The Long Life of Henry W. Miller

When Henry Woodfin Miller died in Transylvania County, North Carolina, on January 28, 1931, he was 95 years old and had lived an event-filled life. 

Most of his following story was taken from his lengthy newspaper obituary. 

“He was born July 4, 1835 in Macon County, North Carolina, thus making him the right age to serve in the Civil War.  He was a Confederate soldier, a member of Capt. Siler’s Company of Calvary and with his excellent memory he often spoke of his war experiences and his friendship with Wade Hampton III, whom he visited at Hampton’s summer home in Cashiers.  He could describe to the smallest detail what mountain life was like in the days before modern conveniences such as electricity.

“By the time of his death, Henry was the father of 22 children, 68 grandchildren and if his descendants could be counted today the numbers would be staggering.  Henry had two wives, the first being Nancy Lowe who became the mother of 17 children, 11 boys and 6 girls. The second wife was Jane Reid who gave Henry 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls.

“After experiencing more than a year of feeble health, Henry was stricken with a severe cold which ended his long life.  Funeral services were conducted at the Miller Cemetery near the old Miller homestead alongside the Horsepasture River in Transylvania County.  The large number of relatives and friends present bore testimony to the respect and affection of the departed one.  He united with the Baptist Church more than 60 years ago and has been an active member and deacon of the church most of the time since.  His word was considered as good as his bond.  Yes, Uncle Henry is gone, having fought the good fight and kept the faith.  By reason of strength, his life has exceeded man’s allotted time of three score and ten.”