James Miller

November 20, 1829 - October 1, 1905



James Miller the third child born to Charles Steward Miller and Mary McGowan was born on November 28, 1829. (Birth certificate from Registry office in Edinburgh) at Rutherglen, Larkshire, Scotland. Nell Creer Frame his granddaughter and her husband Dr. J. Wallace Frame visited Rutherglen once a suburb of Glasgow, now a thriving business section of Glasgow, still named Rutherglen, however. They visited the old Parish Church of Rutherglen in October of 1958 where Grandfather James Miller attended and was baptized on December 29, 1829 into the Church of England. It has been renovated from time to time and it's still in perfect condition.

James was one of eleven children, six daughters and five sons - born to Charles Stewart Miller and Mary McGowan Miller. They were: Mary Miller, David Miller, James Miller, William Miller, Archibald Miller, Margaret Miller, Agnes Miller, Jane McGill Miller, Elizabeth Ferguson Miller, Helen McCulloch Miller, and John Miller.

James then named his eldest daughter Mary Elizabeth after his mother and sister. His second daughter Margaret Ann Miller after her Mother and sister. His third daughter Agnes Ellen Miller after his two sisters Agnes and Helen, Grandmother Miller also had a sister Helen (Ellen). Agnes Ellen Creer Frame; (Nell) named also after his two sisters and her own mother. His three sons were named after his brothers and his father. John Archibald Miller after his brothers John and Archibald, James David after himself and David is brother and also David his Grandfather. Charles William after his brother William and his own father Charles. Note these names are now scattered through all of James Miller's descendants.

At seven years of age, James went to work in the nearby coal mines. At Hamilton, outside of Glasgow, one can still see large hills of coal slack, still standing. He worked first as a door keeper but advanced to various other positions as he grew older.

Not very old, just sixteen when he met up with Mormon missionaries and was converted and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. One year later he was baptized, February 11, 1846, by Andrew Ferguson and was confirmed on February 28, 1846 by William Gibson. He spent the next two years converting his parents. They accepted the gospel and started for Zion, leaving Scotland in 1848. They were six weeks crossing the ocean and landed at New Orleans. There is a lovely plague erected where many converts and settlers to America, landed. "I stood on the very spot where twenty one of my known convert ancestors landed, Millers and Andersons, Grandfather James Miller, his Mother and Father and their family of eleven children, Grandmother Margaret Ann Anderson, her Mother and Father, and their six children. The Andersons left two children buried in Barony Lanarkshire, Scotland.

The Charles Stewart Miller family crossed the ocean in the ship "Carnatic" of Boston, John Devereux, master, sailing from Liverpool 20 Feb 1848, arriving in New Orleans 20 Apr 1848, under the leadership of Elder Franklin D. Richards. They are listed on the ship's passenger list as C. Miller, age 43, Mary Miller, age 44, David Miller, age 20, Mary Miller, age 22, James Miller, age 18, William Miller, age 16, Archibold Miller, age 14, Margaret Miller, Agnes Miller, Jane Miller, Elizabeth Miller, Ellen Miller, John Miller (ages of the 6 youngest children not given.

James Miller, his Father and Mother and his eleven brothers and sisters sailed up the Mississippi River and landed in St. Louis, a family of thirteen. Shortly after landing in St. Louis, his Father, Mother, and his brothers William and Archibald contracted Cholera and died within ten days of each other. They had settled at Gravois, an area about ten miles out of St. Louis. We searched for their graves at all the cemeteries there and at an old cemetery way out that some of our church people had told us was called the "Cholera Cemetery". However, all the headstones were weather worn and had crumbled to just tiny pieces of stone that were lying buried in weeds and sand. We then tried to find cemetery lists; but still no trace of their graves. So we gave up believing that they were buried quickly after death in a common grave, because of cholera being so contagious.

There James the next to the oldest son took over as head of the family of nine children; and after they all lived together and worked in coal mines and knitting mills and saved and in two years were able to come in the Joseph F. Sharp Company across the plains, it took four month. There were James, two brothers and six sisters. James Miller drove an ox team across the plains for Charles Richards and brought his family safely to Utah arriving in September of 1851. There they were married, raised lovely families and lived in Utah their entire lives. Please refer to his family group sheet.

James Miller was one of the first adobe makers in Salt Lake and he did a good deal of work on the Salt Lake City Temple, and worked in a meat market as a clerk for Charles Richards. His daughter Margaret Ann Davis writes, "While working in Salt Lake, my Father met and married my Mother Margaret Ann Anderson on November 24, 1852. They moved to Spanish Fork and arrived there in September of 1856. My Father made adobes and built a home for his family. He assisted others in building homes by making adobes for them.

He went as a guard to Echo Canyon in 1858 to help keep out Johnson's Army and was absent from his family ten weeks. There he was given the uniform he is wearing in the picture. Wanda Boyack Harmon writes from her research about the uniform great grandfather is wearing in the picture. "It is supposed to be one of several hundred such uniforms that were obtained from the soldiers of Johnson's Army, when said army was withdrawn from Camp Floyd at the onset of the Civil War." That Army came in 1858, four thousand of them with supplies to last them for four years.

