Saturday, June 26, 2010
Esther Roberta Miller at approximately three years old
The Miller's first child died in infancy. She was named Bernadine and is buried in Jennings, Michigan but that's all we know. Then came Lola, or "Shorty," followed by Ed. Last was Esther Roberta, weighing in at only 4 pounds on January 3, 1920. Her mother said she was so small, they put her in a shoebox instead of a cradle.
When Esther was four, the family moved to Cadillac, Michigan, into a house that her father built. They had a coal furnace, indoor plumbing and electricity, of course, but her father didn't finish the upstairs, where the children slept, until a few years later.
A friendly neighbor, whom they called "Grandma" Markland, had no children of her own and she doted on the Miller children, particularly Esther. Esther remembers Grandma Markland allowing her to do anything and everything she wanted to. Esther also remembers being thrilled when her first grade teacher, Miss Nichol, invited her to lunch at a restaurant in downtown Cadillac.
Since Shorty and Ed were so much older than Esther, they didn't want to play with her. She did have a good friend named Alice and the two girls would play with their dolls together and walk them in their doll buggies up and down the sidewalk. Esther's father, who also had a special spot in his heart for her, made her a pair of stilts to play with.
Looking at the picture of Esther above, it's easy to see how everyone doted on that sweet-faced little girl.
Here's Esther circa 1926 with her By-Lo doll in the doll buggy.