MAXWELL, Margaret (1923)
Margaret Maxwell Miller was a granddaughter of Charles Livingston
Margaret Maxwell Miller - Life Sketch and Tribute
Life Sketch by Jeanetta Garner (additional info from Margaret’s memories) given at Margaret Millers funeral Jan 9, 2010
Good afternoon, Brothers and Sisters, children and family, and friends of Margaret Miller. I would like to thank you all for the honor and privilege of giving her life sketch as she has written it, with a few comments and thoughts of my own.
Margaret Maxwell Miller was born Feb. 11, 1923, in Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake city, and died Jan 4, 2010 in Meridian Idaho at The Complex Care Hospital and would have been 87 years old next month. She was the youngest child and only daughter of Angus Maxwell and Hazel Livingston Maxwell, joining 2 older brothers, Arthur and Daniel.
The year before Margaret's birth, her dad, Angus, got a job as manager of a large cattle ranch in northern Nevada, owned by the Kearns Corporation. The ranch ran about 1500 mother cows. Margaret writes that it was quite an interesting life! The ranch was about 60 miles from Elko, Nevada and back then, the roads were mostly rough, dirt roads. She writes that the winters were long, and they were snowed in nearly every winter from mid -December until April. Everyone knew what to expect, so were always well- prepared. She and her brothers rode about 3 miles to school horseback. She writes that it was pretty tough climbing on a horse when it was 20 below zero! She writes that sometimes they would get caught in a blizzard and couldn't see, but the horses would take them home, and usually her dad would come looking for them. She writes that the Lord must have blessed them, for they didn't have any bad experiences!
Margaret's father served a mission for the LDS Church, and upon his return, he and Hazel were married in the Salt Lake Temple for time and all Eternity. But, Margaret writes that the ranch was so remote that they didn't get to church in town very often, so as children, she and her brothers had very little religious training. They had wonderful parents who taught them important virtues such as honesty, how to work, right from wrong, and they knew they were really loved. And the children were taken to be baptized in Elko even though, then, they knew little of the Gospel.
When Margaret was 9 years old, Lawrence Miller entered the picture. Lawrence went to work for Pop in 1932 he had been working for Moffits, a big cow outfit, all the cattle had to be moved out of the area in 1931 because there was no hay. In 1932 they had to be brought back in the spring. Pop met Lawrence through Moffits and hired him to come work for him. He worked for 2 years and then moved back to Arnie County, Oregon and finished high school and then joined the Army in 1936. He enlisted at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake and was to Schofield Army base on Oahu which is just out of Honolulu. He was in the infantry. One day while he was out on maneuvers, the army had a gun set up about 2 miles off the beach. He had 7 men with him and they saw a Japanese soilder up on the hill. He had his binoculars sitting at a little table looking at the ships in the harbor, Lawrence walked back about a half mile and told the Major that it should be looked into but they didn’t pay any attention. He played on the football squad and got to play in most of the games. 1937 was his best year on the 21 st infantry squad. He was on the all star squad and played left guard and he played against the other squadron teams. He was in the service for 28 months and then went back to North Fork to work for the Maxwells. He came to work for her dad, and she writes that although he was just a kid, he could do a man's job. He stayed a couple of years, then left to finish his education. He had been out of school about 5 years by then. Then in 1939,Pop told Margaret that he had heard that Lawrence Miller was back in the country and that he was going to see if Larence would come to work for him because he was such a good worker. Margaret said that was the best news that she had heard in a long time because she had fallen in love with Lawrence when she was nine years old. She kept house for her dad after her mother died and did the washing and the house cleaning and also helped the cook during the hay season. There were about 4 full time hands on the ranch year round and during the summer Pop had about 20 extra men. Northfork, Nevada was about 5 miles from the Kearns ranch and had a post office and a store and a dance hall and a saloon.
