Francis William Clarence Miller

Male 1896 - 1961  (~ 65 years)


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  • Name Francis William Clarence Miller 
    Born Fri 16 Oct 1896  Dashwood, Huron County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 2 Nov 1961  Scott Memorial Hospital, Seaforth, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried St. James RC Cemetery, Seaforth, Huron, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I422  Default
    Last Modified 25 May 2020 

    Father William Henry Miller,   b. 17 Mar 1864, Huron County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Sep 1934  (Age 70 years) 
    Mother Anna Regina Held,   b. 23 Apr 1869, Huron South, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Oct 1924  (Age 55 years) 
    Married 1889 
    Notes 
    • Name: William Miller Gender: M Birth: Mar 1864 Place: Huron South 1911 Census
      Name: Annie Held Gender: F Birth: Apr 1868 Place: Huron South 1911 Cenus
    Family ID F885  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Gertrude Burnedetta Young,   b. Sun 18 Apr 1897, Goderich, Huron, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Oct 1950, Scott Memorial Hospital, Seaforth, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 53 years) 
    Married 24 Aug 1924  St. Peter's RC Church, Goderich, Huron, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Type:  
    Notes 
    • Marriage Certificate: Huron 1924 #11681-24 William C. MILLER, 27, farmer, Zurich, same, s/o William MILLER & Anna HELD, married Gertrude B. YOUNG, 27, Goderich twp., same, d/o Henry YOUNG & Frances WILD, witnesses: Daniel MILLER of Zurich & Mary WILD of Bayfield, 20 Aug 1924 at Goderich, Huron County, Ontario, Canada.

      Clarence Miller and Gertie (Young) Miller adopted and raised Peter Etue from Apr 1942- Dec 1950 as Peter's mother Mary Lillian Wild died 28 Oct 1941 and Peter spent Nov 41 to Apr 42 in St. Joseph's Hospital in London.

      Peter was always told that Clarence & Gertie wanted to adopt but Anthony Etue would not agree. What is the real truth.

      Peter recalls attending Gertie's funeral at St James RC Church, Seaforth; a huge church with no heat on and the weather was cold Fall day. Interment was in St James Cemetery, Seaforth.

      Unfortunately Peter Etue could not attend Clarence's funeral as he had just commenced his Basic Recruit training for the Royal Canadian Navy in HMCS Cornwallis, near Digby, Nova Scotia. Clarence was also interned in St James Cemetery, Seaforth.

    • Clarence was born in 1896 and Gertrude was born in 1897

      Clarence & Gertrude married in 1924...he was 28 and she was 27. They did not have any children of their own.

      However Peter came to Clarence & Gertrude farm as their adopted son in April 1942 when Clarence was age 46 and age Gertrude 45. There was a close relationship (friends) between Mary Lillian Wild, Gertrude Young and her mother Frances (Wild) Young.

      Gertude died in 13 Oct 1950 at age 53 in the Seaforth Hospital. At that time children 12 and under were not allowed to come into the hospital to visit anyone! The last time Peter saw Gertrude was from outside her second story window at the the Seaforth Hospital.

      Anthony Etue & Dorothy were married in 6 Oct 1950. In Dec 1950 Peter age 9 was taken back to his father's house in Goderich. Two stories were told first that Clarence was invited to come to Goderich and pick up Peter in Jan 1951 which he never did. (probably Clarence was told NOT to come to Goderich and pick up Peter). Anthony & Dorothy never took Peter back to Clarence either!

      Over the years Peter spent at the Seminary in Delaware Sept 1955 to Jun 1960 he was never able to go back and visit Clarence which is very regrettable for Peter in later life.

      It was very cruel way to treat Clarence after losing his wife in 13 Oct 1950 and his adopted son in mid Dec 1950. The "adopted" part was probably not legal... it was a verbal agreement between Anthony and Clarence & Gertrude in 1942 to raise Peter in their home.

