What you see below is part of a antique 1858 map of Forward Township, Butler Co., PA map showing the ownership of the land in that particular year.    Those lands belonging to the Brown Family are colorized yellow. Jesse's daughter, Cynthia marries Robert H. Brown who is one of the Brown family heirs. You can read more about him on the former page and here.  Brown's Mills are located on the Glade Run river in the lower center of the map.  The Brown property on the right of the map are where the Brownsdale Methodist Episcopal Church and Cemetery were located, a church founded by Robert Brown, Esq. who is Robert H. Brown's grandfather, on his mother's, (Sarah) side.  The cemetery still exists there today.  Here is the history of that church according to the:






Updated October 1, 2010



Printed by McElvany & Company Printing and Publishing

History: Methodist Episcopal Pittsburgh Conference. In the early 1800s the first Class was held in the Robert Brown home. In 1839 Reverend Rathburn reorganized this Class and appointed Robert brown as Class Leader. In 1859 they began to build the first church building and in 1860 it was dedicated and known as Brownsdale Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1920 ground was purchased in the Village of Nixon and the old Church at Brownsdale was torn down.



The following is from:

History of Butler Co., PA

R. C. Brown Co., Publishers, 1895

Robert BROWN, Esq., was for years one of the foremost of the Methodists of this part of the county, and his house was a frequent preaching-place from 1800 until churches became numerous. Mr. BROWN united with the church soon after he came to this county, and soon after, was appointed Leader of the Wigfield Class, which met about six miles from his home. In this leadership he continued for thirty years. About 1839, at this house was formed the class mentioned in the first paragraph. This class was organized by Rev. John RATHBUN, from Ohio, a [p.239] doctor of medicine and a local preacher. Among the principal [sic] members were Joseph MILLER and family, Adam and John BROWN and families, Robert BROWN and family, and others. In 1860, the Brownsdale Methodist Episcopal Church was erected


It makes sense to me that this probably is our Joseph Miller because his granddaughter marries Adam Brown Sr.'s grandson.  What better place to meet but in church! 

Jesse Miller's land is situated at the bottom of this old map below.▼ I have highlighted it in order to find it quickly.  Half of his land is in Forward Township and half is in Adams Township. Both of these townships are in Butler County. We estimate that Jesse Miller owned 120 acres and the townships in Butler Co. are 5 miles square. Just across the road to the west , lives his friend and neighbor, William Cashdollar. The three Brown properties on the 1858 map probably belong to Adam (A. Brown), Robert's father, and his two uncles, his father's brothers, Joseph (Jos. Brown)and John (J. Brown).

Below the map is a photo of Jesse's land as it looks today.  I have highlighted and placed a blue frame around the the lands of Jesse Miller. To me, coming from Iowa, it doesn't look like good farm land.  It is very hilly and heavily forested and today it belongs to the Mars (town of) Rod and Gun Club. We "roped in" a very nice gentleman from the club to show us around.

Back to Miller Family Page














Just below ▼ is the North Union Church and it is in pretty good shape considering that it is a wooden frame building built in the 1860s,  Greg and I could not determine if the church was still in use or not.  There was some furniture inside but it looked pretty forlorn.  The church is located on the northwest corner of Beacon Road and Rath Lane.  The brief information below is from the History of Butler Co., PA Because I love old maps, see a 1874 map of Forward Twp., Butler Co., PA here.


North Union Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized by former members of Union Congregation, of Adams Township. The house in Forward Township was erected on the corner of David Crow's farm in 1861.

 Jesse's land below in October 2008 as seen from the gun club clubhouse.

What you see below ▼ was a welcome sight for Greg and I as we needed to use the outdoor privy located on the church property. The area in which we were traveling is still very rural without a gas station or restaurant within miles. The outdoor privy was "country clean" and pretty much odor free which maybe indicated its infrequent use but was filled with many cobwebs and friendly buzzing insects.  It reminded me of the "old days" and made me smile. No toilet paper, however!