Sunday, November 4, 2012

David Miller 1827-1890

David Miller
(One of the first four settler's of Greenville)

David Miller, son of Charles Stewart and Mary McGowan Miller, was born on October 20th, 1827 in the town of Rutherglen Parish,  Scotland.  He was baptized September 11th, 1846 by Andrew Ferguson and confirmed September 12th, 1846.  He died May 8th, 1890 in Greenville, Utah.

       Margaret Fife

He married Margaret Fife, daughter of  Adam and Ellen Fife, born January 25th, 1829 in the town of Deavin, Clockmaninshire, Scotland.  She died January 1st, 1915 in Greenville, Utah.

The Miller family came from Scotland to St. Louis, Missouri about 1848.   In 1849, there was an epidemic of Cholera in St. Louis and it killed both Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather Miller, she in June and he in July, just one week apart.  This left the family alone to continue the journey to Utah.  David was 23 years old at this time.  His sister Ellen was only 5 years old.   It fell to his lot to care for this tiny sister.

We next find them in Parowan, Utah then Ogden, Utah, then Greenville, Utah.  During this time, he met and married Margaret Fife.  Margaret has a story equally as interesting as David.  Her parents, Ellen Sharp and Adam Fife who were married in Scotland in 1825 when Ellen was 16 years old.  They were converted to the gospel in Scotland but had to wait to find the means necessary to come to the promised land.   They labored hard to bring their families to the promised land to live the gospel.   Ellen was a very affectionate mother and had 16 children.  Three children were buried in Scotland and one was buried at sea.  They came to America in 1849 with Captain Wilkies company.  Cholera broke out while they were at sea and it took all the weights on board to weigh down the dead when buried at sea.  When their daughter little Helen died, there were no weights left to weigh her down so far into the night they watched her body floating on the ocean.

They lived in St. Louis for 2 years and in 1851 Ellen walked carrying her baby all the way to Salt Lake City arriving in September 1851.  They lived in Salt Lake for 2 years then moved to Iron County where they lived for 3 years.  In 1856 they moved to Riverdale, near Ogden, Utah.  Margaret accompanied her parents on this long journey.  During this time David and Margaret met and married.  They spent some time in Ogden as records show some of their children were born in that vicinity.   Charles Adam in 1856 and Margaret Agnes in 1860.  In March of that same year, they moved to Greenville, Utah along with 3 other families, namely George Horton, Samuel Edwards and William Richards.  They built homes close together in Dry Creek to protect themselves from Indians.  David Miller was 34 years old at this time.  Little sister Ellen had grown to be a beautiful girl of 16 and after a 2 week courtship she married William Edwards the 19 year old son of Samuel Edwards.  Soon David built the rock house that is was later owned by Blaine and Nell Barton Blackett.  Sometime later he added an addition to the house and established the first store in Greenville.  In 1880 he was appointed as the Post Master and this new room served as the store and the post office.

      South end of David Miller home later owned by Blaine Blackett who was also postmaster at this same location that David served as postmaster.
 Front of the Miller home located in Greenville, Utah 2008

The post office was shelves on the south wall with a table nearby used as a desk and counter.  On the west side was the store part.  Shelves were nailed to the wall to hold bolts of brightly colored Calico, denims and bed ticking as well as groceries.  Butter and Eggs and Grain were exchanged for merchandise that could be shipped out to the mines in Frisco along with fresh garden produce from his own garden.  The piece of land across the street from my mother, in 1960 owned by Lorette Thompson was grandfather's garden spot.    David's skill as a gardener was outstanding.  The huge heads of red lettuce and white onions were freely given to his neighbors and trucked to Frisco.    He also farmed and owned 10 acres near Kent Morgan's farm.  Fractions of acres were known as "garden lots" which were later owned by the Thompson brother's.   Two acres adjoining the Frank Morris property, two acres where my mother now lives (1960) except where the house stands.

Twice each year in Spring and Fall, David would go to Salt Lake City to buy supplies for the store.  By team and wagon it would take 2 weeks.  Members of the family would accompany him on these trips and visit Margarets family.  On one  of these trips one of the children fell over the front of the wagon and was kicked to death by the horses.  Fletcher Barton, a grandson of David Miller's said his mother had related many interesting stories about her trials in the wagon going to Salt Lake City with David.

David was postmaster in Greenville from 1880 to 1886, the 2nd in Greenville.   He was superintendant of the Sunday School for many years and being very active in religions and community activities.  He was honest to a fault and stories were told of him walking miles to return a stamp that he owed.    The children in the neighborhood would bring an egg to the store and exchange it for candy.  Uncle Will Miller has told stories when he was a boy that they would play ball in the next room and when David would refuse to give them more pieces of candy they would knock the ball behind the counter and snitch pieces of candy.  I am very happy to have such a great heritage as this.  I am very happy to have the opportunity to compile this history.  Some of these incidents were told to me by my mother Julia King Griffiths, who at this time is 85 years old.  She is the wife of David James Miller (son of David Miller and Margaret Fife)  I am happy to deposit this history in the treasure chest for future generations that they might know the goodness and courageous Pioneers. (STORY BY: Mary Priscilla Miller McQueen dated July 24th, 1960)

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