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George Henry Miner


George Henry Miner was born on July 8, 1889 in Union Grove Township, Whiteside County, IL, the son of Daniel Lucas and Mary Elizabeth (Hodges) Minerd.

On Oct. 8, 1914, in Springfield, Greene County, MO, George at age 25 entered into marriage with 23-year-old Clara Morton (July 17, 1891-1925). She was the daughter of William Huston and Sarah Belle (Murray) Morton, and a native of Missouri.

Three children born into this family were Rev. Daniel Huston Miner, Georgia Gwendolyn Orfgen and Hazel Mary Pille.

George was employed in the farming industry. Circa 1920, when the federal census was taken, the family resided in Charles City, Floyd County, IA, where George worked as a keeper at a local feed yard.


Charles City residents cross the new Cedar River footbridge

By 1925, they relocated to Springfield, Greene County, MO with an address of 217 West Calhoun. 

Sadly, at the age of 34, Clara contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and passed away at home on Dec. 30, 1925. Interment was in Ash Grove Cemetery. Her untimely death left her husband to raise their three young children.

Heartache rocked the family again just four years later, when George himself died at age 40, on Jan. 9, 1929. His death occurred in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA, but the cause is not known.

The children were taken in by George's parents in Bagley, Boone County, IA, where they are named in the household in the federal census of 1930. In 1940, their son Daniel and daughter Hazel were in the home of their bachelor uncle, Earl K. Miner in Marshalltown.  

~ Son Rev. Daniel Huston Miner ~

Son Rev. Daniel Huston Miner (1915-1998) was born on July 31, 1915 in Bagley, Guthrie County, IA. His middle name also has been spelled "Hutson."

He was 14 years of age in 1929 at the untimely death of his father, rendering the boy an orphan. He went to live with his Minerd grandparents in Berkley, IA as of 1930 -- was in Perry, Dallas County, IA in 1935 -- and then was in the household of his unmarried uncle Earl K. Miner in Marshalltown, IA as of 1940. Daniel earned a living in 1940 as a shoe store salesman and later that year with the foundry of Acme Brass and Aluminum in town. He stood 6 feet tall and weighed 140 lbs. in young manhood.

Daniel was thrice-married. His first spouse was Elna Marguerite Fleming (1916-1991) of Grinnell, IA, when both were 21 years of age. They tied the marital cord on or about Dec. 26, 1936, in Schuyler County, MO, with Rev. L.L. Gaither presiding.

Together, they became the parents of three daughters -- Sandra "Sandy" Tyson, Danienne "Dee" Saunders and Julie Ann Burgett Brandon.  

In 1943, Daniel earned a living in a foundry in Chicago. Then in late 1942, Elna moved back to her hometown of Grinnell with an address of 603 First Avenue. There, in St. Francis Hospital, Elna gave birth to their daughter Julia. 

Their marriage dissolved in divorce, and Elna in time was joined in the bonds of wedlock with John LeRoy "Roy" Temple (1918-1970). She died in Grinnell on Sept. 27, 1991. Her memorial service was held at the shelter house at Lake Nyanza, and the body donated to the medical school at the University of Iowa.

Daniel apparently moved to Texas after the breakup. There, he married his second bride, Juanita King (1916- ? ). She brought a stepdaughter to the union, Dolores L. King (1935- ? ).

The Miners were enumerated in the 1950 federel census in Dallas, Dallas County, TX, where he was a salesman for Paul Shoes and she a bookkeeper for the company. Later he was a salesman for Look Magazine. He also belonged to the Masons which he joined on Dec. 16, 1945.

Then on Christmas Eve 1954, in Longview, TX, Daniel tied the marital cord with Mildred "Ruth" (Blackwell) Garner (July 23, 1917-1994). She was a native of Coryell City and the daughter of Joseph Bush and Viola Velma (Ledlow) Blackwell. Ruth's father, a church elder and pastor in Jacksonville, TX, performed the ceremony.

