Chapter II -- My Childhood


          My parents moved from the north part of Bradley County, near Charleston, to the southern part of the county and rented a farm from J.K. Boyd, a wagon maker, previously mentioned.  It was there, I first met Miss Sarah Frances Gillian, whom I afterwards married.  We lived on Mr.  Bord’s farm only one year.  My father moved from the Boyd farm to Whitfield County, Georgia, a distance of about two miles and rented a farm from Mr. William Pulley, a Methodist minister.  We remained on the Pulley farm two years and then moved back to Bradley County, Tennessee, living on the farm owned by M. Arch Hambright, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister.  It was during this year that I was married to Miss Sarah Frances Gillian, October 4th, 1857.  We had been sweethearts from the time we first met, four years previous to our marriage.  She was born at Spring Place, Georgia, September 12th, 1841.  Her parents moved from Spring Place to Bradley County, Tennessee, when she was three years of age.  She and I were school mates for several years.  She taught me the “Seven Syllable Notation” as published in M.L. Sawns “New Harp” of Columbia,published at Nashville, Tennessee.  We never had any love quarrels during our long courtship.  She was a devoted and loyal member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, when I became acquainted with her in 1852 and was a member of said church until her death which occurred June 15, 1916.  She was a true woman, a devoted wife and mother: unselfish, and always ready to do everything in her power for the benefit and comfort for her children and those in need or distress.  After our marriage, when I was working hard to make a living – making ten foot rails at $.50 per hundred, and doing other work at $.50 per day, she would go into the forest and gather pine knots to make light for me to study my arithmetic, grammar, history, etc.  She helped me in every way possible with my studies, and whatever success I have made in life, I am, in a great measure, indebted to her for that success.
          Thirteen children were born in our family, ten of whom are living, viz; Mrs.  Theresa Bounds, Miss Ella Miller, Mrs. Viola Walthall, Mrs.  Fannis Johnson, Mrs. Minnie Nash, Mrs. Anna Byers, J.E. Miller, Miss Beula Miller, Floyd Oscar Miller, and Miss Mabel Clair Miller.  We buried two boy in Tennessee, who died in infancy before the Civil War.  They are lying in the Sugar Creek cemetery in Bradley County, Tennessee, awaiting the call of the last Trumpet.
          Our last little boy that died is buried at Cryer Creek, in Navarro County, Texas, where he died in 1873.  We have not had a death in our immediate family for 43 years until we lost dear Mrs. Miller, June 15, 1916.  It is remarkable that we have ten living children, 34 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren all living at the present time.  “Truly, I have been young, now I am old.  Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken nor His Seed begging bread.”  At this writing, I am 79 years, on this month and 4 days old.
          When we take a retrospective view of our lives we are lost in admiration, wonder, love, praise, and meditation upon the goodness of God who has preserved our loves during our infancy, childhood, youth, manhood and old age.  We wonder what good we have accomplished, still we are here awaiting the call of the Master.