Biography of Miles Storey

STOREY, MILES, was born in Salisbury, Vt., on August 23, 1807, and was third in the family of six children of Rufus and Laura (Miles) Storey. Solomon Storey, his grandfather, was born in Norwich, Conn.; was a farmer and a sailor alternately, as interest dictated. He made several voyages to the East Indies and was several times shipwrecked. He married Dorcas Branch, by whom he had a family of children, as follows: Lydia, Olive, Sabrah, Roger, Asa, Sarah, Jonas, Jesse, Rufus, and Martha. He moved from Connecticut and settled in Dalton, Berkshire county, Mass., in 1772, where he remained until 1778; then with his family he went to the then wilderness of Salisbury, Addison county, Vt., and there remained until his death, at the age of ninety years, in May, 1816. His wife died in Salisbury, Vt., in November, 1805. Solomon Storey was one of the original eight who organized the Congregational Church at Salisbury. Joseph Storey, the great jurist, was a relative of his. Amos Storey, brother of Solomon, was the first person who came into Salisbury, Vt., with a view to settling there. He built a log hut, which was consumed by fire, and was killed by the fall of a tree, before his family arrived in the town. A son fourteen years of age was with him at the time of the accident, and as soon as he could he cut the log away (it was two feet in diameter) and rolled it off from his father. He then ran three miles through the woods, guided by marked trees, to a little clearing on the road, where Judge Painter and Daniel Chipman were beginning a settlement. They came back with the boy and buried the father. His widow and her large family of children was the first family who moved into the town, and she was consequently entitled to one hundred acres of land, by a vote of the original proprietors. She arrived on the 22d of February, 1775. She endured almost every hardship, chopping down timber and clearing and cultivating the soil. Several times during the War of the Revolution she was compelled to leave and take refuge in Pittsford, on account of danger apprehended from the Indians; but at length she and a Mr. Stevens prepared themselves a safe retreat. This was effected by digging a hole horizontally into the bank, just above the water of Otter Creek, barely sufficient to admit one person at a time. This passage led to a spacious lodging room, the bottom of which was covered with straw, and upon this their beds were laid for the accommodation of the families. The entrance was concealed by bushes which hung over it from the bank above. They usually retired to their lodgings in the dusk of the evening and left them before light in the morning; and this was effected by means of a canoe, so that no path or footsteps were to be seen leading to their subterranean abode.

Wilbur F. Storey, who achieved a world-wide fame as editor of the Chicago Times, was the son of Jesse Storey (the fourth son of Solomon) and was a native of Salisbury, Vt. Rufus Storey, the youngest son of Solomon Storey, was born in Norwich, Conn., on February 3, 1773. He was sixteen years old when his father moved to Salisbury. He was married on December 9, 1802, to Laura Miles. Their children were: Lovina (born on October 17, 1803, died on August. 14, 1869, a maiden lady who resided at the home until the time of her death); Nelson William (born on August 9, 1805, and died on December 27, 1808); Miles (the subject of our sketch); Orville Wright (born on October 10, 1810, was an engineer on the Erie Canal for many years; he died in Rochester, N. Y., on January 12, 1867, leaving a widow and two sons); Norman Smith (born on August 12, 1813, died in Salisbury, Vt., on November 11, 1871; lived on the homestead and was owner of a part of it; his widow survives him) ; Caroline Abbey (born on September 11, 1816, died in April, 1867); she was the wife of Jonah Swan, of Milton, Vt.

They have two children living, Augusta and George Orville. Laura, the wife of Rufus Storey, died on March 31, 1826, and he married for his second wife, on December 6, 1827, Mary Miller Wallace. The latter was born on May 27, 1784, and lived to the extreme old age of ninety years. Rufus Storey was a thorough-going, successful farmer. He filled a number of the town offices, and was for many years a member of the Salisbury Congregational Church and also a deacon in it. He was captain of the militia and was known as Captain Rufus Storey.

