John Henry Miller II (Buddy) and Josie Viola Rucker Miller
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In Remembrance of

Buddy and Viola Miller
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Biography

John Henry (Buddy) Miller II was born August 3, 1875, in Hamilton County, Texas. His Grandfather, Davison Miller was born in Tennessee, thus the family originally came from Tennessee to Texas.

The Miller family came to Teas in 1890, along with his widowed mother, Sarah Owens Miller, after the death of his father. The family farm has been sold in Hamilton County, where they were living at the time. They settled on one-half section of land on Croton Flat. He and King Kennedy drove over one hundred head of cattle, while the women folk drove the covered wagons. He worked on the Pitchfork ranch and did odd jobs to support his family.

He made several cattle drives tot he railroad station at Clovis, New Mexico, Kansas City and Amarillo. He went by way of Lubbock, which was only one store, and no railroad.

Buddy Miller married Josie Viola Rucker in 1906 in the new Methodist Church at Afton. Bro. O.P. Clark from Dickens married them. He was very active in Church work and liked to sing in the choir.

On his land at Croton he raised feed and some cotton which he ginned at Dickens. He hauled it to Quanah to sell and would bring back enough groceries to last for six months. He also freighted for the stores. His father wa an Indian Scout for the U.S. Army in Western Texas and New Mexico. His mother was the daughter of a plantation owner, owned 100 slaves who refused their freedom when it was offered to them before the Emancipation Proclamation. Her father was a surveyor and taught in a college at Tyler. Grandmother Miller passed away and was buried in the Afton Cemetery.

Buddy ran for sheriff one time and was defeated. Moved to McAdoo in 1923 and was on the School Board for several years.

The Millers had five daughters, Ella Mae, Fayola, Katy, Louise and Marcelle. Gordon, the only son was lost at sea in World War II. He had served four years in the Marines, came home and went to Texas Tech for two years, and then had one year at St. Mary's in San Antonio. When the war started he entered the Army. He was sent to Java and was a member of the Lost Battalion. They arrived in Java in January of 1942 and were captured in March of 1942. He was a prisoner of war from that time to his death in 1944. They were being sent from Java to the mainland of China to work on the Burma Road when the ship with "no markings" was sunk by one of our submarines. This was off the coast of Sumatra. We had a letter from one of the officers soon after the officer arrived back in the States. He told us that Gordon and several other men were on a raft, with two men hanging on the sides, one of the men became very sick and Gordon changed places with the weaker man. The next morning, Gordon was gone, lost during the night.

One story told by the late W.B.(Bill) Arthur, and former sheriff of Dickens County said he and Buddy went to a dance, in those days everyone danced all night and went home in the morning light, well, Buddy danced with another fellow's girl, (not having paid for her supper), this made the other fellow mad, and the next morning as they were riding home some one started shooting at them, and hit Buddy's saddle bag. Buddy calmly stopped his horse, took off his gloves, got his pistol out of the saddle bag, loaded it, and other fellow lit out, he told the Sheriff later, "anyone that was that calm, and deliberate, I thought it was high time I hi-tailed out of there and fast."

Buddy sold his farm in the Croton Community and moved to McAdoo and bought a farm there, and there he lived until his death in 1961.

Source: History of Dickens County; Ranches and Rolling Plains, Fred Arrington, ©1971

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Obituary

Funeral services for J.H. Miller, 85, McAdoo rancher will be held today at 2 p.m. at the McAdoo Methodist Church with Rev. M. R. Mathis officiating.

Mr. Miller was found dead in his cow lot Tuesday night. He apparently suffered a heart attack. His face and hands were frozen in the extreme ice and snow storm. he had gone to feed his cattle about 5 p.m. according to his wife. When he did not return she walked to a neighbors house to seek help. Mr. Miller was found about 8 p.m. under a snow drift near a feed trough. He had been a resident of McAdoo for 38 years and had formerly lived in Croton and Dickens. He came to the county in 1898.

Born in Comanche County in 1875, he came to Dickens County in 1889. He married the former Miss Viola Rucker at Afton in 1906. They made their first home at Croton.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Viola Miller; five daughters, Mrs. Hughes Smith, Morton; Mrs. Katie Kaiser, Lorenzo; Mrs. Ella May Crago, San Diego, Calif; Mrs. Fay Ola Cypert, Lubbock and Mrs. Paul D. Ayer, Lakewood, N.J. A son, Gordon Miller was killed in action during World War II in 1944. Seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren survive. Pallbearers will include Lewis Hickman, Milton McDonald, Nobel Neff, Willie Clark, Lilburn Harvey, Ocie Boucher, Harold Hardy and Doyle Hinson.

Interment will be in McAdoo Cemetery with Campbell's Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Source: The Texas Spur, January 26, 1961
Transcribed by Kay Laster

Funeral services for Josie Viola Miller of McAdoo were at 10 a.m. Saturday in the McAdoo Baptist Church. The Rev. Victor Crabtree, a retired pastor from Dickens, and the Rev. Stanley May, pastor of McAdoo Baptist Church, officiated.

King Funeral Home directed burial in McAdoo Cemetery. Grandsons were pallbearers.

Mrs. Miller, 89, had been a McAdoo community resident since moving there in 1923 from East Afton.

She was claimed by death at 5 p.m. Thursday in Crosbyton Clinic Hospital.

Mrs. Miller was born April 3, 1886, in Erath County. She and the late J. H. (Buddy) Miller were married October 14, 1906, in Afton. Mr. Miller died in January, 1961.

She is survived by five daughters, Mrs. Ella Mae Crago and Mrs. Katie Dickinson, both of McAdoo, Mrs. Fayola Cypert of Buffalo Springs Lake near Lubbock, Mrs. Louise Smith of Morton, and Mrs. Marcelle Ayer of Sherman; seven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and two great great granddaughters.

Crosbyton Review, November 20, 1975
Record provided by Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum
transcribed by Linda Fox Hughes


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