Ethel May Miller
- Born: 20 Nov 1899, Liberty Township, Putnam County, Ohio
- Marriage (1): William McKinley Coller on 19 Jul 1917 in Flint, Michigan
- Marriage (2): Edward Nelson Welsh on 23 Sep 1930 in Toledo, Ohio
- Died: 31 Jul 1973, Armada, Michigan at age 73 2
- Buried: Bruce-Armada Cemetery, Romeo, Michigan
Coller - Miller Marriage Announcement
Mr. and Mrs. John Miller of 1422 Richfield Road, entertained the Twentieth Century class of the Central Christian church Friday evening at their home to announce the marriage of their daughter Ethel May and William Coller. They were married by Rev. L. H. Hayes of the Kearsley Park Evangelical church on July 19. Mrs. Coller attended the Flint high school, was graduated from the normal and is now teaching. Mr. Coller's home is in the northern part of the state (Snover), but he has lived some time in Flint, now being employed at the Buick. Both are active workers in the Bible school and young people's society of the Christian church. They will reside at 1422 Richfield road.
Ethel Miller and William Coller were married on July 19, 1917. A 1917 plat map shows William owned 40 acres adjoining his father's land. Just north of William's original 40 acres was an additional 40 acres owned by Jesse Coller. On November 8, 1918 William received a check for $3836.77 from Commercial State Bank. Around this time William bought Jesse's property giving him a total of 80 acres according to a 192x plat map. It appears that the money from the bank was used to buy Jesse's property. Eldon was born September 19, 1919 on the farm and this is where the family lived in the 1920 census. When Ethel and Bill got married, he went back to the farm in an attempt to make the property livable. The home was a broken down building and the land was not good farmland. William, Ethel and Eldon ended up moving in with her parents at 1422 Richfield Road (now Davison Road). Harvey, Ethel's father, built a dormer on his house and a room in the attic where they could live. William was working at the Buick plant in Flint and selling insurance. Eldon came down with polio in 1925 and was on the road to recovery in 1927. In 1927 the family was living at 214 W. Dartmouth Street in Flint and William was selling insurance. Their marriage ended when Ethel divorced Bill in 1929. She then married Ed Welsh in 1930.
Ethel Miller was a school teacher. She attended Genesee County Normal School in Flint, Michigan and received her diploma on June 22, 1917. It took a while to receive her education due to the fact that she could not be on a normal schedule - going at odd hours and on weekends.
A recollection of Alice May Welsh (Davies):
Mom finished high school in Flint at age 17 and was offered a scholarship by the Palmer Pen Company in Ohio. As I remember her talking about this, Mom was selected because she had such perfect handwriting. It was beautiful, flowing, exact, throughout all of her life -- and such perfection made me feel entirely incompetent when I compared my scrawls to her writing. It didn't matter if she was writing a grocery list, a note for school, or a letter, it was consistently perfect.
Her penmanship was as beautifully formed as those penmanship books we used to use in schools. Palmer Pen made pens, but also sponsored a publishing arm that produced the "Palmer Penmanship Method" manuals, used in many schools. When Mom learned she had been offered this scholarship she was delighted, ready to leave for Ohio where she would train as a representatve of Palmer Pen and a trainer for teachers. However, Grandpa thought 17 was too young to leave home, and refused his permission. Instead, Mom attended the "Summer Institute" offered in Flint for training new teachers. By fall, she was assigned her first post in a one-room school at the edge of Flint -- I think that it was called the Dye School.
One summer, when Eldon was about 4 years old he went on a trip with Bill, Ethel and Alice (Ethel's mother). They started in 1923 by driving through Canada to the northeastern states. They headed south from there and toured southern states in 1924. They drove a 1923 Chevrolet Superior Touring Car and the tent could be setup beside the car and include the car interior.
In the late 1920s Ethel took a traveling job selling educational material. She traveled through many of the plains and western states. Eldon Coller recalls perusing her sales samples.
When the Buick plant expanded in Flint, Ethel bought two small, new homes as an investment and rented them to workers. The homes were located in the new Oak Park subdivision located just west of the Buick plant. Neither the plant or the homes exist today.
