MILLER Family History, Part VII
Hattie (MILLER FORBES SHAW) MERTENS (1869-1954)
11HBG421. Hattie Mae Miller was born on May 2, 1869, in Iowa. She was likely named for her maternal grandmother Harriet (Cottrell) Andrews. She first married Hill Beacher Forbes about 1891 and had two children, one son surviving.[Cen 1900] She later married Clarence Norton Shaw, a carpenter from Kansas, about 1902 and had two more children:
|11HBG4211.||Raymond Leeland Forbes||25 Jul 1892||23 Apr 1964||(71)|
|11HBG4212.||Herbert Dennis Shaw||(1904)||1 Mar 1942||(37)|
|11HB4G213.||Dorris Ann Shaw||2 May 1908||31 Aug 2004||(96)|
Hattie's first son Raymond was born in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo County, California. After Hattie's father died in 1896, she, her mother, and younger sisters moved north to Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California, and then further north to Gridley, Butte County, California by 1900.[Cen 1900] She settled for a time in San Francisco where daughter Dorris was born.
Finally, Hattie moved to Fresno, Fresno County, California, by 1910.[Cen 1910]
In 1910, Hattie committed her mother to the State Hospital at Stockton, San Joaquin County where her mother died two years later.
Hattie and Clarence may have separated by 1930 when both were enumerated in the census separately: Hattie working as a hospital waitress at the Veterans' Home of California in Napa, Napa County, California, and Clarence living with his widowed mother in Fresno.[Cen 1930]
Hattie's son, Herbert died during World War II when the U.S.S. Houston (CA-30), a Northampton-class heavy cruiser, was sunk on March 1, 1942, by the Japanese. He was a Construction Mechanic First Class (CM1C) at the time. The ship had been patrolling Indonesian waters when it ran into a Japanese invasion force in the Sundra Strait, off the northwest corner of the island of Java in the late hours of 28 February. The wounded ship sunk a few hours later at 12:40AM on March 1st. 638 of the crew of 1,008 were killed, the rest were taken prisoner by the Japanese and forced to build the Burma Railroad and the Bridge over the River Kwai.
Hattie later remarried to Ralph Mertens about 1943.
Hattie Mae (Miller Forbes Shaw) Mertens died on June 17, 1954, while residing in Fresno County, California. She was 85 years old.
- Cen 1870: 28 Jun 1870 Census, Graham Township, Johnson County, Iowa
- Cen 1880: 5 Jun 1880 Census, Morro Village, Morro Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1900: Jun 1900 Census, Gridley Township, Butte County, California
- Cen 1910: 10 Apr 1910 Census, Township 3, Fresno County, California
- Cen 1920: 24 Jan 1920 Census, Township 3, Fresno County, California
Orrin Elbert MILLER (1870-1941)
11HBG422. Orrin Elbert Miller was the eldest son of Isaac Dennis. He was born in July 1870 in Iowa and named after his maternal grandfather Orrin Andrews. He married Sarah Startzer, a first cousin, once-removed through his paternal great-grandmother's second marriage. They had four children:
|11HBG4221.||Hazel Miller||Jul 1891||--||--|
|11HBG4222.||I.D. Miller||May 1896||--||--|
|11HBG4223.||Arlene Ann Miller||24 Jun 1897||23 Nov 1988|
|11HBG4224.||Harold F. Miller||30 Jan 1900||4 Feb 1965|
As a young boy, Orrin and his family migrated to California and moved around San Luis Obispo and southeastern Monterey County before finally settling in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo County, in May 1887. There Orrin apprenticed as a blacksmith, worked for two years in Hollister, San Benito County, California, and afterward return to Iowa where he likely met his cousin, Sarah Startzer.
Orrin married Sarah Startzer, his father's first cousin through his paternal great-grandmother's second marriage, probably in early 1891 when both were 21 years old.[Cen 1900, 1910, 1930]
Orrin is believed to have inherited the Arroyo Grande estate following his father's death in 1896. As told by nieces, he had tricked his mother into signing the estate over to him, and afterward his mother and younger siblings moved to northern California. Orrin and brother Walter set up a blacksmith shop in Arroyo Grande and by 1900 Sarah's elder brother Valentine Startzer and his family lived two houses away.[Cen 1900]
Orrin continued to work as a blacksmith through at least 1920 with son Harold.[Cen 1920] By 1930 Orrin became a receiver at a creamery and continued through 1940. In 1940 the area was named as being along Huasna Road.[Cen 1930, 1940]
Orrin Elbert Miller died on August 1, 1941, in San Luis Obispo County and is buried at the Arroyo Grande Cemetery.
