William Goodman Miley
William Goodman Miley

By Spessard Stone

William G. Miley, a pioneer settler of Thonotosassa, was a farmer and stockman.

William Goodman Miley, son of Robert and Mary Miley, was born August 3, 1802 in Barnwell, South Carolina. He married (1) Catherine Shubard. After her death, in Augusta, Georgia on December 25, 1833, he married (2) Emmaline Ouentz (or Oentz), born August 16, 1814 in South Carolina. Her parents had relocated from Europe to Charleston, South Carolina. Emmaline, a Jew, married William after extracting his promise that he would sell his slaves and buy no more. After living for a time in Montgomery, Alabama, the Mileys settled in Thonotosassa, Hillsborough County, about 1847. Emiline Miley Giddens in 1909 in her widow's Confederate pension stated she had continuously resided in Florida since February 9, 1847.

As recounted in Leland Hawes' "Jewish Pioneers" in The Tampa Tribune-Times of January 10, 1999:
"With Seminole Indians still occupying a camp in the area, relations could be tense on occasion. The Miley family took refuge at Fort Brooke several times, but in 1847, when there were reports of a possible Indian raid, it was impossible to make the dash to Tampa. Descendant Martha Parr told the story:
"My great-great-grandmother was expecting a child. They gathered the children in the cabin and hovered in fear. During the night, an Indian woman, who was also expecting a child, wandered up to their cabin and was taken in. By morning, both women had delivered a son. Presumably because the Indian woman was treated kindly by the Mileys, the Indians grudgingly became friendly."

The Mileys were active in their community and appeared in several contemporary records. William G. Miley and William Miley served in Capt. John Parker's Company, organized July 23, 1849, during the Indian trouble of 1849. William G. Miley, a farmer and stockman, on January 12, 1853 in Hillsborough County registered his mark and brand: crop & underhalf crop in each. The family, consisting of William G. "Myley," "Emiline," Samuel, David, Malias, Martin, Jacob, Florida, Martha, Henry, was listed in household # 21/16 in the 1860 census of Hillsborough County. Neighbors included the families of William H. and Mary Fanning, J. T. and Susan Dishong Fanning, Thomas and Elisabeth Mitchell, John B. Mobley, G. W. and Caroline Smith, George and Lavenia Franklin, Thomas and Emeline Pollock, A. J. and Mary Hopson.

The Miley, Franklin, Stephens, Wilder, Sparkman and Gallagher families in 1854 organized the Thonotosassa Baptist Church under a live oak tree at South Lake, Thonotosassa, at what is now a bridge but then a ford. The church members had first met under a brush arbor until a log church was built in 1856.

William Goodman Miley died April 1, 1862 and was buried in Thonotosassa Cemetery. His will, dated January 1, 1860, was probated May 3, 1862. Those mentioned in his will included: his wife, Emmaline Miley; sons, Daniel R. Miley and David Montgomery Miley; daughter Elizabeth Johnson. Executor was William Goodman Miley, Jr. Emmaline Quentz Miley died December 11, 1887 and was buried beside William G. Miley in Thonotosassa Cemetery.

William G. Miley had children 1-3 probably by Catherine (Shubard) Miley and children 4-13 by Emmaline (Ouentz) Miley:

1 Daniel Robert Miley. Although named in his father's will, this writer was unable to find him in either the 1860 or 1870 censuses of Hillsborough County.
2. Elizabeth Miley.
3. William Goodman Miley, Jr., born ca. 1830, Ala.; married in Hillsborough Co. on September 20, 1860 Elizabeth Deshong. He died while imprisoned in a Union detention center in New Orleans.
4. Emiline Miley, born Jan. 16, 1837, Ala.; died April 24, 1925; buried Antioch Cemetery; married (1) on Feb. 19, 1857 Thomas Pollock; (2) March 26, 1868 Dennis Adams; (3) April 3, 1870 George W. Giddens.
5. Samuel Augustine Miley, born April 23, 1840, Ala.; died July 16, 1920; buried Antioch Cemetery; married (1) Mary Keen, September 20, 1860; (2) Lizzie Fleming, June 15, 1865; (3) Elisa Simpson, December 7, 1882. He served in the CSA, was captured January 1863 in Tenn., and was a prisoner of war.
6. David Montgomery Miley, born 1842, Ala.; died October 1863 at Petersburg, Va. while serving in the CSA; married on October 15, 1860 Martha Ann Keen. Martha married (2) on November 2, 1866 John Starling, son of Levi & Jane Starling.
7. Malias (Loven?) Miley, born 1846, Ala.
8. Martin Marion Miley, born December 7, 1847, Fla.; died September 11, 1928; buried Thonotosassa Cemetery; married Julia Adams.
9. Jacob Miley, born 1851.
10. Florida Miley, born ca. 1852; married October 10, 1867 Thomas J. Smith.
11. Martha Miley, born ca. 1854; married July 21, 1870 Thomas Fountain.
12. Henry Harney Miley, born February 6, 1857; died June 15, 1924; buried Antioch Cemetery; married on April 20, 1876 Lugenia Lyn.
13. Ursula Ann "Sula" Miley, born October 20, 1860; died October 31, 1938; buried Thonotosassa Cemetery; married on May 25, 1876 Marshall Melton "Met" Davis.

References: Bernice Pollock Roberts; Antioch and Thonotosassa cemeteries; Leland Hawes, "Jewish Pioneers," The Tampa Tribune-Times, January 10, 1999; Canter Brown, Jr., Florida’s Peace River Frontier, 1991, p. 359, and Jewish Pioneers Of The Tampa Bay Frontier, 1999, pp. 8-11; "Hillsborough County: Early Marks & Brands" and "Hillsborough County: Old Wills," respectively South Florida Pioneers 8 (April 1976), 13, 15/16 (Jan./April 1978) p. 53; gedcom by Ronald G. Griffin on RootsWeb. Note: Griffin has children of William and Catherine as: Daniel Robert Miley, born 1819, married Sarah Folsom; Elizabeth Miley, born 1821, married before 1843 James C. Johnson; Mary Miley, born 1823. Birth dates seem unlikely. Mary was not listed in the will. Griffin did not list William G. Miley, Jr., but he was executor. He has no information on Miley’s marriage to Emmaline Quentz. This profile is adapted from the author's Thonotosassa Pioneers, 1985.

Emmaline Ouentz Miley, from page 9 of Canter Brown, Jr.'s Jewish Pioneers Of The Tampa Bay, 1999

Tombstone of William G. Miley

Tombstone of Emmaline Miley

This profile is adapted from the author's Thonotosassa Pioneers (1985).

February 13, 2001 & July 17, 2008