They later resided in Karnack and Uncertain, Harrison County, TX. Uncertain was a small community on the shores of Caddo Lake. Circa 1985, Daniel served as pastor of the Caddo Lake Church, promoted as a "non-denominational church of love and forgiveness" and "buuilt on guts and grit and volunteer labor," said the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Then in 1990, the congregation formed a new "Church of Uncertain" due to "extenuating circumstances totally beyond our control, we feel very strongly that we have no other choice than to form a new church," they advertised in the Marshall News Messenger

We are proud to be a non-aligned church where our creed and doctrine will always be "As It Is Written" and "Thus Saith The Lord." We extend a warm, christian, and sincere welcome to come and worship with us. Services are held every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Anyone needing help, day or night, can call Rev. Daniel H. Miner... We meet at the first house past Johnson's Ranch (the old Boehringer house).

Toward the end, Ruth was admitted to Merritt Plaza Nursing Home. They received the horrifying news in April 1994 of the shooting-death murder of their grandson Robert Gene Brandon Jr. back in Council Bluffs.

Sadly, Ruth succumbed to the spectre of death on June 26, 1994. Rev. Joe Harbour officiated the funeral rites. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Jacksonville City Cemetery in Cherokee County, TX.

Daniel outlived his bride by four years. He is known to have performed the funeral rites of his sister-in-law Elsie Florine (Blackwell) Bliss in 1997. After what the Longview News-Journal called a "sudden illness," he passed away in Karnack at the age of 82 on June 12, 1998. Rev. Harbour again led the services. The remains were lowered into the eternal sleep of ages next to Ruth's. The family asked that any memorial gifts be made to the Texas Shriners Hospital for Children.

Daughter Sandra K. "Sandy" Miner (1937- ? ) was born in about 1937. She appears to have first wed (?) Dillon ( ? - ? ). After their marriage ended, she dwelled in a trailer court in Plattsmouth, NE. Circa 1962, at the age of 24, she was joined in matrimony with 18-year-old Glenn William Tyson Sr. (Nov. 11, 1943-2024), the son of Albert and Mary (Pittman) Tyson, also of Plattsmouth, NE. News of their marriage license was published in the Omaha (NE) Evening World-Herald. They settled in Council Bluffs, IA and became the parents of Glenn William Tyson Jr. They divorced but after some time elapsed re-tied the knot with each other circa 1990, when she was age 53 and he 47. Their world was shattered in 1973 at the untimely death of Sandra's sister Julie Ann Brandon and then again in 1994 at the murder of the sister's son Robert Gene Brandon Jr. Sandra is known to have attended the killer's trial and to have recommended the maximum prison sentence in remarks to the judge. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported in January 2000 that the second-time marriage again had dissolved. Glenn Sr. passed away at the age of 80 on March 24, 2024, with an open house celebration of his life held in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Council Bluffs.  

  • Grandson Glenn William Tyson Jr. ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He was a student in the early 1980s at Ricks College in Rexburd, ID. In 1985, he exchanged marital vows with Christina Marie Ard ( ? -? ), daughter of Robert R. Ard of Billings, MT. The wedding nuptials were led by Bishop Howard Anderson. The Billings Gazette published an article about the happy event in which the couple was pictured. Christina was a graduate of Billings Senior High School and studied at Ricks College. The newlyweds' first home was in Council Bluffs. Glenn Jr. went to earn his associate's degree from Ricks in 1988.

Daughter Danienne "Dee" Miner (1938- ? ) was born in 1838. On Nov. 10, 1957, in Grinnell, IA, she was united in wedlock with Dale L. Saunders (May 3, 1937-2013), son of Raymond R. and Harriett (Taylor Saunders of Grinnell.They remained together over a remarkable 55 years. Dale was a 1955 graduate of Marshalltown High School. Their homeplace for years has been in Newton, IA. They became the parents of Dale L. "Dudley" Saunders Jr. and Timothy Saunders. Reported the Newton (IA) News, "He worked 37 years for the Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines, he made home and wholesale deliveries and also drove semi for them. Prior to and following his retirement from AE, Dale drove a school bus for the Newton Community School District for 50 years. Dale loved to be with and do things with his family and enjoyed being a part of the family race team, playing golf, camping, fishing, playing cards, and going to the casinos." Grief cascaded over the family at the untimely death of son Dudley at age 47 in 2007. Dale Sr. outlived his son by six years. With his health in decline, he was admitted to the Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. There, he passed into the heavenly host a day before his 76th birthday on May 2, 2013.  

