Julia Ovando Miller, born Feb 11, 1843, had the calm self-poise of her grandmother Elliott. She was deeply religious from Childhood. She became a successful teacher and her talent for vocal music would have made her renowned, AHD she developed her voice under good instruction. She was a woman of advanced ides, especially on religious and political questions. Her liberality and breath of mind, and culture and refinement won the hearts of all who knew her. A fluent speaker, yet in this line it might be said for her, as madam Willard remarked about herself, “She disappeared, to reappear in her daughter.”
Julia Ovanda m. Alonzo J. Mather, a man of equal mentality, fine ideals and sterling principles, always a reader and student. His best work was as a teacher of vocal music.
Both of the above were reared near Rochester, Indiana, living there and in adjoining counties until after he was mustered out at the end of the Civil War, in which he served the last year.
They came to Kansas in June, 1863 and homesteaded land one and one half miles north west of Washington, Kansas. He was employed as carpenter and bridge builder for the U. P. railroad and was at the completion of the road, and the driving of the golden spike when the road was finished at Ogden, Utah in 1869.
Their children are Margaret Myrtle, born March 31, (29) 1871 and Edwin Ray, born March 1879. A fine young man, very talented in music and reading.
While on his way to California in company with a man named Young; at El Paso, Texas, they stopped off between trains, Ray went across to Juarez, in old Mexico to visit an old church and never returned and has never been heard of or from since.
Margaret Myrtle was born on the homestead near Washington, Kansas. She had the brown eyes and dark auburn hair of her father. Inheriting the best and keenest ability of both parents. She began using words at six months of age and was a very successful teacher at 16. She put herself through the Kansas State College by her own efforts, and held her first position at the Beloit Reform School for Girls. She was influential in extension work in Illinois and Purdue College in Indiana. There was a demand for her as a speaker and lecturer in educational circles. She was earning $3000 at this time as a speaker, until her marriage.
In June 1907 she married Theodore Romino, a man of highest principles and intelligence, a student and teacher for many years. He bought land in Morgan Co., IN and set out 20 acres of apple trees. The orchard now consists of 80 acres. Theodore, Sr. passed away early in 1926. Margaret, with the help of Theodore Jr., continues to care for the trees and markets some 8 to 12 thousand bushels of apples during the year.
The two children of Theodore, Sr. and Margaret are Rebecca born Sept 19, 1908 and Theodore Mather, born Nov. 12, 1910. Rebecca married Earl R. Shields, September 1927. They have two children: Alice Patricia, born in 1929 and Margaret born in 1930. Both have the alert mentality of the Mathers, while Margaret has the poise and quiet reserve of her great grandmother. Theodore, Jr. is not married.
The youngest son of A. J. and Oranda Mather was born in Arkansas (the parents having gone there for the health of a little invalid daughter, Elleine) Chalmer Asbury was born in March 1881. After their return to Kansas he finished the grade school and attended college for two or three years at Kansas State. EH accepted an appointment from the government in the experiment being made to eliminate the ticks on cattle and sheep on the range by “dipping” them. After this work was discontinued, he was appointed as a meat inspector at Chicago.
While in New Mexico, at Farmington, he met and married Miss Alice (last name not known), who was a teacher in the Indian school there. They are now living on a farm near Windser, MO. They have no children; Julia Oranda Miller Mather passed away at Durham, Oklahoma, October 1912 and is buried there. Alfonzo J. Mather survived her only a few months, passing away February 11, 1913 at Indianapolis, IN where his daughter, Mrs. Romine resides, and he is buried there in a cemetery nearby.
The two remaining children of A. A. and Margaret E. Miller are Deidamia Ellen, who married James Boyd, September 13, 1874, at Hollenberg, Kansas. He was a farmer. She was a faithful, self-sacrificing wife and mother, calm, patient, enduring. The qualities that make for righteousness and harmony in the home and community.
There were five children: Ernest, born June 23, 1875, married Bertha Carey at Watson, MO, December 24, 1898. They had five children, one of their sons was a college graduate and another entered the military: Ella Boyd, born December 2, 1876 in Hollenberg, Kansas, married John Johnson, November 2, 1878 near Steel City, after her mothers death, Esther lived with her aunt, attending high school and college at Stillwater, Oklahoma and was a successful teacher for more then 25 years. She married John Myers, and was an ideal mother to Cornelia, his baby daughter. They moved to California where she taught in the Van Nuys’s school until a few months before her death in 1933. Madge Boud, born August 20, 1880, died Aug. 1, 1895 at Hamburg, Iowa. Mary Boyd, born March 13, 1883 at Thunnan, Iowa, married James W. Donahue, Jan 20, 1904, they had four children but we have been unable to obtain the names of any of them.
Adda Geraldine Miller, born October 8, 1860, married Noah Slater, April 11, 1881. Two of their four children lived to adult age. Clyde, born at Hardy, Nebraska September 1883, married Mamie Giddings. Their two children are Giddings Slater, a successful doctor at Los Angeles, California and Mary Slater.
