Henry Miller & wife & one child 15 yrs old (Frank)
[By Glen Villa Jr., Last Revised July 17, 2011]

Terrell identities “Henry Miller & wife & one child 15 yrs old (Frank)” most likely represent four separate individuals; Henry Miller, Queenie Miller who was the wife of Henry Miller, Birdie Burris is most likely the 15 year old child and Frank is most likely Frank Miller, the brother to Henry Miller.

Henry Miller was born July 4, 1880 in Amador County, son of Maholly Miller, also called Mary, and a White man. Mary was a full-blooded Indian from AmadorCounty as were her parents. Henry had a brother Frank Miller and a half-sister, Ida Chandler(see Nancy Howdy above). According to the 1910 Census, Henry Miller and his mother were both born in Ione.

Henry Miller married Queenie Wessel in 1898 (1900 Census).Queenie Wessel was born May 19, 1880 to a non-Indian William Wessell and Bettie Peter. Queenie was the stepdaughter of Sam Howdy and was more commonly referred to as Queenie Howdy when referring to her maiden name.

In 1900, Henry Miller was residing with his mother in Township 2 of Amador County. Henry Miller was married to Queenie Howdy and had a daughter Birdie at the time. Henry Miller was born in July of 1880 and 19 years of age, Queenie was 18 at the time indicating a birth year of 1882, and Birdie was born in September of 1899. Henry Miller was employed as a clay miner.

In 1905-1906, CE Kelsey identifies Henry Miller, wife and 1 child living in Union of Amador County without land.

In 1906, Henry Miller was listed in the North Ione Precinct of the Precinct Register of Amador County. Henry was listed as 26 years old.

In 1908, Henry Miller was listed in the North Ione Precinct of the Precinct Register of Amador County. Henry was 28 and a laborer.

In 1910, Henry Miller had his own house with his wife, Queenie, and daughter, Birdie, in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Henry Miller was 29 and Queenie was 28 years old. Henry and Queenie had been married for 12 years. Henry Miller was born in Ione as was his mother. According to the 1910 Census, Henry Miller was a laborer at a clay mine.

In 1912, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Supplementary Index to Registration Affidavits.

In 1914, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits.

In 1916, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Supplement #1 Index to Registration Affidavits.

In 1918, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County.

On September 12, 1918, Henry Miller registered for the Draft. According to the selective service records, Henry was born July 4, 1880. Henry was employed as a farmer for George Winter in Ione. Henry’s nearest relative was Queenie Miller in Ione. Henry Miller was described as medium height, medium build, black eyes, and black hair.

In 1920, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Supplement #1 Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County.

According to the 1920 Census, Henry Miller was residing with his wife Queenie and daughter Birdie in West Ione, Township 2 of Amador County. Henry was 39, Queenie 38 and Birdie 20. Henry was a truck driver at a clay mine.

In 1922, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Henry was employed as a truck driver and was Democratic affiliation.

In 1926, 1928, and 1930, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Henry was employed as a laborer and was Democratic affiliation.

According to the 1930 Census, Henry and Queenie Miller were residing in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County.

In 1932, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Henry was Democratic affiliation.

In 1934, 1936,1938, 1940, and 1942, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Henry was a laborer and Democratic affiliation.

In 1944, Henry Miller was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Henry was a laborer and Democratic affiliation.

In September of 1956, Sylvia Broadbent collected linguistic information from Queenie Miller. The following is from Broadbent.002.017:

Broadbent, Sunday September 9, 1956
1 hr, M + B pd. 75¢
“…Went over to Ione at 6, as arranged, + worked with Mrs. Miller + Mrs. Burris. Went quite smoothly, + friendly relations established. They gave me some acorn gruel to try: chilled, + very tasteless. Also gave me some burned salt to eat with it. Paid them 75¢. I think for all I didn’t get much it was worth staying up here the extra 2 days to establish good relations. Their dialect is the same as Mrs. Darrow, i.e. Northern. Asked after Big Charlie Gomez: told he’s dead, but his grandson lives at Jackson Valley, + may speak same as Big Charlie, i.e. Plains.”

Henry Miller attended the Union School.

