Lorenzo Miles Life Sketch

(1801 - 1866)

Lorenzo was born on September 12, 1801, in Fitchburg, Worcester County, Massachusetts. Lorenzo married Phoebe Wass in 1825 in Steuben County, New York. Lorenzo Miles died on August 20, 1866 in Grant County, Indiana.

Lorenzo Miles was born September 12, 1801 , in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the 6th of 7 known children of Thomas Miles and Mary Underwood. Lorenzo spent his childhood in Bolton, Massachusetts and around the age of 12, moved with his family to New Jersey, near Morristown. The Miles family moved again in 1824 to Steuben, New York. The following year, at the age of 25, Lorenzo married Phoebe Wass.

Lorenzo and Phoebe had the following known children:

  1. Hammond Miles
  2. Emily Miles
  3. Richard S. Miles
  4. Mary Ann Miles
  5. Frances Elisabeth Miles
  6. William W. Miles
  7. Nelson T. Miles
  8. David Franklin Miles
  9. Adam Winslow Miles
  10. Lewis J. Miles
  11. Margaret J. Miles
  12. Hester Miles

Lorenzo's first child Hammond, born in 1826, reportedly was the first child born in Hammondsport, Steuben County, New York. The Miles family would add 5 more children before moving to Indiana around 1937.

According to son Adam Winslow's biographical sketch, “the Miles family started on its long migration from Western New York to the state of Indiana. They first found a home in Fayette county, lived on a farm, and both Thomas and Lorenzo Miles followed their trade as shoemakers in that locality. There were very few cobblers in any of the early communities of Indiana, and as practically all footwear was made by hand their services were appreciated accordingly, and it was easy for them to exchange their service at their trade for work performed in clearing up their land, and in that way they improved their little farms. Both were men comparatively humble in circumstances, but were honored for their integrity and useful citizenship, and gradually got ahead in material goods.

In 1840, they moved to Grant county, and both Thomas and Lorenzo entered eighty acres of land. Lorenzo entered his in Jefferson township, Grant county, and Thomas in Blackford county, Washington township. Once more they took up the work of pioneer settlers and combined the vocations of farming with shoemaking. Their early home was a double round log house with a puncheon floor, and people for miles around frequented that place in order to get their shoes made. Gradually their land was cleared up, and they lived in prosperous circumstances for their time. Lorenzo Miles was one of the men engaged in the early transportation business before the era of railroads, and for about ten years hauled goods from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Hartford City. It was necessary for him to resort to this occupation since it was more profitable than cutting cheap wood or working at his cobbler's bench, and he had a large family of twelve children to provide for and every dollar was appreciated.”

As Lorenzo's family grew and married, all of the children stayed close to their parents in Indiana with the exception of Frances and William. Frances and her husband Jeremiah Snyder moved to the Nebraska Territory around 1856 and William went with them.

When the Civil War broke out, son William enlisted in the Union army in Brownsville, Nebraska Territory, in June of 1861. While the 1860 census record recorded William's occupation as “artist”, brother Adam Winslow says that his brother was a chaplain. Within 5 months, William was dead, a victim of typhoid pneumonia. He died at the Soldier's Hospital in Syracuse, Missouri where it is presumed he was buried in an unmarked grave.

As the Civil War went on, the number of volunteers dwindled and in Indiana, conscription was used to fill required quotas. Those soldiers who joined Indiana units prior to July of 1862 were probably volunteers and those after, were probably drafted. Lorenzo's son Nelson entered the 84th Regiment of the Indiana Infantry in August of 1862. In December of 1862, Nelson deserted somewhere near Catlettsburg, Kentucky. It is now known where Nelson went following his desertion. US Census records do not record Nelson's location in 1870, however in 1871 he died in Peru, Nebraska, where his older sister Francis lived and where his younger brother Lewis had moved following the death of their parents.

In 1864, Lorenzo's son Hammond was called to serve. Hammond, age 38, was the father of 8 at the time. Instead Lorenzo's 6th son, 18 year old Adam Winslow substituted for Hammond and served from November of 1864 to the end of the Civil War in 1865.

In 1866, Lorenzo Miles died at the age of 65. He was buried in Shiloh Cemetery in Grant county, Indiana.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch completed: March 2021


Lorenzo Miles household, State Census, Steuben County, New York, 1825, Image 127; microfilm 007900957, FHL, Salt Lake City, Utah.

"United States Census, 1830," database with images, FamilySearch, Lorenzo Miler, Erwin, Steuben, New York, United States; citing 351, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 107; FHL microfilm 17,167.

"United States Census, 1840," database with images, FamilySearch, Lorenzo Miles, Monroe Township, Grant, Indiana, United States; citing p. 99, NARA microfilm publication , (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll ; FHL microfilm .

"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch, 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, Lorenzo Miles, 1860.

Lorenzo Miles (Fort Wayne, Indiana), State Volume Patent no. 23586; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records.

“Blackford and Grant Counties Indiana, A Chronicle of their People Past and Present with Family Lineage and Personal Memoirs”, compiled by Benjamin G. Shinn, Vols 1 & 2, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1914.

“Miles, Hammond”, obituary, Hartford City Telegram, Hartford, Indiana, June 15, 1910.

Lorenzo Miles genealogy research