Robert Temple - Author of The Sphinx Mystery


My mother Charlotte on the farm in Virginia
My mother as a child
My mother as a tomboy
My mother as a respectable student
My mother with her favourite dog, Duke
My mother taking Lida Martin, a family friend aged three, for a ride on the farm. The man standing beside them is 'Uncle Harrison', a greatly beloved old man of great gentleness and kindliness who was a tenant on the farm. As can be seen from the position of the stirrup, Americans ride 'Western style'.
My grandfather, Robert Kyle Temple, of Hamilton, Ohio. Born October 15, 1868; died 1944. Son of Oliver Temple and Sallie Kyle
My grandfather, Robert Kyle Temple, as a small child.
Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Cave Spring, Virginia. This 'mountain', which was really a hill, was the 'mountain in the back yard' of my grandparents' farm in Virginia. It was part of the farm property, and it had Indian paths. It was not used for anything other than to look pretty, and provided an occasional piece of timber and some wood for fireplaces. Because it was so wild, it had a lot of rattlesnakes and every form of wildlife.

Unfortunately, this beautiful and wild hill is now the site of the most expensive suburb of Roanoke, Virginia, which is called Sugar Loaf. It is completely covered now in obnoxious houses of affluent people who don't know what a farm is, never saw a corn cob except in a supermarket, and don't even know that they are on Sugar Loaf, not in it. Why is it that the 'march of progress' is always downhill, even when it is up Sugar Loaf?
This is the house in Salem, Virginia, where my grandparents lived in the winter. During the summer, they lived on their farm.
When my grandfather Robert Temple was eleven years old, his mother died of diabetes. A few days before she died, she asked for him to come to see her in bed, and she gave him this little picture in a gilt metal frame, which is only a few inches high. She said that mummy was going to go to heaven soon, but that he should not worry, because she would continue to look after him like the angel in this picture, who is saving the little boy and girl from stumbling over the cliff.... more»
My grandmother Lottie Miller at the age of nine months, in February of 1872
This is my grandmother Charlotte ('Lottie') Miller aka Mond, the eldest surviving child of my great-grandparents. Her elder sister Winnie died fourteen months after my grandmother's birth on May 29, 1870, so she never really knew her. She had a younger brother, Henry ('Harry') Leonard Miller, born October 1, 1875, and a younger sister, Sarah ('Sallie') Miller, born September 16, 1881 (who married Charles C. Kitts but left no issue; see their photos).
My grandmother shortly before her death in 1950 at the age of 80. She was always reading, so this was not an artifical pose. I hope one day to edit her unfinished autobiography. She was one of the most remarkable people I ever met,... more»
My grandmother, Charlotte (‘Lottie’) Miller, a photo taken in December 1894. She was born May 29, 1871, in Cincinnati, Ohio, so in this photo she is aged 23, long after she had settled down from her teenaged escapades. While in her teens, she ran away from home twice, not because she was unhappy, but because she wanted adventure. ... more»
The card of my great-great-uncle Robert Agnew, at the time he was still a purser of this Mississippi steamboat, the Hudson. Later he became a captain of a steamboat, and had an embossed card with a paddlewheel, which I will post on the website when I can find it amongst my papers. Probably this card is the only surviving image of the Hudson, which was based at Cincinnati and made the run between there and New Orleans regularly.
My great-grandfather, Oliver H. Temple, born March 14, 1838; died April 13, 1882
My great-grandfather, Joseph Miller (aka Mond)
My great-grandfather Joseph W. Miller (aka Mond), at the time of his marriage to my great-grandmother Eliza Jane Leonard. This was before the Civil War began and he went off to fight ... more»
My great-grandfather Joseph W. Miller of Cincinnati, Ohio. He was an officer, decorated for extraordinary bravery, in the 5th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. Later in ... more»

