Huerfano County, Colorado
Family Group Sheet
The Dick and Kitty Miller Family

From Pioneers of the Territory of Southern Colorado
Volume III, page 137

The Dick and Kitty Miller Family

Dick and Kitty Miller, my grandparents, settled on the Huerfano River in the early 1860's according to information given by Senator Charles Hayden in his story, "From Pioneer to Prohibition". I don't believe that Grandpa and Grandmother Miller had the permission of her parents to marry. Grandmother told me that when they crossed over the bridge spanning the Missouri River, her mother called to them saying, "I hope the bridge falls down and drowns both of you".

The bridge did not fall down and Dick and Kitty settled at St. Mary's on the Huerfano. They had a small house but Grandpa had walls standing for a larger room. It didn't have a roof for awhile as Grandpa was working on it in his spare time. They used these walls to store the corn fodder that they had raised. The corn was tied in bundles and placed upright in this room.

Grandmother Miller was the first postmistress at St. Mary's and the Post Office was in their small house. One day while Grandfather was away, she was frightened but grabbed Grandpa's old cap and put it on the broom handle. Then she went into where the corn was stored and held the broom up just far enough so the cap could be seen above the walls. About that time, a man came riding up to the house to get his mail. The combination of the rider and the cap appearing above the wall was too much for the Indian and he slid away through the grass.

Meanwhile the Indians were causing a lot of trouble for the people who lived at Fort Garland and Step-great-grandfather, John McClaughlin was transferred there. Somehow, Great-grandmother learned where her daughter was and decided she would go to see her. When she arrived at St. Mary's, Grandmother's first baby Emmit, just able to sit alone, was sitting on the hard-baked dirt earth playing with his mother's gold watch. Grandmother, who had been working in the garden, looked careworn and nearly ill. Great-grandmother did not even get out of the coach. She said to the driver, "I have seen all I want to see. Turn around and take me home".

Emmit Miller was born October 6, 1873. My Uncle Willie Miller was born October 30,1875. His children still own the Miller Ranch at Badito. My mother, Amanda Miller, was born December 12, 1880 in the Badito area of Huerfano County. She died May 17, 1964.

On my mother's side of the family, records show that Richard Mooney and his wife, Judith Kavanough, came from Ireland to New York about 1843. They were my great-great-grandparents. Their daughter, Mary Mooney, married William Stretch. He is listed in the Army Book as Colonel John Franklin Stretch. The family did not know what became of him after the Civil War. Their children were Thomas, Susan, Mary Ann, John, Kate, Patrick and Arthur.

Mary Mooney Stretch then married J. H. McClaughlin. A picture of them and their little girl, Margaret, is in the historical History of South Dakota. Mary Mooney McClaughlin was buried at Fort Randall but the cemetery is now covered with water. My grandmother, Kate Stretch McClaughlin, and her brother, John, were sent to a Catholic School in Kansas. Kate McClaughlin Miller passed away October 26, 1926.

My father, George Franklin Landis, was born in McLean County at Bloomington, Illinois, August 28, 1874. He died April 17, 1943. On his side of the family, my grandfather was Lemington Landis who was born September 6, 1850 in Pennsylvania. His father, my great-grandfather, was born in Germany. His wife was Harriet Beecher Stowe Tigner Landis and they lived most of their lives in Louisville, Colorado. My great-grand-father, Richard M. Tigner and his wife had eleven sons and four daughters. I have the Will signed by Great-grandfather Tigner dated January 1893 at Des Moines, Iowa.

My parents were George Franklin Landis and Amanda Miller Landis. I was born November 8, 1900, at Sunshine, a coal camp later abandoned and my parents moved to Pictou. We lived there for some time and that is where I started school. We went to Denver often and one time Grandfather Landis met us at the depot, driving a sleigh. It was my first and last sleigh ride which was very pleasant with the bells ringing and folks laughing and talking. They used to have tall Christmas trees that touched the ceiling and all of us cousins gathered round the tree had very good times.

I received my Life Certificate from the State Teachers College in Greeley and my Bachelor of Arts degree from Denver University. I married John Simpson in 1923 and we had one daughter, Betty Jacqueline. After we separated, I married Niels P. Nielsen in 1940. I taught school for many years and served as Superintendent of Schools in Huerfano County for two terms...1932-1936.

I am grateful to my parents and grandparents for the heritage they left me.
Amanda Landis Nielsen

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