For years her mom Hazel did the cooking and her sisters Margaret and Annie would come out in the summer and help with the cooking. They never married. They later hired a cook but Hazel's sister Margaret came every summer until Hazel died. She was a school teacher in Salt Lake for 1st grade for about 35 years. When Margaret was sent to Salt Lake City to go to high school at East High she lived with her Aunt Margaret. One of Margaret’s girl friends invited her to go to Mutual and she went two or three times. They asked people to give the prayer in alphabetical order. Margaret's friend's last name was Jacob and so she figured she could listen to her pray and get an idea of what to do but when they asked her friend to pray, she said she had prayed the week before and so Margaret was asked to pray. She had never prayed before and stumbled around and tried to do her best but she was humiliated and never did go back.
She was home from her junior year in school from Salt Lake and she and Lawrence had a great time that summer and they went to picnics and dances rodeos. Margaret went back to Salt Lake for her last year of school and she and Lawrence wrote to each other. After she graduated from East High she went home to the ranch. Lawrence and Margaret were married the 30th of August 1940, she being 17 and he 27. They just stayed on and kept working for her dad. They were there until the place was sold in 1942. They continued to live in that area until 1961, when they moved to Oregon. By this time, the Millers were blessed with 5 children, 4 girls, Fran, Margie, Cheryl and Wilma, and 1 son, Larry.
They worked at several different ranches in the area. Lawrence worked for Bing Crosby twice. Lawrence was running the Kearns ranch when Bing Crosby bought it. Jeanetta Garner remembers hearing Lawrence and Margaret tell about working as a ranch manager for Bing Crosby, who was the owner or part owner at one time, of that same Kearns ranch in Nevada that Margaret's father managed in the 1920s. They have lived a colorful life and mingled with some of the Hollywood greats of that time. Bing Crosby would bring his friends from the movie industry to the ranch and they would let their hair down and relax and enjoy the peaceful life and enjoy Margaret's wonderful cooking! The Millers came to know many of the actors of that era. I loved Margaret's deep, husky voice, and chuckle, which reminded me of a leading lady in a Humphrey Bogart movie..."come with me to the casbah!!!"
In 1947, while they were still living in Nevada, they met a wonderful LDS family who sent the missionaries to see the Millers. Lawrence accepted the Gospel message and in 1961, he and 3 of their children were baptized. However, the ranch in Oregon was very remote, so church activity was hard to come by.
They stayed at another of Newt Crumbley’s ranches for a year until he sold that one too and then they went to the Stephen’s ranch which was owned by Dr. Stevens, who was Bing’s Doctor. He was a very prominent surgeon from Los Angeles. Lawrence managed the Stevens ranch for 12 years. When Dr. Stevens remarried his new wife wanted to change everything and the atmosphere wasn’t the same and they didn’t want to raise their children in that atmosphere.
Lawrence heard about the White Horse ranch where he had lived as a child. He interviewed for the job with a man whom he had lived with off and on during high school. Lawrence and Margaret managed the White Horse Ranch for 4 years in southeastern Oregon. Margaret said "when we moved to the White Horse Ranch, we had a cook for the men, but I filled in quite often when the cook had time off, or just between cooks! It was hard to find cooks in those days!"
After the White Horse, they moved to the Roaring Springs Ranch, in French Glen, Oregon. It was a huge ranch! He was ranch manager for another 4 years. They ran 5,000 mother cows and 4 bands of sheep (approx 4,000 head) . At the headquarters, there were always 5 or 6 hired men, and they were out so far from civilization, that many times, when someone came by, they were always invited to eat, so you might end up with 10 or 12 extra for a meal! Lawrence always tried to keep a hired cook,but it was difficult. Most women cooks didn't like to live so far from town...75 miles to Burns!! And the men cooks were all alcoholics!! Many times Lawrence would wake Margaret at 5 a.m. saying, "Mom, the cook is drunk... you're going to have to cook breakfast!" And while they lived there Margaret had to drive 60 miles a day to get the kids to school and back!
Margaret writes that she got lots of cooking experience when they were working on the ranches. While in Nevada, they worked 12 years on a ranch owned by a doctor. There were always 3 or 4 regular hands and during hay harvest time, there could be 12 or more. 3 of their children were born there, so Lawrence would hire a temporary cook during her confinement; but most of the time, Margaret was the cook!
From these experiences, we can tell why Margaret attained the cooking skills she possessed and the acclaim she has received for those delicious pies!! They became legendary!!
