Marcellus "Bailey" Miller was born in about 1864 in or near Kingwood, Preston County, WV, the son of Hezekiah and Keziah Ellen (Fawcett) Miller.
On Feb. 23, 1884, when he was age 19, Bailey married 17-year-old Hannah A. "Belle" Maffin (1866- ? ), daughter of Charles W. Maffin of Athens County, OH. Rev. William Wynn officiated.
The couple produced at least four children, of whom three lived to adulthood -- Bessie M. Simonton, Robert W. Miller and Clarence C. Miller. The eldest was born in West Virginia, but the younger two in Ohio.
Circa 1891-1900, they lived in Trimble, Athens County, OH, where Bailey labored as a coal miner. They also resided in the communities of Nelsonville and Hollister.
In July 1905, Belle and Mrs. Thomas Maffin made news in the gossip columns of the Logan Ohio Democrat when they "were in Nelsonville the first of the week."
Bailey and Belle have not yet been located in the 1910 United States Census, nor in the Ohio death indexes.
~ Daughter Bessie M. (Miller) Simonton ~
Daughter Bessie M. Miller (1884- ? ) was born in about 1884 in West Virginia and migrated as a young girl to Athens County, OH, where she grew up in the community of Hollister.
When she was age 17, on Nov. 13, 1901, she was united in marriage with 24-year-old Thomas Clark Simonton (Sept. 26, 1877-1954), a native of Vinton County, OH and the son of W. Lafayette and Elizabeth Jane (Mason) Simonton. The nuptials were held in Athens County, with Rev George Orndorf officiating.
At the time of marriage, Thomas labored as a coal miner.
The couple were the parents of these known offspring, Mildred Kassin Garrage, Ruth Lamborn, Thomas Robert Simonton, Virginia Stover Keatley, Garnet Belle Matthews Siemioczko and Betty J. Simonton.
By 1910, now living in Murray City, Ward Township, Hocking County, OH, Thomas was a foreman in a coal mine. They migrated again during the 1910s to Corning, Monroe Township, Perry County, OH, where he continued his occupation as a coal mine laborer. Bessie also is known to have miscarried a pregnancy at five months on June 2, 1917, while in Corning.
In 1920, Bessie's unmarried brother lived in their residence.
The couple separated between 1923 and 1930. Bessie and her younger children relocated to Chesaning, Saginaw County, MI, and are shown there on the 1930 federal census enumeration. She is shown with no occupation and is marked "M" for married.
Thomas, on the other hand, moved into the home of his married daughter Ruth Lamborn in Corning and continued to mine coal.
The couple continued to live apart during the 1930s. Sometime between 1930 and 1935, Thomas secured work as a coal mine track layer in Smithers, Fayette County, WV. The United States Census of 1940 shows him heading a household in Smithers with his married daughter Virginia Stover and husband and daughters Ruth and Betty in the residence.
Thomas retired from mining. Suffering from senility and heart disease, he died in Cannelton, Fayette County at the age of 77 on April 5, 1954. His remains were laid to rest in Montgomery Memorial Park.
Bessie's fate is not yet known.
