Mrs. Eliza Miles Franklin was born on September 25, 1838. Her parents were Benjamin and Susannah Miles. Her father may have been enslaved by Edward and Elizabeth Burns, local farmers, who manumitted him on April 25, 1845.
Sometime before 1865, she married Private Allen Franklin, who had only recently returned to Westminster after serving in the US Army. In 1870, they were living in Westminster. Like many women in town, she worked as a washwoman and took care of the household. Together they had nine children, although by 1900 only two were still living. And none eventually survived her.
Mrs. Franklin was an active member of the Union Street AME church. She served as the President of the Women’s Relief Corps. An auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic, the WRC served (and continues to serve) Veterans and their families. She would travel to New Windsor, as that’s where the Thaddeus Stevens Post was located.
She died on December 20, 1914. Only one grandchild survived her.
Mrs. Franklin is buried in an unmarked grave in historic Ellsworth Cemetery.
Private Franklin, her husband, is among those who had a VA-provided headstone installed in the spring of 2022.