click the image to enlarge
This is the commission to make my great-grandfather Joseph W. Miller (aka Mond) a Second Lieutenant in the 5th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. He enlisted as a private in 1861, and by 1862 was invalided out as a First Lieutenant. I have all his Civil War papers, but his medal for bravery was 'borrowed' and sold by my aunt, who 'did not believe in being sentimental'.
My great-grandfather, Joseph Miller (aka Mond)
This small military badge is only about an inch and a half high. It has the thirteen stars and thirteen stripes of the original American flag (representing the first thirteen states). It is from the Civil War uniform of my great-grandfather, Lieutenant Joseph W. Miller (aka Mond) of the 5th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. It was not manufactured in the way that modern uniforms are, but was actually hand-embroidered by his wife, my great-grandmother, Liza Miller (née Leonard). Uniforms in those days, at least in this respect, were hand-crafted rather than mass-produced as the rifles were.
My great-grandmother Eliza Jane Leonard who married Joseph W. Miller aka Mond
My great-grandmother Eliza Jane Leonard, at the time of her marriage to Joseph W. Miller
My great-great-grandmother Catherine Emmert (born August 15, 1810), who came from Germany. I still have the red woollen blankets which she brought with her to America, and which were the blankets ... more»
My great-grandfather Oliver Temple when young. A hand-tinted tintype.
The same photo of my great-grandfather Oliver Temple when young, as it appears in its box and frame.
Oliver Temple
My great-grandmother, Sarah ('Sallie') Elizabeth Kyle, married Oliver Temple. Born October 8, 1845; died February 25, 1878.
My great-grandmother, Sarah ('Sallie') Elizabeth Temple, nee Kyle.
This envelope addressed to my great-grandmother shows us what things were like in 'the good old days'. You just wrote the name of the person on the envelope, said which town she was in, and there was no need for any street address or zip code. Everyone in Hamilton, Ohio, knew Sallie Temple, and there was no chance that the postman would fail to hasten to her house and hand the letter to her personally. Postage was cheap too, only a penny. You can be sure that the postman and Sallie exchanged friendly smiles, had a chat, maybe even a cup of coffee, and everybody was happy. That was then and this is now, and how things have declined! (It is ironical to see Benjamin Franklin's head on the stamp looking at Sallie's name. He had an involvement with the Temple family, and his grandson had the double surname of Temple Franklin. I leave it to historians of that period to explain the intricacies of all of that, as I have never taken the trouble to work it all out. Apparently there was an illegitimacy involved.)


My great-great-great grandmother's older brother, Isaac Collins (1746-1817), and the house where he lived in Burlington, New Jersey, USA, which is now a museum. His younger sister was my forebear Sarah Collins, who married Nathaniel McGuire of Fermanagh ('the mad McGuires of Fermanagh' as they were sometimes called, and which I find very amusing) and was mother of my great-great-grandmother Sarah Temple, wife of Thomas Dixon Temple, and mother of Oliver Temple. Isaac Collins was an extremely interesting man, and there is a published biography of him. He was the royal printer in America who printed the colonial banknotes for the Crown for use in the American colonies, but he sided with George Washington in the Revolutionary War. He was a Quaker who was thrown out of his Meeting because of being 'warlike' (i.e. supporting the Revolution), but readmitted after the War was over. He printed the first Bible in America and also edited and published THE NEW JERSEY GAZETTE, the first newspaper in New Jersey. He was apparently a friend of Benjamin Franklin, whose own connection with the Temple family is one of the less-known facts about him. Isaac and Sarah Collins were two of the four children (the other two had no issue) of my great-great-great-great grandfather Charles Collins, who emigrated to Delaware in 1734 from his home town of Bristol in England, because his father had died and he wanted to start a new life. The Collins family of Bristol forms an interesting and unusual story which I will tell separately sometime, involving sea captains, maritime navigation and instruments, the first coastal survey of the British Isles, and other fascinating subjects.

