Historical Details

Miller, Frederick Family History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 10/15/2020


by Hedwick E. Heins

Fredrick W. Miller and his wife, Caroline, settled on a homestead 14 miles southwest of Keeline in 1914. This homestead runs across the Muddy Creek.  They had six children; Erick, Harry, Hedwick, Paul, Hulda and Otto, who are all living at this time.

Farming was their occupation and run­ning a few cattle.  Mr. Miller worked away from home a great part of the time, also the two older boys. Even mother took on odd jobs taking care of sick and doing housework. In the fall she would go potato picking.

Our transportation was a team of horses and buggy. There was no tractors, everything being done with horses.  Other land was rented and more farm work done.

Cows were milked and cream sold. There were chickens to help out on the grocery bill and always a large garden. It was not easy going, wages were small and many mouths to feed, but we stayed healthy.

School was a big problem, as there were no schools at first. In the fall of 1915 a small one was built. The summer be­fore we went to school in a dugout, under­ ground. That was owned by a neighbor, Art McGuire, but we were finally rained out.

There was a rainy spell and water came in everywhere.      Then we were moved to a vacant homestead house, which was one small room. School terms were very short.

In 1927 the children all had either married or were out working and the home­stead was sold. Mr. and Mrs. Miller moved to Missouri. Seven years later they returned to Wyoming and rented places for awhile, later moving into Keeline, where Mr. Miller passed away. Mrs. Miller lived in Lusk several years, then later made her home among her children. She passed away in, 1969 at the age of 92.

One of the most outstanding memories of my childhood is the one room homestead shack. There was a kitchen range, which was not a small cracker box made to heat a couple sauce pans, but a big cast iron monster, five or six feet long, with a nickel trimmed oven large enough to bake 8 loaves of bread.  The stove had a fire box large enough to accommodate man-sized sticks of wood (which were hauled from the timber with horses and wagon, a two day trip), while an equally large extension on the back of the stove contained five gallons of hot water (called a reservoir). There were also a large wood box and a coal pail. It was five miles to the nearest spring for water, also five miles to a mail box and 14 miles to Keeline.  

Rattlesnakes were plenti­ful and coyotes made music before a storm. The cellar was the only way to keep food cool.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Miller, Frederick (04/06/1875 - 09/17/1942) View Record
Obituary Miller, Caroline (11/03/1877 - 09/15/1969) View Record