Daughter Mildred Simonton (1904- ? ) was born in 1904 in Ohio. After her parents separated in the 1920s, she went to Michigan to live with her mother. Her home in 1923 was in St. Charles, Saginaw County. On Aug. 4, 1923, at the age of 19, she was united in marriage with 24-year-old Austro-Hungarian immigrant Evart "Everett" Kassin (Sept. 6, 1899-1925) -- also spelled "Casson" -- son of Stanley and Anna (Jermon?) Kassin. Rev. O.W. Trask officiated at the wedding, with Genevieve and Joseph Kassin standing as witnesses. At the time, Evart was employed as a coal miner. The couple produced two children, Arabelle Casson and Everett Casson. Circa 1925, he was employed at the Black Diamond Mine of Robert Gage Coal Company, and Mildred was expecting their second child. On the fateful day of Nov. 24, 1925, the 26-year-old Evart was injured in an accident at work, with his sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae crushed and separated from the spinal cord. He was rushed to Mercy Hospital in Bay City, Bay County, where he died four hours later. His broken remains were lowered into eternal repose in St. Charles, MI. Mildred made a home as a single woman in St. Charles. On Aug. 31, 1927, she married a second time to 23-year-old William Garrage (1904- ? ), a native of Montana and the son of Lithuanian/German immigrants Michael and Mary (Janetsky) Garrage. Rev. Charles C. Becker, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated at the nuptials, with Elsie Lester and George Simmons attending. William's occupation at the time of marriage was as a dairyman, with his residence in Chesaning, Saginaw County. The Garrages lived in Chesaning, Saginaw County, with William earning a living as a farmer. During the decade of the 1930s, Mildred and William relocated to where her father lived in Smithers, Fayette County, WV. William found work in Smithers as a coal loader in a mine.
Daughter Ruth Simonton (1908- ? ) was born on May 25, 1908 in Murray City, Hocking County, OH. At the age of 19, she lived in Corning, Perry County, OH. On March 14, 1928, she wedded photographer Ralph Lamborn (May 2, 1901-1952), son of John and Abbie (Williams) Lamborn and a resident of Glouster, Athens County, OH. Rev. Arthur P. Cherrington, pastor of the MEthodist Episcopal Church in New Lexington, led the wedding ceremony. Because she was legally too young to marry, her parents provided their consent. The 1930 federal census shows the couple childless and living in Corning, with Ralph having no occupation, and Ruth's separated father living in the household, working as a coal miner. Ruth apparently separated from Ralph by 1935 and moved to West Virginia with her father and siblings. The 1940 census shows her in Smithers, Fayette County, WV. Ralph remained in Glouster for many years. He was burdened by cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis and a buildup of fluid in his internal cavity. When he began to hemorrhage internally, he was admitted as a patient to Veterans Administration Hospital in Huntington, WV where he died 13 days later on April 15, 1952. On his death certificate, his marital status was marked as "separated." His remains were transported back to Athens County to rest in a cemetery in Glouster.
Son Thomas Robert Simonton (1914-1984) was born in on July 7, 1913 in Corning, Perry County, OH. He was joined in marriage with Glenda Erma Riffle (Sept. 18, 1918-1979), daughter of Gilbert Edgar and Margaret Evelyn (McGill) Riffle of Cannelton, Fayette County. Their known children were Thomas Edgar Simonton, Clyde Eugene Simonton, Deanna Horney, Diane Vest and Robert Lee Simonton. The Simontons lived in 1935-1940 in the Bull Push community of Cannelton, Cabin Creek District, Kanawha County, WV, where Thomas was a coal miner. Later, by 1960, they relocated to Lynchburg, VA. Their address in the late 1970s was on Tate Springs Road, Campbell County. Suffering from chronic pulmonary disease, Glenda died at the age of 61 on Nov. 11, 1979. Thomas followed her to the grave in 1984. They rest together in Fort Hill Memorial Park in Lynchburg.
