Samuel Wesley MILLER, the youngest child of Robert and Mary A. (PIERCE) MILLER, was born November 16, 1861, at Dandridge, Jefferson Co., Tennessee. He had two older brothers, John Alfred MILLER and James Harvey MILLER.
Samuel Wesley MILLER and Sarah Louisa "Lula" HINCHEY, daughter of Albert Lee and Mary F. (RUSSELL) HINCHEY were united in marriage on May 7, 1893, in Flat Gap, Jefferson Co., Tennessee. Two days after days after their marriage, "Sam" and Lula went to Anthony, Harper Co., Kansas, where Sam got a job digging the basement for the school building.
On September 16, 1893, Sam participated in the famous Oklahoma Land Run in the Cherokee Strip, but got beat out of a claim. On April 25, 1894, Sam and Lula obtained land in the Cherokee Strip, near what is now Manchester, Grant Co., Oklahoma, where they resided for over 50 years.
The couple and their growing family lived in a sod house until they could build their home. They built a cellar first, in which Sam inscribed "S. W. MILLER" in the cement over the entrance. Over 100 years later, the cellar is still in tact and the name he engraved is still apparent. Once the cellar was finished, the family lived in it until the main house was finished.
Sam and a preacher friend built a rooter house out of brick and shingles. The eight room house stood for over 70 years. One day the family stood at the south windows of the living room and watched an Oklahoma tornado blow the rooter house completely away! They saw the funnel of dirt evaporate it!
The family usually went into the cellar during storms, but for some reason they did not make it during this particular storm. Sam later heard that the same storm picked up horses and cattle and carried them hundreds of miles away.
Sam lived in the home he had built for his family until his death in 1936. Lula remained on the farm for eight years after his death before moving to Anthony, Harper Co., Kansas, to live with their daughter Gladys.
In the early years, Sam farmed wheat and alfalfa. In later years he raised sheep. He also worked for the county as a road grader and was well-known by the term "Water Monkey". Working as a water monkey for several years, Sam hauled water for the steam engine on the "company" threshing machine.
Sam was a strong believer in education and worked hard to make an education available to each of his children. He was on the local school board for as long as the school was in operation.
Sam was sick for about three years prior to his death. He passed away at his home near Gibbon, Grant Co., Oklahoma, on June 18, 1936, and was buried in the Manchester Cemetery in Grant Co., Oklahoma.
Children of Samuel Wesley and Sarah Louisa "Lula" (HINCHEY) MILLER were: Hobart McKinley (1895-1935); Robert Lee (1898-1903); Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" (1899-1978); John Wesley "Dickie" (1901-1907); Gladys Irene (1902-1984); Agnes Myrtle (1904-1988); Russell (1906-1907); Leslie Edward (1907-1969); Zella Luella (1909-1984); and Edna Ruby Mildred (1911-1994).
Sam's brother John Albert MILLER was born July 9, 1851, in Jefferson Co., Tennessee, and died July 18, 1939, in Jefferson Co., Illinois. In 1872, John married Susan BURTON in Jefferson Co., Illinois, near Opydyke, where they raised their eight children: Mary, Cora, Martha, Samuel, Eugene, Gertrude, Harvey, and William. John and Susan, as well as other family members, are buried in the Opydyke Cemetery.
Sam's brother James Harvey MILLER was born January 9, 1859, in Jefferson Co., Tennessee, and died February 5, 1926, in Grant Co., Oklahoma. He married Nancy Ann "Nan" GASS on September 17, 1893. They had three children: Fred, Nina, and Lonnie. James and Nan are buried in the Manchester Cemetery in Grant Co., Oklahoma.
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