This is a coloured tintype photo of my great-great-aunt, Winnie Miller (aka Mond). She was born in Cincinnati on October 3, 1844, and died in Cincinnati at the age of only 19, of scarlet fever, in September 1864, not long after this photo was taken. She was the third child of Adam Miller aka Mond and Catherine Emmert, who had come from Kassel in Germany to America. My great-grandfather Joseph (born September 12, 1835 in New York) was the eldest of their five children. Winnie was his favourite sister. He said she was like an angel, one of those people we all meet sometimes who seem 'too good to live in this world'. Even as an old man, he still carried this tintype around in his pocket and looked at it every day and would burst into tears sometimes at the thought of her. This tintype therefore travelled the Mississippi River hundreds of times in his pocket between Cincinnati and New Orleans, since he was a riverboat captain. He was a romantic, sensitive, and sentimental man, whose favourite poet was Lord Byron (after whom his grandson, my late cousin Byron Miller, was named). You can tell from looking at this photo of Winnie that she was not physically strong and had a frail body, which might be why she succumbed to scarlet fever. Winnie's niece, my grandmother's sister, also died of scarlet fever at the age of three. That was what happened to so many young people in those days. The only person I ever knew who had scarlet fever was Candice Bergen, who later became a movie actress. She was at university with me. When I visited her in hospital I was told to wear a face mask over my mouth and nose. She was lying in bed on top of her sheets, in a state of some disarray and restlessness, in a 'see-more' gown, and rather a lot of her was showing. (I never found her physically attractive, despite her obvious facial beauty which I used to admire in the aesthetically theoretical way in which one stares at a Greek statue in a museum.) We chatted about Stuart Whitman and Albert Finney, I remember. She was so keen on 'Stu' then. She kept recurring in conversation to her fear of the scarlet fever, but she survived easily, because people do these days. I believe she never figured out where she had contracted the disease. It is good to think that the slayer of so many young and sensitive souls, of so many delicate children and innocent virgins, has at last been tamed, and that scarlet fever, which used to inspire waves of fear and terror just by the mention of its name, has no power to intimidate any longer, or to oil the scythe of the Grim Reaper in the way that it did for so long. Winnie had an elder sister, Mary Ann, born January 7, 1840, in Cincinnati, who married first John Gates and secondly a man named Rapp. Winnie and Joseph had a brother, Daniel, born September 25, 1842, in Cincinnati, died In Denver, Colorado, circa 1896 or 1897.  The youngest of the siblings was Magdalena Miller, born February 27, 1847, in Cincinnati, and died in July 1911, at Denver. She married a man named Litmer, of the Litmer family (of German origin) who are still plentiful today on both sides of the Ohio River in the vicinity of Cincinnati. I still have a beautiful bit of embroidery by 'Aunt Lena'. Two of the siblings thus spent their entire adult lives living on ranches in Colorado, where they had lifelong adventures of cattle-rearing, employing genuine cowboys, riding the range, shooting rattlesnakes at a hundred yards, and all that sort of thing that went on in Colorado in those days before sophistication  and expressways came along and put an end to it all.
This is the oldest child of my great-grandparents, who died aged 4 of scarlet fever, shortly after this portrait was done. Her name was Winnie Ella Miller. She was named after my great-grandfather's favourite sister, Winnie, who died at the age of 19 (see her photo left). The name Winnie has thus been an ill-fated one for the family, as both girls of that name died tragically young. This second Winnie was born April 13, 1867, at 44 West Court Street, Cincinnati, and died July 6, 1871, at 35 Freeman Street, Cincinnati.
My great-grandmother Sarah Elizabeth (‘Sallie’) Kyle, when she was a child. She later married my great-grandfather Oliver H. Temple. She was born October 8, 1845, so this photo must have been taken about 1857. The sepia photo itself, which is very old, is a professional lab photograph which was taken of a daguerrotype or tintype, the original of which is lost, as its frame can be seen. It is marked ‘Toepfert copy’, and on the front bears the company name of ‘Toepfert’ in Cincinnati, Ohio. This must have been a service offered at that time to families who wanted to upgrade their older family photos, after daguerrotypes and tintypes had ceased to be used as photographic processes. Although I do have many old tintypes and daguerrotypes of the Temple family, I do not have this one.
My cousin Celia Conklin, born December, 13, 1892 in Central City, Nebraska, daughter of John Edward Conklin and Lucy S. Perkins. Celia’s mother Lucy Perkins was the daughter of Charles W. Perkins and my great-great-aunt Sara Leonard (who was born 1832). My surviving cousins of this branch of the family have an academic streak, and several of them are professors in America, although one is a television producer.
My great-great aunt, Mrs Charles H. Beers, (née Leonard) , of Littleton, Colorado. This photo was taken in 1890. She is the mother of the five Beers Sisters, who have become feminist icons in Colorado. None of them married, and they ran a ranch and a Denver dairy as a family team. (They enjoyed before the War the joke of having the motto ‘Beers’ Milk’ on their milk trucks).

