Seldon Jasper Miller biography

SHELDON JASPER MILLER. In the subject of this notice were are presented with a descendant of one of the veterans of the Texas Revolution, John Miller and a nephew of Sam Miller, a San Jacinto veteran as well as an Indian fight of his early day. The state of Alabama gave to the struggling Republic of Texas as the Miller brothers, William, Samuel and John and when Texas independence had been consummated and peace established they settled near the eastern border, where they pursued their favorite vocations, reared families and died, William in Anderson and Samuel in Rusk county. John Miller was a lieutenant in the Texas Revolution. He acquired a headright from Texas, as all veterans did, and the Iron Eye country of Anderson county witnessed his permanent settlement in the Republic he helped to establish. He was millwright and cabinet workman and the sphere of his usefulness was confined to the region in which he spent his last years. He married in that county, in 1843, Mrs. Eliza Eason, widow of Mills Eason and a daughter of the pioneer, William Adams, from Tennessee. The latter settled in Anderson county and died there, after rearing a family of nine children. There are no descendants of Mills and Eliza Eason, but John Miller and his wife were the parents of John T., who died in the Confederate service in 1861; Amanda D., wife of J. B. Duvall, of Newport, Texas; Seldon J., our subject, and Garrett L., who passed away in Clay county. The father of these children died in 1851. The mother married John Hassell, who died in Anderson county without children, and Mrs. Hassell then married William Box and died in Anderson county in 1872.

Seldon J. Miller was born in Anderson county, Texas, February 20, 1847, twelve miles east of Palestine. Farm life knew him in boyhood and the primitive facilities for an education prevented anything more than the most meager training in school. In 1863 he entered the Confederate army, enlisting in Louisiana, where he joined Green’s Brigade. His company was I of the Seventh Texas Cavalry, Captain Horn and Colonel Huffman. Mr. Miller fought in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill and spent his last year in Arkansas and Louisiana. He left Kechi hospital for home following Lee’s surrender and made his home chiefly in Cherokee county until his settlement in central Texas. In 1864, in Mississippi, his regiment in one battle was pitted against a regiment of colored troops, which, when the fight ended, had been annihilated, all killed but one.

Beginning life as a citizen, Mr. Miller worked for a time for wages in a sawmill and as a carpenter in Palestine. Having accumulated some cash he established himself in the family grocery business in Mustang Mills, Johnson county, and after conducting the store a time he sold it on time and the purchaser finally robbed him of the debt. Being much reduced in resources he began life anew on a farm in Johnson county, and the next year bought a tract of school land in Parker county—Leon county land—and he undertook its reduction and improvement. From 1876 to 1879 he was identified with stock and the farm in Parker county and in 1879 he brought the proceeds of the sale of his farm to Clay county and purchased a place on Ten Mile Prairie, on the Buffalo and Newport road, in the neighborhood of Liberty school house. He was a resident of that community until 1900, when he again sold and moved to his location three miles northeast of Vashti. His farm of two hundred and forty acres lies in the fertile zone of North Texas and is adjacent to Bowie, and is in the midst of a strong moral and intelligent community. General farming has received his attention and his efforts in Clay county have placed him in material independence.

Mr. Miller married in Johnson county December 3,1874, Ava L., a daughter of Frank Gunn, a Georgia settler who came to Texas subsequent to the Civil war. Mrs. Miller was born in Butts county, Georgia, August 28, 1857. Mr. Gunn married Martha A. Barnes and died in Hillsboro in February , 1901. They were the parents of: Lue C., wife of J. M. Stillwell, of Hood county, Texas; Joseph W., of Newport, Texas; Emma, wife of James Castleberry, San Angelo; Daniel G., of Bosque county; Ava L. and Zaluta E., who married Samuel Reed, of Hillsboro. Mr. Miller’s first wife, whom he married in Cherokee county, was Mary E. Guttry, who died, leaving a daughter, Sarah E., wife of Charles Yeary, of Amarillo. The issue of Mr. and Mrs. Miller are: Lulu E., wife of James Standerfer, of Washita county, Oklahoma, with children, John S., Estelle, Leta, Nora and Kittie; John F., the second child, died at eight years; Edwin P., of Clay county, is married to Addie Allen and has a son, Earl E.; William P. and Charles Claude.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 71-72.