When the soldiers were withdrawn sooner than the four years, they sold all the supplies on hand to the people of Utah at very low prices rather than having to haul them back East.

Some of the men took the trimmings off and used the uniforms just as regular clothes as such things were scarce in those days. Basically they were U. S. Calvary uniforms of just Pre Civil War design. Many of them were used by the members of the Utah State Militia and the re-organized Nauvoo Legion and by the County and local Militia groups during the Black Hawk War.

A quote from "The History of Spanish Fork", written by Elisha Warner pages 68 & 73: Black Hawk, another chief of the Utes, waged war so successfully against the settlers for three years, 1865, 1866, and 1867, that the Indian troubles of that time are called The Black Hawk War. From the list of men who took part in the Indian Wars during the early history of Spanish Fork, James Miller's name is listed.

Also from page 212, Title - "The Young Men's Academy": Early in the spring of 1872 a number of young men organized themselves into a literary and debating society, among the leading spirits were George H. Brimhall, Samuel Brockbank and others; with Mr. Brimhall as president. The main object was to improve each other, to advance in the arts of literary pursuits and public speaking. This group financed and built their own school house. James Miller's name is included in the list of members and shareholders of the Young Men's Academy.

This was submitted by Ann Youd Creer.

Elmer Miller, his grandson writes, "Grandfather James Miller trained the County Militia at night in Spanish Fork and used to direct sham battles on the 4th of July."

Margaret Wiscomb, his Granddaughter and now the only living child of his son James David Miller, remembers him being short in stature and very jovial. Loved by all his family and loving to them. He liked horses and had one of the earliest organs in Spanish Fork. Many song fests were held at his home. Scotch songs and Scotch recitations were prevalent. Both Grandfather and Grandmother belonged to the Scotish organization in Spanish Fork and attended all Scotch functions where all danced the Highland Fling.

Auther Bowen remembers him participating in the 4th of July Parades as the Marshal of the Day, in his uniform and with his sword.

Margaret Jones, Eiffel Beck, Margaret Kindred, Chalender Bowen, Bill Miller and Wilma Witzell can all remember the good times had at his home and his visits in the latter part of his life to their homes. Also, Estelle Davis, wife of James Miller Davis, his second oldest grandson's wife, remembers him very well, as her husband was named after him. Grandpa was very proud of his namesake and his wife Estelle. They were married just eight months before his death. Estelle Davis and William Robert Creer are both in their 80's being his oldest "grand kin".

After returning from his ten weeks in Echo Canyon, he took up a little farm west of town near where the Freeway will now run and along with farming he worked as a clerk in William Warren's store. After a few weeks, he went into business for himself, having the store in his home for three or four years. He then bought a piece of ground on Main Street from George W. Wilkins and built a home there and had a store in one room of it also. He continued in business for a few years and then was ordered by President Brigham Young to turn his establishment into a cooperation. He took $900 worth of shares for himself and family and the people of Spanish Fork bought shares, and the Spanish Fork Co-op was started with James Miller as manager. He held this position for nine years and was very successful and was always able to pay the share holders a good dividend.

A full account of the Spanish Fork Coop is given under the heading "Merchandising", page 409 of "Centennial History of Utah County."

Later, James Miller started another store of his own and about this time, following teachings of his church, he went with Grandmother Margaret Ann and was sealed for time and eternity to a second wife Susan Lavender and to grandmother the same day, September 19, 1861. Two other plural marriages followed, Lavenia Andrus on December 6, 1869 and Lucy Davis, September 26, 1894; sealed for time only. His second marriage to Susan Lavender lasted only a short while; we have no history or pictures of her. Lavenia Andrus and Lucy Davis pictures and histories follow.

Margaret Anderson, six years older than Grandfather James Miller having been so patient and wonderful during the raising of the two families; Grandfather's third wife being like her own daughter. She became tired and with her health failing she died at the age of 70 in her beloved home.

The later years of Grandfather's life were spent in a home near his son Charles W. Miller and his wife Minnie Kramer Miller, who took very good care of Grandfather. He died on October 1, 1905 at the age of 78 and is buried near his beloved first wife Margaret Ann in the Cemetery at Spanish Fork.

Then it is to this wonderful man, our Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Great Great Grandfather and his beloved wife Margaret Ann and their parents that we all give thanks and appreciation for the great sacrifices they made in leaving their comfortable homes and friends in Scotland and for coming here so that we might all be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and enjoy the wonderful heritage thereof.

Submitted by: Neil Creer Frame

James Miller around 1858

James Miller's 1st wife, Margaret Ann Anderson

James Miller's 3rd wife, Lavenia Andrus

James Miller's 4th wife, Susan Lavender


This page last updated on March 04, 2010 .