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NewsObituariesTown TalkBovina Cinco De MayoSenior Steak DinnerHi-Pro100 years

Remembering 100 years

By Lois (Smith) Miller

My father, L. A. Smith, came on a train to the Panhandle with his folks from Michigan in 1909. He rode with the horses in one boxcar while the family possessions were in another. I was born April 5, 1915 on a farm 5 miles north of Hereford in the Progressive community. My grandmother Smith acted as midwife.

When I was 5 years old, I began driving a horse and buggy 4 miles to the Askren School.

At age 9, I trusted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized in a horse tank. We held church services in the schoolhouse. Daddy was Sunday School Superintendent and sponsored singing schools with Stamps-Baxter Music. We were always attending singing conventions around the community.

We moved to another farm north of Dawn, where I helped milk lots of cows and then put most of the milk and cream in 10-gallon cans to ship them on the train.

After grade school in Dawn, I drove a Model A to Hereford High School until I graduated in 1932. I attended West Texas State Normal College in Canyon, working in the Randall Hall kitchen to help pay for room and board.

My family had moved into Dawn and I met Norman Miller at a program in the schoolhouse there. We married in 1935. My mother's maiden name was Miller and she married a man named Smith; I was a Smith and married a Miller.

Norman was a farmer. To survive the dust bowl and the depression, he planted trees (you might still see some of them) along highways around the Panhandle for the WPA. He helped build the new church building in Dawn and became a deacon there.

We raised four children while I taught music and worked in the church and school cafeteria in Dawn. At one time, there were six women named Lois living in the tiny little Dawn, Texas community.

After Norman died in 1960, I finished college at WT and applied to teach school in Farwell. As I was driving through Friona, I noticed how pretty the trees on the school campus were, so I applied here. Mr. Gee hired me the next day. I moved to Friona and taught the 4th grade until 1983.

I was also a Sunday school teacher and helped start the Friona Public Library in the building on 7th Street across from the park. I sang in the church choir and was a member of the Women's Study Club.

I love the people in Friona and remember especially my good friends who have passed on: Wana Brewer, Carmaleet Truitt, Jessie Douglas, and Effie Hicks.

Lois will celebrate her 100th birthday April 5, 2015.