Charles & Belle Miller

Charles Henry Miller was born in Livingston County, Illinois in 1872, the son of Robert and Roberta Miller. He was a member of a large family, having seven brothers and four sisters. Charles grew up in Livingston County.

Charles Miller came to Granville, McHenry County, North Dakota in the spring of 1900 and, with Tom Barnes, who was already there, he dug wells that summer. He returned to Illinois in the fall and, in the spring of 1901, he shipped an immigrant car, carrying his horses, corn, a walking plow, some farm tools, a stove, and some household articles, to Granville.

He homesteaded on land eight miles southeast of Granville. He later gave that up, and contested land five miles south and a mile west of Granville, where he made his home. Charles broke sod for himself and for the neighbors. He built his first house in 1902 and, in 1909, he built a larger one.

May Belle Smith was born in Van Buren County, Michigan in 1871, the daughter of John and Helen Smith. She had three brothers, and was the only girl. She grew up in Van Buren County.

Belle, her brother, Albert, and her father, came to Granville in the spring of 1902. Belle and her father homesteaded on land six miles south and a mile west of Granville, which was one mile south of Charles Miller's home.

Romance developed between the two neighbors, and they were married on October 3, 1903. They had only one child, Roy, who was born on July 4, 1904.

Charles and Belle planted trees, and put up several farm buildings. Charles acquired more land and, at one time, he farmed for his father and for his sister, both parcels two miles from home.

Charles bought his first car in 1915. It was a Model T Ford touring car. Roy attended the country school through the seventh grade. In 1917, the country schools were closed, and the pupils were bused to the Granville school, so Roy graduated from Granville High School.

Charles and Belle took part in various township and community affairs. Charles was clerk of the Simcoe Farmers Telephone Company, and director of the Farmers Elevator in Granville. He was clerk of Granville Township.

During World War I, Charles sold War Bonds, which were known as Liberty Bonds. He also collected for the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other charitable organizations.

In 1927, Charles bought his second Ford, a DeLuxe Model T four-door sedan. In the spring of 1940, he bought his first tractor, for which he traded in his horses. His son then took over the majority of the farm work, farming four quarters. During the winter of 1942 and 1943, Roy spent four months in the army. In 1944, a combine was purchased.

On January 3, 1950, Charles Miller passed away on the farm that he had built. Roy and his mother continued to live on the farm until she died in 1959. Roy kept farming until he married Selma Freeman in 1964, and they both moved to Granville.

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