Miles Storey lived with his father on the homestead farm in Salisbury, Vt., until he was thirty-four years of age. His education was limited to the common schools of Salisbury, Vt. From the time of reaching his majority he took charge of the homestead farm until January 1, 1843, when he moved on to the farm in Leicester, where he has since resided. This farm consisted of seventy-five acres, which he paid for by moneys allowed him by his father for the thirteen years of service on the home farm, and also a gift from him of $1,500. To the original seventy-five acres Mr. Storey has added by purchase lands adjoining, so that now he has a farm of two hundred and twenty-five acres in nearly a body. From a small log barn and a small frame house he has built for himself as fine farm buildings as are to be found in this region, and the farm is considered one of the best in the country. He has been a breeder of, and a dealer in, Spanish blooded Merino sheep for the last forty year, and winters, on the average, two hundred head. His farm will cut two hundred tons of hay. At the age of seventy-nine years Mr. Storey continues to take full charge of his farm work, is very active, and shrinks from no task. Indeed, the family of Storey for generations have been noted for their industry, intelligence, simplicity, longevity, and integrity. In proof of their longevity it may be stated that Jesse Storey, father of Wilbur F., died at the age of eighty-three years, he dying at an earlier age than any other of the eight children of Solomon Storey. To all appearance, at least, Miles Storey is likely to prove no exception to the rule which has held in this respect in the family. Mr. Storey is a member of the Salisbury Congregational Church, and has been a member of its choir for many years. In politics he is a Republican, but he has never been a seeker for office. He was married on January 13, 1842, to Elizabeth, daughter of Dan and Silence (Pettingale) Daniels. Mrs. Storey was born in Salisbury, Vt., on December 25, 1817, Her grandfather, Samuel Daniels, moved in 1774 from Upton, Mass., and settled in Leicester. Vt., where he took up four hundred acres of land, a portion of which is now owned and occupied by Mr. Storey. He was born in 1730 and was killed in the battle of Shelburne, Vt., on March 12, 1778. His religious sentiments were Presbyterian. His wife was Elizabeth Wiswell, who was born on November 29, 1732, and lived to the age of seventy years. Her religious sentiments were Baptist. After the death of her husband she was compelled, by threats made by the Indians, to leave Vermont, and with her family of nine children and with the aid of one horse, and accompanied by two or three neighbors, made her way by marked trees over the Green Mountains to Boston, where during the remaining years of the Revolution she kept a boarding-house for the soldiers. After peace was declared she returned to Vermont. Dan Daniels, father of Mrs. Storey, was born in Upton, Worcester county, Mass., in 1773, and married Silence Pettingale in April, 1799. He was a relative of Dr. Franklin. Mr. Daniels was born in Worthington, Mass., in 1779. She died on November 5, 1864. He died on August 29, 1861.

Mrs. Storey’s grandfather on her mother’s side was Samuel Petinggill, who was also a soldier in the Revolution and was in the battle of Bunker Hill. Mrs. Storey joined the Methodist Church when eighteen years old, but united with the Salisbury Congregational Church at the same time with her husband.

Mrs. Storey’s brothers and sisters were as follows: Truman, born August 4, 1802, died in Lockport, N. Y., September 24, 1847, aged forty-five years; Hubbard, born February 28, 1801, died in Brandon, June 2, 1880, aged seventy-seven years; Horatio, born October 28, 1805, died in Keeseville, N. Y., July 10, 1826; Polly, born July 21, 1807, died in September, 1812; Dan jr., born January 25, 1809, died in Akron, Ind., March 12, 1885; Mary Minerva, born September 20, 1810, died in Beaver Dam, Wis., September 5, 1865; Earl Douglass, born June 20, 1812; George Edwin, born June 17, 1814, died October 6, 1880; Harry Franklin, born Febuary 13, 1816; Augustus, born January 6, 1820; Hannah, born June 29, 1823, died in Waupon, Wis., July 6, 1879, aged fifty-six years.

George Edwin, son of E. D. Daniels, and adopted son of Miles and Elizabeth Storey, died June 5, 1862, aged three years and seven months.

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