Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Samuel Miller

This biography is taken from The Willoughby Independent (Lake Co., Ohio) Friday February 28, 1896, page 2.

Samuel Miller
Pioneer Sketches
Written for the Independent.

First White Child in Lake County.

Samuel Miller was the first white child born in Lake county. John and Catherine Miller, the parents, were almost the first - if not the first settlers; and the pale faced "papoose" was a wonder along the southern shore of Lake Erie. In 1802 John Miller was killed at a barn raising, while the baby was left to the care of the mother, who proved herself equal to the emergency of pioneer life. Corn was the crop raised for almost the sole dependence. One fall the raccoons were so numerous that the whole corn crop was in danger. Vigorous trapping was resorted to, so that Mrs. Miller had a barrel of the hind quarters salted down for winter use. The corn was pounded or cracked for mush and bread, and with the meat here spoken of, made sumptuous fare for that winter. One day hearing a noise in the pig pen, she went out and found a bear; returning for the axe, she went back and brain was quickly dispatched, so that bear meat helped out that winter. Time passed, and young Samuel was large enough to take charge of many things out of doors. A mill had been built at Euclid Creek, and one bright October day, when about ten years old, he started to go to mill. Riding on a bag of corn thrown over the horse he followed a trail of blazed trees through the forest along what is now Willoughby village, he heard a crunching sound as he neared the little ravine just south of the village. Stopping to investigate, he saw a bear up in a beech tree eating nuts. It is only a few years since the beech tree was cut down, being well known as the tree where "Uncle Sam" saw a bear. He married Marla Storm, the wedding taking place at Simeon Hall's. His mother married a man named Goodspeed, who lived to be over 100 years old. Granny Goodspeed is as well remembered by elderly people today as her son, as he only survived his mother a few years. Aunty Miller, his wife, lived to be 87 years old, dying in Willoughby in 1894.

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Last updated 27 Oct 2007

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