Henry Miller and Queenie Miller lived at Irish Hill Road by the Lambden Mine. They also lived where Jim Clifford lived (Northwest of the intersection of Irish hill road and 124). Henry and Queenie Miller worked for the Winter family. At night, Henry and Queenie would load box cars at Clarksona.

Henry Miller died on December 17, 1957 and was buried in the Buena Vista Indian Cemetery.

In 1969, the theme for the Ione Homecoming was “Buckskin and Feathers.” Queenie Miller and Louie Oliver were honored and led the parade.

Queenie Howdy Miller died on October 14, 1975 and was buried in the Buena Vista Indian Cemetery.

Birdie Miller

Queenie and Henry had a daughter named Birdie, born September 21, 1899 in Ione. Birdie married Clarence Burris, son of Frank Burris and Lizzie Smith.

In 1900, Birdie Miller was residing with her parents Henry Miller and Queenie Miller and her paternal grandmother, Mary Miller, in Township 2 of Amador County. According to the 1900 Census, Birdie was born in September of 1899.

In 1905-1906, CE Kelsey identifies Henry Miller, wife and 1 child living in Union of Amador County without land. Birdie Miller is the child living with Henry Miller and wife.

Birdie Miller attended the Union School.

In 1910, Birdie Miller was living with her parents, Henry and Queenie Miller in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Birdie was 11 years old at the time. Birdie was born in Ione.

By 1920, Birdie Miller married Clarence Burris, son of Frank Burris and Lizzie Smith.

In 1928, Birdie Burris was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Birdie was a housewife and was Democratic affiliation.

1930 Census, Clarence and Birdie Burris were residing in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Clarence and Birdie had 3 children living with them at the time. They had been married 10 years.

In 1932, Mrs. Birdie Burris was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Birdie was Democratic affiliation.

In 1934, Mrs. Birdie Burris was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Birdie was a housewife and Democratic affiliation.

In 1938, 1940, 1942, and 1944, Mrs. Birdie Burris was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Index to Registration Affidavits Amador County. Birdie was a housewife and Democratic affiliation.

Birdie spoke the Fiddletown dialect of Northern Miwok and was an informant for the development of the Northern Miwok Dictionary by Catherine Callaghan.

Frank Miller 

Frank Miller was the brother of Henry Miller. Frank Miller was born in 1880 (1910 Census) in Ione.

In 1900, Frank Miller was residing with his mother in Township 2 of Amador County. Frank Miller was 16 years old at the time. According to the 1900 Census, Frank was born in June of 1884.

In 1905-1906, CE Kelsey identifies Frank Miller and mother living in Union of Amador County without land.

In 1906, Frank Miller was listed in the North Ione Precinct of the Precinct Register of Amador County. Frank was 21 years old.

Frank Miller married Elena Walters in 1907. The marriage was the first for Frank and the second for Elena.

In 1908, Frank Miller was listed in the North Ione Precinct of the Precinct Register of Amador County. Frank was 23 and a laborer.

In 1910, Frank Miller was residing with his wife Elena in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Frank Miller was 30 and Elena was 28 years old. Frank and Elena were married for 3 years. Frank and Elena’s marriage was the first marriage for Frank and the second marriage for Elena. Frank Miller was born in Ione as was his mother. According to the 1910 Census, Frank Miller was identified as a laborer for a clay mine.

On September 12, 1918, Frank Miller registered for the Draft. According to the selective service records, Frank was born June 20, 1883. Frank was employed as a laborer for B.V. Hoover Est. in Elk Grove. Frank’s nearest relative was Mrs. Elena Miller (wife) in Elk Grove.  Frank’s home was in Elk Grove.

In 1920, Frank Miller was residing in the Brighton Township of Sacramento County with his wife Blanche. Frank Miller was employed as a highway construction truck driver.

According to the 1928 BIA application, Frank Miller was born June 15, 1886. Frank was the son of Mary Miller and brother of Henry Miller. Frank was married to a ½ Indian Blanche Mabel Miller.

Frank Francis Miller died at the age of 56 on January 27, 1944 in Sacramento County. According to death records, Frank Miller was born June 26, 1887. Frank Miller was buried in the Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento.