After her divorce from William Coller, Ethel Miller married Edward Welsh. During the depression they lived in many places. In 1935 or 1936, Edward took Ethel, Alice and Fred to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada to live with his parents for the summer on their small farm. Eldon lived with his grandparents. Edward went back to the states and found work in a tool and die shop. He took a sliver of metal in the eye, which he lost, and received $600 as compensation. This money was used to purchase their first house which was a small, four-room cottage in Saint Clair Shores at 21631 Raymond Street. Eldon lived with the family and his grandparents (Miller). He eventually moved in with the family and stayed there long enough to graduate from Lake Shore High School. Gracie was born in this home. From Raymond Street the family moved to Williams Street near Roseville and south of Mt. Clemens. When WWII was in its early stages everyone was employed or in the military. Edward started working 10-hour days, often 7 days a week, as a tool and die maker helping to manufacture aircraft and other military equipment. At the time Detroit was considered "The Arsenal of Democracy". This work allowed Edward and Ethel to purchase a farm in Armada, Michigan at 1205 North Road in 1942. It was 55 acres and they grew corn, apples and a variety of other fruits. They also kept bees. They had a roadside store where they sold their produce and honey. Edward would also take their produce by truck to stores in the area. Buildings were the main house, large barn, garage for the car, garage for the tractors (two), roadside store, small bunk house for the field workers, corn crib, a small rectangular building where the milk seperator was kept and a quonset style chicken house. There was also a large silo next to the barn. Edward worked in a machine shop to earn money while he was building up the farm.
Ethel May Miller is buried at Bruce Armada Cemetery which is located 4.5 miles west of Armada on Armada Center Road.
There are references to the Miller family living in Flint at 1422 Davison Road and 1422 Richfield Road. These are the same location. Richfield was renamed to Davison sometime shortly after 1914. 3,4
Noted events in her life were:
1. Picture: Kearsley Park Evangelical Church. This is where Ethel Miller and William Coller were married, It is located at 1801 Lewis Place, Flint, Michigan. It is about half a block from the church to the home of the Miller family which no longer stands.
2. Picture: Welsh Family Home: Armada, Macomb County, Michigan.
3. Property, 1920, Lamotte Township, Sanilac County, Michigan. This plat map shows the 80 acres owned by William McKinley Coller where he and Ethel attempted to start a farm.
4. Residence: 214 West Dartmouth, 1927. This was found in the 1927 U.S. City Directory for Flint Michigan. It lists William, Ethel and Eldon living together. William was an insurance agent.
5. Residence: 422 Davison Road, Flint, Michigan, 1931. This was found in the 1931 U.S. City Directory for Flint Michigan. Ethel married Ed Welsh in 1930 and I do not believe they lived on Davison Road. May have been a delay between compiling and printing the Flint directory.
6. Residence, 1934, 484 Brainard St., Detroit, Michigan.
Ethel married William McKinley Coller, son of William Ellsworth Coller and Ada Mary Caines, on 19 Jul 1917 in Flint, Michigan. The marriage ended in divorce in Jan 1929. (William McKinley Coller was born on 5 Aug 1895 in Snover, Sanilac County, Michigan, died on 9 Nov 1975 in Ocala, Marion County, Florida and was buried on 12 Nov 1975 in Highland Memorial Park, Ocala, Marion County, Florida.)
Noted events in their marriage were:
1. Divorce, Jan 1929, Flint, Genesee County, Michigan.
Ethel May Miller and William McKinley Coller were married in Flint, Michigan at the Evangelical Church by Rev. L. H. Hayes.
Ethel next married Edward Nelson Welsh, son of William Pringle Welsh and Mary Mona Nelson, on 23 Sep 1930 in Toledo, Ohio. (Edward Nelson Welsh was born on 8 Sep 1907 in New Castle upon Tyne, England, died on 10 Feb 1984 in Milford, Michigan and was buried in Bruce-Armada Cemetery, Romeo, Michigan.)
Ethel May Miller and Edward Nelson Welsh were married in Toledo, Ohio by a Justice of the Peace on September 23, 1930.