Sarah (Startzer) Miller died two years later on October 4, 1943, in San Luis Obispo County, California. She is also buried at the Arroyo Grande Cemetery with her husband. Their son Harold joined them there in 1965.
"Orrin E. Miller.--Through his connection with the interests of Arroyo Grande as the leading blacksmith of this section, Mr. Miller has become one of the well-known men of the county. He was born in Johnson County, Iowa, July 6, 1870, the son of Isaac D. and Candace (Andrews) Miller, natives of Iowa and Pennsylvania respectively. The father served in the Civil War enlisting in Company D, Twenty-fourth Iowa Regiment, Volunteer Infantry, and during an engagement was shot in the leg and madea cripple for life. In 1872 he came to California, and the following year settled in Morro and engaged in farming until 1877[sic], when he moved to Arroyo Grande and bought a tract of six and a quarter acres north of the town, where he is engaged in raising fruit and general produce. He is a member of the Grand Army Post and the I.O.O.F."
"Orrin E. Miller attended school at Morro and Cholame Valley, began the trade of blacksmith with Joseph Eubanks of Arroyo Grande in 1888, worked for him three years and then went to Hollister, where he worked two years at the same trade; and from there he went to Iowa, and followed his trade three years. He returned to California at the end of this period and in partnership with his brother Walter, erected a shop near the creek, in Arroyo Grande, where he has since been located and carries on a thriving business. Mr. Miller also owns six and one-half acres north of the town which is set to fruit and nuts, and equipped with an electric pumping plant for irrigating."
"The marriage of Orrin E. Miller united him with Sarah Startzer, a native of Iowa. They have four children; Hazel, teaching school in Arizona, Ida, Arline, and Harold. Mr. Miller is a member of the Odd Fellows and has passed through all the chairs, and is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is well liked in his community, where he is recognized for his integrity and industry."
- Cen 1880: 5 Jun 1880 Census, Morro Village, Morro Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1900: 22 Jun 1900 Census, Arroyo Grande Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1910: 16 Apr 1910 Census, Arroyo Grande & Ranchita Road, Arroyo Grande Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1920: 25 Feb 1920 Census, Branch Precinct, Arroyo Grande Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1930: 18 Apr 1930 Census, Upper Arroyo Grande Valley Road, Branch Precinct, Arroyo Grande Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1940: 5 Apr 1940 Census, Huasna Road, Arroyo Grande Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Morrison, Annie L. and Haydon, John H. History of San Luis Obispo County and Environs with Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County and Environs Who have been Identified with the Growth and Development of the Section from the Early Days to the Present. Los Angeles: Historic Record Company, 1917.
John Walter MILLER (1871-1947)
11HBG423. John Walter Miller was born in November 11, 1871, in San Luis Obispo County, California. He married a woman named Cora M. of California about 1891 and had at least six children:
|11HBG4231.||William Leland Miller||11 Feb 1893||10 Jan 1947||(53)|
|11HBG4232.||Clarence W. Miller||5 Jun 1895||2 Apr 1965||(69)|
|11HBG4233.||James Raymond Miller||Jan 1898||--||--|
|11HBG4234.||Meynard S. Miller||24 Feb 1900||12 Dec 1992||(92)|
|11HBG4235.||Orval A. Miller||19 Aug 1902||28 Dec 1983||(81)|
|11HBG4236.||Burneice Dorothy Miller||28 Oct 1904||11 Apr 1992||(87)|
John Walter began his family in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo County. He and his elder brother Orrin set up a blacksmith shop there by 1900. By 1910 he and his family moved over to Nipomo in the same county where John worked as a blacksmith in his own shop.[Cen 1910] By 1920 the family moved to Kings County in the oil fields of Paddock/Lucerne township. John farmed grain while his sons took jobs in the oil fields.[Cen 1920]
Within ten years, the Millers relocated to Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, by the 1930 census, where they and their son James were enumerated at 237 Willard Street. John Walter and James worked as oil pumpers.[Cen 1930]
The Millers moved about 2 miles east to 3625 East 15th Street by 1935, along with daughter Burneice and her husband Thomas Givens, who rented their share for $12 per month. John Walter continued to work full time as an oil pumper and Thomas was a general construction laborer who had been unemployed for 12 weeks during the previous 12 months.[Cen 1940]
John Walter Miller died at the age of 75 on September 19, 1947, in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California.
Cora M. Miller died 13 years later on October 17, 1960, in Los Angeles County, California. She was 85 years old.
