Highlands Family (information from 2008 House
Information from Marcia H. Oetting and her father, Albert Wilmer Highlands
1) 1802 - William HIGHLANDS (c1765-c1841), wife Elizabeth, two
sons, William & Joseph, left Brownsville PA to settle in OH.
First settled near the Turpin homestead, then moved near Covalt’s
First lived in log cabin at the bottom of Indian
Hill Road near the creek. Cabin
had dirt floor, no windows, large stone fireplace made with stones from
the creek. Ladder made from
branches was used for the five children to go to the loft.
Barn/stable was at rear of cabin.
Animals were led through the family’s living area to the back of
the cabin each evening to prevent Indians from stealing them.
lived in brick house across Wooster Pike from the existing Highlands house
(6 Kris Circle). This house
later was rented and burned down.
2) Joseph HIGHLANDS (b 1800, Brownsvile PA & d 1876), 2nd
son of William and Elizabeth, built the present Highlands House (6 Kris
Circle) on Wooster Pike. He
married Electa TURNER (b near Sparta PA 1802 & d 1891).
She came with her family by boat down the Ohio River in 1803.
Her family home was on Round Bottom Road & later became known
as the Golden Pheasant. Both Joseph & Electa are buried in Greenlawn Cemetery,
Milford. (Electa Hylands
was born in Sparta PA [correction]. 24 April 1803 and died 1 February 1891, buried 3
February 1891 in Greenlawn Cemetery Milford Ohio, Section 10, Lot
342. Cause of death was paralysis of heart. Kindred: Isaac
Turner.) [note - Sparta is in Washington County, SW area of PA]
House built c 1830 (some say 1840s-50s) of bricks made on the site.
All walls, interior & exterior are 2 ft. thick [this is a guess -
walls were very thick]
Joseph and Electa had 640 acres & 9 children:
Elizabeth 1821-1900, Sarah 1822-1901, Maryann 1824-1903, George
Washington 1827-1924, Rachel Day Minton 1828-1899, William Williams
1830-1832, Isaac Turner 1832-1864, Michael Turner 1834-1867 & Josephus
3) Their youngest child, Josephus C. HIGHLANDS lived in
the house with his wife Harriett Ellen MARTIN (died Dec. 22, 1919 in TP) (both buried Greenlawn
Cemetery, Milford). They had
5 children: Albert Wilmer Sr. 1863-1947, George Washington 1867-1868,
Joseph Clifford 1869/70-1894, Mary Ellen Priscilla 1872-1969 & Charles
Randolph 1875-1951. After
deaths of the parents in 1919, the two living unmarried adult children
(Mary & Charles) stayed for a while, but later sold the house during
the 1930s. They actually
moved to Hyde Park in 1918.
HIGHLANDS studied to be a Baptist minister, but the night before he was to
be ordained at Newtown Baptist Church, there were storms with heavy rain,
causing the Little Miami River to rise.
The ford at the present location of the Newtown Bridge was
impossible to cross the next day, because of high water, and Josephus took
this as God’s sign that he was not intended to be a minister.
He was never ordained.
Mary Ellen Priscilla Highlands was the 1st
graduate of the Terrace Park High School in 1890. She continued her education at the Cincinnati Conservatory of
music and received her teacher’s certificate in pianoforte and theory in
1897. She taught piano in
Information from St. Thomas Church Columbarium tombstone now there:
William Highlands Sr. died 10 June 1841, aged 76 years old. (His
calculated birth date is 1765.) This stone was originally in the
Indian Hill Old Baptist Churchyard AKA Little Miami Baptist Churchyard
(was located near 758 Old Indian Hill Road). Elizabeth Highlands,
wife of Abram, was also buried there. She died 3 Feb 1834, aged 67
years. (Her calculated birth date is 1767.)
same cemetery related to Electa Turner, wife of Joseph Highlands (see
story 10, 2)
Isaac Turner: born 1 Jan 1779, died 19 Jul 1833
Sarah Turner (wife of Isaac): born 9 Oct 1779, died 30
William Turner: died 13 Jul 1841 aged 1 y 11 m 10 d,
son of M&N
It is thought that the burials from this cemetery were all moved to
Greenlawn Cemetery in Milford.
Points of Interest
(information from 2008 House Tour)
Trap door on front porch leading to original stone cellar
10-12 inch thick walls – notice thickness of doorways
4 construction phases:
house (1830s) – 4 rooms, 2 up, 2 down with 3
1870s addition – added dining room and master
bedroom with 2nd floor porch and added
2 more fireplaces for a total of 5 in the “old house”.
1985 addition by the Williams family added
central air and heat, upgraded to modern wiring, and added existing kitchen and half bath.
Note Shaker style cabinets used to hide
appliances like microwave and ‘fridge’.
addition by Werdmanns added 2nd basement/playroom and 1st
and 2nd floor spaces, including 18x20 living room with fireplace, bedroom and bath. 4 bedrooms;
3½ baths; 6 fireplaces.
Notice height of doorway in original staircase – curving 12 inch risers
and low door height. Original wide-plank pine flooring in dining room,
sitting room and study.
Holes in floorboards on first floor in dining room, library, and sitting
room presumed to be from radiator heat system. Doorway under stairs in original sitting room, which was inside entrance
to cellar. High ceilings in 1830s rooms (8 ft. downstairs and 10 ft. upstairs) vs. significantly lower ceilings in 1870s addition (master bedroom has
Small rooms with doors helped to keep the heat in a house heated by