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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Moses Miller Early Lebanon Resident Of Note

Contributor:
Dallas Bogan on 28 July 2004
Source:
Dallas Bogan, Warren County, Ohio and Beyond (Bowie Maryland: Heritage Press, 1979) page 252
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

Moses Miller was born in Bridgetown, Cumberland County, New Jersey, April 11, 1812. His parents were Joseph and Charlotte Miller, who were of German Descent. He died in Lebanon, Ohio, January 1, 1885, aged 72 years, 8 months and 20 days.
A common practice in the early days of our country was to train boys at an early age to learn a trade; such was the case of Moses Miller. He was apprenticed to be a wagon maker. Having served his apprenticeship he moved, at the age of 21, to Franklin in Warren County. He remained but a few weeks and then moved to Lebanon, which he made his permanent home.
His first employment in the new town was with the firm of John P. March, then a prominent car rage and wagon maker. Mr. March passed away and Moses remained in the employ of the sons, George R. and John W. March. While working for the brothers, Moses was appointed janitor and Court Constable in 1839. (Previous to this, Mr. Miller was elected Town Marshal for three years, and reelected for a fourth.) After receiving his newly appointed jobs, he still retained his tenure of wagon maker until the March brothers went out of business in 1862. He worked at his trade and attended to his duties of the courthouse morning and evening, except during terms of court.
He was united in wedlock to Catherine Smith August 11, 1839. To this union three children were born, namely, Matthias, Matilda D., and Moses S. Miller. On August 23, 1848, he was activated into Lebanon Lodge, No. 15, I.O.O.F. He at once became an active, hard-working and honored member. He was elected Secretary July 1, 1854; Vice Grand, January 1, 1855; and Noble Grand, July 13, 1855. On April 21, 1870, he became a member of the Encampment.
For several years he was Out Side Guardior and janitor of the Odd Fellows' building. He was always faithful in his attendance and service to the Lodge until his age and health slowed him. He was still a frequent visitor and never failed to attend the night the dues were taken.
In 1865, business was a bit slow in Lebanon so he went to Cincinnati to work. While there, he encountered a fall, which was almost fatal. He was confined to his home for several months.
In 1876, Moses took his entire family to visit old friends and relatives in his native State of New Jersey. His stay lasted several weeks; he always referred to this trip as one of enjoyment.
His work in the courthouse was one of excellence. His salary came from the public treasury, but his time was his own to manage. Moses was never idle. He was described as "one of the most industrious men that ever lived."
Before daylight, he would be at his work, scrubbing, sweeping, dusting and mending. Darkness fell and he would often be detained by a session of court or in completion of his work. His labor of work would extend from the top of the dome to all property associated with the courthouse. His training and mechanical ability allowed him to do all chores called upon without any outside assistance. Visitors to the courthouse would constantly comment on the orderliness and cleanliness. The credit always went to "Uncle Moses Miller."
Being wasteful to the public charge was not allowed at the courthouse. Miller was extremely alert to all the rogues who attempted to mark the wall, scar the benches, or mistreat the beautiful lawn. He was sometimes thought to be too severe in the protection of the premises, but the taxpayer was paying him, and he set out to protect their interests. His iron constitution was a part of his nature. He would rather have suffered dire consequences than to alter his character.
He was not a user of tobacco or alcohol. He loved the right and hated the wrong. Not being a respecter of persons, Moses would accommodate the poorest and humblest that had business in the courthouse, to the wealthiest. It had been commented many times that Moses would work as long as he lived.
He had long been suffering poor health, but he continued at his labor of work until less than a week before his death; he died as he desired, at his post of duty. It was said, "He idled no time away."


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This page created 28 July 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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