My Aunt Ruth – A Segue to My Father’s Youth

My Aunt Ruth was my father’s sister, born 1888. She was 3 years younger than my father. There were 5 children in the family, 3 boys and 2 girls. The first born was Myrtle born 1884. Then along came Dana, a boy born 1887. Then in 1888 Ruth was born, followed by the 2 boys, my father Joseph born 1891 and Roy born 1893. I imagine my grandmother and grandfather had a lively time with these 5. Although the family had their roots in Ohio they spent time in Florida. My father and his sister Myrtle were both born in Peoria Florida, a part of St. Augustine.

I have subsequently found an obituary in the Newark Daily Advocate for my grandfather, Major Charles Dana Miller. In the obituary it is noted that he spent the last 10 to 12 years of his life in Florida, due to health problems. When he became very ill, he returned to his mother’s home on Buena Vista Street in Newark where he died.

Mary Gilman Miller’s family home on Buena Vista Street, Newark Ohio. This home is where my father spent the later years of his youth.

Prior to reading the obituary cited above, I did not understand why or how they spent time in Florida. I thought It might have been for health reasons but not as severe as those cited in the obituary. My grandfather was injured in the Civil War and although he appears to have lived a very full life, he did die relatively young at the age of 61.

From the obituary my mental image of the 5 children attending their father’s funeral is incredibly sad.

My father was only 8 or 9 years old when his father died, and he never told me any memories of his dad. What childhood memories my father told me were all of his mother and their home in Newark Ohio.

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