Grover Cleveland Miller

Gene H. Miller

Grover C. Miller was baptized into Christ at Locust Knob in Gilmer County in 1897, at the age of twelve years. He and his wife, Oe, along with his parents, George and Lucinda Miller, and two other ladies, Virginia Belle Nicholas and Sarah Workman, were charter members of the Shock Church of Christ. He served this congregation for 79 years. He was a song leader, Bible teacher, and elder.

I remember my grandfather as a kind and gentle man, well respected by all in the community. I am sure there were times when his patience was tried, but I never once heard him raise his voice, or speak ill to or of anyone. Five of his six sons that lived to adulthood became gospel preachers. 

His oldest son, Gale, dictated the following tribute to his dad about four hours before he (Gale) died. -3281 Rosedale Rd, Shock WV 26638-8410. 1-304-462-0384

A Tribute To Grover Cleveland Miller

(Dictated by Gale Miller on January 25, 2010)

My father, Grover Cleveland Miller, was a “Jack of all Trades,” and he taught me many things. I followed him from a very early age. I followed him into the fields to work, even when I was too small to work. Once, while he was working in the field, I fell asleep. When I awoke, I was at home. My father had carried me home.

He taught me FARMING: when to plow, when to plant, how to build a haystack, how to graft fruit trees, how to raise livestock, how to shear sheep, how to handle horses, how to cut corn, how to cradle wheat.

He taught me to be a CARPENTER: how to frame and build a house, how to paint, how to build a sled, how to half-sole a sled, how to take a white oak tree from a stump and make a chair, how to select a tree and make splits for a split bottom chair, how to operate lathes, drills, and saws powered by a Model T engine. 

He taught me to be a BLACKSMITH: how to operate a forge, how to temper metal, how to strike while the iron is hot, how to fashion useful tools from scrap metal, how to sharpen a mattock, how to sharpen a plow point, how to shoe a horse.

He taught me to be a STONE MASON: how to split and work stone, how to shape foundation blocks from rough stone, how to build a stone wall, how to build a chimney with four fireplaces.

He taught me to be a MILLER: how to operate a grist mill, how to set the burrs to chop grain for feed, how to set the burrs to grind grain into meal, how to take the “toll.”

He taught me to be a BEEKEEPER: how to build a hive from a hollow gum tree, how to hive a swarm of bees, how to recognize the queen, how and when to rob bees.

He taught me to be a CHRISTIAN. I followed him into the church. By his example, he taught me to be honest, to be kind, to show hospitality, to speak evil of no one, to do an honest day’s work for a day’s pay, to always do what is right. He often said, “The Bible is always right.”

He taught me SHAPED NOTE MUSIC. He taught me the rudiments of music, how to learn a new hymn by the shape of the notes, and how to lead singing. 

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my father, Grover Cleveland Miller … my dad … my hero. -January 25, 2010.

(Editor’s note: Brother Gale Miller died January 25, 2010. An article about his life, based on an interview of him by James E. Farley, appeared in the July 2009 issue of West Virginia Christian. His wife of 67 years, Virginia Ruth (Wolfe), preceded him in death.)

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