Indiana McCaslins

John Chapman MillerAge: 70 years18311901

John Chapman Miller
Birth May 12, 1831 35 29
Death of a fatherJohn Smith Miller
August 15, 1833 (Age 2 years)

Birth of a half-sisterLucinda Farmer
about 1837 (Age 5 years)
Marriage of a parentAaron FarmerGertrude DenslowView this family
about 1837 (Age 5 years)

Birth of a half-brotherBenjamin K Farmer
1839 (Age 7 years)

Source: Find a Grave
Death of a half-brotherBenjamin K Farmer
1839 (Age 7 years)

Source: Find a Grave
Burial of a half-brotherBenjamin K Farmer
1839 (Age 7 years)
Source: Find a Grave
Note: Nineveh Christian Church Cemetery (Find A Grave Memorial# 116247925)
Census 1840 (Age 8 years)
Death of a paternal grandmotherJane Smith
October 6, 1848 (Age 17 years)

Burial of a paternal grandmotherJane Smith
after October 6, 1848 (Age 17 years)
Note: Graham Presbyterian Cemetery (Find A Grave Memorial# 80509850)
Census 1850 (Age 18 years)
MarriageElizabeth Ann GarrView this family
December 22, 1862 (Age 31 years)
Birth of a daughter
Gertrude D Miller
September 1872 (Age 41 years)
Birth of a daughter
Laura G Miller
October 1880 (Age 49 years)
Death of a motherGertrude Denslow
January 21, 1882 (Age 50 years)

Source: Find a Grave
Burial of a motherGertrude Denslow
after January 21, 1882 (Age 50 years)
Source: Find a Grave
Note: Nineveh Christian Church Cemetery (Find A Grave Memorial# 87603108)
Birth of a son
Simeon Miller
August 1882 (Age 51 years)
Death of a wifeElizabeth Ann Garr
September 14, 1899 (Age 68 years)

Census 1900 (Age 68 years)
Death September 17, 1901 (Age 70 years)
Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: March 20, 1825
9 months
elder brother
elder sister
16 months
Mother’s family with Aaron Farmer - View this family
Marriage: about 1837
1 year
3 years
Family with Elizabeth Ann Garr - View this family
Marriage: December 22, 1862Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky
10 years
8 years
23 months

Birth1900 US Federal Census
Census1840 US Federal Census
Census1850 US Federal Census
Census1900 US Federal Census
DeathIndiana Deaths, 1882-1920
Shared note

John Chapman Miller, on his father's side, was of Scotch-Irish Presbyterian stock, his great-grandfather having landed in North Carolina in 1767. His grandfather, John Miller, came to Kentucky in the early part of the 19th century, and thence to Jennings county, Indiana, in 1816. His father, John Smith Miller, there married Gertrude Denslow, and in 1822 brought his bride to a log cabin in a clearing he had made the season before in the forests of Johnson county, Indiana.

Here John Chapman Miller, named for his 2 grandfathers (one of whom, Maj. Chapman Denslow, was of the army that overthrew Tecumseh at Tippecanoe in 1811), was born 5/12/1831, and here he died, after a 3 weeks' illness of typhoid fever, 9/17/1901.

He was the youngest son in a family of 6, and when he was a little past 3 years old his mother was left a widow. His boyhood was one of hard labor, but that was no strange thing in the life of a pioneer's son. He found time to secure the rudiments of learning, as the private neighborhood schools of the day taught them, and in Satterthwaite's academy, or high school, at Nineveh, then called Williamsburg, he found an inspiration to higher education. An uncle had been a student at Hanover College, but had died before completing his course. In those days and places there was little general sympathy with a boy who left the farm for college, and both for this reason and because he was a widow's son, John C. Miller spent several years saving enough from his earnings as a farm laborer and school teacher to enable him to complete the scientific course at Indiana University, which he did in 1855. Judge Banta, father of George Banta, Indiana '76, was the room-mate and chum of Mr. Miller, who was initiated into Indiana Alpha in 1854, when Phi Delta Theta was but a little over 5 years old.

The year following his graduation, Mr. Miller read law at the university at Bloomington, and prepared to enter the legal profession, in which his powers of logic, eloquence and wit would have won for him high rank and fortune. Meanwhile, however, he had become a member of the Christian church. He became more and more convinced that he must devote his life to the ministry, and in the fall of 1856 he went to Bethany College. Here he studied the classics he had passed by at Bloomington, and the Bible studies his chosen profession demanded. He was graduated in 1858 and received the degree of A. M. in 1866.

The ministry of John C. Miller began in the early fall of 1858 at Providence, Johnson county, Indiana, and ended just 43 years later at Mt. Pleasant church, in the same county, where he preached his last sermon on 8/27/1901, the day before his last illness began. He was both teacher and preacher in his own and neighboring counties from 1858 to 1862, when he was called to the church at Madison, Ind., where he was engaged from 1862 to 1866. Just before this he had met a charming Kentucky girl, who was visiting her relatives in Johnson county. After a brief courtship, Elizabeth Ann Garr became his wife on 12/22/1862, at Louisville, Ky.

