The Dallas Journal, Volume 43, 1997 Page: 12
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The women set the spinning wheel and looms going, for it was their business to
manufacture the wearing apparel and the bed-clothing for the family. 6 The men went to
work breaking the soil, splitting rails and fencing the fields; what the family ate had to be
produced on the land. The pioneer was a jack-of-all-trades. Miller directed the Negroes
in tanning leather and in making shoes for the family and for themselves as well.
William Brown Miller became a prosperous farmer and livestock owner, noted
for his progressive methods. From his log cabin headquarters, Miller became one of the
largest stock raisers and landowners in North Texas, ultimately owning around 7,524
acres in Dallas and Tarrant counties by 1868. The Millers lived in the log house from
1847 until early 1862. Numerous other log structures were built to the north. There
were cabins for slaves, barns for livestock and corn cribs.
Minerva Barnes Miller died at the age of 34 while living in the original log house.
Her death came shortly after the birth of an eighth, unnamed, child in 1856. In 1855,
using the North Star at night as a compass, she was involved in seeing that the layout of
the floor plan for the new home was pegged out. The new home was situated precisely
on a north-south location to take advantage of the prevailing breeze. Minerva Miller was
buried in the newly established Miller Family Cemetery, in a wooded section northeast of
the log house and near her eldest son, Alonzo, who died the previous year.7
After the death of Minerva Barnes Miller, there was a lapse in the work on the
new house. Although timber for the 8 x 12-inch cedar beams used in the construction of
the home were cut from the Miller land, all finished lumber was hauled by ox-drawn
wagons from Jefferson in East Texas, more than one hundred miles away. The basic
design of Millermore is that of the early log house with a central hallway and rooms off
to each side--a Texas version of Greek Revival architecture popular at that time. The
rooms of the home are 20x20 feet and 22x22 feet.
William Brown Miller was a well-educated, cultured gentleman. Educated at
Huntsville Academy in Huntsville, Alabama, he valued education and was determined to
begin a school to educate his five daughters. Sometime in 1852, he sent to Kentucky for
a teacher, Mrs. Sarah B. Gray. Not wanting to be selfish with education, he invited "all
the girls in the county" to join his daughters for Mrs. Gray's instruction. Seven girls
accepted. Since daily transportation was impossible, these seven girls, as well as Mrs.
Gray, lived in the Miller home. This was, of course, a private school with no tuition paid.
DGS Journal 12 1977
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 43, 1997, periodical, June 1999; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186856/m1/18/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.