DESCENTANTS of ALEXANDER A. and MARGARET E. MILLER
1) William and Margaret Wilson SHILEDS
2) Nancy Shields Elliott
3) Margaret Elliott Miller
4) Mary Jane Miller Hutto
5) Sarah Alice Hutto Wimmer
6) Cornelius Wimmer m. Mary Puterbaugh 7) Veta and Velma, twins
The third child and first son named Absalom for the paternal grandfather was born August 27, 1821 near Greenberg, Decatur Co., Indiana but grew to manhood and married Charlotte Spencer, near Rochester in Fulton Co., in 1846. He was a man of decisions, deeply sympathetic, honest, sincere, industrious, full of the imitative spirit, courageous and fearless, a perfect type of pioneer citizen. His endurance of the vigorous climate of Minnesota with seeming enjoyment and his interest in his neighbors is seen in his letter of 1860. While “father and mother” written from Vicksburg in February 1864. These letters express the real self more truly then anyone else can portray it. His parents were at St. Louis in June 1864 and the mother felt persuaded it could not be possible from the last word received from them. Her impressions were true, Absalom was there at the time and passed away shortly afterwards, as was learned later, and is buried in the national cemetery there.
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Dear Father and Mother: Feb. 19, 1864
I take pen in hand to tell you where I am and how I am.
I am at Vicksburg, Miss. I joined the Army the 5th of January as a recruit in the First Minn. Battery, 1st Division under Captain Clayton of Winona. We left home last Saturday, two weeks ago. I have not heard from home since that time but I am looking for a letter every day. I am as well as common and hop these few lines may find you all we… I have not heard from Jesse nor Isaac since you wrote to us about them, if you know where they are I wish you would write and give me their post address for I want to communicate with them.
There has been five or six of the boys taken sick in the company that I come with but I think it is mostly from intemperance and exposure.
I have been around here over the battleground considerable and have seen the effects of the war and if I should undertake to describe it to you, I could give you but a faint idea of it. Suffice to say that all along up and down the Mississippi river it looks desolate. Great large plantations evacuated and from ten to twenty five chimneys standing with the house burned down. From miles and miles you would not see a human being, only just where there is a town and in a great many of them the stores are emptied of their goods and look desolate. Vicksburg is altogether under marital law and the rebels are coming in daily, both blacks and whites, and taking the oath. I was down in town this forenoon and there were some blacks coming in. They said they had been in the woods for two months. It looks like desolation here in the door yard that have been set with the most beautiful evergreens that ever adorned the earth are now the hospitals. Vicksburg and the whole country for miles around is all under marital law and drawing rations just the same that we soldiers are, citizens and all. O, this is a desolate looking country. I think family; I tell you it seemed hard for me to leave my two pretty little girls; but enough of that. They are in Minnesota and I am in Vicksburg. We don’t know how long we will have to stay here. We are here now to guard the town.
Well, this is the 22nd and I will try to close my letter to yo. This is Washington’s birthday and we have just got back from the celebration. There were several hundred armed blacks there; we had a speech from Gen. Brayman, he is an old grey-bearded man.
Well, I believe I have written all that is of much interest to you. I still have as bright hoes as ever. I am still trying to serve the Lord and make heaven my home. It does me good to reflect that I always had good instructions and example for which I think you both kindly. We have formed a class of fifteen members from the different branches of Christ’s Church and we call it Christian Union Associate. IT is approved by our Captain and some more of the officers. We have our prayer meetings and class meetings twice a week. If you get a letter from my family, write to me.
Well, I will close this from Absalom Elliott to James and Nancy Elliott.
Please direct your reply to:
1st Minn. Battery, 1st Division
17 Army Corps, Vicksburg, Miss.
He passed away in June 1864 at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis.
His children are; Jasper Newton Elliott, born 1850 in Fulton Co., Indiana. Jasper married and had two children n Dunn Co., Wisonsin.
Mary Ovada Elliott, born June 29, 1860. Sarah Elizabeth Elliott, an adopted child 1858.
After the death of Absalom, his wife, Charlotte, sold the place near Winona, Minn. And moved to Menomone, Dunn Co., Wisconsin.
All efforts so far to find any of these children or grandchildren have failed. One incident in Absalom’s early childhood has come down to us through an older sister. “When a boy of 9 or 10 his mother set him to chopping wood. A neighbor boy came over and began teasing Absalom, taking his cap and various things, interfering with his work, so his mother came and remarked, “Ab if you don’t give that boy a whipping, I’ll give you one.” No second urging was needed. The boy’s father came up and Ab’s mother stepped out and said kindly, “Don’t interfere, I’ll tell him when to stop.” The man again was going to interfere when Ab’s mother picked up the ax and said calmly, “Please don’t interfere,” and he stopped, finally she told Ab he had done the boy justice and to let him go.”
(The following information was sent by Marcia Powell, 260 McMillan Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan 482234-3456, tel 313-417-0042. The information was sent by Email on March 18th 2000)
Attached is a copy of the cover page from the 1979 reproduction of Aunt Van’s book. I thought you might find it helpful to have the Fulton Co. Historical Society Address and a copy of the Library of Congress number. My grandmother spoke of Aunt Van often and was so impressed with “Shields Genealogy” that she persuaded the historical society to republish it. Aunt Van must have been a wonderful person especially if tow sides of the family have chosen to reproduce her work. I am so sorry that I never met her.
Please send me a laundry list of the information you would like for me to provide about my side of the family. I have many old photographs, obituaries, death certificates, marriage announcements and even a few old family tales that I am willing to share………. Etc.
………..Now I am going to be very forward and ask a really big favor. Because you are retyping the whole book, I am wondering how comfortable you would feel making a few minor corrections. On page 37, Margaret Myrtle’s birthdate is listed as March 31, 1871. She was actually born on March 29, 1871. She married Theodore Parker Romine (not Romino). Their son was Theodore Mather, so the senior and junior could be deleted. Finally, their daughter Julia Rebecca, was born on Sept. 1, 1908.
Signed Marcia Powell (Rebecca Romine’s and Jerry Shields’ granddaughter)