Articles Concerning Henry Miller

Amador Dispatch
December 20, 1957
Henry Miller
The death of Henry Miller occurred suddenly on Tuesday evening, December 17th, at his home in Ione. Mr. Miller suffered a heart attack and was removed to the Amador hospital by ambulance. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Mr. Miller was a native of Ione where he was born July 4, 1880. He spent his entire lifetime in that community and had been employed as a steam shovel operator by the Bacon company. Mr. Miller had been in failing health during the past few years.

He is survived by his wife Queenie of Ione; a daughter Birdie Burris, also of Ione; and three grandchildren: Ramona Dutschke and Chester Burris of Ione, and Grace Fitzgerald of Chicago, Illinois; and four great grandchildren.

Graveside services will be conducted at the Buena Vista cemetery on Saturday afternoon, December 21st at two o’clock.

Friends may call at the late residence Friday after five in the afternoon.

Amador Ledger
December 19, 1957
Henry Miller, Ione Native, Is Victim of Heart Attack Henry Miller died Tuesday evening, December 17th, the victim of a heart attack. Miller became ill at his home at Ione Tuesday evening and the Legion Ambulance was called to take him to the Amador County Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Miller was a native of Ione, born July 4, 1880 and had lived his entire life in Ione. He operated a steam shovel at the clay pits. He had been in ill health for the past several years.

Surviving are his wife Queenie, of Ione; a daughter, Birdie Burris of Ione; three grandchildren, Ramona Dutschke and Chester Burris of Ione, and Grace Fitzgerald of Chicago, Illinois. There are four great-grandchildren.

Graveside services will be conducted at the Buena Vista Cemetery at 2 p.m. Saturday. Friends may call at the late residence Friday after 5 p.m. J. J. Daneri & Son has charge of arrangements.

Sacramento Bee
January 28, 1944
Frank F. Miller
Funeral services for Frank F. Miller, 56, construction worker of Route 2, Box 1975, will be held tomorrow at 2 P. M. In the George L. Klumpp Chapel. The interment will be in the Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetery.

Miller, a native of Ione, Amador County, died yesterday in his home. He had lived here 25 years and was a member of Laborers Union No. 185, American Federation of Labor.

He was the husband of Blanche Miller and the brother of Henry Miller of Ione.

Amador Dispatch
May 8, 1969
Ione Reports Successful Homecoming Activities Approximately 7,000 persons attended the 93rd annual Ione Homecoming picnic celebration in Ione this past weekend.

The theme of this year’s event, was “Buckskin and Feathers” in honor of the Indians in the area.

Louie Oliver, born in Buena Vista in 1894 and Queenie Miller, born in 1882 at Pigeon Creek near Fiddletown, tow of the area’s oldest Indian residents, rode in honored positions leading the 1969 Ione Homecoming parade on Sunday…

Amador Dispatch
October 22, 1975
Obituaries Queenie H. Miller
Ione—Services for Queenie H. Miller, 93 of Ione, a native of Fiddletown and a lifelong Amador County resident, were held Friday in the Free Methodist Church here.

She died of natural causes last Tuesday at Amador Hospital. She was the widow of the late Henry Miller.

She is survived by a daughter, Birdie Burris of Ione; sisters, Nancy Custino and Lulu Clifford, both of Ione; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Indian Historian

THE MIWUK USED TO SAY: Y-EHT-IM TEH-LEI-LI!
As told by BIRDIE BURRIS
MY PEOPLE, the Miwuk, used to put up acorn to last two or three days so we always had it fresh-cooked. We liked it “nupah” – rather thin.
MY MOTHER used to cook it always with hot rocks in her old cooking basket. Finally it wore right through, and that’s when we started to have acorn cooked on a stove.
Y-EHT-IM TEH-LEI-LI, we used to say, and this means, I believe: Let us prepare the new harvest of acorn.

WE LEACHED with warm water. We would run our fingers lightly thru the meal, making little ridges. If the meal showed yellow or brown, then there was acid left in the meal and we continued – until the meal was nice and clean. Our folks cooked a little acorn at a time.