|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 10 May 2007|
Descendants of Martha Miers (1710-1805)
Martha Miers (nee Marte Braun) was the wife of Eli (Eliezer) Miers of Bedford (Pennsylvania). Eli Miers is said to have been among the provincial troops serving in the French and Indian War under Col. Bouquet when General Forbes’ British army marched towards Pittsburgh in 1763. Eli and Martha had four children (Eleazer, James, Agnes and Martha). Eli died in Bedford at 55 years of age in 1765.
A few years after his death, the William Penn family opened a land office, and the Widow Miers purchased some 350 acres of land in Western Pennsylvania “situated on both sides of the Turtle Creek, and the great road leading from Ligonier to Pittsburgh.” In 1769, at 54 years of age, this pioneer grandmother moved her family west to start a new life on the frontier.
The Miers’ place must have been conveniently located for travelers, because she had only been there a year or so when she had her first important guest. George Washington, in his dairy of November 1770, mentions stopping to dine at the “Widow Miers on Turtle Creek” on one of his journeys through the area.
It must have soon became obvious to Martha Miers that her location, near the Turtle Creek and along the route to Pittsburgh, gave her the opportunity to provide food and shelter to travelers on their way west, and in 1774 she opened “Miers’ Wayside Inn.” The Inn, about 10 miles east of Pittsburgh, was a natural way-station for the growing stagecoach trade, and it was to become a regular stop on the National Road, and later on the Greensburg Pike. The Wayside Inn was to flourish for many years, becoming a landmark in the Turtle Creek Valley.
Martha continued to operate the Inn for some 40 years until her death in 1805 at the age of 90. (The Inn would continue to survive under a series of owners, until it was finally torn down in 1912.)
Still another chapter in the Miers’ frontier story opened up in 1782 when Martha’s two grandsons, Eli and Sam Lyon were captured by Indians following a raid on the Lyon’s farm just a short distance from Turtle Creek. The young boys were held captive in the Indian village for two years, and only released when a treaty resulted in an exchange of prisoners with the Indians.
The Miers family are generally considered to be among the very first settlers in Patton Township, and their descendants continued to farm the area for several generations. One of their descendents, an Eli Meyers owned a mill on Thompsons Run. His grandson, also Eli (born in 1830) was raised by the Robert Beatty family on their farm in Patton Township. He became a farmer, served for a while as the Township Supervisor, and in 1880, opened a store in Monroeville. The next year he was appointed postmaster, a post in which he served for many years.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 June 2010 )|