  • Grandson Dale L. "Dudley" Saunders Jr. (1959-2007) was born on Aug. 13, 1959 in Marshalltown. He was a 1977 graduate of Newton (IA) Senior High School and made his dwelling-place for years in the town. Over the years he was employed as a factory maintenance worker for Thombert's Inc. in Brooklyn. He was the father of Kelsey Saunders and Robbie Saunders. They were plunged into mourning at the death of son Robbie in infancy. Said the Newton News, Dudley "lived for the Boone Nationals. He was also a pit crew mechanic and fan of stock car racing. Dudley also enjoyed family, friends, camping, fishing, playing cards, the Iowa State Fair and mushroom hunting." Sadly, at the age of 47, he passed away on May 11, 2007  in Des Moines' Mercy Medical Center. A memorial service was conducted by Chaplain Merle Smith, and an obituary appeared in the News.
  • Grandson Timothy Saunders wed Rhonda. Their two children are Jennifer Saunders and Josh Saunders. The Saunderses lived in Newton in 2007. Son Josh married Breanna,lives in Cedar Falls, IA and drives hobby stock cars in races of the International Motor Contest Association.

Daughter Julie Ann Miner (1943-1973) was born on Feb. 23, 1943 in St. Francis Hospital in Grinnell, Poweshiek County, IA. Dr. S.D. Porter assisted in the birth. She grew up in Grinnell. Her first spouse was Raymond Woodrow Burgett Jr. (June 19, 1940-2010). He was a diesel mechanic and machinist with McDonnell Douglas. The union lasted for a few years followed by divorce. On May 19, 1966, Julie married Robert Gene Brandon Sr. ( ? - ? ). They resided in the Pacific Junction section of Council Bluffs in 1967 and bore a family of three -- Robert Gene Brandon Jr., Darci Lynn Kephart and John Brandon. Julie belonged to the Pentecostal Church of God in Council Bluffs. By 1970, after filing for bankruptcy, their address was 2212 South Eighth Street. With her health in decline in June 1973, Julie moved back into her mother's home in Grinnell at 508 Spring Street. She underwent surgery in Des Moines' Mercy Hospital and there died at the age of 30 on July 30, 1973. Rev. Horace Schaffner, of the Grinnell Christian Church, led the funeral rites. Her remains were laid to rest in Hazelwood Cemetery in Grinnell. Robert went on to wed again to Konnie and in 1994 made their residence in Pacific Junction. 

  • Grandson Robert Gene Brandon Jr. (1967-1994) was born in June 1967. News of his birth was announced in the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil. He attended school in Glenwood. In young manhood he lived at 2719 Fifth Avenue in Council Bluffs and was employed by American Trailers. In the fateful wee morning hours of April 24, 1994, following an evening of stock car race watching, Robert was shot in the chest during a confrontation at the Convenient Food Market at Carter Lake, at the corner of Mayberry and Locust. He collapsed inside the store and was rushed to St. Joseph Hospital in Omaha, where he died shortly after. Interment was in Glenwood Cemetery, with an obituary published in the Nonpareil. Police arrested a suspect on charges of first degree murder. Police later disclosed to the Nonpareil that Robert and a friend were trying to retrieve items that had been stolen from the friend's residence earlier that night. The suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter, armed with intent and third-degree burglary and in September 1994 was sentenced to 20 years in prison. During testimony in the case, Robert's aunt Sandra K. Tyson asked for the maximum prison time penalty and said that the shooter "had no social conscience and as a result, society should be protected from him as long as possible," as quoted in the Nonpareil
  • Granddaughter Darci Lynn Brandon (1970- ? ) was born in 1970. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil printed a birth announcement. Darci Lynn appears to be an alumna of Lewis Central High School. She was united in matrimony with James Kephart. Circa 1994, they lived in Grinnell, IA and in more recent years in Montezuma, IA. She has been employed as a quality control supeervisor at Pur Foods.
  • Grandson John Brandon ( ? - ? ) lived in Grinnell in 1994.