The last of them, my cousin Ollie, fed 500 wild birds every day with grain which she threw out for them beside her ranch house, as she enjoyed telling me in her letters. It seems that through the Beers family I was related by marriage to Anita Loos, who was really Anita Beers Loos, and who wrote Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (I knew her when I was young, but not through the family connection). ... more»
My great-great aunt, Eleanora (‘Ella’) Leonard, who was born March 5, 1846, in Cincinnati, Ohio, youngest (12th) child of my great-great grandparents John and Sarah Leonard. She married Edward G. Mendenhall on April 8, 1869, in Kinmundy, Illinois. She died August 27, 1883, aged only 37. This photo must have been taken shortly before she died of a throat condition. It seems that the Mendenhalls were descended from a companion of Daniel Boone.
My cousin Maggie Hainline, who married the Rev. Alfred E. Carnahan. She was the daughter of my great-great aunt Charlotte (“Dollie”) Leonard and George W. Hainline, of Mount Sterling, Kentucky. (Doollie’s sister also married George Hainline’s brother, so the grandchildren of these two sisters were each others double-first cousins.) Maggie died in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, aged 76. She was survived by a daughter, ... more»
Cousin Leonard ('Lennie') Hainline, who lived to be 106. I knew him when I was a child.
Cousin Ida Hainline (Mrs. John D. Poynter, a childless widow for most of her life), who died at an advanced aged in 1952. Cousin Ida was my grandmother's closest friend within the extended family. They always spent their summers together when they were girls.
My great-aunt Sallie Miller (aka Mond), aged 18 months, She married Charles Kitts of Kentucky. They lived in Ohio, and had no children. Uncle Charlie was a 32nd degree Mason and was involved in the automobile industry.
My great-aunt Sallie Miller, aged 3

My great-aunt Sallie Miller (aka Mond), Mrs. Charles Kitts

Click her signature to enlarge
My Great-Uncle Charles Kitts
My great-grandmother Eliza Jane Miller, née Leonard, who married Joseph W. Miller (aka Mond), of Cincinnati, Ohio. This photo was taken in the mid-1890s. She was a very courageous woman, who resisted and outwitted enemy soldiers during the Civil War, bred horses, farmed, and literally ‘packed a six-gun’.

