Scott County, Tennessee
FNB Chronicles

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Will J. Miller: a library in his honor

Will J. and Ellen Miller

On Friday, May 4, 1990, the library of the newly renovated Burchfield School was dedicated in honor of WILL J. MILLER, an outstanding Scott Countian who lived and worked in that area of Scott County which is now part of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

The dedication of the library, along with the presentation of a portrait of WILL J. MILLER and a plaque to be placed in the new library, were made by County Attorney TOM PHILLIPS, who made the following remarks:

"I have been given a very special honor today in that I have been asked to dedicate, on behalf of the people of Scott County, the library of the newly renovated Burchfield School in honor of an outstanding Scott Countian, WILL J. MILLER.

"WILL J. MILLER and his wife, ELLEN MILLER, exemplify the dedicated pioneer spirit which recognized the importance of education of the children of Scott County even in the face of difficult circumstances.

"WILL J. MILLER was born December 4, 1895, married his wife ELLEN in 1919, and died on February 8, 1980. He was a lumberman, logger, dairy farmer, and school bus driver. He and his wife ELLEN lived and worked in the No Business and Station Camp areas of what is now the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

"Although he was not an educated man in book learning, he was certainly a learned man in how to live an honorable life, how to raise a good family, and how to ensure that the educational opportunities he did not enjoy would be provided to his children and to all Scott County children.

"When WILL J. MILLER was a young man, he insisted that a school be provided to the children who lived in the mountainous and rugged gorge area of the Big South Fork where he lived and worked. To that end, in 1929 and again in 1933, he gave the land to Scott County for the establishment of schools on No Business Creek and at Station Camp Creek. Not only did WILL J. MILLER give Scott County the land on which to build the schools, he provided the lumber for the building of the schools and most of the labor which went into the school buildings themselves. WILL J. MILLER was also the first school bus driver in the area now encompassed by the Big South Fork Park, driving a wooden school bus around the mountain ridges of No Business and Station Camp creeks.

"When the United States Government condemned the land for the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, the Government requested that Scott County also convey to the Government the property on which the No Business and Station Camp Schools formerly were located. The Scott County Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners for Scott County, by appropriate resolutions, determined that the money received from the United States Government from the purchase of these two school properties should properly be used in a manner which would honor WILL J. MILLER for his dedication to education by using these funds to equip the new Burchfield Library.

"This newly renovated school now serves the children formerly served by the No Business and Station Camp Schools, as well as other one room schools, and WILL J. and ELLEN MILLERís son, LILLARD MILLER, is the elected representative of the Scott County School Board for the district which encompasses these old area of the Big South Fork and the Burchfield School.

"We Scott Countians who profess to be interested in education and educational opportunities for Scott County children can learn a lot from the example set by people like WILL and ELLEN MILLER, who not only professed to believe in education, but who contributed to education by the sweat of their brow, by giving away their land so school buildings could be built, and by requiring their children to attend school even if it was a one room school with a potbelly stove.

"WILL and ELLEN MILLERís children are LAURA MILLER BOYATT, HESTER MILLER KIDD, LENORD MILLER, EVA MILLER PAYNE, LORENE MILLER PHILLIPS, ELIZABETH MILLER HARRIS, LILLARD MILLER and JUANITA MILLER PERRY. In addition, WILL J. and ELLEN MILLER have thirty grandchildren, fifty-four great-grandchildren, and ten great-great-grandchildren."

(Ellen Miller resides in the Black Oak Community and was to have celebrated her 97th birthday September 24.)

FNB Chronicle, Vol. 2 No. 1 Ė Fall 1990
First National Bank
P.O. Box 4699
Oneida, TN 37841

Scott Co, TN Homepage

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