The Miller Children
(Donald's mother, maternal aunt and maternal uncles)
Top left: Amelia Loretta Miller (born February 16, 1884) and Edward William Miller (born January 9, 1882). Photo from tintype, circa 1886.
Top right: The Miller children. Back row: Edward William and Amelia Loretta; front row: Robert and Nellie, circa 1890.
Bottom left: Edward and Amelia Miller.
Bottom right: Amelia Miller and friends. Possibly an 8th grade graduation photo.
Excerpt from Donald B. Johnson manuscript:
"My mother was raised in Eagle Lake Township, just down the hill west of the Grue Church. Her father had a flour mill there, powered by a water wheel turned by the overflow water from Mill (or Middle) Lake. Torgerson Lake was later ditched across to Mill Lake. When the lake levels dropped, they put in steam power, but then the mill burned and was no more. (The grinding stones, made in Belgium, are now in the museum in Elbow Lake, thanks to Ed Fuglie, who rescued them from becoming stepping stones to a house up near Battle Lake.)" [2.2-1]
"Ma used to tell some interesting stories, too, from when she was a kid. John Bemis would bring his family out to the farm at Mill Lake and give her dad a good drink of booze and then fish and hunt all day. Ma's big lament was that they had to do all the dishes and work for the Bemises, who were 'company.'
"One day she and her brothers and sister pulled the Bemis buggy down into a hollow and filled it full of rocks, which made Mr. Bemis awfully mad, but the kids had all disappeared. [2.20-6]
"Another time they got sent to the field to pull weeds (mustard) but the field was near Mill Lake and they got caught sitting on the boat house fishing instead. I guess that wasn't so funny." [2.21-1]
"The year Marj and I were 5 and 8, we took a trip in the brand new 1921 Model T (probably in June) to see both Pa's and Ma's relatives."
"I remember that Ma had bought me new shoes for the trip. They had bows on the toes and I was wretched when I had to wear them. She finally got a pair of pliers and pulled off the bows: then I had two rivet holes over the toes instead, but that was a little better. They still looked like girls' shoes to me, and I think they were." [2.63-2]
"My grandmother lived in her own house at that time and we had chicken dinner there one day. I thought that was the best chicken I ever ate, because she cleaned and cooked the chicken's yellow legs and feet. I thought they were the best part. I have never seen anyone else cook them, before or since."