In 1968, the Millers moved to Caldwell, Id. and Lawrence went to work for Simplot for ten years. He worked with the feed lot. Lawrence and Margaret's hearts desire was to get a place of their own, so in 1973, they bought 80 acres of land in Parma, Idaho, and Lawrence continued to work for Simplot until 1980. They had about 60 head of cattle and also milked about 15 cows. They stayed there for 23 years. Soon after they moved to Caldwell, in about 1970, a lovely couple, Merlin and Roma Christensen, came to visit Margaret and Lawrence. Their purpose was to meet and welcome them, and invite them to come to church. Although Lawrence had to work on Sundays at that time, Margaret started attending church services and loved it!! In 1980, Margaret and Lawrence received their endowments and the sealing ordinance which binds them eternally.
Margaret's service in the church began with a call to be the luncheon chairman in the Relief Society, followed by Relief Society secretary. She writes that it was a wonderful learning experience for her, as she had no idea how much the Relief Society did!! She served as secretary a second time with a leadership change, then as second counselor in the Relief Society.
Her next call was to teach in Primary, the 8 and 9 yr, olds in the Valiant A class. As she loved children, she loved that calling! After that, she was called to be the first counselor in the Relief Society.
Lawrence grew in the gospel, too. He was called to be the assistant to the High Priest Quorum and later, he served as the High Priest Group Leader. Margaret was called to work in the Boise Idaho temple in the 1980s, where she served as an ordinance worker for 4 years.
In 1997 they sold the property and moved to Nyssa, Oregon. This home was next door to their oldest daughter and her husband, Fran and Bob Ebbers. Here they kept about 10 head of cattle which were at Fran and Bob’s place.
Then in 1997, they sold their 80 acres in Idaho, and bought a beautiful place on Rock Springs Canyon Road, overlooking a lovely view of the road to the Owyhee Dam, and surrounding farm land.
No life sketch of this wonderful couple would be complete without mentioning the special and unique honor bestowed upon Lawrence, induction into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame! How well-deserving , for Lawrence has spent his entire life in the ranching industry, and "buckarooing," living and loving a lifestyle that is almost forgotten today. Many young men have been mentored and tutored by Lawrence, just as he was by his future father-in-law, Angus Maxwell. The Hall of Fame ceremony took place in Winnemucca, Nev., and many of his family and friends were there to share in the tribute. The honor was to both Lawrence AND Margaret, for it was always Margaret and Lawrence and Lawrence and Margaret, always working together and supporting each other their entire lives!
Margaret had many talents. She was an accomplished cook.(You will find a recipe or two on the memorial program. She loved to fish and was very good at it. (See pictures on display.) She was an excellent seamstress and made many things, including a daughters' wedding dress. She was accomplished in all the homemaking skills and even took classes to become a Home Ec. teacher. She was as at home on a horse as she was in the house. (See pictures on display). She had a talent for touching hearts, and the 2 of them made lifelong friends wherever they lived.
Margaret closes her life sketch with these words... "Here we are in the Owyhee Ward! We feel very blessed to be members of this ward, surrounded by such wonderful, caring people!"
Now, The rest of the Story, written by the kids:
Late in 2005, Dad fell and broke his hip, and their whole life was turned upside down. They were forced to sell their much-loved home, and move to Park Place Assisted Living, in Nampa, Id. Dad passed away on Jan. 5, 2008. Mom remained in Nampa until her passing, Jan. 4, 2010, so she could join him forever! Margaret (Marty) was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Art and Dan, her sisters-in-law, Lois and Dorothy, a son-in-law, Fred Peters, and her husband, Lawrence. She is survived by her 5 children, Fran, Margie, Cheryl, Wilma, and Larry, her sons-in-law Frank Skinner, Bob Ebbers, and Dennis Searle, 15 grandchildren, 31 Great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, and the most awesome friends anyone could hope for, including 2 very special friends from her childhood, Jane Lawson and Lowell Martin.
- God saw that she was getting tired
- And a cure was not to be
- So He put His arms around her
- And whispered "Come with Me."
- With tearful eyes we watched her suffer
- And saw her fade away.
