This is our first of several “Quilting Stories” that go along with the t-shirt quilt created by Marie Harnish for a Mennonite Women USA raffle.
Below is from Priscilla Boschmann of First Mennonite Church, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Ma is my great grandmother, Sophronia Hummel Miller who was born in Holmes County, Ohio, on October 2, 1861. She died December 16, 1935 at Protection, Kansas.
Growing up in the rolling hills of Ohio, she grew to love the outdoors, nature, and God’s great creation.
Sophronia was born into a farming family of faithful German Luthers. Sundays were for worship and rest.
Across the field in a neighboring farm, a young Amish fellow, Noah E. Miller, lived with his parents.
These two eventually met and were married. Not without some opposition…mixing these two faiths. After their marriage they decided to join the Mennonite Church, which they did, and were faithful members for the remainder of their lives. They raised 14 children and the last two were twins.
Her husband was a traveler and always looking for good land deals, so they moved often – to Kansas, back to Ohio, to Texas, Oklahoma and finally to Kansas where they helped found the Protection Mennonite Church.
Both Pa and Ma were progressive thinkers and wanted their children to be educated. Many of the 14 were teachers and preachers, one daughter was a nurse, helping start the La Junta, Colorado nursing school, another daughter taught at Hesston College for many years.
When Pa was barely 50 years old, life caught up with him, and he died quite suddenly…leaving Ma with 14 children (the youngest were 6-7 years), and a huge debt!!! Her advisers thought she could never pay it off. She told them “you tend to your business and I will tend to mine!” In three short years she had every bit of the debt (land) paid off!
As a mother she took time for her children, reading to them or telling stories (she was a good story teller). They also worked hard and fast each morning so that they could go explore the pasture, fish, or read in the afternoon.
Her Bible was her favorite book.
She had strong opinions about some things, i.e., it was quite disturbing to her when the preacher would talk past 12:00 noon on a Sunday. She told her kids “When you see me get up, you all follow!”…and they would exit the church. (This quote is on the back of the blue tees).
And now her relatives continue on!
Descendants from Cherokee grandmother from right to left:
#1 Elizabeth..a full blooded Cherokee Indian. (tintype)
#2 Elizabeth Warns Gonser
#3 Martha Gonser Hummel
#4 Sophronia Hummel Miller (Ma on quilt)
#5 Ursula Miller Miller
#6 Lahla Miller Selzer
#7 Priscilla Selzer Boschmann
#8 Heidi Boschmann Amstutz (at age 2 1/2years)
(#9 Greta (age 7) and Katarina (age 11) Amstutz)