From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 571-572



George A. Milnes, deceased, was born in Lockwood, England, Dec. 16, 1813, and died at Fremont, Ind., Jan. 30, 1877.  He removed with his parents to America the first of September, 1826, and lived with them in Philadelphia till sixteen years of age, and then went to Manayunk and learned the machinist's trade, remining there till he attained his majority.  He was employed as foreman in the shop of Sellar Brothers, machinists of Philadelphia, several years, and ran the first engine on one of the roads running into Baltimore.  In April, 1840, he removed to Ohio, and resided in Allen County till 1842 when he came to Steuben County, Ind., and assisted in building the large grist-mill at Jamestown, having supervision of the machinery.  He then bought a farm near the village, where he lived till 1862, when he exchanged his farm for village property in Fremont, and for several years was engaged in the dry-goods and hardware business.  He was a Justice of the Peace for some time and discharged the duties of his office in an efficient and satisfactory manner.  His policy was peace with as little law as possible.  Mr. Milnes was purely a self-made man.  His education was mainly acquired by persistent and incessant study after his day's work was done.  His school days ended with his ninth year.  While an apprentice and for two years after his marriage he took lessons from a brother apprentice whose advantages had been better then his own.  In 1850 he was admitted to the bar but having no taste for the profession never practiced.  He was in early life a member of the Baptist church, and in 1844 transferred his allegience to the Christian church, and for a time was a preacher for the latter denomination.  He subsequently became a believer in the final restitution of mankind and withdrew from the church.  Jan. 5, 1836, he joined Friendship Lodge, No.23, I. O. O. F., of Philadelphia, and for this act was censured by his church.  They however gave him a letter of recommendation when he left for the West.  Sept. 1, 1837, he was transferred to Manayunk Lodge, No. 31, and after his removal to Indiana, Angola Lodge, No. 180.  June 23, 1859, Heaton Encampment, No. 60, at Angola, was instituted, and he was initiated into the order and was elected Chief Patriarch, and in May, 1860, was sent to the grand encampment as its first representative.  In November, 1876, he was elected Most Eminent Grand High Priest, by the unanimous vote of that body.  Sept. 1, 1863, he instituted and became a charter member of Steuben Lodge, No. 231.  He loved the order and it was his desire to pass all the chairs of the grand encampment.  He was also a member in good standing in Northeastern Lodge, No. 210, F. & A. M.  Mr. Milnes was married Nov. 8, 1835, to Miss Eve Ann Blankley.  To them were born nine children -- Mary A., wife of Thomas Moffett; Joseph, enlisted in the Forty-fourth Indiana Infantry and died from effects of exposure while in the service; Emma (deceased) was the wife of Abner Beck; Josephine, wife of George Heller; Antoinette, wife of Moses Kimsey; Arwood E., married Estella Dutcher; James B., Dora, Calvin, and two who died in infancy.



Submitted by Kim Davoli