is a test.
Who was Lake Miller named after in Chambers County?
While you’re thinking about that one, here’s another question. Where did Lake
Miller’s neighbor, Lake Charlotte, get its name?
Don’t be discouraged
if you flunked the “name that lake” exam. No grades will be given. Just keep in
mind – in case you ever take another Chambers County history test – that both
lakes have historical significance, with Lake Miller as the alleged resting place
of pirate Jean Laffite’s scuttled
schooner, and Lake Charlotte as the home of former Laffite
pirate Andrew Roach.
The much larger Lake Charlotte, west of Lake Miller,
also was home to Nicholas B. Labadie, the French-Canadian doctor who played a
prominent role in the Texas Revolution.
Italian, Roach named his Lake Charlotte home “Lago de la Roach.” His wife Cecilia
was the daughter of Anson Taylor, who also was rumored to have been one of Laffite’s
men. That’s never been proven, but when Roach was charged with piracy in 1822,
Taylor was with him on his vessel. Federal authorities in New Orleans later released
Roach for lack of evidence.
about those lake names: James Miller, who moved to Chambers County in 1820, is
the namesake of Lake Miller. Lake Charlotte was named after Dr. Labadie’s mother,
Charlotte Barthe Labadie.
Kevin Ladd, director of the Wallisville Heritage Park, wrote an interesting article
about Miller, who was born in about 1892 in Tennesse and lived in Missouri and
Arkansas before settling in Texas.
who was born in about 1799 in Georgia, was the daughter of American Revolution
veteran Owen Shannon and Margaret Montgomery, who settled in Montgomery County,
Texas, in 1821.
James and Ruth Miller were married some time before 1815
when they were living in Missouri. Ruth was around 16 when their daughter was
born, and three more children were born between 1816 and 1821 while they resided
in Arkansas. The last two children were born between 1823 and 1825 at their home
at Lake Miller.
In 1815 Miller joined the Louisiana militia and served
as a corporal in Capt. Moses Adams’ company.
Miller, along with Chambers
County pioneer James Haney, joined the Atascosito District in 1827 to help quell
the Fredonian Rebellion against Mexican authorities in Nacogdoches.
(Haney was another one of those early settlers who had been with pirate Jean
Miller built his home near the lake just north of an old
trail, known as the Lower Road or the Orcoquisac Trail or the Smuggling Trail.
We know that old road now as Interstate 10.
The 1826 census of the Atascosito
District reported that Miller was a blacksmith, a trade that likely came in handy
for the locals and for travelers passing through.
1830 Miller was in the process of obtaining a land grant from the government of
Mexico, making his home ownership official, when he died suddenly, leaving his
wife and eight children with no means of support. Owen Shannon came to his daughter’s
rescue, arriving with his two sons, John and Jacob, along with several slaves,
to move Ruth and her family, lock, stock and barrel, to the Shannon home in the
Lake Creek Settlement in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County was named
for the county’s largest settlement, the town of Montgomery,
and the town was named after pioneer resident Andrew Montgomery, a relative of
James Miller’s wife.
January 5, 2013 columns
Topics: Texas Lakes | Baytown
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