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DANIEL MILLER

(1750 - 1828)

     Daniel Miller, the founder of Millersburg, was born in Lancaster County in 1750. The early part of his life was spent in Strasburg, Lancaster County, in an era when the spirit of the American Revolution was hastening toward its eventual fruition. When the colonies at last severed the ties which bound them to the British, Daniel Miller joined the Continental army and fought under Washington at Brandywine and Germantown, and withstood the winter at Valley Forge. At the end of the war, he returned to his Lancaster County farm, where he remained until the age of forty years.

     During the spring of 1790, Daniel Miller and his brother, John, were traveling north along the Susquehanna River. When they arrived at the north side of Berry's Mountain, tradition has it, Daniel was so taken with the beauty of the area where the Wiconisco Creek joined with the Susquehanna that he resolved to purchase the land at that location. On June 2, 1790, Daniel received a deed for 979.25 acres at the mouth of the Wiconisco Creek from William Von Phul of Philadelphia, the then owner of the land upon which Millersburg is now situated.

     In 1794, Daniel built his first cabin that later served as a school in which Daniel himself taught the children of the surrounding area without compensation. The building was on the site of the Johnson Baillie Shoe Company Factory on Pine near Market Street. It was not until 1805, upon completion of a more suitable dwelling, which still stands on the northeast corner of Pine and Walnut Streets, that Daniel brought his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children to their new home.

     In 1807, Daniel Miller's dream of a town on the banks of the Susquehanna became a reality. During that year, he had the land surveyed and laid out into lots, reserving land for churches, the town square and a riverside park. Until a church could be built, Daniel, who was a lay minister of the Methodist Church, held services in his own home.

     In 1813, his wife Elizabeth died. On July 8, 1817, Daniel, then 67 years of age, married Mary Wingert. One child, a daughter Mary, was born of the second marriage. Both Daniel and his second wife died during October, 1828, and his body now rests in Oak Hill Cemetery. Daniel had continued to teach school until the last year of his life, striving constantly for the improvement of the town which he founded and which bore his name.