R. Marion Miller was born February 1, 1918 to Robert and Elsa Elizabeth Mourer Miller in Longdale, Oklahoma.
When Marion was four years of age, his dad and mother left Oklahoma and started to Utah.
They traveled in a caravan of three covered wagons with six horses and one saddle horse. There were ten children on the trip: Roy, Hattie, Anna, Lottie, Bess, Ida, Rachel, Marion, Lillie and Bob.
It was April 13, 1922 when they left Longdale, Oklahoma. The Miller Family arrived at Lockerby, Utah on May 27, 1922.
They stayed at Lockerby a few days until Marion’s Dad filed on a 160-acre homestead on Horsehead. This last move was what they had been looking for.
They settled in, and started improving their land and to build a new home. Another daughter, Thelma, was added to their family in July 1924.
Mildred Crittenden moved to Horsehead in about 1930 when she was eleven years of age. At age 16 Mildred went back to Tennessee for two years. After her return to Utah, she and Marion became more serious about their dating and were married June 11, 1936.
During the summer after their marriage they farmed with a team of horses, raised a few beans, feed for the horses and a cow. Then “Glory Be” someone wanted Marion’s team of horses. He gladly traded them off for a tractor. They rented some ground and started a lifetime of raising pinto beans and later wheat.
In 1938, Marion traded for an old wheat threshing machine. He rebuilt it to thresh beans. Having the only bean threshing machine on Horsehead, he was called upon to thresh all the beans.
He moved the machine from field to field to thresh each farmer’s crop. The beans, after being cut and piled, were forked onto a slip. They were then hauled to the threshing machine and forked into its feeder.
The hulls were blown out the back into a pile. These hulls were later hauled to the corrals and used as winter-feed for the milk cows.
The beans fell out under the machine into a box and were shoveled into bean sacks. The sacks were tied or sewed shut and later hauled to the Dove Creek elevator.
It took 8-10 men to operate this threshing machine. Of course the kids had to help out. All hands moved from field to field with the threshing machine.
This method of bean threshing continued through the middle forties when bean combines became available.
For a while after Marion and Mildred were married, they lived at Horsehead, then moved to Ginger Hill.
In the meantime they had a son, Carl and twin daughters, Ilene and Ione.
Those were great years and among their fondest memories. They took time to play with their family. They especially enjoyed the many picnics to the canyons with their neighbors, and swimming in Bluff.
By this time their three children were in school, and Mildred felt lonely when they left for the day. She had enjoyed them so much when they were little. The next year they had another son, Glenn.
During 1949 and 1950, Eastland came into existence. The purpose was to have a school, and electricity had been brought to the area by the REA.
The Lockerby one-room schoolhouse was moved to Eastland, where grades one through six were taught for several years. The building was a great addition to Eastland and is now used as a community building.
In 1950, Marion and Mildred built the home where Mildred still lives at Eastland. Those were busy years and they made their living raising beans and wheat.
During the late 1950’s into the 1970’s they enjoyed snow skiing on Blue Mountain and other places. The winters were great and it was nice to have a place close to home to ski and they took advantage of the local ski area. They went every time the ski lift was open.
They also went to some of the large ski areas in Utah, Colorado and to the Tetons in Montana and to Sun Valley, Idaho.
In 1963, when Lake Powell started filling, they made several trips down the Colorado River before the lake filled. After the lake filled they would go several times every summer to explore the canyons, water-ski and play in the water.
In the 1970’s, Marion and Mildred decided that snowmobiling would be a fun and interesting winter sport. They used to get together with friends and neighbors, take lunches, and spend most of the day on the mountain.
These times have been one of the highlights in their lives and they really enjoyed the trips they took. Marion and his snowmobile buddies enjoyed riding the steep slopes of different mountains and had great times exploring the country and riding around together. The air was always fresh and exhilarating.
Marion is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mildred, their childern & grand-children: Carl Miller (Sue) Englewood, CO; Ilene Miller (Dick Backus) Farmington, NM; Glenn Miller (Patti) Wheat Ridge,CO; Grandchildren: Diane Stavaski (Mark), Lance Miller, Larry Slavin (Debbie), Kathy Slavin, Jack Slavin (Lisa), Troy Slavin, Shane Miller (Jackie), Brett Miller (Lindsey), Chad Miller, Charith Gordon (Tucker); 12 great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter.
Preceeding him in death is one daughter Ione Miller Slavin and one grandson Blane Slavin. Marion was the last of the eleven Miller children.
Card of Thanks
The family of Marion Miller wish to express their appreciation for all the acts of kindness shown to us on the passing of our husband, dad, and granddad. Thank you to the many friends for the flowers, cards, food and all the words of sympathy & encouragement.
A special thank you to the Monticello EMS crew for their speedy response; to the members of the First Baptist Church and the Eastland Branch Relief Society for the dinner provided for family and friends. Especially thank you to all for your friendship through the years.
Carl & Sue Miller & Family
Ilene & Dick Backus
The Family of Ione Slavin
Glenn & Patti Miller & Family