As we previously discussed Robert and Elizabeth Miller were the last family to own, and live in both sides of the Stone House property. They were also the ones who were financially forced to divide the house into a duplex, and sell off the stone side to the Shryocks. We also mentioned how James H. Redd, and Andrew I. Redd, had accepted a mortgage from the Millers but eventually had to foreclose on them. Fortunately for the Millers there was a family relationship between Elizabeth Miller and the Redd family. In a deed dated 19 June 1844 James H. Redd conveyed an acre of land in Out Lot No. 2 (where the Sheetz parking lot and I-81-south entrance ramp are today) to Elizabeth Miller. This portion of Out Lot No. 2 included “a dwelling house and other improvements” for the Millers to use. The price Elizabeth Miller paid for this property was only $1 and the deed goes on to say that “all the property herby conveyed is to pass in absolute right to the children of said Elizabeth Miller.” The reason James H. Redd gave for this generous gift was “his love and affection for his relative Mrs. Elizabeth Miller.” There is no mention of Mr. Robert C. Miller in this deed even though he was still alive at that time.
James H. Redd and Andrew I. Redd were members of a family that traced its roots to a settler who, in 1780, purchased lands east of Stephensburg, just north of Double Church Road. This settler, Andrew Redd (1730-1818) and his wife Elizabeth Hollingsworth Redd (d. 1819) had thirteen children, including seven boys. By 1830 one of those sons named John owned a house on Lots 42 and 43 at the southern end of Main Street where the entrance to Jones Funeral Home is today. Later John purchased property on the north end of town. The 1850 Census lists John Redd as 73 years old living with Elizabeth (age 42), Susan (age 37), and Andrew (age 31). The only member of this household listed with an occupation was Andrew, who was identified as a farmer.
The 1850 Census lists James H. Redd (age 32) as the head of his own household and married to Martha Nisewanger Redd (age 19). We know from another surviving document that James had been a partner in the Newtown mercantile firm of Rivers & Co. until the autumn of 1849. James H. Redd had married Martha Ellen Nisewanger on 26 March 1849 when she was just 18 and he was 31. They then apparently lived in the log side of the Stone House. Martha Redd was the daughter of Abraham Nisewanger, a “waggoner” (wagon driver) who had five other daughters living at home in 1850. Martha’s older sister Margaret had earlier married a local carpenter named Alfred Watson. They had a daughter named Altha who was born on 3 January 1847. Tragically Alfred was killed when he was struck by lightning in July of 1847. Margaret was only 18 at that time and her daughter Altha was only seven months old. The widowed Margaret and orphaned Altha then moved back in with Margaret’s parents by 1850 and were listed in the Census with Abraham Nisewanger’s family.
Martha Nisewanger Redd was also soon to be widowed. In October of 1850 her Husband James H. Redd was sick when he made out his will. By the spring of 1851 he had died. In James’ will he gave his young wife Martha the customary third of his estate plus a life estate in the log side of the Stone House. Both widowed sisters, Martha and Margaret, soon remarried. Martha married a Joseph S. Redd in 1855. (Joseph’s relationship to James H. Redd is unclear but they were either brothers or cousins.) About the same time Margaret married a man named David Rosenburger and moved to Hannibal, Missouri. Family tradition passed down to our Founder Mildred Lee Grove maintained that David, Margaret and Altha moved back to Stephesburg at the beginning of the Civil War and rented the stone side, next to Martha Redd and her husband Joseph who lived in the log side. Margaret and David paid their rent to Jacob Shryock and other Shryock family heirs. Margaret lived next door to her sister Martha until 1860 when Martha, and the heirs of James H. Redd sold the log side of the Stone House to Jacob Shryock for $100. From 1860 to 1867, during the Civil War years Jacob Shryock effectively owned both sides of the house and continued to lease both sides to tenants. In 1867 Jacob sold the log side of the property to his brother-in-law Henry A. Dinges, the brother of his wife Mary Elizabeth Dinges Shryock.