The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 72
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
diagnosis. He was taken by his daughter, Tabitha, to John
Sealy Hospital in Galveston during the month of July, 1923,
hopeful that there he might be restored to health. But on
July 30, only a few days after she had brought him back, he
was dead. At the age of seventy-two his work was finished.
To the writer of this paper, R. T. Milner has taken on the
outlines of a known and living personality. He was broad and
liberal in his views, strong in his convictions of what consti-
tuted a real democracy, and both his public utterances and
his actions seem directed toward helping to achieve that state.
All his public work had one aim: the advancement of Texas
and its people. In his paper, his legislative career, his work
in Campbell's cabinet, and at A. & M., every move we have a
record of is explained by that desire.
That he was small or petty in any instance has not been
found after a careful study of his life, through talking with
his acquaintances, reading his writings, and studying his public
record. Ever generous to a foe, he allowed no differences of
opinion to become a personal matter. After their debates in
the legislative campaign, he rode away on horseback with his
opponent, Judge Turner, laughing and exchanging small talk.
Defeated in the Congressional campaign of 1894, he immediately
threw his energies into an effort to help his former adversary,
C. B. Kilgore, to win. In his long controversy with Colquitt,
where there was no personal friendship, he waited until his
words could not be construed politically, and then he stated
The public interest he made his personal interest. Many times
he spoke his convictions of right and truth when it would have
been better in the interests of friendship or to his financial
advantage to have remained silent. That interest overcame
physical weaknesses. In 1921, when his health was failing, he
rode the country lanes with Bryan Blalock of Marshall to
urge the farmers of Rusk County to accept and cooperate with
the county agent program. The farmers, opposed to "book
farming," were won over through the convincing talks of
Colonel Milner. After the work was finished and Blalock asked
what he owed Milner for his services, because his organization
was well able to pay, Milner answered: "Owe me? Not a
thing! I did it because I was interested in it."240 His in-
fluence with the farmers was great because his interest
240G. R. Farmer, interview, March 23, 1940.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/78/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.