Jacob, Jr. first married Ignes Mayer in 1791. Ignes was the first born to Andre Mayer and Marie Anne Stelly. Her older sister Victoria married Frederic Miller, Jacob, Jr.’s younger brother. Victoria’s younger sister Marie F. Mayer was the first wife of Jean Miller, Frederic’s younger brother.
Jacob, Jr. and Ignes Mayer’s marriage was short lived as he married Catherine Adam four years later in 1795. Catherine is the daughter of Emmerich Adam and Catherine Kleinpeter. Emmerich Adam(s) is on the same plaque as Jacob Miller, Sr. in Baton Rouge’s “Hill of the Fountains” as is Catherine Kleinpeter’s father, Johann G. Kleinpeter. The “Hills of the Fountains” plaque is in the Highlands Cemetery and recognizes early settlers of the Highland Ridge which borders Bayou Fountain. Suffice to say that these German families were a close community and the adult children married within those with similar cultural backgrounds.
Jacob, Jr. and Catherine Adam had seven children, the last born in 1809. This marriage ended and in 1817, Jacob, Jr. married Anne Marie Cowan Vogel. She was previously married to Charles Vogle. Jacob, Jr. and Anne M. Cowan had three children. Anne’s fourth child, Mary Francis Miller, was not the child of Jacob, Jr.
Marriage, Illness and Divorce
In their December 9, 1817 East Baton Rouge parish marriage contract, Jacob, Jr. gives his future bride $800 as “…the strongest proof of friendship to his ----?--- future spouse…”. Three children were born to the couple by October 1821; Jacob Jackson in 1819 and twins Charles Frederic and Anne in 1821.
Following the twins birth, Anne, the mother, was very ill. Moreover, it appears that Anne, the twin baby, died. Jacob, Jr. packed up Anne, the two living sons and took them into Baton Rouge along with a servant girl and a cow. He left them at the doctor’s home. Anne considered herself abandoned and started divorce proceedings in 1822.
In her 1822/23 divorce proceedings Anne states that she had two children with Jacob, Jr. She also states that Jacob Jackson is residing with his father and Charles Frederick resides with his mother. Furthermore that she suffered under severe and alarming disposition, was sick, and required constant medical attention. She states that with the aid of her husband the procured a room in the house and family of W. W. Quern and under the care of Dr. William F. French. Her husband, she states, visited her few days later and abused her “in the most cruel manner, ordering her to go home” and if she did not, she never would. Jacob then took from her the cow and the servant girl who cared for the children. Anne sued for the $800 due by marriage contract and $1,000, being one-half of the property accumulated during the marriage.
In June 1823, defendant Jacob Miller, Jr. responded to Anne’s allegations. He states that the allegations are untrue and since the suit was initially filed there has been reconciliation and asks for a stop to the suit. Jacob states Anne's conduct towards him was cruel, unnatural, unacceptable and she has abused him, threatened to take his life and abandoned him. Her conduct has been beyond description; he no longer wants her as his wife and is entitled to the raising of his two children. The $800 has been paid to Anne and she is largely indebted to him and he has no objection to the separation and asks it be granted. Allegations against Anne: unfaithful, undutiful wife who expended all the property he had leaving him in a state of poverty, she has been cruel, abandoned his dwelling, threatened to take his life publicly. He asks for $1400 from Anne. A judgment for the defendant, Jacob, Jr., is granted and signed in August 1823.
Mary Frances Miller
Sometime in 1823, Jacob, Jr. becomes aware that Anne is in New Orleans and is told that she is running a brothel. In 1829 Anna has another child, Mary Francis. She is baptized as Mary Frances Petely, but uses the surname "Miller" later in life.
Part II: Jacob Miller, Jr. Had Marital Challenges - Part II
Part III: Jacob Miller, Jr. Had Marital Challenges, Part III
[In the next post you will find out about Mary Frances' friendship with James Gallier, Sr., a successful New Orleans businessman, her attendance at a Kentucky convent and her death at a young age.]