I will present you with a name that has not appeared on this blog before today. It is not a German name. It is an English name…Miles. On a very detailed Ancestry.com family history, this Miles name can be tracked all the way back to an arrival in Maryland back in the 1600’s. That is back in the very early days when Europeans were arriving in North America. However, this post will begin with another one of those special birthdays.
Louisa Elizabeth Sandler was born on September 13, 1872, making today her 150th birthday. Louisa was the daughter of William and Anna (Boxdorfer) Sandler. A previous post was written about Louisa’s parents titled, Boxdorfer Brotherly and Sisterly Bonds. I can display a photo of Louisa’s parents.
The first Sandler to arrive in America, Johann Michael Sandler, came to America aboard the ship, Minerva, that landed in Baltimore in 1840.
The first Boxdorfer to arrive in America was Gottlob Boxdorfer, who arrived with his future wife, Barbara Muench, on the ship, America, in 1847.
So, it appears that the names Boxdorfer, Sandler, and Miles all arrived in this county in Maryland. It’s just that the English name, Miles, arrived about 200 years before the German names, Boxdorfer and Sandler, arrived.
Back to Louisa. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. We can take a look at the transcription of her baptism record.
Louisa appears in her first census in 1880 at the age of 8. Her father was a farmer in the Bois Brule Township.
Since Louisa would get married before we can view another census that includes her, we will turn our attention to the man who would become her husband. His name was Robert James Miles, who was born on July 14, 1869. Robert was the son of Joseph and Cecilia (McCauley) Miles. Robert was still an infant when he shows up in his first census in 1870. His father was a farmer in the Cinque Hommes Township.
Robert’s father must have died before the next census was taken in 1880. The Miles household is displayed in the census entry below. At that time, this family was living in the Central Township.
Robert Miles married Louisa Sandler on April 28, 1892. The marriage license for this couple shown below indicates that the marriage was conducted by a Catholic priest.
This marriage may have taken place at a Catholic Church, but when children were born to this couple, they were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. Baptism records are all alphabetically listed in the binder we have for the records of Immanuel, Perryville, so we can see all five of these records in one image. It looks as if one child was born in 1891, before these two were married.
There are 5 children listed in our German Family Tree for this pair. We are going to discover that the 1900 census would be the only one in which we find Robert and Louisa together. Four of their children had been born by this time. Robert is called a farmer.
One more child was born in 1901, but then in 1904, Louisa died, leaving Robert as a widower. The church death record says Louisa died from pneumonia at the age of 31. An obituary for Louisa was published in a local newspaper.
Louisa is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
Robert must have found it awfully difficult to raise his children by himself. When the 1910 census was taken, we find Robert living by himself in the Ross Hotel in Perryville. He was called a buyer of livestock.
Here is a photo of the old Ross Hotel. If you’re interested, you can read a story that was told on this blog about this hotel titled, Keepers of the Hotels.
This begs the question of what happened to the children. I think the answer is that they were raised by their grandmother, Louisa’s mother. We find 2 of them living with Anna Sandler in the 1910 census for Perryville.
The 1920 census shows Robert Miles living in St. Louis and working as a traveling salesman for an implement company. He was living in the household of his daughter, Isabella (although she is called Elizabeth in this entry), who had married Albert Hourigan.
Robert made another move before the 1930 census was taken. In that year’s entry, he was living in the Randol Township near Cape Girardeau by himself. He was called a stock farmer. By this time, Robert was 61 years old.
Robert Miles would die in 1944, so I should have been able to find him in a 1940 census, but I was unsuccessful in my search. There is an Illinois death record that states that he died in Vandalia, Illinois. That is where the Hourigan family was living, so he was probably living with his daughter, Isabella again.
Robert’s body was brought back to Cape Girardeau where he was buried in the Old Lorimer Cemetery.
Before I close, I’d like to display two photos I located. One is of Louisa which looks like it was cropped out of a family photo. The other is of Robert holding a baby that is likely a grandchild. Perhaps it was taken around 1920 when he was living with the Hourigan’s in St. Louis.
Every once in a while, I run across a story that tells of someone who does not have German roots. Sometimes, those people lead me back to the time long before the Gesellschaft arrived in 1839. And rarely, like today, those stories go back to the time when the American continent was just getting settled. I’m sure if I took the time, I’d find some interesting details in the Miles family history.