Daughter Virginia Lee Simonton (1918-2009) was born on Aug. 10, 1918 in Corning, Perry County, OH. On Sept. 21, 1938, in nuptials held in Smithers, Fayette County, WV, she married coal miner Herbert James Stover (1918- ? ), of Longacre, Fayette County, WV, and the son of J. and Maude Stover. James W. Prather performed the wedding ceremony. When the 1940 federal census was taken, they lived under the roof of Virginia's separated father in Smithers, Fayette County, WV, with Herbert earning a living as a coal loader in a mine. After the Stovers' marriage ended in divorce, the 34-year-old Virginia married again to 45-year-old coal miner and World War II veteran James Harlow Keatley (July 17, 1907-1999). He was the son of J.C. and Amanda Keatley and at the time of marriage was a resident of Marting, WV. News of their marriage license was printed in the Beckley (WV) Raleigh Register. Their nuptials were held on Sept. 14, 1952, by the hand of George W. Willis. They were the parents of a daughter, Betty Clonch. James worked as a pinning machine operator with Cannelton Coal company. Socially, he was a member of the Eagles in Montgomery, WV. The couple's final years were spent in Crows near Covington, VA. James passed away at the age of 92 on Dec. 9, 1999. Rev. Doug Moore officiated at the funeral service, with an obituary printed in the Charleston (WV) Gazette. Virginia lived for another decade as a widow. She died in Covington in the home of her daughter on Feb. 17, 2009. Interment was made in Alleghany Memorial Park in Covington.
Daughter Garnet Belle Simonton (1920-1951) was born on Jan. 6, 1919 or 1920 or on Jan. 1, 1921 in Corning, Perry County, Ohio. At the age of 16, on July 11, 1936, she was joined in holy matrimony with 20-year-old Ernest Nichols Matthews (Nov. 6, 1915- ? ), also of Perry County. Rev. Carl B. Johnson officiated at the ceremony held in St. Marys, Pleasants County, WV. At the time of marriage, both bride and groom resided in Corning. The Matthewses' marriage ended in divorce during the 1930s, with Garnet making a home as a single woman in Holly Grove, Kanawha County, WV. On Jan. 29, 1949, she married a second time to World War II veteran Joseph Frank Siemioczko (Dec. 1, 1919-1955), a native of Kingston, Fayette County WV. Their wedding was held in Smithers, Fayette County and officiated by Rev. M. Harris. The couple made a home in Crown Hill, Kanawha County. During the war, Joseph had served with the 315th Infantry, Company H. Sadly, at the age of 30, Garnet was stricken with an intestinal obstruction which led to a ruptured intestine, gangrene and peritonitis. She was rushed to Laird Memorial Hospital in Montgomery, Fayette County and succumbed there on Nov. 11, 1951. Interment was in Montgomery Memorial Park in London, Kanawha County. Joseph survived his wife by four years. At the age of 35, he died in Holly Grove on Oct. 4, 1955. Burial was in Holly Grove Cemetery.
Daughter Betty J. Simonton (1923- ? ) was born in about 1923 in Ohio. At the age of 16, in 1940, she dwelled with her separated father and siblings in Smithers, Fayette County, WV. Nothing more about her is known.
~ Robert W. Miller ~
Son Robert W. Miller (1884- ? ) was born on Sept. 25, 1884 or 1882 in Nelsonville, Athens County, OH. He never learned to write his name and signed documents with an "X."
While a young man, he dwelled in Doanville, Athens County and earned a living as a coal miner.
On April 16, 1910, when he was about 23 years old, he was joined in wedlock with 18-year-old Emma Koon ( ? - ? ), daughter of Jud and Linda (Delong) Koon, also of Doanville. Justice of the peace J.A. McKee led the ceremony.
The Millers' marriage ended during the decade of the 1910s, and he went to live with his married sister Bessie Simonton in Corning, Perry County, OH. He worked as a coal miner in 1920.
Then when Robert was 25, on June 26, 1920, he married his second wife, 16-year-old Isabelle Boyd (Jan. 29, 1904- ? ). Also of Corning, Isabelle was the daughter of Thomas and Mary (Norman) Boyd. The nuptials were performed by justice of the peace E.M. Braddock of New Lexington. On his marriage license application, he claimed to have not been married before.
Nothing more is known.
~ Son Clarence C. Miller ~
Son Clarence C. Miller (1889- ? ) was born in 1889 in Perry County, OH.
Evidence suggests that he died in 1908 at the age of 18 or 19 and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Nelsonville, Athens County, OH.
Nothing more about his life is known.
Copyright © 2008, 2019 Mark A. Miner