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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday's Obituary ~ Mrs. E. R. Miller

Mrs. Elizabeth Rose Miller was born in St. Tammany’s Parish, La., July 16, 1814, and went peacefully to sleep, in the home of her beloved daughter, Mrs. Anna Campbell,at Bethany, W. Va., on Sept. 19, 1906, at the ripe old age of ninety-two years.She was twice married, first to James Purdee Purvis, on the 19th of January 1832. By this marriage, she had three children, James, who died at ten years of age; Mary Anna, widow of the late Alexander Campbell, who survives her,and William R. Purvis, who died at Roseland, La. in January, 1882.  On the 10th of March 1839, she was married a second time, to Joseph Ewing Miller, at Jackson, Miss., whom she has outlived for many long years, and to this union were born two sons—Robert H. Miller, who, just after graduating with honor at Bethany College, enlisted in the Civil War. He was killed at the first battle of “Bull Run”; his body was found on the field, and identified by a Bible in his breast pocket, in which was written his full name. The second son, Joseph E. Miller, still lives, at Fairview, La., and has a large family of children. She was truly great because she was truly good, with a deeply religious nature, and kind heart, coupled with a strong intellect, and mind richly endowed and cultivated, and stored with wisdom and knowledge. She was one of the most wonderful women of her day and generation, and upon any them one could suggest or converse, she was fluent, interesting and instructive. Her maiden name was Campbell, and her Scotch ancestors were celebrated for bravery at the battle of “Culloden Moor,”in 1746. In 1848 she sent her brother, T. F. Campbell, to be educated at Bethany College, and he afterwards became an educator himself, founding a college at Monmouth, Ore., and his youngest son is “Prince Campbell, “ now president of the University of Oregon, at Eugene. Later on, she sent another brother, “Fountain Campbell,” to be educated at Bethany; and in 1849 came herself, bringing her only daughter, Mary Anna, whom she placed in school in Pleasant Hill Seminary, then presided over by Mrs. Jane C. McKeever, a sister of Alexander Campbell.  After three years of study at this institution, Mary Anna was married to Alexander Campbell, Jr., whose faithful and devoted wife she has been for fifty-four years, their “golden wedding”having been celebrated in 1902, in Lexington, Ky., at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Mary C. Hagerman.  At this wedding anniversary, “Grandma Miller” was present, and four generations helped to celebrate the happy occasion. It is wonderful to think of a life just closed that has extended back to the time of the Indians, when they owned and occupied many of the Southern States.  And now the long life that was filled with generous impulses and conscientious work for her master, with a grand and noble ambition to accomplish the greatest possible good, has forever closed upon earth, and she has gone from us deeply lamented by all who had the good fortune to know her in the prime and vigor of her beautiful and useful life.  Her fragrant memory is one to be long cherished by those who knew and loved her, and is a blessed heritage to the children and grandchildren down to the latest generation of those who survive her.
Bethany, W. Va.                                                                                  D.C.B.

Elizabeth Rose Miller Obituary

[1] Obituary discovered in a Bethany College Scrapbook by Karen D. of Oklahoma and her friend Janice (Janmariewv). This is a KEY Document in research of the Campbell-Purvis-Miller line all credit for it’s  find is attributed to Karen D. and Janice. Printed here with their approval; not to be used without approval. ©2012.


  1. I discovered this obituary in the scrapbook of Mamie Campbell Hagerman at the Bethany College Archives while researching the life of Mary Anna Purvis Campbell, the daughter of Elizabeth Rose Campbell Purvis Miller. I shared this information with K.D. at the time as I understood that it was the only proof available to date that William R. Purvis was the son of ER Miller. Elizabeth Rose Miller is my first cousin 4x removed. Janice Garrison Shepherd

  2. Janice,
    Thank you for this document; it is the only proof that James B. M. Purvis and Elizabeth Rose Campbell had 3 children; not just the two named in the WILL of James P. J. Purvis.

    1. Correction; Should read “proof that James P. J. Purvis and Elizabeth Rose Campbell had 3 children, not just the two named in the WIL of James P. J. Purvis.”
      James B. M. Purvis is the first born son who died at age 10.

  3. Janice,
    Do you have any info on the father of James Purdee J. Purvis or any siblings. Do you know or think that William H. H. Purvis is his brother?