Indiana's State Motto: The Crossroads of America - adopted in 1937
|"Land of the Indians"|
You Are Visitor Number
The Smith Miller Cemetery is the first burial place of the Millers of Washington County Indiana. It is believed that both Adam Miller and his wife Hannah Sheets are buried there although there are no markers for either of them.
This property was once owned by Adam Miller; it is the first Indiana land purchase, by the first American born Miller of the bloodline. Adam purchased this property in 1830, his wife Hannah died 6 years later and she may have been the first to be buried there.
There was originally about 35 graves in the cemetery and Hannah (Sheets) Miller was documented as the oldest grave there in the 1940's. Many of the markers were not legible or missing even then so others may have been buried there before her. The land became the property of Adam and Hannah's daughter Elizabeth. She married Joel R. Smith.
Originally this Cemetery was known as Miller Cemetery. During the late 1880's the cemetery was known as the Smith Cemetery, probably because there was more than one Miller Cemetery in the area. This first name change occurred between the deaths of Adam (1851) and his son David's wife, Polly Miller (1894), where it is referred to as the Smith Cemetery in her obituary. It was called Smith's Miller Cemetery by some, and later became known as the Smith-Miller Cemetery.
The Smith Miller Cemetery is in Howard Township in Washington County Indiana. Getting there is quite a task as there are no signs, roads or even beaten paths leading to it. The closest roadway is at the end of Baker Road, which is South of Beck's Mill. The cemetery is on land now (2004) owned by a farmer, Mr. Elmer Burns of Salem Indiana. To get to the Cemetery you must cross a gulley and several acres of farmed field; again, there are no roads or even paths. In 2004 Elmer received a subsidy to let grass grow in the field, making getting there possible when I took these pictures. Mr. Burns lives on the left at the end of Baker road.
Click the Map for close-up view
From HWY 135 take Grandview Road until it becomes South Bud Miller Road, then go on to the end of Baker Road.
Latitude 383056N Longitude 0860914W Elevation 689 feet
Smith-Miller Cemetery is located in the northeast quarter of Section 14, Township 1 North, Range 3 East
Washington County has a Cemetery Board that was established around 30 years ago. The Smith Miller Cemetery had trees and brush growing in it in the 1970's, but the Cemetery Board had it cleaned up and has been taking care of it ever since. If you want to visit the cemetery you may want to contact Mr. Richard Dixon; he made these pictures possible. (Thanks Mr. Dixon!)
There is no stone for Hannah (Sheets) Miller, the wife of Adam Miller. She is listed as the oldest grave in the Cemetery in the 1940's, and the cemetery caretaker can remember her stone as being elaborate with shelves. Sometime in the past 30 years it has been stolen from the property. She died in 1836 and her husband Adam died in 1851, but his stone has never been identified even though he died later than his wife - who is listed as the oldest grave.
There is a sand stone rock that is embedded in the ground just beyond the grave of David and Polly Miller, I believe it is Adam's grave. It looks like someone took a sharp instrument and crudely carved letters into the stone. I haven't been able to decipher it yet, but to me it looks like it might say Adam Miller.
Graves recorded in 1942
The Taylors here are related to the Millers by marriage. Dave Miller Jr. (David D Miller and grandson of Adam) married Mary Taylor, the sister to David Taylor.
David Taylor and his wife Nancy are both buried at Smith Miller Cemetery. I haven't figured out how their daughter Annie Smith, who is also buried at Smith Miller Cemetery too, was a Smith and not a Taylor. The Sill infant is the grandchild of Dave and Polly Miller. So the Millers, the Smiths, the Sills, and the Taylors are all family, but not necessarily to each other.
David D. Miller and David Taylor were brother in laws, but that is David Taylor's only familial relationship. Dave and Nancy Taylor may have wanted to be buried near their daughter Annie, who died before them and was buried at Smith Miller Cemetery.
There are several children and infants laid to rest at Smith Miller Cemetery.
Nobody has been buried at the Smith Miller Cemetery since 1908, and it went several years in deterioration before Washington County cut out the brush and trees in the 1970's. Washington County has done very good job maintaining it since.
My dad and uncles have gone their whole lives never knowing about the Smith Miller Cemetery and the Miller story. It was a special moment when I first walked on the cemetery grounds, to be so close to a family history that dates back to 1830, to walk the same ground my ancestors walked 175 years ago, often very sadly.
In 2005 I contacted the U.S. Department of Interior - Geographic Names Information Survey (GNIS), concerning the official name of the cemetery. It was known only as the Smith Cemetery and I requested that the name be updated. It has officially been renamed the "Smith Miller Pioneer Cemetery". It will carry the alternate names of Smith-Miller Cemetery, Smith's Miller Cemetery, Smith Cemetery, and Miller Cemetery so that it will be easy to locate regardless of what it is called in the records you may have. The updates to the government's record should take place sometime in February 2006.
Above: The Entrance Gate to the Smith Miller Cemetery. It is on the right side of the cemetery, near the edge of the Blue River Bluff. The corner stone inscription says "J. S. & C. P. Miller".
Above: Mary "Polly" Miller and David Miller. The Blue River is on the Left.
Above: David Miller, his nephew William Smith, and Sister Elizabeth Smith.
Below: Polly Miller, David Miller, William Smith, Elizabeth Smith, Joel R. Smith. Blue River Bluff straight ahead
Below: The Blue River looking down the bluff from the Smith Miller Cemetery.
Above: Concrete fence post. A field to the Left, the Blue River to the Right.
Above: In Smith Miller Cemetery looking out. Blue River to Left.
Below: Blue River Bluff is straight ahead.
Below: Polly Miller, David Miller, William Smith, Elizabeth Smith, Joel R. Smith. The Entrance and the Blue River Bluff is straight ahead. These are the Smiths and the Millers for which the cemetery is named. Adam Miller is their father and father-in-law.
Below: Joel R. Smith, Elizabeth Smith, David Miller and Polly Miller.
The Smith Miller Cemetery is the family of Adam and Hannah Sheets Miller. After Hannah died Adam moved in with his daughter Elizabeth Smith and her husband Joel. They are the name sakes of the Smith Miller Cemetery.
Click here to Read
Adam Miller's Descendent Report
What you do for yourself dies when you do, but what you do for others lives on as your legacy.
This information is the research of many people across the United States and may contain errors. It is presented as the best information to date. Like all of those whose work I have incorporated herein, my research is a work in progress and subject to change without notice. A special thanks to Marlene Ricci of CA, Dwayne Meyer of CA, Jacqueline Bean of TX, Debbie Dick of IN, Milus Miller of IL, Carol Hendricks Miller of IN, Clarence Miller of IN, and Harold Glen Miller of IN. There are numerous others too; many of which are unknown, but their findings and stories are still much appreciated. Much of this would not have been possible with out their information. Also this website includes historical facts gathered from Washington County History, Indiana History, Rowan County and Salisbury North Carolina Historical sources and other US Historical sources.
James A. Miller- Great -Great -Great -Great Grandson of Adam Miller and Hannah Sheets.
©2004-2010 The Millers of Washington County
Last Updated 12/17/10 03:28:31 PM -0800