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 George Edward Miller

George Edward Miller

Redford, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Death 17 Mar 1950 (aged 71)
El Dorado, Butler County, Kansas, USA
Burial Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas, USA
Memorial ID 11058701 · View Source
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George Edward Miller was born in Redford Township, Wayne County, Detroit, on Feb. 21, 1879, to George W. Miller and Charlotte E. (Gittins) Miller. His ancestors came to Redford Township, Wayne Co., Michigan (next to Detroit), in the mid 1830s from Somerset, England, (Miller side of the family) and Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, in the 1860s (Gittins side of the family). The Miller family were hard-working farmers and had many other relatives in that area with the names of Poole, Higgins, Van Curen, Pittman, and Gittins, to name a few. Henry Ford's wife, Clara (Bryant) Ford, was cousin to George Jrs. brother, Frank Miller's wife, Edna. George was the eldest child of George and Charlotte's union.

The younger George's father, George W. Miller, had a 3-year-old son, Edward (b. April 1874), whose mother, Mary (Gare) Miller had died in 1877 of consumption. Their infant son, Walter, died 2 weeks before Mary of the same disease. He was 8 months old, and George was heartbroken to lose not only his child but his wife as well. He met and married Charlotte Gittins, approximately 1878, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, daugher of George I. and Charlotte (Green) Gittins.

George E. Miller, my grandfather, grew up with 3 brothers and one half-brother: Edward, b., 1874 (as mentioned above), Charles, b.1881, Frank., b. 1883, and Walter, b, 1885, all in Redford Township. Something terrible apparently happened in the family in 1907 causing everyone to turn against George, as well as his parents. Since no one, not even his mother, would believe him, he left Detroit brokenhearted and never returned. We have no idea what the problem was regarding or where he went between 1907 and 1915 - all contact with the family was lost. But on January 12, 1916, George married a lovely nurse, Besse Payton, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and together they had 4 children: Leonard Edward (1917-2007), Eileen Laurel (1921-2000), Mary Margaret (1923), and Ray George, (1927-2007), my father.

George had many adventures after leaving Detroit, including being robbed while driving a taxi cab in Raytown, Missouri, in 1917. The perpetrator pulled a gun on him, then hit him in the head with it. Grandpa had bought this car with his own meager funds to learn how to drive taxis - they had to provide their own vehicle - and he woke up in another state several days later, robbed, injured, and unable to discern where he was. The Missouri papers ran a full page bulletin about it. Grandma Besse was frantic, as she was getting ready to deliver their first child. Eventually he made it to a police station, told them his story, and they had received the news bulletin from the MIssouri paper, whereupon they transported him home.

George and Besse moved to Drumright, Oklahoma, soon after that to work in the oil fields. While there, he was also threatened at one time with harm by the KKK if he did not join their ranks. Grandpa was an ardent supporter of the rights of all people, no matter their background or color. He continually made friends with those who were considered "outcasts" and some people did not appreciate that. The KKK bosses told him, "You WILL join us sometime." He stood up and said to them, "Anytime you think you are man enough to try making me, just try it." When he spoke, he meant it; and you knew when he was angry - which according to my dad was NOT something you wanted to see. It happened rarely, but when it did, watch out!!! You did not want to be against him. He stood up, all 5'9" of him and never backed down - they did!! George had the biggest hands anyone had ever seen and he cracked the knuckles while talking to them - it left an indelible impression. When and if he hit you, you knew it, according to family stories.

George E. Miller wanted more than anything to be a grandfather, but unfortunately he died of prostate cancer almost 1 year to the day before his first grandchild was born. Everything I have read about this man and have heard from others is that he dearly loved his wife, loved children and animals, was quiet yet strong, loved nature and the outdoors, had definite foundations and principles, a terrific work ethic, and was the best person or friend one could know, with a keen sense of humor and an extreme love of life. He also had a temper which he controlled very well - most of the time. He never hesitated to stand when the flag came by, usually with a tear in his eye, and taught all of his children to love and appreciate our great nation. He was 13 years older than his wife, so he began fatherhood much older than most men. Grandpa was 48 years old when my father was born in 1927. Both of his sons served in WWII and one son, my dad, served in Korea as well.

Even though I never "physically" knew him, I miss him very much, as do all his children and grandchildren. We look forward to that glorious day when we will be reunited and really meet each other for the first time, that time forever. I so look forward to meeting you, Grandpa.

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  • Created by: Debbie Holth
  • Added: 30 May 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11058701
  • Debbie Holth
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Edward Miller (21 Feb 1879–17 Mar 1950), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11058701, citing Fairview Memorial Gardens, Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Debbie Holth (contributor 46791028) .