Born: 17 SEP 1840 Washington DC or Maryland
Note: According to Death Record, was born Nov 17, 1840 in Washington DC.
Name at Birth: Henry Miller – Henry was adopted
3rd possible as Henry Sanders in Baltimore Maryland. There weren’t any other Henry Sanders or Millers in MD or DC who were white, of the right age, and born in either MD or DC.
1860 Census: The only Henry Sanders in MD or DC who was white, of the right age, and born in either MD or DC.
Birth of Son?/Brother?: 1861
Name: Jacob Theodore Sanders
Note: Not sure if he is Henry’s son or Magdalene’s son. He is described as a half-brother, though, so he was definitely born before their marriage.
Birth of Daughter: 06 FEB 1869
Name: Catherine Elnora Sanders
Place: Westminster, Carroll Co, Maryland
1870 Census: 13 AUG 1870
Place: Manchester District, Carroll Co, Maryland
Note: Wife, Magdalene, four children, and mother-in-law are living in household.
1880 Census: 11 JUN 1880
Place: Liberty Twp, Henry Co, Indiana, USA
Note: Wife Magdalene and eight children are living in his household. Was a stone mason.
Place: Mason Co, Michigan
Details: Charter members of the Sugar Ridge Church of the Brethren.
1900 Census: Mason Co, Michigan
Note: Wife Magdalene and two sons are living in his household. Both of Henry’s parents are listed as being from Germany
1910 Census: 15 APR 1910
Place: Scottville, Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Note: Wife Magdalene is living in his household.
Died: 10 FEB 1918 at the home of his daughter, Catherine Shue, Ludington, Mason Co, Michigan.
Note: Died of Old Age.
Note: The earliest information we have about the genealogy of this family is that Henry (Miller) Sanders is probably the son of a Mr. and Mrs. Miller recorded as emigrating to this country from Germany to Washington D.C. in about 1837. According to a nephew of Magdeline (Henry’s wife), Dan Wantz of near New Castle, Indiana, the Miller parents came from Ireland. Henry’s red hair makes this story more believable. The general concensus among the family, however, is that the ancestory is German. There is no question that Magdeline Leheigh was German. Apparently Mr. Miller died when Henry was quite young. It is unknown whether Mrs. Miller remarried a Sanders and the children changed their last name but were forced into an orphanage after her death at the request of their step-father or whether both parents died, leaving a young family to be placed in an orphanage. If so, the young Henry was adopted out (officially or unofficially) by a Sanders family and took that name. At any rate, it was unknown to Henry who he was for sure until his sisters found him some years later and informed him of his Miller ancestory. When they, as good Catholics found him to have been brought up Protestant, they severed all ties with him once more.
Magdaline Leheigh was the daughter of John and Catherine Leheigh. Henry and Magdeline married in 1862 in Westminster County, Maryland during the early part of the Civil War and lived in Hagerstown, Maryland. The story is told that during the Battle of Gettysburg, the noise of the Cannon Balls rattled the windows. Asked why he didn’t fight in the Civil War, Henry would tell that he was so skinny that when he went to enlist, they were so sure that he was sickly that they refused to take him. Those who remember him know that that was far from the truth. He kept that ‘rack of bones’ look because he was always on the run, never walking anywhere if he could run it instead. After the cannon balls quit jarring the household, Henry moved his young family to Indiana (near Fort Wayne) where he remained until 1880, when they decided to move west. The eldest son, Theodore, went west first and died of typhoid fever. This probably convinced the family to move north instead. When they came north, Ed, then a young man of 16 drove them in a horse and cart, most likely a Studebaker. Henry, Magdeline and seven children settled just southwest of Custer on Kintner Road to homestead the land.
Henry and Magdeline got their family up at 4:00am every morning, summer and winter. After breakfast, they read the Bible and then cut wood and did the chores. When the weekly paper came, no one touched it until the chores were done. Henry would then sit down and read the paper to his family. People said he was the best reader around. Son Ed took after his father in this talent.
