Helen Miller, 1885-1983

Helen Miller, 1885-1983, daughter of Francis Benjamin Miller, age 19
Helen Miller, age 19
Helen Miller, 1885-1983, daughter of Francis Benjamin Miller, with two of her nieces
Helen Miller, age 96, with two of her nieces.


Helen Miller, 1885-1983, daughter of Francis Benjamin Miller and his second wife, Fanny Louise Frodsham, was born in Manitoba on 4 October 1885. She was the second youngest of all the children and never married. Helen died in Los Angeles on 20 February 1983 and was buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

From the Francis Benjamin Miller Family, a short biographical sketch of the family written by Hope Healy Koontz:

Helen did not attend any school until she was eleven years. Her mother had obtained a governness for her children and her oldest sister, Rose, taught Helen and Ruby. Helen finally was able to attend school and by taking a Province Examination she was passed on to one grade above her level. There was only one other girl ahead of her. Gerald drove them to school in a buckboard wagon for one year and the following year Helen drove herself, her sister, Ruby, and her sister-in-law-to-be, Marguerite “Queenie” Pearson, who was later to marry Bernard. The school was a three-mile drive which they drove until the weather registered 30 degrees below zero (-3 Celsius). Their hands became so cold they could not take the bridle off the horse and they would put the horse in the school stable until noon when they could take the bridle off and give the horse some oats. The school had hay for the horses. The school was heated by only a large “potbellied” stove which one of the men near the school would fire up early in the morning. If it became colder, one of the farm hands would drive them, or the horse was put in the livery stable. When Helen was eighteen years, she attended dances and balls with a chaperone and wore an evening dress. The boys wore white gloves and some had cut-away long coats. The orchestra consisted of mostly a piano and violin and no smoking or drinking was allowed. According to Helen, many of the dancers wore evening dress. The commercial travellers said that the ladies of Birtle were the best-dressed, best looking and best dancers west of Portage la Prairie!

Benjamin Miller died in 1901. William died in 1904, from a ruptured appendix, after having been a very well liked person and a great help to the family. He never married. “Rose Vale” was sold and Fanny, Helen and Ruby lived in Birtle for another four years, returned to England for two years, and then settled in Winnipeg. In 1913, they moved to Hollywood, California, where Mrs. Miller died in 1927 and Helen became a church secretary. Helen died in the Episcopal Home For the Aged in Alhambra, California, in 1983.




Related Links
Francis Benjamin Miller, Helen's father
The Francis Benjamin Miller Family, a biographical sketch of the family
Joseph Dundas Miller, Helen's grandfather
Miller family



Pictures of Helen, above, are taken from photocopies of photographs made by Hope Healy Koontz.


Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
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14 Oct 2010
updated 6 March 2014

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