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Below is a family biography included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Charles Miller, mechanic, of Washington, is a native of the Province of the Rhine, Germany, born in 1828, and the son of Engelbert and Catherine (Schmidt) Miller, who were also natives of the same province as their son, born in 1799 and 1794, respectively. The parents left Germany in the fall of 1853, but the mother died on the way, and was buried at sea. The remainder, the five children and the father, continued the journey, arriving at New Orleans the first of the year 1854, and settled in Posey County, Ind., where the father died after six months. He bought a farm in that county, and engaged in tilling the soil. Charles was the youngest child. He was educated in his native country, and when a little over fourteen years of age commenced learning the blacksmith’s trade, working at this for three and a half years for his board and washing. After coming to the United States he went to a small town in White County, Ill., and began learning the gunsmith trade, and worked at this for one year. He and his brother, Fred, then established a partnership on the old home place, in Posey County, and began blacksmithing, gunsmithing, and general repairing. At the end of a year they dissolved partnership, and Fred is now at Evansville, Ind., engaged in the gunsmithing business. Our subject went to Cannelton, Ind., and hired as a mechanic in the Cannelton Cotton Factory. In 1858 he became foreman of the factory, and remained as such for six years. In 1864 he went to Evansville, and with two others established a woolen factory, and remained as partner fifteen months. During this time Mr. Miller invented a very important loom for weaving jeans cloth. In 1866 he went to St. Louis, remaining there six months, at the end of which time he went to Boonville, Cooper Co., Mo. and established a machine shop. In 1882 he came to Washington, Mo., where he has since been engaged in the same business. He runs a foundry and general repair machine shop. Mr. Miller is a skillful mechanic and an inventive genius. He has invented several important machines, and among them are pruning shears, chestless steam engine, automatic hand loom, improved feather renovator, mustache guard, reversible lawn fountain, punch shears, etc., etc. He is a fluent conversationalist and a highly-respected citizen. In 1850 he married Miss Charlotta Yung, who died in 1851, at the age of twenty-one. She left one child, Emil, who is in Atchison, Kas., pump inspector of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. In 1854 Mr. Miller married Miss Hannah Kranzmann, who was born in Westphalia, Germany, in 1832, and who bore him nine children, of whom seven are deceased and two are living: Arthur Otto and Laura. Mr. Miller lost his second wife in April, 1873, and the same year he married Mrs. Sabine Koerher, of Baltimore, Md., who was born in Germany, in 1836. To this union three children were born: Nettie, Lena and Lottie. Mrs. Miller had three children by her former marriage: Robert, Richard and Caroline. In politics Mr. Miller is very conservative, voting for principle and not for party. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and he and wife are members of the New Jerusalem Church. He spends a part of his time in missionary labor, for the sake of spreading Divine truths, without compensation. He says this earth will not be destroyed as the Church teaches, but will stand forever. Inquirers may apply to him for proof.

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This family biography is one of 305 biographies included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Franklin County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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