Plate 5


The Robert Miller Family
(Donald's maternal uncle and aunt)

Top left: Robert Miller. (no date) Lived in Springfield, Ohio, and later Phoenix, Arizona.

Top right: Robert Miller, 1906. (Graduation photo)

Bottom (both) Robert and Bessie Homer Miller. (no dates.) Robert and Bessie Miller had a a son, Richard Edward Miller, born in 1913, a farm visitor on Plate 37. Robert was widowed in 1923 and later remarried. His second wife's name was Dorothy.

Excerpt from Donald B. Johnson manuscript:

"I read a book once that a fellow wrote about his 'quicksilver' uncle. We heard so many stories about our Uncle Robert that Marj and I called him our quicksilver uncle.

"Old Mrs. Walders used to tell that they only lived a short way from where Ma was raised in the country. She said that Uncle Robert would come down there to see the hired girl. One day my grandmother came down there and chased him home with a stick. He was only 16 then, she said. (My grandmother denied that story.) [2.21-3]

"My mother said that when he was away at school he told one on himself. He was working in an ice cream parlor part time on a hot day. The place was crowded and a fat lady was sitting at a table in a real low-necked dress. Just as he was going past her, someone bumped his arm and a scoop of ice cream slipped off the tray he was carrying and right onto her bosom. He claimed he slipped quickly through the crowd before she had time to turn around, and she never knew which one of the waiters did it." [2.21-4]

"Ma and Uncle Robert inherited the land north of the ski slide between Mill Lake and Torgerson Lake, but they couldn't stand to own anything together. Ma had to pay her brother rent for his half interest and she forced him to sell the land to John LaValleur for a very small amount. I believe it was $2,500. It has changed hands once or twice since, and the selling price several years ago [circa 1980] was $80,000." [2.172.4]

"My grandmother had always said, 'Hang on to the land,' and she was right, but she should have known Ma and her brother could never get along and own anything together. I guess the main trouble was that Uncle Robert lived clear out in Arizona and came here to fish and sponge on Ma. Then he got so many far-out ideas of what to use the land for, like raising horses on it. I don't know who he thought was going to take care of them when it wasn't pasture season." [2.172-5]