- Cen 1880: 5 Jun 1880 Census, Morro Village, Morro Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1900: 9 Jun 1900 Census, Arroyo Grande Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1910: 21 Apr 1910 Census, Nipomo Township, San Luis Obispo County, California
- Cen 1920: 2 Feb 1920 Census, Paddock, Lucerne Township, Kings County, California
- Cen 1930: 8 Apr 1930 Census, 237 Willart Street, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California
- Cen 1940: 3 Apr 1940 Census, 3625 East 15th Street, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California
Cora Ethel (MILLER FISHER) WILLIAMS8 (1880-1967)
11HBG424. Cora Ethel Miller8 was the daughter of a Union Civil War veteran from Iowa. She was born in Old Creek, the southern portion of Cayucos, San Luis Obispo County, California, on January 29, 1880. She lived throughout California, but raised her two families in Sonoma and Napa Counties. She had seven children by her first husband, Theodoric "Bud" Leathe Fisher, who died at age of 33, in 1911. She remarried to Albert Williams on January 21, 1913, a week before her 33rd birthday, and they had another four children. Altogether, she gave birth to 11 children, and by the time of her death, at age 87, was grandmother to 40 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and 30 great-great grandchildren!
|11HBG424A.||Howard Earl Fisher||30 Jan 1899||15 Jan 1966||(66)|
|11HBG424B.||Pearl Elizabeth Fisher9||7 Jan 1901||30 Oct 1941||(40)|
|11HBG424C.||Mildred May Fisher||27 Dec 1902||8 Apr 1989||(86)|
|11HBG424D.||Carrie Truett Fisher||12 Aug 1904||18 Aug 1936||(32)|
|11HBG424E.||Merle Everett Fisher||23 Feb 1906||18 Aug 1990||(84)|
|11HBG424F.||Sonoma C. Fisher||8 Dec 1907||2 Jul 1993||(85)|
|11HBG424G.||Alta Vivian Fisher||3 Aug 1909||22 Feb 1910||(6 mos.)|
|11HBG424H.||Elsie Alberta Williams||7 Mar 1914||15 Feb 2001||(86)|
|11HBG424I.||Gladys Elaine Williams||30 Jun 1916||29 Mar 1998||(81)|
|11HBG424J.||Harold Williams||17 Apr 1918||20 Apr 1918||(3 days)|
|11HBG424K.||Edward Carl Williams||4 Apr 1920||6 Mar 2012||(91)|
- Back Row: Mildred May Fechter, Hazel E. Goss, Chet Ronald Pettek, Gayle Ann Steele and Torynne Deanne Walizer
- Front Row: Gaylynne Joyce Kainoa, Cora Ethel (Miller) Williams, Vern Edward Williams, and Marilee Bossi
Cora Ethel was a large woman. At her peak, she stood 5' 9" and weighed around 245-250 pounds.
Cora Ethel lived in Old Creek-Cayucos as a baby and then the family moved to the Cholame valley in and around Parkfield and Imusdale, Monterey County, around 1884. In 1887, the Miller family returned to San Luis Obispo County and settled in Arroyo Grande until the death of her father, Isaac Dennis Miller, in 1896. Months after Isaac's death, the family moved north to Healdsburg, Sonoma County, where Cora Ethel finished the 8th grade and then studied for two years at Healdsburg Academy (later Healdsburg College and finally Pacific Union College), the first Seventh-Day Adventist college in the west.
In 1898, at age 18, Cora Ethel married Theodoric Leathe Fisher, a Nebraska native, on 22 March 1898 in Fulton, Sonoma County, California. They were married by J. Brown. They lived in Forestville briefly, where their first son Howard Earl was born, and then moved briefly to Stillwater, Churchill County, Nebraska, along with Theodoric's parents, where they worked for the John W. and Hannah Freeman family.[Cen 1900]
By the January 1900, the Fishers had returned to California where daughter Pearl was born in Lockeford, San Joaquin County. They then returned to Forestville for by the birth of Mildred in 1902. Soon afterward they moved to the Asti Winery & Vineyard in the Cloverdale-Asti area around 1903.
Theodoric's father died in 1906 and in 1910 his mother remarried to Ira T. Williams, a widower Civil War veteran. During this time, Theodoric slowly wasted away from consumption (tuberculosis) over a period of six years, the last three or four he was mostly bedridden. Cora helped support the family by picking hops. Bud became friends with Ira's son Al, who kept the family fed with fresh game. They lived there until the Theodoric's death.
Theodoric "Bud" Leathe Fisher died on January 25, 1911, in Cloverdale. He was only 33 years old.
The following year Cora's mother died at Stockton State Hospital following two years of being institutionalized.