~ Daughter Georgia Gwendolyn (Miner) Orfgen ~

Daughter Georgia Gwendolyn Miner (1917-2009) was born on Oct. 10, 1917 in Iowa.

She entered into marriage with farmer Leonard Charles Orfgen (Sept. 11, 1907-1973), a native of Wisconsin and the son of Charles and Martha (Grutt) Orfgen.

Leonard had been married before to Della May Marlett (1913-1952) and brought a stepdaughter into the union, Ardis Mae Teegarden. 

The Orfgens dwelled in Buffalo, Dallas County, MO.  

Leonard suffered with severe pulmonary emphysema and heart disease for the last three years of his life. Sadly, at the age of 65, he died in Cox Medical Center in Springfield, MO on Jan. 25, 1973.

Gwendolyn survived him by more than 35 years. The heavenly host gathered her away on Oct. 26, 2009. The pair sleeps side by side for all eternity in Church Grove Cemetery in Foose, Dallas County, MO.

Stepdaughter Ardis Mae Orfgen (1933-2017) was born on April 13, 1933. On Aug. 8, 1952, she was united in matrimony with Wisconsin native Levi "Joy' Teegarden (April 17, 1927-2021), whom she had met at a dance at the 400 Club. He was the son of Levi and Julia Teegarden and grew up on a family homestead in Menomonie, WI. They remained together over the thick and thin of an extraordinary 65 years. Four children born to the couple were Cindy Klatt, Levi Dorean Teegarden, Rick Teegarden and Lori Teegarden. They were plunged into grief at the death of their son Levi as a two-month-old in 1956. Evidence suggests that they dwelled in Chippewa Falls, WI. Ardis Mae was known for a warm smile and earned the nickname "The Cake Lady." Said an obituary, "She established Teegarden Cake & Party Supplies in 1972, running it until her later years. Her artistic talent for cake decorating and her ability to design unique, one-of-a-kind specialty cake toppers helped many others acquire treasured family memories for over 40 years. Ardis also passed on her skill as a professional cake decorator by teaching students at many sites in and around the surrounding counties." Said another obituary, "Joy's childhood years included working in the fifth-generation family business, Teegarden Lumber and Snow Fence, and learning baseball from his uncles, the well-known 'Larson Nine'." He earned a living for 16 years as a mechanic with 3M Menomonie, a position from which he retired. Added the obituary, "Joy's hobbies included building whatever his grandchildren imagined; extravagant swings and slides, barns and doll houses, and car and train beds, to name a few. In later years, he enjoyed being a member of the Moon Lake Threshing Association and taking joy rides in his golf cart..." He was the family's historian who liked to tell stories of early times in Teegardenville and Dunn County, WI. He was skilled at teaching his offspring that life need not be perfect and that laughter had the power to heal. Death swept Ardis away at the age of 84 on Nov. 10, 2017. Burial was in Teegarden Cemetery in Knapp, WI. Joy endured for a little more than three years. He died at age 93 on Jan. 18, 2021. Pastor Mike Shay led the funeral rites. 

  • Step-granddaughter Cindy Teegarden ( ? - ? ) wed (?) Klatt ( ? - ? ). She and Robert Meyer were compansions in 2021.
  • Step-grandson Rick Teegarden ( ? - ? ) married Deb ( ? - ? )
  • Step-granddaughter Lori Teegarden ( ? - ? )

~ Daughter Hazel Mary (Miner) Pille ~

Daughter Hazel Mary Miner (1922-2004) was born on July 18, 1922 in Burnside, Webster County, IA.

Hazel was orphaned in 1929 at the untimely death of her widowed father. She was taken into the home of her Minerd grandparents in Bagley, IA  as of 1930 -- was in Springfield, Greene County, MO in 1935 -- and by 1940 was reunited with her brother Daniel in the home of their bachelor uncle Earl K. Miner in Marshalltown. She was a graduate of Marshalltown High School.