In 1866 he bought the interests of the other heirs in his father's farm and built there the home in which he died. For 4 years he conducted an academy at Nineveh, preparing many students for the Indiana colleges, and all the while preaching for near-by churches.

In 1871 the directors of the Northwestern Christian University, now Butler College of the University of Indianapolis, offered him a chair of philosophical and Biblical literature, and the Third Christian church of Indianapolis called him to be its pastor. He accepted both positions and filled the former until 1873, when he became a member of the board of directors, and the latter until 1876, when he resigned to return to his farm. He was a director of Butler for more than 20 years, serving most of the time as chairman of the committee on instructors, salaries and condition of school.

The return to Johnson county in 1876 was for a double reason. He believed that his children, to be soundest physically and morally, must be reared in the country, and he had decided from experience that the same amount of effort produced better and more permanent results among country churches than in the city.

After 1876 he preached for his home church and others in Johnson and neighboring counties. Nothing but illness ever prevented his appearing somewhere in the pulpit on Sunday during all the 43 years of his ministry. He held many revival meetings, both for the churches with which he was regularly employed and for more remote congregations. His meeting with the church at Danville, Indiana, in the early seventies was one of the first in which the Christian church in which over one hundred became members in a few weeks. He delivered many special patriotic, temperance and educational addresses, and was in the early days of his ministry an active debater, holding 2 notable debates with Universalist champions- one at Vevay and one at Lick Spring, in Johnson county. He was also a frequent contributor to the religious journals of his church, and a delegate to many of the church conventions.

During all this time he took an active part in the outdoor work of his farm, which was done almost entirely by himself and his sons until the latter went away to college. His health broke down in the early days of his ministry, and his attainment of the age of threescore and ten was due solely to constant care and self-denial.

He educated at home his 3 daughters, and there prepared his 3 sons for college. Besides the cares of the ministry, his studies, his children's studies and his farm work, he was for nearly 40 years, the father of the church and community in which he lived, the adviser and leader in every crisis of whatever kind. And this last was true of him throughout Johnson county, where 2,000 Disciples knew him, perhaps, more intimately than any equal number of Christians know any of their ministers today. For most of them saw him every month. He sat at their tables, baptized their children, married them, buried their dead; taught, exhorted and comforted them. More than once, especially in matters affecting intemperance, he was an active leader in the work against moral deviations. He baptized not only his wife and her mother, but each of his children, as well as most of his other near relatives.

His devoted wife died 7/14/1889, and the pathos of his loneliness during those last 12 years, as his children were going away to college or to make homes of their own, and as his old friends sickened and died one by one, was deep and keen.

The funeral services were held on 9/19 at the Nineveh church, and ZT Sweeney was the speaker. The audience was gathered from every part of Johnson county. Among the 6 ministers present were Robert Sellers and Charles R. Hudson.

6 children survive: Hugh Th. Miller, formerly of Butler Collegem now with Irwin's Bank at Columbus; Mrs. M. S. Kice, of Louisville, Ky.; John FG and Simeon VB, students at Purdue University, and Gertrude D. and Laura G., who were living at home.

Source: The Scroll of Phi Delta Theta By Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Published by Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. 1902 Item notes: v.26 (1901-02)

Transcribed by James R. Wilson

In the 1840 US Federal Census for Johnson County, Indiana, Getty Farmer has in his household one male between 5 and 10 (John Chapman Miller, his wife's son by John Smith Miller), one male between 15 and 20 (himself? this seems a little young), one female under 5 (his daughter, Lucinda Famer), one female between 5 and 10 (his wife's daugher, Martha Miller), three females between 10 and 15 (unknown) and one female between 20 and 30 (his wife, Gertrude Denslow Miller Farmer). George W Miller, Gertrude's son, who would have been 15-years old, is missing from this household.

In the 1850 US Federal Census for Nineveh, Johnson, Indiana, 19-year-old John C [sic] Miller is living in the household of his mother, 49-year-old New York-born Gertrude [Denslow Miller] Farmer who owns $1,400 worth of real estate. Also in this household are Gertrude's daughter 13-year-old Indiana-born Lucinda Farmer, her son 25-year-old Indiana-born laborer George W Miller, and her daughter 20-year-old Indiana-born Martha.

In the 1900 US Federal Census for Nineveh, Johnson, Indiana, 69-year-old Indiana-born widowed minister, John C Miller has in his household his Indiana-born children, 27-year-old Gertrude D, 19-year-old Laura G and 17-year-old Simeon J, and his 84-year-old Kentucky-born widowed mother-in-law, Lucy Garr. John owns his farm free of mortgage. John's father was born in North Carolina and his mother in New York. The children's father was born in Indiana and their mother in Kentucky. Lucy Garr's parents were born in Virginia