On January 21, 1913, Cora Ethel, a week short of age 33, married Al Williams. The following year they moved to St. Helena, Napa County. Cora worked as a masseuse at Nance's Hot Springs in Calistoga for 21 years and drove a Star Durant up and down the gravel mountain roads. She later worked as a nurse.
In 1919, the Williams moved to a vacant barn, miles from town in the hills above Calistoga on Gates Road, where youngest son Edward was born. The following year, the family moved to the Blunt place behind the Petrified Forest, which husband Al helped excavate and turn into a park. The Williams lived at the Blunt ranch for eight years before moving to the 115-acre Gill place in Sonoma County, just over the Buchi Grade.
In 1932, son Earl's home burned down and he and his young family moved in at the Gill place. Cora, Al, and the Williams children moved out to the Cogan place on Sharp Road, a 25-acre plot in the Porter Creek valley that they bought in 1933 with a loan that son-in-law Raymond Fechter backed for $2,000. This place was an old three-bedroom home with porches on two sides. It burned down about 1936 when mice got into matches stored in the pantry.
After the Cogan place fire, Al and Cora moved in with daughter Sonoma (Fisher) Clarke for several years while they rebuilt on the Cogan property for $3,000, with $1,500 from insurance. Al, sons Merle and Ed, Raymond Fechter, and Bill and Dave Sharp all dug the foundation for the new house.
Albert Williams died on May 14, 1940, at the age of 65, while still living with the Clarke family. He is variously reported to be buried at Oak Knoll (alternatively "Okie Knoll") Cemetery on Sharp's property off Petrified Forest Road or the Butler property above Porter Creek Road .
Cora later moved back to the small ranch on Sharp Road where the Cogan place had been and lived there until 1957 when Cora moved in with her youngest son, Edward Carl Williams and his wife Carrie Lee (Moore) Williams in Richmond.
"Mrs. Cora Williams, well-known Porter Creek resident, was honored on the occasion of her 80th birthday by a party in St. Joan of Arc Hall, Yountville, Jan 24."
"Attending the affair were 154 relatives and their families, including her sister, Elma Belvail of Napa; her sister-in-law Mrs. Mayme Johnson of Oakland; and her children Earl Fisher, Sonoma (Mrs. Bud) Clarke of Yountville, who served as hostess; Merle Fisher of Richmond; Elsie (Mrs. Max) Hitchcock of Napa, Gladys (Mrs. Willis) Clarke of Vallejo, and Ed Williams of Richmond."
"Mildred (Mrs. Raymond) Fechter of Calistoga was ill and unable to attend."
"Also present at the pot-luck dinner were 33 of her 39 grandchildren, 70 of her 89 great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren, two from Fort Bragg and two from Santa Rosa."
"Highlighting the party was a huge decorated sheet cake, around which were placed the honoree's many gifts."
"...Believing in hard work never hurt anyone, Mrs. Williams for 21 years was a masseuse at the mud baths in Calistoga. After that she did practical nursing and cared for her little ranch in Calistoga until son Ed and his wife Carrie insisted she come live with them in Richmond Annex."
"In her lifetime she has seen 15 presidents take office, the men in her family go off to wars, the kerosene lamp give way to gas and then electric light, and the coming of the automobile."
"Her first car she had in 1920 when she and her oldest son [Howard Earl] drove to Los Angeles to visit her own family for the first time in 20 years."
"Other wonders in her life include the development of radio, the airplane and TV. She resisted TV for a long while, remaining loyal to her radio programs. When the family took up a collection so she could have a TV of her own she banked the money. It wasn't until she was visiting Ed Williams and was ill in bed that she became enamored of video. Now she has daily favorites to watch and bedtime comes only after the Jack Parr show."
"She doesn't get around much these days but finds lots to keep her busy and interested between family visits. Her eyesight and hearing are still near perfect and she only wears glasses for the crocheting, quilting and embroidery she loves to do. During the year she amasses quite a stockpile of dish towels and pillow cases for distribution to her loved ones at Christmas time..."
Cora Ethel (Miller Fisher) Williams suffered from severe diabetes at the close of her life. She was hospitalized at Santa Rosa General Hospital and had to have her legs amputated. She died there on July 18, 1967, at the age of 87. She was buried at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, Contra Costa County, California.
"Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday [at the Treadway and Wigger Funeral Chapel, 623 Coombs Street, Napa] for Cora Williams, 87, who died in [Santa Rosa General Hospital, 7th & A Streets, Santa Rosa] Tuesday."
"Mrs. Williams was the matriarch of a family of more than 280 native Californians and presided at the last annual family gathering on Mother's Day in Napa."
