Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Three Grandsons of Newell Miller

Newell Miller was born July 28, 1842 to William and Vashti (Green) Miller in Hartford, Ohio. His father was born in New York, his mother in Ohio. His father William moved to Ohio from New York as a young boy settling in Trumbull, later moving to Ingham County, Michigan. Newell’s grandparents were George and Polly (Seekins) Miller.

Newell enlisted in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment Michigan, Company B on September 9, 1861, to serve for the Union in the Civil War. He was just nineteen when he enlisted as a private. On January 6, 1864 he was promoted to Full Corporal and June 16, 1865 was again promoted, this time to Full Sergeant. He was mustered out on August 17, 1865 in Macon, Georgia.

Newell married Sarah Louise Paddock on May 18, 1867. The direct ancestors of Newell and Sarah, both paternal and maternal lines, were military men, soldiers in nearly every conflict from the founding of this nation. They were members of the earliest militias, fought in the King Phillips war, the American Revolution, some guarding the coast of Rhode Island against Great Britain, the war of 1812 and the Civil War; warriors in the fight for freedom—freedom to worship and serve God as they understood the scriptures.

A number of Newell’s ancestors were founders of the first Six Principle Church in America and founders of the state of Rhode Island and its early colonies; Ezekiel Holliman, Stukely Westcott, Samuel Gorton and John Warner immigrated to America in the 1630’s for religious freedom. Samuel Gorton wrote: "I left my native country to enjoy the liberty of conscience in respect to faith towards God, and no other end." 

One historian wrote that the early government established on Aquidneck Island at Portsmouth (Rhode Island) by Samuel Gorton and associates “operated like leaven in diffusing itself through the minds of the masses and formed the nucleus out of which sprang the Declaration of Independence.”

Eight children are recorded born to Newell and Sarah—five daughters and three sons. Newell moved his family from Michigan to southwest Missouri in the late 1800’s following the Civil War, settling in Newton County near Diamond and Pepsin. Newell and Sarah are buried in Diamond, Missouri.

Claud was the oldest of their three boys, born in 1874 in Ingham County, Michigan and is also buried in Diamond, Missouri. Claud and his wife Nora had six children, two sons, and four daughters. Their first born son and oldest child was Russell James, born in October 1896 in Pepsin, Newton County. He married Anna Willoughby from Jasper County, Missouri in 1916 and they had a son, Malloy Myron Miller, born in May 1917 in Jasper County, Missouri. The family moved to Rocky Ford, Colorado. Malloy grew up in Colorado and served in the United States Army Air Corp in England, North Africa, Italy and Corsica during WWII, enlisting in 1942. He later served in the Air Force Reserve and retired as lieutenant colonel and flight commander in the air army reserve.

Malloy was a graduate of the University of Denver and also Harvard Business School. He was a violinist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra and the Central City Opera from 1936 to 1940. He served on the faculties of the Pueblo Colorado Schools from 1946-1954 and his enlistment records listed his civil occupation as a musician and teacher of music. Malloy went on to receive his M.M. and D.M.A at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.  Malloy studied composition with Horace Trueman, Roy Harris, Nicolas Sionimsky, violin with Henry Ginsburg, Leon Sammintini and Richard Burgin. He served on the faculties of Boston University from 1954 to 1981 and as Associate Dean, School for the Arts at Boston from 1966-1981.  For a number of years a foundation at Boston University awarded the Malloy Miller Prize for composition to students beginning sometime around 1986 to at least 2007 and a number of musicians list the Malloy Miller award/prize in their resumes.

Malloy was a violinist, composer, conductor, teacher and administrator and had an interest in ethnic music, particularly of the Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande Valley. He composed works for violin, orchestra and percussion. Doyle remembers Malloy coming to see his mother Alba at the farm and he remembers his energy; he would drive up, get out of his car and say, “Hi Doyle” and go in to visit with Alba for awhile, come out of the house, “Bye Doyle” and off he’d go. After he left, Doyle said, “Mother laughed and said, ‘That Malloy is always busy doing things.’” 

In an excerpt from an article written and published in the Boston Globe (1981), Malloy shared about a music club where he grew up:

“And with great fondness, an associate BU dean, Malloy Miller, recalls the Monday Music Club in his native Rocky Ford, Colo., the "watermelon capital of America." The club had been organized by a Leschetizky pupil, Mrs. William Steele, whose house served as the local conservatory. The young Malloy had his violin lessons there and the town's more advanced music lovers played through her collection of piano reductions of classical and romantic symphonies. She gave opera reviews to prepare listeners for the Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee broadcasts. As the piano accompanist for the 12-year-old Malloy, she could rescue the parts of Beethoven and Mozart sonatas that were too hard for him, he recalls. Malloy Miller usually shared a program with other students. ‘One pianist, one violinist, one singer, one from each of the town's three music teachers,’ he recalls. The value of a music club concert? ‘Oh, very great. If you just play your lesson, if you just practice scales and etudes by yourself, you turn into a violin hermit. The Monday Music Club concerts gave you a goal to work for, and an appreciative audience.’"

