Miers Family
Early Sumner Co., Settlers Struggled to Make Start

By E. A. Green
Reprinted with Permission
© 1998

In repayment for service during the Revolutionary War, Benjamin MIERS received a land grant of 640 acres in the newly formed Sumner County. Sumner County was established as a frontier country of western North Carolina in 1786. MIER'S land grant was issued in 1788. He, his wife, Eunidice, and their seven children moved from N.C. to Sumner County in 1788. (MIERS was a great-great-great grandfather of this writer.)

In spite of Indian problems, the MIERS family settled down in Sumner County. In 1796, the year that Tennessee became a state, MIERS traveled back to N.C. to settle some business. On the trip back, he died and was buried on the trail.

For years, MIER'S daughter, Mary TURNER, and her husband, James, fought MIER'S widow, Eunidice, over the estate. Eunidice died on April 7, 1803, but the problems over the estate continued for many years.

Two grandsons of Benjamin MIERS became well known throughout Sumner County. Robert Newton MIERS (1813-1892) and Benny MIERS (1809-1900). For different reasons, they became known for their connections with the Civil War.

Robert N. MIERS lived in a log house, built in 1810, about two and a half miles west of Gallatin on Red River Road. The house is still standing today --- one of the oldest in Sumner County. Prior to and during the Civil War, MIERS recruited men for the Confederacy. He was good at it. When the Union Army took over Gallatin, Robert MIERS was one of the men they most wanted to capture. He had several close calls with federal soldiers. Once, at his home, his oldest son came in and told him that Union soldiers were in the yard. MIERS went upstairs and yelled out a little window near the chimney to his neighbor, "Horton, bring all your body guards right now!" The soldiers fired their rifles all around the small window. MIERS was not hit. But the soldiers left. They thought that they might soon be outnumbered. MIERR'S neighbor, Horton, however, actually had no body guards.

Another time, MIERS returned home to find Union soldiers in his corn crib. The first one that came out was attacked and knocked down by MIERS. He knew that this would not go over well. He got on his horse and headed west. Every place he came to, he tried to borrow a gun and ammunition. But the first people had a gun but no ammunition. The next people had ammunition but no guns. He stopped at his daughter's (Anne Miers GREEN) place and got a gun and ammunition. She wanted him to stay with her but he went off and hid in the woods for several days. He waited until things had calmed down.

Benny MIERS was a building contractor. He moved to Nashville in 1845 and helped found the Vannoy-Miers Company. He built the wall around the Tennessee State Capital grounds. This wall still stands today. MIERS accumulated much property and had a thriving business in Nashville. During the Civil War, the Union Army destroyed most of his property and his business was completely taken away. MIERS moved back to Sumner County. He became known for walking everywhere he went. The walking must have helped as he lived to be ninety.

The history of Sumner County and every community within the County consists of people like Robert and Benny MIERS. They contributed to their time but there were primarily family men who earned livings and took care of their families.

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