Chapter 188

The J. H. Brant Children Married into Craigmiles, Windmiller, Henry Clans

SARA LYMAN BRANT, seventh of the children of John Hancock and Mary Elizabeth (Collard) Brant, was born December 21, 1878 and died June 23, 1879, at the age of six months.

Eighth in order of birth of John H. Brant's children was Nola Dole Brant, born in Pittsfield August 13, 1880. The father then had a blacksmith shop in Pittsfield.

Nola Dole Brant, on March 12, 1899, at Pleasant Hill, married Harry V. Craigmiles. Justice James Berry officiated and William Craigmiles and M. D. Briscoe were official witnesses.

Harry V. Craigmiles descended from two Pike county families of the pioneer settlement. His parents were Peter V. Craigmiles and Sarah A. Emert, who were married by Justice John W. Grafford in pike county October 11, 1863. Edward T. Gresham and Nancy Waggoner were married by the same justice on the same day in a double wedding.

Harry V. Craigmiles' maternal grandparents (parents of Sarah A. Emert) lived in early days on the hill in the village of Pleasant Hill, it was at their house that Nola Brant's parents ate their first meals in Pike county when they came up-river from St. Charles to Clarksville Landing in 1852 and then traveled inland to Pleasant Hill where they established their home.

Peter V. Craigmiles, father of Harry V., was a son of James J. and Margaret Windmiller Craigmiles, who settled in the Oakland school neighborhood in Pleasant Hill township, considerably more than a century ago. James Craigmiles was of Scotch descent, his wife a native of Germany. Others of the early Craigmiles family were Elijah F. Craigmiles, who married Manda Morrow, the Reverend David Roberts officiating, October 10, 1844; and Alexander William Craigmiles, who married Polly Cannon, Justice John J. Collard officiating, on February 13, 1845.

Other children of James and Margaret Windmiller Craigmiles, sisters of the only son, Peter, were: Christina Craigmiles, who married Charles E. Criss, with the Reverend Frank H. Lewis officiating, April 11, 1875; Mary Craigmiles, who married Jonathan Betts, the Reverend J. W. Ogle officiating, July 29, 1871; Sevelia (or Suphelia) Craigmiles, who married James A. Galloway, the Reverend F. H. Lewis officiating. August 5, 1874 (Alford Billings and Lydia K. Cannon were married by Mr. Lewis the same day in a double wedding); Ellen J. Craigmiles, who married William E. Marsh, John J. Gibson officiating, March 5, 1871; Catherine S. Craigmiles, who married William W. Ritchie, Justice John W. Grafford officiating, March 21, 1867; Sarah E. Craigmiles, who married John E. Smith, Justice Marion C. Stark officiating, October 1, 1863; and Fannie Craigmiles, who married John H. Zumwalt, Magistrate C. W. Patterson officiating, April 12, 1883. Peter V. Craigmiles, born in 1838, died in 1890; his wife, born in 1844, died in 1920. Both are buried in Crescent Heights.

Harry V. Craigmiles' paternal grandmother, Margaret Windmiller Craigmiles, was a member of a German emigrant group that in early days left their native land on account of famine, and, setting sail for America, founded here in the state of Pennsylvania a family that later sent several of its number to Pike county, Illinois. The German- born children of the emigrant pair landed in this country with their mother; the father, who embarked with them, died at sea in whose depths he was buried.

Mother Windmiller and her children reached America some time in 1832 and the family made a settlement in Pennsylvania, whence some of them, within a few years, came to Pike county, Illinois. One of them, Peter Windmiller, born in Germany in 1816, came to what is now Spring Creek township as early as 1834, where, on July 28, 1842 he married Sevelia (spelled "Suphelia" in the marriage license record) Applegate, the ceremony being said by Justice John G. Sitton.

Others of the Windmiller children, brothers and sisters of Mrs. Margaret Craigmiles were: Samuel Windmiller, who purchased and developed a farm in Pleasant Hill township upon which he died in 1875, and who in Pike county on November 21, 1847, married Mrs. Ann Mariah (Glenn) Williams, with the Reverend Samuel Applegate officiating; Jacob Windmiller, who in Pike county, on December 25, 1839, married Sarah Ann Moore, with the Reverend Levi Kinman officiating; John Windmiller; Christina Windmiller, who married Charles Zerenberg, an 1834 settler in Pleasant Hill township, and a German emigrant who accompanied the Windmillers to America in 1832 and first settled with them in Pennsylvania; and Catherine Windmiller, who married Frank Huber, another German emigrant who lost his first wife by cholera in Germany and who brought his daughter, Margaret Huber, with him to this country where, in Pike county, on May 8, 1851, with the Reverend James Burbridge officiating, she married John Ray.

Frank (Franz) Huber was a carpenter and farmer. He built the old Pleasant Hill Baptist church, still standing on the hill where it was erected out of native logs and lumber in 1857, the logs for the framework being hauled to the site by a two-wheeled cart drawn by a yoke of oxen. The Huber homestead was a short distance east of the town of Pleasant Hill, the place being later the Milo E. Galloway farm.

