MILLER TOWN




Miller Town, the Miller families and the Miller Town Church played vital roles in the development of Glen Alum. I have found very little history for the beginning of Glen Alum, however, I believe that the Benjamin Miller family was among the earliest settlers in Alum Creek hollow.

The census for 1900 lists the residents of Stafford District. Later census reports define the individual areas of Glen Alum and other communities in Stafford District. In trying to identify the residents of Glen Alum in the 1900 census report, one of the first names that I recognized was Benjamin Miller. He was listed as a farmer and the head of household with Matilda as his wife. The census states that Benjamin was born in Kentucky in 1852 and his wife Matilda was born in Virginia in 1858. Their children were Bettie, age 17, A. Boone, age 16, Lucinda (?), age 15, Charles, age 11, Leonard, age 10, Elijah F., age 6, Ed, age 4, and John age 3.

The following story was copied from the second book about Gilbert, which was titled GILBERT, WEST VIRGINIA AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES, by Colonel (Retired) Darrell G. Brumfield and Richard N. Ellis, published in 1995.

In 1992, Chad A. Davis, age 18, a senior in high school, wrote an English theme on his Christian heritage. Chad is the son of Charlotte Miller Davis and the grandson of John and Kessie Miller.


"MY CHRISTIAN HERITAGE"



"Here we stand, my mother, my father and I, looking at the land and the old house my mother lived in as a young child. I began to ask about the place, and she told me the story concerning the land on which we stood.

My great-grandfather, Benjamin Miller, owned land in Williamson, which he traded, because it wasn't good for farming. The new land he traded for had fruit trees and rich soil for growing crops. It was located in the mountains in the coal mining camp of Glen Alum, West Virginia. When my great-grandfather, along with his wife and the rest of the Miller family, moved to their new land, it was about the turn of the 20th century.

The new land had an orchard, filled with fruit trees, and other trees that were used for timber. The Miller family cut the trees, built them into rafts, and floated them down Tug River to a saw- mill. The family returned home with finished lumber from the sawmill to build their homes. Sometimes they sold timber to the sawmill and used the money to help other people.

My great-grandfather's house was lighted with oil burning lamps and kept warm in the winter by a wood burning stove. There was one room set aside in the house for church services, the only church in the community.

As the town grew bigger, with more families moving in, the church on the side of the house was getting crowded. My grandfather, John Miller, together with other family members, built a church in 1937. The church building was built with local timber. The floors and seats were made of wood with no coverings. For altars, the town's people made wooden benches. In the front of the building was a large steeple, which held a very large bell. That bell was used for sounding church on Sunday morning and evenings. The bell was also used to alert the town's people when there were accidents in the coal mines.

In the early part of 1940, my great-grandfather was getting old and soon he was to die. He gave each of his children a piece of land on which to build a house.

My grandfather, John Miller, received a parcel of that land. He was forty years old when he took a wife. She was much younger than he, twenty years old. My grandmother, Kessie Miller, was saved in the Christian faith at the age of thirteen. My grandfather and she built their house together. That was a large house which had running water and a bathroom, which most of the people did not have. Several preachers stayed in their house while holding revivals in the local church. By this time my grandfather was a preacher; he along with grandmother took care of the church, later known as Miller Town Church.

My mother, Charlotte, was born and raised in Miller Town. As a child of eight, she gave her heart to The Lord in a revival meeting. During that revival the preacher needed a place to stay, and my grandmother invited him to stay with them. That night she asked the preacher if a girl of eight was too young to pray; he replied with a smile, "If your children want to pray, let them. This way, they can get close to God." As a little girl, Mom went to church with her dad, and sang to the crowd of folks that came to the service. As my mother got older, she had an opportunity to sing with many groups. At the age of twenty-one she left West Virginia to live in Columbus, Ohio.

In Columbus, on her own, working and supporting herself, she had little time for church, and slowly she began to backslide from the Lord. My mother was doing things that were not pleasing in the Lord's eyes. In 1971, my mother became pregnant with me; I was born in September. My natural father left before I was born. My mother knew then that she must get back in church. She wanted to raise me the way her parents had raised her. She began attending a church of another faith, but found it was not satisfying. So, she set out to find the kind of church in which she had been reared. My mother and I started attending a Church of God on the north side of Columbus.

Nevertheless, we had it rough. Mother worked very hard for her money She did this so we had things that we needed. Every Sunday, a good friend picked us up for church. On a Sunday afternoon, a lady preacher gave the altar call, my mother went to the altar, and ask Jesus to forgive her of all her sins, and to give her a loving heart like she had as a little girl. Mother and I went to church as often as we could.

That is how I came to know the Lord. My name is Chad. My mother said that I was a beautiful baby with big blue eyes. At the age of eleven months I became very ill with an ear disease. My grand- mother stayed with us during the winter months for I was too ill to be outdoors. This was very hard on my mother, and we had to depend on other people to take me to the doctor.

However, my mother's father stayed strong, and mother continued to take me to church whenever possible. As a young boy, we watched Christian programs on TV. One morning Rex Humbard was praying for the sick; I laid my hand on the TV to let him pray for my ear. The next Sunday, I laid my hand on the TV and was saved. I told my mother what had happened, and she screamed, "Praise the Lord," and afterwards, we went to church. At church, I ran down the stairs to my Sunday School class, and told Sister Ball, my teacher, that I was saved.

When I was nine years old, my mother met a man named Roger Davis, and after a brief courtship, they were married. Roger adopted me. Now, we have a beautiful, Christian home. My dad was in the United States Navy and is now retired. We are living in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and attend the Great Bridge Church of God.

Some day, perhaps, I will have children, and I'll be able to take them back to Glen Alum and show them where it all began. Miller Town is all but abandoned now, and like my great-grandfather, is only a memory, but the lives that were touched there by Jesus are too numerous to number.

This is the story of my Christian Heritage."































NOTE:

Our special thanks to Chad, Charlotte's son for giving us a little piece of the history of Glen Alum in his story.

I have created an album for Miller Town in the first Album on the front page of this web site. I only have a few pictures of Miller town residents. If anyone has other pictures or information concerning Miller Town I would be happy to include them on this page.


The picture used as the background was taken by Terrie Richardson and published in the Williamson Daily News on July 27, l995.

The church and the John and Kessie Miller home place have been completely torn down.