Malloy Miller attained a place in the field of art and music that few achieve.  He produced a number of works, one of them being the “Cloven Kingdom Dance” which was performed by the Paul Taylor Dance Company and in Russia, England, France, Italy and Canada. His composition, “Prelude for Percussion” is mentioned over and over in performances throughout the country and also in Europe. His accomplishments as a composer, conductor, teacher and performer are many and are listed in Boston Composers Project: A Bibliography of Contemporary Music published by the Boston Area Music Libraries (1983). He was a guest conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra and also involved in civic activities and became well known beyond his academic circles.

Malloy was a member of the governing council and vice-president of the New England Genealogical Society and belonged to Societies of Genealogy in Connecticut, central New York and Ohio. He compiled a military history of the Miller lineage including extended family branches which has been a valuable resource in tracing the Miller genealogy.

James Monroe Miller was the second born son of Newell and Sarah. He was born May 31, 1876 in Ingham County, Michigan and is buried in Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. He grew up on the family farm in Newton County, Missouri and attended seminary in Lexington, Kentucky. James married Clara Ranne in Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. James pastored a number of churches in his lifetime, including the First Christian Churches in Neosho and Seneca, Missouri and Christian Churches in Oklahoma. He ministered as an evangelist and conducted many revivals throughout his life. Paul Smith, minister at Redwood Church at Sarcoxie said James was one of the best orators he had ever heard.  He served in the 8th Legislature of the State of Oklahoma representing Ottawa County and served as Oklahoma state secretary of the United Missionary Society. James and his wife were the parents of five children, four daughters and two sons.

Paul Turner Miller, the oldest of their children was born September 1906 in Diamond, Missouri. Paul spent two years at Oklahoma A&M College (Oklahoma State University) before leaving to take a job with The Daily Leader in Okemah, Oklahoma. He later returned to Oklahoma A&M and received a bachelor’s degree in 1931. According to a biography The Energy, Optimism and Determination of Paul Miller, he “…was in motion from the moment he arrived at OAMC.” Years later, “Miller’s generosity led to the journalism building on campus being named in his honor in 1976, and the annual Paul Miller Lecture Series began in 1988.”

He was hired by the Associated Press, Columbus, Ohio office in 1932 and worked in a number of positions within the organization until 1942 when he became chief of the Washington D.C. bureau. In 1947 he joined Gannett Corporation to serve as executive assistant to Frank E. Gannett, the company founder. Along with the executive assistant duties, he became editor and publisher of The Rochester Time-Union in New York and The Democrat and Chronicle. Mr. Miller became president and chief executive officer of Gannett Corporation in 1970. He served on the board of directors of the Associated Press, and also served as President /Chairman of the organization.

Paul Miller achieved a place of honor and respect in the news business. His accomplishments during his career in the news industry were many and his contributions to the field of journalism are reflected in the Paul Miller School of Journalism and Broadcasting at OSU.  He traveled the world and kept company with world leaders, played golf with President Nixon, but it seems that the values that were instilled in him as a child, remained. OSU states that “Throughout his years as a newspaperman, Miller maintained that ‘Our actions must be determined not by mere compliance with state or federal law, not by public attitudes, but on the basis of doing the right thing.’"

Frank Miller was the youngest son of Newell and Sarah Miller. He was born near Pepsin, Missouri May 13, 1883. He grew up on the family farm and married Minnie Virkler near Pepsin in 1907. Frank was a farmer and also a constable for a time. He is described by his grandson, Doyle, as an honest man and he despised all that was socialism.  He and his brother James discussed politics at great length and that same grandson was privy to those conversations as a young boy.

Frank and Minnie had three daughters and Alba Sarah was the oldest—born at Diamond, Missouri on September 16, 1908. Alba was musically inclined and played the piano by ear. When her parents had her begin taking piano lessons, her teacher told her parents if she continued to instruct her, she would destroy her ability to play.  Alba married Lyle Davidson on December 27, 1927.

Lyle and Alba had four children, three girls and one son. Doyle Davidson was born April 1, 1932 near Sarcoxie, Jasper County, Missouri just a few miles from Diamond, Missouri. He was raised in the country and graduated from Sarcoxie High School.  His Dad Lyle was a contractor, a house mover, a carpenter and a part-time farmer.  Lyle’s business took him all over the state of Missouri and also Oklahoma and Doyle grew up working and traveling with his Dad. From an early age, Doyle determined that when he got old enough, he was leaving “…this place” and he did just that. After graduating from Sarcoxie High School in 1950, he joined the United States Navy and reported for duty in January 1952, with plans to see the world. He married Patti Tinkle June 5, 1952 in California while stationed at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego.  He then served seven months as the Senior Hospital Corpsman on Ward 74 A, a neurosurgery ward at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland. He received orders for Yokosuka, Japan and served 27 months there. He sent for Patti and his baby daughter Kathy Jane, (who was born seven days after he was shipped out) and they joined him in Japan until he returned to the States.