"She was born in Cayucos and married Theoderic (sic) Fisher in 1898 in Fulton. He died in 1911 and in 1914 [sic] she married Albert Williams in Santa Rosa."
"Later the next year the couple moved to the Napa Valley where they settled first in St. Helena, then in Calistoga until 1957 when she moved to Richmond."
"She was a member of the Calistoga Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Pathfinders."
"She was mother of Mildred Fechter of Calistoga, Sonoma Clarke of Yountville, Merle Fisher of San Pablo, Elsie Hitchcock of Napa, Gladys Clarke of Vacaville and Edward Williams of Richmond."
"...and burial at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito with Elder Ralph McGann of the Richmond Seventh Day Adventist Church officiating."
- Cen 1900: 14-16 Jun 1900 Census, Stillwater, Stillwater Precinct, Churchill County, Nevada
- Cen 1920: 17 Feb 1920 Census, Rincon Precinct, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California
- Cen 1930: 16 Apr 1930 Census, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California
Elma Finetti (MILLER SMITH) BELVAIL (1884-1962)
11HBG425. Elma "Babe" Finetti Miller was born May 12, 1884, in Parkfield, Monterey County, California. Her middle name was likely for her paternal aunt Finetta (Miller) Schley. She married George Smith around 1904 at the age of 20 and had one son:
|11HBG4251.||Maurice E. Smith||(1906)||--||--|
In 1910 the Smith family was living in Yountville, Napa County, California, and moved into Napa by the 1920 census.
By 1930, Elma Finetti remarried to Lewis Belvail and continued to live in Napa, Napa County, California.
Elma Finetti, a Seventh Day Adventist, was the head of a union in the Napa Valley. Elma Finetti (Miller Smith) Belvail died on March 10, 1962, at the age of 77. She was living in Napa County at the time.
Minnie Isabelle (MILLER) KIVETT (1887-1967)
11HBG426. Minnie Isabelle Miller was born July 24, 1887, in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo County, California. She married Daniel W. Kivett, a native of Missouri born to parents from North Carolina, about 1902. They had four children:
|11HBG4261.||Ogle London Kivett||29 Jul 1905||18 Feb 1968||(62)|
|11HBG4262.||Warren Luciene Kivett||27 Jun 1908||14 Dec 1972||(64)|
|11HBG4263.||Elma Oceola Kivett||3 Aug 1910||10 Nov 1990||(80)|
|11HBG4264.||Amy Kivett||28 May 1922||30 May 1991||(69)|
After their marriage, the Kivetts lived in Asti, Sonoma County, California, where their first son was born. By 1908 they moved to Shirley Avenue in Graton, north of Sebastopol, where their second son was born, and lived there through the 1910 census and the birth of daughter Elma. Daniel worked there as a house carpenter.[Cen 1910]
By 1920, the Kivett family removed north to Anderson Township (likely referring to the Anderson Valley), Mendocino County, California, where Daniel continued working as a house carpenter.[Cen 1920]
Minnie Isabel (Miller) Kivett died between 1926 and 1930. She is believed to have suffered from severe diabetes and at the end of her life had to have her legs amputated.
By 1930, Daniel and his children had returned to Analy Township, Sonoma County, and worked as a farmer.[Cen 1930] He later moved to San Joaquin County, where his daughter Amy had started a family in the late 1930s.
Daniel W. Kivett died on December 10, 1967, while living in Manteca, San Joaquin County, California. He was 87 years old.
- Cen 1910: 25 May 1910 Census, Shirley Avenue, (Graton), Analy Township, Sonoma County, California
- Cen 1920: 2 Jan 1920 Census, Anderson Township, Mendocino County, California
- Cen 1930: 5 Apr 1930 Census, Analy Township, Sonoma County, California
Iva Edith (MILLER CORD) ARENDT (1892-~1920)
11HBG427. Iva Edith Miller was born July 8, 1892, in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo County, California. She married Ray Cord and George Arendt and had at least three children:
|11HBG4271.||Arendt||9 Jul 1915||--||--|
|11HBG4272.||Blanche Arendt||26 Feb 1917||30 Jun 1985||(68)|
Iva Edith was young, care free, and loved to party, but that love of partying caused her demise. During Prohibition she and her husband drank some "bad whiskey" which killed her and made the other party-goers violently ill. According to her nephew, Edward Carl Williams, who was at her bedside in a Napa hospital, Iva underwent the most horrible death imaginable. She bit her lips and tongue and tried to gnaw at her hands in a mortal struggle which she finally lost. Following her death, her daughter Blanche went to live with the Frederini [sp?] family, close family friends.