William B. Mier biographical information

Introduction: Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" lists William Miers as a gunsmith in Somerset, Pennsylvania, and accidently gives the same birth and death dates as it has for William's brother John.

The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" describes William Mier as an individual who reportedly produced a a small quantity of guns, but is identified with various other occupations in public documents, including working as a wagon maker, working as a lineman for Western Union, and working for the IRS. The federal census records for 1850, 1860, and 1870 show William Mier living at the Somerset, Pennsylvania home of his celebrated gunsmith father Jacob Mier. Based on that, it is inconceivable that William never helped his father with gunsmithing tasks.

Circa 1834: Based on the 1850 census (included below) and the information on his tombstone, William Mier was born circa 1834. William's tombstone gives his middle initial as "B".

1839: According to her tombstone inscription, William Mier's mother Margaret died on September 29, 1839 at the age of 38. William would have been about five years old.

1850: The following composite image of a Somerset Borough sheet from the 1850 census was provided by Glenda Tressler Smith. The individuals listed for the family are Jacob, 57, Gunsmith; Ellen, 23; John, 21, Cigar Maker; Samuel, 18, Gunsmith; and William, 16, Wagon maker.

1860: In the 1860 census, Jacob Mier is enumerated as a 67-year-old gunsmith with real estate valued at $1550.00 and personal property valued at $200.00. Living with him were 23-year-old William, 30-year-old Ellen J., and 35-year-old John M.

1860: The following image is from the Somerset portion of the 1860 Walker map of Somerset County. It identifies the lot of gunsmith Jacob Mier, where William Mier was living in 1850, 1860, and 1870.

1870: In the 1870 census, Jacob Mier is enumerated as a 78-year-old gunsmith with real estate valued at $800.00 and personal property valued at $150.00. Living with him were 37-year-old William, 40-year-old John, and 42-year-old Ellen. Obviously, the ages of the children are not harmonious with the 1860 census.

1872: The following extract is from an article in the June 5, 1872 issue of the "Somerset-Herald" titled "The Great Fire of May 9, 1872". The extract describes William Mier's work to keep the telegraph operating after the fire.

1873: According to the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" the 1873 tax records reference the estate of Jacob Mier.

1873: The following is from Volume II of the "Congressional Record" for 1873, and relates to an 1873 petition to Congress that was signed by William B. Mier:

1876: The following excerpt is from the Somerset town map portion of the 1876 "County Atlas of Somerset, Pennsylvania". It identifies the Jacob Miers lot, which was still owned by his heirs.

1893: The following item is from the August 2, 1893 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper. It shows that brothers Samuel and William B. Mier have been called for jury duty.

1896: The following item is from the May 27, 1896 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper.

1903: William B. Mier is buried in the Union Cemetery (40.0116997, -79.080001) in the town of Somerset in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone indicates that he died on September 15, 1903 at the age of 69.

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