The Dallas Journal, Volume 43, 1997 Page: 11
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Millermore and Its History
Margret Hancock Pearce
Six years after John Neely Bryan built the first log cabin in Dallas and one year
after Dallas County was organized, William Brown Miller came to Texas.' A native of
Kentucky, he was raised in Alabama and lived for a time in Tennessee before migrating
to Missouri where he settled near Sedalia. Mr. Miller's health became frail while he was
living in Missouri and he was advised by his physician that he had contracted
consumption. The doctor persuaded Mr. Miller that his only chance to recover his health
was to move to Texas and to live as much as possible out of doors.
Mr. Miller bought two sections, 1,280 acres, of the Van Cleve grant of the
Peters' Colony Company. 2 This land overlooked the Trinity River on Hord's Ridge in
what is now Oak Cliff. 3
When he left his family in Missouri, he weighed 120 pounds, on his return in the
fall he weighed 180 pounds and had grown a long beard. The change in his appearance
was so great that he had some difficulty convincing his family that he was the authentic
Billy Miller. 4 As there was no communication between Texas and Missouri in those
days, and considering the state of his health on his departure, the family very naturally
concluded that he was dead.
In 1847, Miller came back to Texas in a covered wagon with his second wife
Minerva Barnes Miller, 25 years old, and their five children, ranging in age from nine to
one. 5 Also in the party was Crill Miller (18 years old), Mr. Miller's son by his first
marriage and four adult slaves, Arch and his wife, Charlotte, and Clayton and his wife,
The early years in Texas were devoted to building, clearing and cultivating.
Miller erected a log cabin on a site that was chosen due to its nearness to a running
creek. The oak logs for the house were cut from nearby land and fitted together with
wooden pegs. The doors, window frames and glass for the cabin were brought all the
way from Sedalia. The flooring was made of hand-hewn cedar and the stone for the
chimney was hand-cut from a quarry near Mountain Creek, west of present day Oak
1977 11 DGS Journal
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 43, 1997, periodical, June 1999; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186856/m1/17/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.