When she was an old woman, she enjoyed sitting on the porch of an evening and firing her revolvers into the air to pretend to scare the black boys who were stealing her watermelons (which they called water millions). They would come and apologize and then she would give them the watermelons and tell them to come and ask her instead of stealing them. She would then play the harmonica and they would dance for her.
My great-aunt Sallie Miller (aka Mond), who never had any children with her husband, Uncle Charlie Kitts
My Uncle Charlie Kitts, who was a 32nd degree Mason and was in the automobile business
My great-great uncle Allen Temple, born Monday October 25, 1841, and died unmarried on Wednesday October 26, 1904, at 7pm, aged 63 years and one day. He was an officer in the Civil War, Captain in the 39th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Calvin Moore of Kinmundy, Illinois
Catherine Moore (née Leonard), wife of Calvin Moore
The first of five photos of my cousin Ellis Moore (1884-1941). He was the Republican Congressman for the 15th District of Ohio for seven terms, from 1919 to 1933... more»
Ellis Moore
Ellis Moore
Ellis Moore
Ellis Moore
My great-great uncle William Boyd (‘Boyd’) Leonard, of New Orleans, with his son Elmer. Uncle Boyd was born May 30, 1836 and died June 15, 1914. Uncle Boyd ... more»
My great-great aunt Leontine (‘Lontie’) Clarkson, of Covington, Kentucky. She married my great-great uncle, William Boyd Leonard, of New Orleans. She was a ... more»
My cousin Elmer Boyd Leonard of New Orleans, who died tragically young at the age of only 26. He was son of William Boyd Leonard and Leontine Clarkson, was born September 2, 1875, and died September 19, 1901, pre-deceasing both of his parents.
My great-great-great-uncle Martin Steffy of Littlestown, Pennsylvania, aged 90 (he died aged 92). He was brother of my great-great grandmother, Sarah (‘Sallie’) C. Leonard, nee Steffy. (She was born February 15, 1802, daughter of Peter and Catherine Steffy of Westminster, Maryland, married John Leonard Junior and died July 18, 1887). I have oil portraits of John and Sarah Leonard, to be put on the website sometime. There were eleven Steffy children and Sarah was the fifth.
The first of three photos, from youth to old age, of my great-great-uncle Ambrose Temple. He was a partner with my great-grandfather Oliver Temple in the law firm of ... more»
Ambrose Temple, my great-great-uncle
Ambrose Temple
My great-great-uncle Edward George Mendenhall, Junior, who on April 8, 1869, married my great-great-aunt Eleanora ('Ella') Leonard, who was born March 5, 1846. The Mendenhalls lived at Kinmundy, Illinois. I see from a website dealing with the history of Kinmundy that an E.G. Mendenhallowned a company ... more»
My great-great uncle Ambrose Temple. He was a law partner in the firm of Temple & Temple of Cincinnati with my great-grandfather Olivia Temple. Uncle Ambrose was avery gregarious and jolly soul who was a confirmed bachelor, and never married. ... more»
My cousin Mary Temple Hobart, now Mrs. Ted Lazaraton, of Chicago. She is the grand-daughter of my Aunt Mame and Uncle Sidney. At this time husband and children were far in the future, and she was still living in Cincinnati, Ohio
I am on the right, aged 13, with my face in shadow. These are my relatives at that time in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the left is my Great-Aunt Bess. Her maiden name was Bess Rickets. We are sitting on her ... more»
My great-great uncle George Washington Leonard (his wife Margaret Morrison is right). Uncle George was an intimate friend ... more»
Uncle George's wife, Margaret Morrison (born in Scotland in 1834, married George in 1867, they had no children)
Mrs Scott. This woman was my great- grandmother Eliza Miller's best friend during the Civil War period, when they both kept each other company while their husbands ... more»
My Great Aunt Mame and Great Uncle Tom. They are the younger brother and younger sister of my grandfather, Robert Kyle Temple. She was Mary Millikin Temple, born March 5, 1871, and he was Thomas Dixon Temple II, born November 30, 1869, married Harriet Daisy Tyler on February 26, 1903, at DeKalb, Illinois ... more»
My Great-Great Aunt Jennie Kyle. She was born 1841 and died January 13, 1912. Read more about her and her family here.
My great-great-grandmother, Indiana Miller (called ‘Annie’), who was born June 25, 1818, in Butler County, Ohio, and died July 6, 1898. She marriedmy great-great grandfather Joseph Kyle (born April 16, 1814, son of Joseph Kyle and Rachel Dunham, and grandson of Joseph Kyle and Agnes (‘Nancy’) Salisbury; died September 26, 1845) on November 24, 1836, and was a widow for 62 years ... more»
My cousin Mary Louise Temple, daughter of my great-uncle Thomas Dixon Temple II of Columbia, South Carolina. She married a Longley of Lake Forest,Illinois, and became the mother of my cousin Louise Longley of California, who is a lawyer.
My Great Aunt ‘Mame’, i.e., Mary Millikin Temple, younger sister of my grandfather, Robert Kyle Temple. Read more about her and her family here.
My cousin Thomas Dixon Temple III of Columbia, South Carolina. He was the son of my great-uncle, Thomas Dixon Temple II. 
My great-uncle and godfather, Dr. Sidney Durst, when he was young. He married my grandfather’s younger sister, Mary Temple, my Aunt Mame. Uncle Sidney was a brilliant organist, and was the head of the Cincinnati College of Music, now known as the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he also taught musical ... more»
Here also is the only photo I have of me and Uncle Sidney together; unfortunately, it is double-exposed with a photo of some trees and a field, but we can still be seen fairly clearly. He always wanted me on his lap and would have liked to teach me music if I had not lived too far away to see him regularly. He continually said to my mother and me that he wanted to leave enough money to me in trust to pay for my entire university education, as I was growing up with a single parent, but his daughter wouldn’t allow it.
Uncle Sidney playing the organ for us in Cincinnatti
My cousin Ida Leonard Hainline, born June 12, 1866, died January 26, 1952. She was daughter of Sam M. Hainline (‘Uncle Sam’, born July 23, 1825, and died December 2, 1911) ... more»
My cousin Leonard (‘Lennie’) Hainline of Kentucky, who lived to be 101, and died in 1965. He is affectionately holding my cousin Joyce Lancaster, who nowadays is married ... more»
This is a wedding photo of my cousin Betty Braley, with her bridegroom David Pyle. Betty was a model when she was young, appearing on the covers of many ... more»
This is my Cousin Marene. She was a ball of fire. Her maiden name was Marene Cockerell, and she was born in 1910, I believe in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. I can’t give ... more»
With my cousin Harriet King in Denver, Colorado. I have nearly thirty cousins in Denver, and one in Boulder. They are a prolific branch of the family!
Mary Lou Johnston (cousin) in the Chick Inn at Louisville, Kentucky  
My 'Tibetan cousin'. This is the adopted daughter of my cousin Olivia Motch, who lives in the Hamptons on Long Island. Her name is Tsewang Choden, and she is now 22. She is descended from Tibetan shamans connected with the national Tibetan Oracle. But she is now a 'typical American girl'. All boys should beware, because she might bewitch them! 
Tsewang Choden, my 'Tibetan cousin' 
My dear friend and distant cousin Austin Pendleton, who lives in New York 
My delightful French cousin Elodie de Bosmelet.  
With my cousin Robert de Bosmelet, in front of his chateau, the Chateau de Bosmelet, in Normandy.



© Robert Temple 2009-2022