Lenoir Hood Miller (1888-1976) oral history

CD 1 Track 1, Transcript p.1:
Miller, Lenoir Hood, 1888-1976
, Interviewee
Epstein, Ellen Robinson
, Interviewer
Media Type:
Item Type:
Interview of Lenoir Hood Miller by Ellen Robinson Epstein of the Center for Oral History in Washington, D. C. The interview was done in Mrs. Miller's daughter's home on Friday, November 8, 1974.

Early history - Lenoir - parents – grandparents -- North Carolina plantation - cotton - tobacco – large families - Hood's move to Indiana to educate children.

Civil War - father Hood enlisted in 51st Indiana Volunteers - served 4 yrs. Prisoners exchanged.

Her father returned to Greencastle, Indiana and married her mother there. Traded horse and buggy for 80 acres of Iowa farm land near what later became Glidden, Iowa.
Lenoir Hood youngest of nine children and no doctor in attendance. First five died in epidemic.

Lived on an Iowa farm with parents near home of grandparents
Mother wanted an education for nine children - unusual for those days - she was creative, but never robust. One brother a dentist, another went to University of Nebraska. Lenoir eight years younger than her brother Guy - eight years older - she was youngest of all.

She grew up in the town of Glidden, Iowa. Church social center of the town - everyone participated in activities. Cards and dancing forbidden even in 1905 at Grinnell College. No dating in high school, lawn tennis was played mixed doubles. Christmas a church

Picnics, dancing, dating during college years at Grinnell.

Celebrations of Memorial Day in Glidden, Wilmette, Evanston, Chicago. "Daddy Hood" participated in all as a Civil War veteran for his lifetime.

Life at Grinnell for four years, majored in philosophy and history.

December 1904 filed on a claim at Rapid City, S. Dakota - 70 mi. west of the Black Hills. Was graduated at Grinnell in June 1905, returned to "Water Lily Lodge" with her dog "Boots" and for 14 mo. lived in a little shack built by her two cousins from Indiana (who were staking claims also in the same area), on 160 acres. Took train to end of the line in Sturgis, S.D., next two days took a stage coach 60 miles west to her claim.

Taken wallpaper from home for inside and tar-papered exterior by herself. Rode 20 mi. to square dances - stage coach driver was the caller.

Permission to teach children of area. School housed in an unused sod house on an already proven claim.
Had 10 children ranging from a kindergartener to a freshman in H.S. taking Latin and algebra. Lost in a snow storm in winter, taken in by a neighbor. Paid $45 per month - considered good pay - built fence which was promised "improvement" to property.

Met husband on adjoining claim from Rockwell City, Iowa. Became engaged June 1911 and were not married until 1913 due to family deaths and illness in both families.
Parents and nieces moved into an apartment across the hall in Chicago when the Millers married.

Description of their wedding in Glidden, Ia. Came to Chicago where Abe Miller was employed. Six years later the two families moved to Wilmette.

"Bob Cratchett Tale" a Christmas tradition. Life in Wilmette when children were growing-up. Husband's illness, 1929 trip to Mayo Clinic, diagnosis of cancer and need for surgery. Death from "1918 type flu", before operation took place, in Rochester Inn.

Return home and began "Sunshine Corner", after teaching in Wilmette school as a substitute teacher for a year and six weeks summer school at National College of

Philosophy of the little school and practices through the years. Mrs. Miller's community activities. Her philosophy of life; trip to Alaska.

P.E.O. and its support of Cottey College and other college scholarships. Founded in 1869. Admiration for Norman Thomas and Walter Lippman.

N.B. This was taped in Mrs. Miller's daughter's home in November 1974 by Ellen R. Epstein for the Center for Oral History of Washington, D.C. and given to the Wilmette Public Library by the John Miller family since Mrs. Miller's death. This transcription
abstracted by: Rhea S. Adler, August 1984

CD 3 Tracks 3-12 are from a second interview one week later and were transcribed by Amanda Bartlett.
Date of Original:
8 November 1974
Local identifier:
R977.31 MI
Language of Item:
Copyright Statement:
Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Copyright Date:
Copyright Holder:
Wilmette Public Library
Copyright Holder Contact Information:
1242 Wilmette Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091
Recommended Citation:
Miller, Lenoir Hood, and Ellen Robinson Epstein. Lenoir Hood Miller. Wilmette, Ill: Wilmette Public Library District, 1974.
Wilmette Public Library
WWW address:
Agency street/mail address:
1242 Wilmette Avenue
Wilmette, IL
U.S.A. Phone: 847-256-6930
Lenoir Hood Miller (1888-1976) oral history
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