      The other story circulated was that Children's Aid would have removed Peter from Clarence's care as there had to be a woman in the home with a child.

      Clarence died in 02 Nov 1961 at age 65 after Peter had joined the Royal Canadian Navy 19 Oct 1961. Peter could not attend Clarence's funeral. My sister Betty Etue attended his funeral in Seaforth on Peter's behalf. She had a good visit with Clarence's brother Daniel Miller from London.
    • Clarence Miller & Gertie Young lived at 42364 Front Road nearest cross road Hannah Line. Dwight Adams, Retired OPP, lives at #42364 Front Road, Seaforth, Ontario in 2015.
    Children 
     1. Living
    Last Modified 6 May 2019 
    Family ID F125  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    St. James Cemetery, Seaforth, Ontario, Canada
    St. James Cemetery, Seaforth, Ontario, Canada
    At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
    At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
    Gertrude Burnedetta Young circa 1917 abt age 20.
    Gertrude Burnedetta Young circa 1917 abt age 20.
    Later at age 27, Gertie married Clarence Miller in 1924. Both were age 27 at their marriage. They had no children. However after Mary Wild Etue's death in Oct 1941 (age 33) and Peter Etue was discharged from St. Joseph's hospital, London, in April, 1942, Gertie & Clarence agreed to adopt and raise Mary's infant son; Peter Etue. Gertie turned age 45 on 18 Apr 1942... Peter's arrival was a welcome addition to Gertie & Clarence's lives. Gertie's obituary indicates that she had poor health for about 10 years (43-53). In addition she had been hospitalized for a long period before her passing in Oct 1950. It is noted that Anthony Etue did not attend Gertrude's funeral.
    Peter's memories are few between age -1 and 9 but I am confident that Gertie & Clarence did an excellent job of raising me with lots of love and kindness.
    Peter was nine years old when Gertie passed away in Oct 1950 at age 53. Peter's father had remarried in Oct 1950 and he took Peter back to his home in 20 Dec 1950 in Goderich, Ontario.
    Clarence at age 56 lost his wife in Oct 1950, his adopted son in Dec of 1950 and Clarence died in Nov 1961. Life can be cruel at times!
    Peter will always be gratetul for the sacrifices Clarence & Gertie made for me by teaching me the basic values in life. I am a much better person for having Clarence & Gertie in my life as my adopted parents. PFE

    Documents At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
    Private William Clarence Miller, WW 1, Regimental # 3137224
    Private William Clarence Miller, WW 1, Regimental # 3137224
    Western Ontario Regiment, 1st Depot Battalion, London, Ontario
    29 May 1918-18 Aug 1918. Clarence was Attested & Trained for WW 1.
    WW I ended 11 Nov 1918.
    (Wolseley Barracks current home of the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCRs) Infantry).

    Headstones At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.

