The Dallas Journal, Volume 43, 1997 Page: 13
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The seven visiting girls, Mrs. Gray, and the five Miller daughters probably slept
in the big loft above the main room of the old log house.8 Or at least Mrs. Gray and
some of the students slept there. The girls learned the 3 R's, plus stitchery, music and
dancing. Handwriting of the Miller girls preserved in old books that are now part of the
Miller library indicate that penmanship was stressed.
Mr. Miller felt strongly that young women should be taught the social graces.
Along with this conviction, he would play dance tunes and teach the girls to dance. One
tradition claims that this caused a scandal among some of the more conservative pioneer
neighbors and there was even talk of putting Mr. Miller out of the church. Perhaps one
reason nothing came of the talk was because one of the early churches of Dallas County
had been built on land which he had donated to the church with logs supplied from his
As another diversion, the young ladies participated in rabbit hunts on horseback.
Mr. Miller raised fine horses and the girls were taught to be good riders. The rabbit
chases on horseback were followed by substantial hunt breakfasts, a pioneer version of
the traditional English fox hunts. The dates of the Miller school were approximately
1852-1856. This was the third school in Dallas County and the first in what is now the
City of Dallas.
The Miller daughters who attended the school were Martha (Mattie), Mary
Brown (Molly), Virginia Hickman (Jenny), Susan, and Elizabeth Hickman (Bettie).
Martha was born in 1840 and was seven years old when she came to Texas. In
1859, she married Frank Leonard. Frank enlisted in the Confederate Army and died
while serving. In 1879, Mattie married Washington Leonard, Frank's brother. Mattie
died in 1912.
Mary Brown, or Molly, was born in 1842. She was five years old when the
family made the move to Texas. In 1856, she married George T. Guess, pioneer Dallas
lawyer and mayor of Dallas in 1866. Mary died in 1861.
Virginia Hickman (Jenny) was born in 1844 and was three years old when
brought to Texas.9 In 1861, she married Charles D. Kanady. She died in 1910.
Susan was born in 1846 and was only one year old when the family came to
Texas. Susan died in 1892.
1977 13 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/m1/19/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.