Frank Wright Miller Roots in the Choctaw Nation Submitted by Frank Cody Miller
Frank Wright “Hiki” Miller, the youngest of ten siblings was born 05-22-1901 in Paris, Texas to Dr. James H. Miller and Ella Josephine Roebuck. He was educated through the Paris, Texas and Antlers, Pushmataha County schools. He received education and training also at New Mexico Military Institute at Roswell, N.M. On 02-11-1923 he married Ruby Maud Barnhill in Antlers, Pushamataha County, Oklahoma. To this union was born two sons, Frank Cody Miller, born 04-16-1924 and Jerry Lee Miller, born 11-21-1927. Jerry died in 1971 in Oklahoma City at the Veterans Hospital. Both Jerry and Cody served their country during World War II. Cody was in the U.S. Marine Corp in the Southwest Pacific and Philippines. Jerry served in the Army, also in the Pacific Theatre. After Hiki and Ruby married, they lived on his allotment adjoining Ten Mile Creek in the vicinity of Miller Oklahoma (Pushmataha County). Will Warren, an Uncle of Dr. Miller, ran the community and store. Jerry Lee was born here and Cody was born in Antlers. At the time we lived at Miller, my father, Frank Wright, was a farmer-stockman and continued to the majority of his life. In the early 30’s he and Ruby were divorced and she and the two boys moved to Antlers. Later on, she remarried to Edgar B. McCrary and they lived in Antlers until his death a couple of years later. Frank Wright “Hiki” never remarried and continued to live in the Antlers area for the rest of his life. During World War II, he lived in McAlester, Oklahoma and worked at the McAlester Ammunition Depot. Prior to that, he farmed in the Eagle Lake Bottom country in Bryan County near Yuba. I must tell the story of how Frank received the name “Hiki”. It seems when he was born, his older brother, J.H. “Jube”, Jr. had been to a carnival. One of the sideshows was an attraction “Hiki, The Wild Man”. When Jube came home and saw Frank Wright he said Frank looked like Hiki, The Wild Man and the name stuck for the rest of his life. Hiki continued to live in Antlers where he had a world of friends as he was well liked. He passed away 03-10-1903. His parents were Dr. James H. Miller, intermarried white #783 and Ella Josephine Roebuck Miller and Calista Feldon Warren. He was orphaned at the age of nine and was raised by his grandparents, the Rev. Henry B. Warren and Nancy King Herndon, also Uncle Will Warren who had all moved to east Texas by way of a stop in Prescott, Arkansas. They eventually settled in the Paris, Texas area. I will continue this information with a quote taken from Thoburns History of Oklahoma Vol. #5. “When Doctor Miller, after attending lectures at Tulane University of New Orleans, established himself for the practice of medicine at Goodland in the Choctaw Nation. He found that a permit from the Choctaw government was necessary. He boarded at the home of former Principal Chief B.L. LeFlore. When Governor LeFlore came home on a vacation from attending the Choctaw council, he asked him to obtain a permit to practice medicine. So, when Governor LeFlore returned to Armstrong Academy, then the capitol of the Choctaw Nation. Seeking out Chief Cole he said he had a young doctor at his home and that he wished to obtain a permit for him. Chief Cole said, ‘do you think he is qualified and alright?’ LeFlore replied ‘yes.’ Cole then turned to Joe Lawrence, who was permit collector and said, ‘Joe, issue him a permit,’ which was done. Lawrence handed the permit to Cole and the latter to LeFlore, saying: “Give him this with my compliments and tell him to make a good citizen and if a Choctaw gets sick, go to see him whether he has money or not and that he will be rewarded. As a slight token of this friendly act, Doctor Miller is now endeavoring to locate Cole’s grave with the view of erecting a suitable monument to his memory. After entering Choctaw politics, Doctor Miller frequently opposed Chief Cole in policies vitally affecting the Nation but in later years, he concluded that he was in error and that Cole was always right. Before he lived in the Choctaw Nation two years, Dr. Miller fell in love with an Indian girl but was unable to marry her under Choctaw laws because he had not lived in the Nation the required two years and could not get the required petition with ten signers testifying to his character. So he and Miss Ella J. Roebuck crossed Red River and were married in the home of Captain Arthur, now on the site of the Village of Arthur City. Mrs. Miller is a daughter of Col. William Roebuck, who filled the offices of auditor and attorney General in the Choctaw Government and was a member of the Senate when he died. Col. Roebuck died before the commission money was distributed and was succeeded by Campbell LeFlore who paid to the Roebuck estate its share of the fee. When later, Dr. Miller was ambitious to enter Choctaw politics, he complied with Choctaw laws and he and Mrs. Miller were married again under those laws. When the enrollment period came, he was enrolled without question as a member of the Choctaw Tribe. “UNQUOTE” wm. Roebuck walked the “Trail of Tears” from Honey Island, Mississippi as a 12 year old, along with his 10-year-old brother Ben and his mother Elsie Beams who carried an infant on her side. Williams’s father, Ezekiel Roebuck died on the way of Cholera. This was a tragic and terrible time in eh lives of the Choctaw. They settled in the Old Goodland area on Roebuck Lake where William met Annie Homer, daughter of John Homer (Homma) who operated a ferry across Red River near the mouth of Blue River. William married Annie and the rest is history. For a more complete history on the Roebucks, please refer to the Roebuck story in this publication by Alice Roebuck Gentry. There were nine siblings in the Roebuck clan. Ephraim, born 01-15-1843 and was killed in the Civil War 04-18-1864. David B., born 11-24-1844 and died 10-24-1896. Molinda, born 10-09-1846 and died 08-20-1888. Lucretia, born 05-02-1848 and died 06-06-1881. Mary Anna, born 12-10-1854 and died 11-24-1919. Ella Josephine, born 11-14-1858, mother of Frank Wright Miller and died 08-23-1929. William, Jr., born in 1862 and died 01-14-1878. There were, also Enoch and Edmond but no dates available. Siblings of Frank Wright Miller in order of birth. Edgar Poe Miller, born 04-01-1878 and died 12-25-1943. Samuel Gordon born in 1880 and died 01-06-1929. Ida Bennett born 07-24-1883 and died 03-15-1913. William Warren born 08-18-1884 and died 12-13-1961. James H. Jr., born 10-12-1889 and died 10-06-1924. Ruby Calista born 03-13-181891 and died 08-10-1971. Edith R. Born 06-12-1899 and died 12-26-1972. Frank Wright Miller born 05-22-1921 and died 03-12-1965.
In closing, I am reminded of the Miller-Roebuck reunion held at the writers Ranch Memorial Day 1983 at Stringtown, Oklahoma. There were in excess of 200 members of this family in attendance. Many are gone now but those still left are reminded to stay in touch and who knows?? Maybe we can have another in the not too distant future. ADIOS.