  • Notes 
    • Obituary: Miller, Francis William Clarence, 65, of Tuckersmith Township, Huron County at Scott Memorial Hospital, Seaforth on 02 Nov 1961. Predeceased by his wife Gertrude Burnedetta Young (13 Oct 1950) and brother Walter (31 Jan 1956) Miller. Clarence was survived by his siblings; Mrs James (May) Ziler, Parkhill; Mrs Alex (Matilda) Boison, Mount Carmel; Daniel (Velma A.) London and Gordon, Crediton and sister-in-law Mrs Louise (Regier) Miller, all in Ontario.
      Clarence was also survived his adopted son Peter Frances Etue of HMCS Cornwallis, Digby, Nova Scotia.
      Prayers at GA Whitney Funeral Home and Requiem High Mass at 10:00 a.m. at St. James RC Church, Seaforth,Ontario. Internment in St James Cemetery, Seaforth, Ontario.
      Anthony Etue did not attend Clarence Miller's funeral. However Elizabeth (Betty) Marie Etue attended on behalf of Peter. Betty and Daniel Miller were friends.
    • Clarence & Gertie Miller farmed at the corner of #42364 Front Road / Hannah Line, Tuckersmith Township, Huron County, Ontario, on a 100 acres farm with a beautiful bush (sap trees for maple syrup) and a spring at the rear of their farm. Lots of elderberries grew here. This farm was on Concession II, Lot 16, and once owned by John Hannah, Deputy Reeve of Tuckersmith Township, Huron County, Ontario. Ref: 1878 The County Atlas.
    • Francis William Clarence Miller, WW I, Regimental # 3137225, Western Ontario Regiment, 1st Depot Battalion, 29 May 1918-18 Aug 1918 at age 21. It appears that Clarence received Military Basic Training in London, Ontario in preparation to go to WW 1, however WW 1 ended 11 Nov 1918.
    • William "Big Bill" Laurence Forrest 1871-1953 by Grace (Forrest)Scott. Big Bill was a farm neighbour of Clarence & Gertie Miller (Peter Etue was adopted and was being raised by Clarence & Gertie and remembers the giant "Big Bill Forrest") in Tuckersmith Township north west of Seaforth. One of the descendants of George Forest and Marjory Cooper was William "Big Bill" Laurence Forest, the eight child of John Forest & Margaret McLeod. Big Bill was one of the most colourful and best known men in the Great Lakes' Ports for more than a half century.

      For 45 years he worked as a dredging contractor out of the Port of Goderich, being associated with the Birmingham Construction Company with his dredge and his tug "W.L. Forrest". He assisted in construction of the Goderich Breakwaters and for years he kept his tug and equipment on what was known as "Forrest Island" and also known as "Ship's Island", in the back part of the Goderich harbour basin.
      Some years ago the Canadian Government took issue with him about the island and in a court action his squatter's rights were upheld and he was awarded a sizeable sum.
      Of huge stature, he stood six feet six inches in height and always wore a Van Dyke beard and a black Stetson hat, he was known far and wide as "Big Bill Forrest".
      Quoting from an article "Death of a Giant" by Professor James Scott, well known Huron County author: "I guess he was just about the biggest man in these parts. He was big all the way through a man with a big heart, a big mind, a big body and one of the biggest visions of this country that any man ever had. On top of it all he wore one of the biggest stetsons I have ever seen on the head of any man. So naturally that is how he got his name".

      Big Bill Forrest was a legend in himself. He, being of the race of giants, was a trail breaker, a man who loved to pit his great strength of muscle, mind and heart against the forces of primitive nature. He wasn't afraid of anything and even the last days the mighty frame, the powerful shoulders and the strong hands were ready for any kind of action. And at the same time, when you sat down with Big Bill for a chat and he wanted to say something particularly important, he would quote poetry to you to make sure you got the point.

      Once at the hotel in Toronto where he always stayed, Big Bill had just closed a deal with some sharp traders who were interested in some mining properties he held. After they left he sat down and thought it over and decided he had been cheated. A great rage possessed him and in his fury he picked you the heavy furniture in the room and smashed it all to smithereens. Then, with the demeanor of a perfect gentleman, he quietly went down to the manager and told him what had happened and said "Put it on my bill".
      That's the kind of fellow he was, a mixture of the mighty Paul Bunyan and the gentle Johnny Appleseed. He was a man who realized that a country like ours has to be opened up by strong, implacable men and he knew too that the gentle arts have to move right in afterwards and bring a proper civilization to the new land.

      And in spite of all his wanderings, all his adventures, he liked this district the best. Not too long ago I had a chance to tell the students at the High School just about the last words Big Bill ever said to me and they are worth repeating now that he is gone. Worth remembering too. We were coming into town on the train and Big Bill looked out on the beautiful lush green and prosperous fields which are our heritage. "Look at that" he said, with deep emotion. "There's the damnedest, greatest country that God ever made outdoors!"