On Dec. 27, 1941, when she was 19 years of age, she was joined in wedlock with 24-year-old laborer  Francis Joseph Pille (March 6, 1918-2002), originally from Rhodes, Marshall County, IA, and the son of Joseph F. and Julia R. (Goodman) Pille. Their nuptials took place in Marshalltown's St. Mary's Catholic Church, by the hand of Rev. J.R. Goodman. Arthur Pille and Mrs. Lee Ferguson stood as witnesses. Their union stood firm over the ups and downs of an extraordinary 60-plus years.

Panorama view of Marshalltown, Iowa - Library of Congress

Their name is pronounced PIE-lee. 

Together, the couple produced a family of two -- Thomas Joseph Pille and Patricia Barber. 

The Pilles made a home in Cedar Falls, IA and then in 1967 migrated to Texas. Their homeplaces in the lone star state included Garland, Rowlett, Mesquite and Floresville. While in Garland, Hazel was employed by Colonial National Bank and rose to the position of vice president, while Francis worked in customer service for the City of Garland. Reported the Wilson County News, "He enjoyed camping, playing dominoes and cards, and socializing. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus..."

While in Rowlett, the family held a membership in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and its Altar Society. After a move to Floresville, in March 2002, they joined the local Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Francis died on Aug. 3, 2002. 

Hazel was spirited away by the angel of death in Floresville on April 5, 2004. Her funeral mass was sung by Rev. Fr. Stefan Wiera in the family church, followed by interment in the local Harper Cemetery. The News of Floresville printed an obituary, in which the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Harper Cemetery Association. She was survived by five grandchildren and a dozen great-grandchildren.

Son Thomas Joseph Pille (1943-2022) was born on Dec. 15, 1943 in Marshalltown, IA. He spent his youth in Cedar Falls and was a 1961 graduate of Cedar Falls High School. At the age of 24, on Sept. 17, 1968, he entered into marriage with Wanda Green ( ? - ? ). Their union held firm over the remarkable span of 53 years. Said an obituary, "Tom would always call her 'my sweetie' and 'the love of my life.' Their bond together was a daily testimony to others of what true love means and together, they made every day special to each other... He was always a 'people person' and whether you had just met him or had known him your whole life, Tom was always outgoing and friendly." Together, Thomas and Wanda bore two offspring -- Dean Pille and Traci Schuler. The family held a membership in the First United Methodist Church of Royse City. Thomas was employed over the years as a supervisor and manager with retail businesses such as Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and 7-11 convenience stores. He also was a courier making deliveries to customers. For fun, he liked to liked to take camping trips, yardwork and card games, especially Mexican Train. The family said he had a knack for interpreting the card-game rules to most always assure he would win.  Sadly, he passed away on May 5, 2022. Services were held in the family church.

  • Grandson Dean Pille married Angela "Angie" ( ? - ? ). They have made their dwelling-place in Nevada, TX and are the parents of Austin Pille, Alicia Pille and Shelby Pille.       

    Great-grandson Austin Pille was a student at Royse City High School and played left tackle for the school football team. On the fateful day of Sept. 30, 2013, while in the back seat of a new Mustang in which he was riding with friends, at a high rate of speed, the car hit a dip in the road, struck a pole and flipped three times. He was rushed by Baylor University Medical Center and diagnosed with two fractured neck vertebrae, resulting in paralysis from the waist down. Austin missed five months of study and underwent treatment and rehabilitation at Baylor in Dallas and TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. He eventually graduated and was inducted in the National Honor Society. His inspiring story was told in the June 12, 2014 edition of the Dallas Morning News.

    Great-granddaughter Alicia Pille was a graduate of RoyseCity High School and in 2010 signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Kansas and play Division I softball for the Kansas Jayhawks. 

    Great-granddaughter Shelby Pille ( ? - ? ) 

  • Granddaughter Traci Pille wed John Schuler. The couple lived in Marshalltown in 2004. Three known children of this marriage are Darci Schuler, Emma Schuler and Daniel Schuler. 

Daughter Patricia Pille ( ? - ? ) was a 1964 graduate of Cedar Falls High School. She entered into marriage with Fred Barber. ( ? - ? ) Circa 2004, they resided in Floresville, TX. 


Copyright 2005, 2024 Mark A. Miner
Minerd.com extends its gratutide to Sharon Hodge-Spencer who graciously shared her research for this biography.