- Although we couldn't bare to lose her,
- We could not bid her stay.
- A golden heart stopped beating
- Hard working hands laid to rest....
- God broke our hearts to prove to us
- He only takes the best.
I believe I speak for all of us here, when I extend our love and appreciation to you individually and collectively, for the privilege it has been to have them as friends , neighbors and examples. Thank you for sharing them with us! May God be with you and comfort you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Tribute to Margaret Maxwell Miller
by son-in-law Frank Skinner Jan 9, 2010
I joined the Miller Family in 1964 when Margie and I were married. Lawrence and Marty were not happy campers about it either. They thought we were way to young and their were rumors that my reputation was a little tarnished. Most — well - some anyway wasn't true. When I went to work for Lawrence at Roaring Springs as the mechanic, their opinions began to change. Anyway I hope so.
When I think of Marty, the main thing I remember about her was that she was always working. One of her responsibilities, besides being the backup cook when there was an emergency with the hired cook, was cleaning the owner's home when he came up from California. lie was a retired military man and was known to put on his white gloves and check the cookhouse to see how clean it was. Consequently Marty was more than a little nervous about how clean his home was. One side of the house had windows from ceiling to floor so Marty would polish and shine those windows a lot. There were a couple of big black nasty tomcats on the ranch and every time she would get those windows just so, the cats would come along and mark their territory on them. One day after this had happened Marty just happened to see one of those cats up in a tree by their home. She just very calmly walked into the house got out the 22 rifle, stepped out the door, and shot the cat. She was always a really good shot. Lawrence nicknamed her 'Dead Eye Dick'.
Margie told me about one time in Nevada they were out deer hunting when they spotted a buck running across in front of them. Marty aimed and shot and the deer kept on running. Lawrence in a very shocked voice said, "Mom I think you missed him" - so she pulled up and shot again. The deer went down. When they hung the deer up to skin him out they discovered he had been shot twice in the same spot.
In Nevada, they also use to go to turkey shoots, back when it was still legal to shoot guns at the targets, to try and win a turkey. It wasn't uncommon for Marty to out shoot most of the men. Marty always had a large garden and did lots of canning. She was also a beautiful seamstress. As with most everything she did, she was definitely a perfectionist when she sewed.
Whenever anybody needed help she was always ready and willing. When our son was born, Marty came all the way from Caldwell to Crane. Ore. to help me out while Margie was in the hospital and of course stay a few days to spoil the new baby. The night Margie was in the hospital, Terri, our daughter was sleeping with me. When I woke up she was gone. I found out later that Terri was crying in the night and Marty had to come in and get her because I didn't hear her. Is it any wonder she came to help?
After Marty had grandkids she suddenly became known as Nanna to the whole family. Not just the Grandkids called her that but her kids and her in-laws called her Nanna.
In later years we were privileged to go on an Alaskan Inland Passage Cruise and Train Trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks with them. It was great to get to spend so much time with them and I think they had a wonderful time. We also took them to Maui, Hawaii and had a great experience. On the flight home Marty was struggling with the close quarters and straight back seats on the plane. She said that she walked all the way home from I Hawaii. We got to travel quite a lot with them. We went to reunions and several events with them. But the most important trip we took with them was in 1980. We climbed onto a bus very late at night in Caldwell and traveled with Lawrence and Marty and their Ward friends to the Idaho Falls Temple. We were able to go through the temple with them for their first time and then they were sealed together for time and all Eternity.
I am so grateful for Heavenly Fathers plan for Eternal Iife, and that Families can be together forever. I know that Marty is now with her Eternal Companion. What a glorious reunion that had to have been. I am also grateful that she has no pain and is at peace now.
One of my favorite things about Marty was her delicious shrimp salad along with the rest of her great cooking. Marty had an Estate Planning book and when Margie & Fran found it, they found it to be mostly blank except she had planned her funeral. One of her requests was she wanted me to talk, along with the others that are speaking today, lots of music and a very short service. So I am more than happy to follow her wishes and not talk too much. I just want you all to know that I loved her very much and I am going to miss her a lot. Goodbye for now Nanna. Until we meet again.