In 1907, a ship arrived at Ellis Island. Aboard that ship was my great grandmother, Augusta Miller and her seven children. Unfortunately two of her children, twins under the age of one, died during that journey.
Augusta came to the United States from Germany to join her husband, my great grandfather, Otto Miller who had arrived months before to establish a place for his wife and children.
I believe their last name was Mueller but they changed it to Miller to Americanize it.
Both my great grandparents were deaf mutes. And from what family members have told me they were the first deaf and mute immigrants to become American Citizens in the state of Massachusetts.
When Otto was born the doctors thought he might be still born. To be sure they probed and poured hot water in his ears. It was found that he was not still born but very much alive. Only now, he was permanently deaf.
Augusta was born hearing but when she was three years old she caught scarlet fever. It was this illness that left her completely deaf.
Otto, a cigar maker by trade, built a house for his family at 31 Massachusetts Avenue, in Dedham, Massachusetts. He made the walls of tin so that he and his wife could tell if the children were being quiet or raising a ruckus. They would know this by feeling or seeing if the walls were vibrating. What a great idea that was.
I grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts only a few houses away from the house my great grandfather built. To this day, it still stands, although I do not know who lives there.
From what I remember being told, on Augusta’s death bed she whispered the words, “I see God” right before she died. The only words she had ever spoken since she became deaf at the age of three. From what my brother remembers it was Otto who said this. The sad thing is there is no one alive who can verify which one it was. Both were deaf and mute so no matter who said it their comment speaks volumes!
My brother who has always been into genealogy decided about a year ago to make a Facebook group to find long lost relatives of our great grandparents and has been successful in finding quite a few. A family reunion was held this past August. I was unable to attend due to medical issues but I am hoping to attend the next one.
If you believe you may be related to Otto and/or Augusta Miller please send a request to join the Otto Herman and Augusta Miller Facebook Group. Someone will get back to you….
Otto Herman Miller
Augusta Jennie (Dunker – maiden name) (Schutt – first husband’s last name) Miller
Children of Otto and Augusta Miller
Rudolph Schutt/Miller 1891-?
Elsie Schutt/Miller Block 1893-1978
Otto Miller Jr 1898-1941
August Miller 1901-1964
Edward Miller 1902-1966
Lillian Miller Wright 1904-1976
Charles and Freida twins who died on their way to America 1907-1907