Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Today we want to pass on to you the account of an event which occurred one hundred and ten years ago this week in our county. The story revolves around a religious group founded by a Dr. Miller and known as the "Millerites". This sect was very active and had quite a large following in the Oswego area in the early 1840's. Exekiel French, the owner of the grist mills at Oswego, was a member of this group. This sect held services regularly at the village for a number of years. A history of Kosciusko county published in 1887 records the following about this group:

"The date for the world to come to an end was, by them, set for June 8, 1843, and so firmly did some of the farmers believe in their approaching transfiguration, that they refused to plant crops, and in some instance give away property. Dr. Miller and a number of the James and French families prepared shrouds, and on the morning of June 8 assembled at French's house, donned their robes, and in company with all those who were 'firm in the faith', began their song and prayer service at sunrise.

"During the forenoon a dark cloud rolled up from the west; the lightning and thunder became terrific, and rain fell in torrents. The people wept, prayed and shouted themselves into a perfect frenzy, and implored divine power to finish speedily the annihilation of this goodly land. During the afternoon the rain ceased, the clouds rolled away, and the bright sun never shone with greater grandeur than on that lovely afternoon in June. This was an unexpected surprise to the "Millerites", and those clad in ascension robes pulled them off and started for home to get something to eat.

"The failure of the prophecy caused murmuring among the brethren and sisters and the society disbanded."

Warsaw Times-Union Wed. June 10, 1953