David Franklin Miles Life Sketch

(1842 - 1900)

David Franklin Miles was born on March 3, 1842, in Grant County, Indiana. David married Mahetable Casterline on December 24, 1862, in Blackford County, Indiana. David Franklin Miles died on October 12, 1900, near Sabetha, Nemaha County, Kansas.

David Franklin Miles was born March 3, 1842, near Hartford City, Grant County, Indiana, the eighth of twelve known children of Lorenzo Miles and Phoebe Wass. David Franklin Miles also was known by the names D. F. Miles and Frank Miles. David was raised on his father's farm with his 6 brothers and 5 sisters. They lived in a log cabin and attended the Bunker Hill school house. While his father Lorenzo was a cobbler, David and his brothers learned to farm.

In 1861 the Civil War broke out. David was too young to enlist however his older brother William enlisted in Nebraska and died shortly afterward of typhoid pneumonia. In July of 1862 Indiana began conscription due to a shortage of volunteers. David's older brother Nelson entered the Indiana Infantry in August of 1862. In 1864 David's oldest brother Hammond was called to serve the Union army. Hammond was 38 years of age and a father of 8. Substitutes were allowed. David was 22 years old, had married in 1862 and had just become a father. David's brothers Adam Winslow and Lewis were 19 and 17 years of age respectively. Adam Winslow became the substitute.

David married Mahetable Casterline, daughter of Ira Casterline and Malinda Saxon, on December 24, 1862, in Blackford County, Indiana. David and Mahetable had the following known children:

  1. Rosetta Isabel Miles
  2. Phoebe Ann Miles
  3. John Edward Miles
  4. Malinda May Miles
  5. Bertha L. Miles
  6. Cora Effie Miles
  7. Alvah Oloy Miles
  8. Charlotte Mable Miles

David and Mahetable lived in Grant County, Indiana, where their first four children were born. Shortly after his parents' deaths, David's father in 1866 and his mother in 1869, David moved his family to Marshall County, Kansas, and settled near Marysville. They were among the early pioneers in Marshall County. He was not the first in his family to head west. His older sister Frances and her husband moved to the Nebraska territory a decade before.

While David was a farmer, he found that boarding workers of the burgeoning railroads was profitable. The US 1880 census records the Miles family living in Republic County, Kansas, where the Burlington and Missouri Railroad was laying track. They were boarding 13 railway workers. The B & M Railroad planned to construct a major hub at Wymore, Nebraska, so within several months of the census, the family moved to Wymore, Nebraska, where it is reported that David erected the first building in Wymore.

By 1883 the family returned to Kansas where David became a cook and a hotel proprietor. Between 1883 and David's death in 1900, he was proprietor of hotels in Onaga, Oneida, Seneca, and Sabetha, Kansas, moving his family between the locations with each new opportunity.

In 1899, David's health began to fail - he suffered from dropsy. In the fall of 1900, David traveled to Sun Mineral Springs, near Sabetha, Kansas in an effort to regain his health. He died there on October 8, 1900, at the age of 58.

At the time of his death David was the proprietor of a hotel in Oneida, Kansas. His obituary described David as “a man of genial nature and made friends wherever he went. He had a way of looking on the bright side of life. In his last sickness, which lasted about a year, he was patient and hopeful.”

David Franklin Miles was buried in Onaga Cemetery, Pottawatomie County, Kansas.

David's wife Mahetable returned to Onaga following David's death where she raised their three teenage children still at home, Cora, Alvah and Charlotte.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch completed: March 2021


"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch, David Miles in household of Lorenzo Miles, Jefferson Township, Grant, Indiana, United States; citing family , NARA microfilm publication (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch, Franklin Miles in entry for Lorenzo Miles, 1860.

"Indiana Marriages, 1811-2019," database with images, FamilySearch, David Franklin Miles and Mahetable Casterline, 23 Dec 1862; citing Blackford, Indiana, United States, Marriage License, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 004201885.

"United States Census, 1870", database with images, FamilySearch, David F Miles, 1870.

"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch, D. F. Miles, Washington Township, Republic, Kansas, United States; citing enumeration district , sheet , NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm .

"Kansas State Census, 1895", database with images, FamilySearch, Miles, 1895.

"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch, David Miles, Gilman Township Oneida, Nemaha, Kansas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 115, sheet 2A, family 27, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,492.

Andreas, A. T., “History of the State of Nebraska”, Western Historical Company, 1882.

“Miles, D. F.” obituary. The Onaga Herald (Onaga, Kansas), 18 October, 1900.

“Miles, D. F.” death notice. The Onaga Herald (Onaga, Kansas), 25 October 1900.

“Miles, Mahettable.” obituary. RootsWeb. Onaga, Kansas. Obituaries.

“Conlin, Cora E.” obituary, Sabetha Herald (Sabetha, Kansas), 3 February, 1954.

David Franklin Miles genealogy research