, Leicester, NC.
Sources of Information: Personal knowledge and research of Frances “Frankie” Alexander Miller; Recollections of Leonard H. Miller and Velma Miller Robinson and other family members; Cemeteries; Census Reports; The Hoffmans of North Carolina by Max Hoffman; Old Buncombe County Heritage, Vol I and II; Sandy Mush Charge by Larry Melton; and research records of Viola Alexander Walker. Revised November 26, 1995.
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