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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

LaRue Kilgore-Miller

LaRue Kilgore-Miller will have the new Midlothian Elementary named after her. Mrs Miller has taught three generations of students at Midlothian ISD. This wonderfull career may have never happened if not for the cottonseed oil mill in Midlothian back in 1906. The oil mill was where cottonseeds were pressed and the oil is collected. Cottonseed oil is mainly used as salad oil, cooking oil, and found in many baked goods.

Before the Cottonseed oil mill, Blacks were not allowed to live in Midlothian and were definitely not allowed after dark. But the oil mill needing more workers changed things and Buck Kilgore became one of the first Blacks to live in Midlothian. 9th street became the street that the Black folk lived. Little LaRue Kilgore grew up with her Dad Buck and Mother Amanda at 511 n 9th street. The great perk of living there was that the Black school Booker T Washington was right next door with it's playground.

LaRue enjoyed her school but it was only for 1st to 8th grade. After 8th grade was High School and the only black High School was in neighboring Waxahachie. I believe she went to Oak Lawn School on Wyatt street. Originally the school was located on aiken st next to the future location the Joshua Chapel A.M.E. Church. So LaRue and her classmates would catch the bus at 6:30 am and ride to Waxahachie and get bused back around 3:00 pm. Unfortunately they could not stay for after school activities.

LaRue Miller graduated High School and went to Paul Quinn college in Dallas. Where she met Arthur Miller. She graduated in 1949 and then Married Arthur in 1950. Arthur Miller's brother has claim to fame. Doris (Dorie) Miller received the Navy Cross for his bravery at Pearl Harbor. He fired a 50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun at the Japs until it ran out of ammo. He was not trained to fire the gun. He also carried injured men to safety.

Mrs LaRue Miller began to teach at her old school Booker T Washington. Though at first the principle was afraid that since the students knew her so well she would not be able to discipline the children. Everyone knew her as Baby Ruth. But it all worked out. She taught there until 1967 when the school's became integrated.

At the time of integration Mrs LaRue said that she couldn't remember a problem. She began at J R Irving where the teachers were very nice and helpful. She didn't even remember a student fight. Mrs. Miller being use to hand me downs from the white schools began using more up-to-date materials to teach. She taught in Midlothian ISD until she retired in 1994. She still substitutes and is involved the Midlothian Education Foundation. LaRue Miller Elementery sounds like a school doesn't it? Well deserved!

Note: majority of this post was obtained from the cover article in the Feb 2008 Midlothian NOW magazine written by Betty Tryon.

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