The Millers of Mammoth Cave

The Millers of Mammoth Cave

Guest blog by Karen Logsdon Phillips

From an old family Bible there is written the following names of the Miller family along with dates and that they were all born in  Balla Kelly Parish, Derry, Ireland.

Archibald – 1785-1842

Robert – 1773-1835

David – 1776 no death date

Mary – 1780-1844

William – 1783-1812

James – 1769-1847

Martha – 1787 no death date

We know from writings that Robert and William were all in the Glasgow, KY area by 1805. They were involved in a few business there in Glasgow.  Other sources say that Archibald was brought to the area from Pennsylvania by Charles Wilkins to oversee the salt peter operations at Mammoth Cave and was there by around 1810.  Archibald has even been mentioned as one of the very first guides in Mammoth Cave, along with his sister Mary.   At this point, the slaves would have been making salt peter and not guiding.  As the production of salt peter declined and finally stopped, the idea of showing the cave was formed and more guides were needed.

Archibald stayed on as manager of the estate which included the cave and hotel and spent the rest of his life serving at Mammoth Cave.  At some point, he married Nancy (maiden name unknown) and they had children who were born in the hotel there where he worked.  William Scott Miller was born 1815 and died 1899. Archibald, Jr. was born 1817 and died 1849. Jane was born 1818 and died 1884.  Eliza May was born 1820 and died 1881. Margaret was born 1822 and died 1824. Joseph and Mary Elizabeth (twins) were born 1824 and Joseph died in 1846 and Mary Elizabeth lived until 1918, Matilda was born 1826 and died 1863.

Most of this family worked at Mammoth Cave at one job or another.  Archie Jr was made Post Master and William Scott Miller was Manager of the estate for a few years.  The majority of this family stayed in the area and is buried within the Park boundaries.  Mary Elizabeth Miller married a local man William Morris Cox and they had two children who stayed in the area.  The daughter Elizabeth Cox married I. S. Hunt who came into the county around 1840 and their family and descendants carried on the tradition of working at the cave.  Their boys Schuyler, William Morris, Joseph and Charlie Hunt all worked at the cave at some point.  Their children married into the Lee, Logsdon, Holton, Estes, McDaniels, Sell, and Morrison families that followed the tradition of working at the cave.  At one point there were four generations of tis family working together at the cave.


from a display at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, Glasgow, KY


1986.  Mullin, Marsha A.  1986.  Mammoth Cave Saltpeter Works Recording Project, Historic American Engineering Record, HAER No. KY-18.  38 pp.

6605907_135898341547 This is the wall around Archibald, Nancy (his wife), Joseph and Eliza Miller graves at the Holton Cemetery in Mammoth Cave National Park a few years back. The wall has fallen down and is in need of repair.  Added by: Justakitten, 1/23/2013

About Edward Forrest Frank

My name is Edward Frank. By training I am a geologist with published research on caves found in the United States, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. I am the webmaster, BBS administrator, and run the Facebook Page for the Native Tree Society and am involved with tree research with the group. I am the author, or coauthor, of a number of tree related articles and publications available for download from the NTS website and NTS BBS. I edit the monthly magazine for the group - eNTS Magazine. I write science fiction and fantasy stories reflecting a lifelong love of the genres. Most recently I published a fantasy role playing game Knarf 4, available through Amazon Kindle. I have an extensive science fiction and fantasy library and have long enjoyed table top role-playing games. Not satisfied with commercially available games, I started creating my own game variations in the mid 1980's. Knarf 4 is latest version best version of those games. I also write non-fiction. I currently am working on a book on "The Old-Growth Forests of Cook Forest State Park, PA" targeting older children and teens. I am suave, sophisticated, funny, kind, considerate, thoughtful, brilliant, devilishly handsome, and above all modest.
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