Two more children were born to Henry and Magdaline in Mason County. The whole consisted of: Edward Henry (1864-1927) married Emma Kriegh (1871-1944); Joseph Emery (1867-1963) married Sarah Paxton (1897-1920); Catherine Elnora (1869-1940) married Amos Shue (1855-1920); Daniel Webster (1871-1952) married Almeda Kriegh (1876-1956); John Wesley (1873-1919) married Saloma Baylor (1879-1967); Lydia Ann Melinda (1877-1955) married four times, last Edward Lockard; Mary Alice (1879-1959) married Edward Deake (1875-1951); Charles Austin (1881-1963) married Myrthle Vorsee (1895-1971); and Alvin Arthur (1884-1961 married Jessie Pearl Udey (1883-1962).
Henry and his sons supported the family by working as brick masons (and any other odd jobs they could find). When it came to laying bricks, even two of his own sons couldn’t keep up with this wiry man. He would get his half of the wall built before they could get the other half done. Henry and/or his sons built Scottville School, Riverside School, Fern School, Locke School, Bennett School, and the old Ludington Water Works building. Since the family owned the molds and made their own blocks, you can tell what the family built if you can recognize the pattern. It was the only pattern like it in the county.
Henry was Catholic by birth, but took the religion of his adopted parents. He and Magdaline were staunch members of the local Dunkard Chruch and then of the Free Methodist Church, both located south of Custer. Although they both spoke German when the children were young, because Magdaline’s mother lived with them and spoke no English, they switched to English when they realized the children were also speaking it. This did not change the German attitude of their household. Henry had a hot temper to match his red hair and his word and the Bible were law. Henry loved to work and their life was one of hard work with few frills permitted by their religious beliefs. Three of Henry’s sons took seriously the religious training of home and went off to make Free Methodist preachers at Spring Arbor College. Joe and Charlie made it but Ed got kicked out for attending a political rally. so he came home and worked as a mason and a blacksmith (a trade he learned working at a carriage factory in Ft. Wayne). John became a well digger, Dan was a farmer and a mason and Alvin worked at the Watch Case. Mary married a preacher, Lydia married often, and Elnora married a lumberman. Little is known of the half-brother Theodore. Whatever the relationship, he went out west to Indian Territory and died at the age of 21 after having contracted typhoid fever. He is buried at Harper, Kansas and was a mason by trade.
Henry and Magdaline moved from the farm in Custer to Scottville when he retired. When Henry became unable to care for himself, he and Magdaline went to live with his daughter Elnora, in Ludington. He died there on February 19, 1918. His wife then returned to south Custer to live her remaining year with her son Edward. She died February 24, 1919. Magdeline’s mother, Catherine, died in 1879 and is buried at Locust Grove Cemetery, Henry County, Indiana. Her father was a school teacher.
1850 Census: 6th District, Baltimore Co, Maryland
Note: Living with parents, John and Catherine Leahy.
1860 Census: 02 JUL 1860
Place: Heidelberg Twp, York Co, Pennsylvania
Note: Living with the Jacob Renall family. Was unable to find her parents this year, either in Pennsylvania or Maryland.
Death: 24 FEB 1919 At the home of her son, Ed, Custer, Mason County, Michigan
Note: at about 9:00pm. She died of pnemonia or angnius pectora.
Obituary: AFT 24 FEB 1919
Note: MAGDALENE (LEAHY) SANDERS
Mrs. Henry Sanders better known as Grandma Sanders passed away at the home of her son Ed, about nine o-clock Monday evening, Feb 24 with whom she had made her home since the death of Mr. Sanders about two years ago. The cause of her death was pneumonia. If she had lived till March 1 she would have been seventy-six years old. She leaves to mourn her loss six boys, three girls, many grandchildren and a host of friends. The family have the sympathy of the neighborhood in their bereavement.