Following his military service, Doyle became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, specializing in equine medicine after graduating from the University of Missouri, School of Veterinary Medicine. Following his graduation he spent a few months practicing in Tennessee; a place well suited to his career plans as an equine practitioner. Due to his wife’s health issues exacerbated by the climate in Tennessee he moved his family to Texas, knowing in his heart it was God. Less than five years later he had built a state-of-the-art hospital and brought in a partner. His reputation as a knowledgeable and successful veterinarian developed quickly and he had clients from all over Texas and the continental United States and Canada. Many of his clients and friends were people of influence in their communities and they had great respect not only for his expertise, but his honesty and integrity.

And then God intervened in his life.

In August 1958, just before Doyle entered veterinary school, God had visited him one afternoon while he was rotating the tires on his car. The presence of God fell on him, overshadowing him and said, “I don’t want you to be a veterinarian, I want you to be a minister of the gospel.” He said he knew fear that day like he had never known, nor has since; he said all could do as he sat there in the street was pray, “Lord don’t send me to hell, Lord don’t send me to hell.” However, he didn’t obey God and went on to become a veterinarian, God obviously blessing him in all that he did, “Even in my rebellion God caused great miracles on horses I treated.  I was amazed at how horses would respond to my treatment and I knew it was God that was healing; I wouldn’t tell anyone, but I knew within me.” 

God began moving into his life about 1968, in a more earnest way;  he had begun to read the bible, searching the scriptures and he knows now, an angel of the Lord began riding with him in the right front seat of his car and asking him, “When are you going to preach the gospel?” His Dad had told him, all his life, he would have to preach to gospel one day.  Those words were distressful for Doyle to hear. He had grown up reading the bible and he saw the persecution God’s servants endured and it was disconcerting for a young boy. He also thought preaching the gospel meant he would have to be like the preachers he had grown up around and he did not want that.  When he was eighteen he asked his Dad if he could stop going to church because “it wasn’t doing me any good.” His Dad said, “Well if it isn’t doing you any good then you ought not go.” But it was God speaking out of his Dad’s mouth, telling him he would have to preach the gospel, God had ordained it:

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

He completed construction of his veterinary hospital in January 1968 and by April the accompanying horse stalls were finished.  Dr. Butler joined him as a partner in June 1969 and that same month Doyle asked the Lord to sell his share in a corporation that he no longer wanted to be involved in. “If this is you that has been bugging me all these years, if you will sell my share, I will do whatever you ask.” Within hours, God had sold it and Doyle was quite pleased, ready to find another project that interested him. Two weeks later in July, the Lord told him to sell his hospital and practice—Doyle flatly told him, “I’m not doing that.”

 “Well you said you would do what I ask.”

“Well it didn’t include that.”

But he did sell out; January 2, 1970 he drove away, not without some tearing of his heart—he was thirty-seven. Over the next few months, God was convincing him that it was God, despite everyone he knew thinking he had gone a little crazy, or was having some kind of a mid-life crisis, even his own family.  Doyle had achieved much of his heart’s desires in a few short years, and there was just one other position that interested him—the position of Director of Clinics at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. After he had sold his hospital, he talked to Dr. Ebert, the Director of Clinics who had acknowledged in Doyle’s presence that he had been grooming him to take over his position. For Doyle, that seemed to be the next logical step. However, God brought that to an abrupt halt; Dr. Ebert was killed in a farm accident. Doyle had gone as far in his profession as God was going to allow him to go. Only the Lord knows the effect the death of his friend and mentor had on him. He learned the scripture in Isaiah 43 was true:

4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

Growing up he had been taught about the rich man in Luke 12:

17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

He knew in his heart he had to obey God or he would be destroyed. God showed him Hebrews 12:9:

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

The word tells us in Proverbs that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and Doyle had a fear of God that few had. He saw those scriptures and actually believed them; he wanted to live, he had no desire to die. His Dad, Lyle Davidson had shared with him how God had showed him hell three times, taking him down to the very gates of hell, and he told him, “Doyle, I saw people in the flames that I knew. I was not only born again, I was converted.”

God took Doyle’s life and changed him. He became a servant of the Father and the Lord Jesus and a servant to God’s people. God gave him a promise that he would have a ministry “…that covers the earth as the water covers the sea” and God fulfilled that promise.

Considering these three grandsons of Newell Miller, it is remarkable the parallels there are in their lives. Energetic, ambitious and determined to make their mark in the world—they did. They reached the top in their respective professions. Their success gave them access to the finer things in life and favor with influential people; they received much honor from men.

But God’s plan for Doyle’s life was beyond anything the natural world could offer and the honor of God on his life is above anything that men could bestow. As Noah had found grace in the eyes of God, so it was with Doyle, he found grace in the eyes of God and we, the Body of Christ are partakers of that grace. Grace, unmerited favor…

It has taken forty years for God to convince Doyle that He has raised him up to lead His people, by His Spirit in these last days and He is convincing His people that Doyle is His man, for this hour.

God Bless,
Kathy Currier

Sources: Miami Daily News and Record; Neosho Daily News; Neosho Times; Boston University; Making Music in the Morning by Margo Miller, Globe Staff (Boston Globe Mar. 22, 1981); The Boston Composers Project; Oklahoma State University (

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