Margaret (Windmiller) Craigmiles was an aunt of Jacob Windmiller, Jr., who was sheriff of Pike county from 1886 to 1890, and treasurer of the county from 1890 to 1894. He was a son of Peter and Sevelia Applegate Windmiller, his father being a brother of Margaret Craigmiles. Sheriff Windmiller also had a sister, Lucretia Jane Windmiller, who married into the Craigmiles family, her husband being William C. Craigmiles.

It is said of the Windmillers that when they first settled in the Bay Creek country of South Pike, there was but one wheeled vehicle in all that region and that was a wooden-wheeled ox-cart. Peter Windmiller, father of Sheriff Windmiller, often gathered his corn in early days in a one-horse sled. Sheriff Windmiller's wife whom he married November 27, 1873 was Mary S. Stone, a daughter of Nathan Stone and a native of Kentucky, whence she came in her infancy with her father to Pike county, Illinois.

Harry V. Craigmiles and Nola D. Brant had three children, Lacy Vaughn, Naomi Vego and Elza Truman Craigmiles.

Lacy Vaugh Craigmiles was born March 4, 1900. She married Thomas A. Anderson of Rockford, Illinois, and they had two children, namely: Patricia Sue Anderson, born June 26, 1925, and Michael Thomas Anderson, born August 4, 1933. The mother died August 29, 1935.

Naomi Vego Craigmiles was born April 16, 1903. She married Russell Clyde Henry, a son of James William and Effie (Sutton) Henry, the latter a daughter of William M. and America A. (Gibson) Sutton. The Sutton family settled in Pleasant Hill township about 1853, coming from Kentucky of which state the father, James Sutton, was a native. The mother, Elizabeth Ann (Franklin) Sutton, was a native of Vermont. The Sutton family located at North Fork in Pleasant Hill township in 1853. From Barren county, Kentucky, they emigrated first to Boone county, Missouri, remaining there for 14 years, returning then to Kentucky in 1851 and coming thence to Pike county in 1853. There were seven children, Stephen Franklin, Louis, William M., Mrs. Ellen Moore, Mrs. Margaret Martin, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson and Mrs. Adaline Sternes.

Naomi Craigmiles and her husband, Russell C. Henry, both taught school in Pike county. Mr. Henry later engaged in farming and is now an engineer for the Panhandle Pipe Line Company at the booster plant on the Pleasant Hill- Atlas road.

To Russell and Naomi (Craigmiles) Henry have been born five children, namely: Cherie Joan Henry, born at Pleasant Hill October 20, 1932; Madge Karen (Betsy) Henry, born in Spring Creek township February 26, 1934; Philip Paul Henry, born at Chambersburg where the father was teaching in the public school, March 20, 1935, died the same day; Suzanne Henry, born January 31, 1937; and Russell Drew Henry, born April 22, 1939.

Elza Truman Craigmiles, third and last child of Harry V. and Nola (Brant) Craigmiles, was born November 3, 1911. He married Bernice Miriam Foster, daughter of Harold and Alta (Gill) Foster. They have one child, Terry Dennis Craigmiles, born March 29, 1937.

Nola Dole (Brant) Craigmiles died at Pleasant Hill May 5, 1936. She is buried at Crescent Heights.

John Riley Brant, ninth and last of the children of John Hancock and Mary Elizabeth (Collard) Brant, was born in Pike county September 23, 1882 and died February 8, 1890.

John Hancock and Mary Elizabeth Brant both lived to ripe old ages. They were known in the Pleasant Hill community as Uncle John and Aunt Moll. Aunt Moll in her youth was a school teacher, maintaining the traditions of the John J. Collard family, which gave to Pike and Calhoun counties a splendid line of teachers, a dozen in number.

Mary Elizabeth was one of the line of Collard teachers at old Bayville, southeast of Pleasant Hill, where her father, John J. Collard, was the first of the line. He was succeeded at Bayville by his son, John Ray Collard, and by his daughters, Eliza Jane Collard (later Mrs. M. H. Hulshult) and Mary Elizabeth Collard (later Mrs. John H. Brant), and also by a granddaughter, Ora (Collard) Waugh, a daughter of his son, Daniel Collard.

Mrs. Brant united with the Christian faith during a revival conducted by the Reverend J. Wesley Miller in a hall over the old tobacco factory at Pleasant Hill. She helped make the Ladies' Aid society at Pleasant Hill a leading organization of the church. She died at Pleasant Hill February 11, 1918 in her 71st year. She was born at Bayville June 6, 1847.

Following his wife's death, John H. Brant went to live with his youngest daughter, Mrs. Harry V. Craigmiles, at whose home he died September 8, 1922, aged 85 years, 11 months and 20 days. Mr. and Mrs. Brant are both buried in Crescent Heights cemetery.