Manton Miller was born on May 20, 1912 in Cooper to A.P. Miller and Louella Wynn. Early remembrances’ of his Father were… at the farm, the different homes they built and moved to and from, a pony he carried his paper routs on, cold nights with a brick warmed in the fireplace at his feet, or riding a team and wagon to the field with a packed lunch. His Dad died when he was 12, and his older brother Greaver took on the Fatherly image.
In school, his principal told him to drop out, so he did. Several years later he went back and led the football team and student council and was elected class President. He attend UT Austin for one year, then came home to work in Greaver’s drug store (Miller’s Pharmacy).
Manton & his 1928 Harley; Helen Ruth Carrington & Avon James
Manton and his brother Pete were known around Cooper for their daring escapades on motorcycles but Manton liked to charm the ladies, too. A fun evening could be had in the rumble seat of a Model A Ford playing the saxophone to 2 or 3 girlfriends.
He liked working in the pharmacy and soon became a prescription clerk. He wanted to take the pharmacy board , but Greaver discouraged him because it wasn’t a good profession to go for at the time.
On January 15, 1939, Manton married Melverne Baker, a Sulphur Springs girl whose sister, Hazel was married to Ray Wilson. She was a beauty shop owner.
On their second anniversary, Marion was born at Reed Hospital. In the next four years, Whitney Alexander, in 1942, William Wade in 1944, and Sharon Ann in 1945, were born. These were the war years and Manton kept waiting to be called to the service but his age and dependent status kept him just out of reach. So he “Manned” the “Homefront” and his occupation justified doing that.
In 1945 Greaver sold Miller’s Pharmacy to Manton, and a new era began. He was a good businessman and the drugstore thrived. Manton served on the school board until all his kids were out of school. He became a Director at the Delta National Bank. Active in the Baptist church where he was a Deacon, and attended Sunday school for 20 years without an absence.
Manton and Melverne had a lot of friends and a lot of fun raising the kids. Melverne loved to play bridge with or without Manton, and also found time to work at the drugstore. There he became famous throughout North Texas, especially for his milkshakes made with his homemade ice cream, and was once labeled “The Sweetwater Chemist”. His colorful character attracted newspaper and T.V. media, including Dallas Morning News writer Bob St. John and syndicated radio’s Tumbleweed Smith from the “Sounds of Texas”. As the kids got older, they spent even more time with them, vacationing and following their activities. In his later years, Manton was known as Cooper’s Parade Marshall, leading every parade in his vintage 1963 Mercury Comet “Mandy” self decorated with either a Queen’s Court or a local celebrity on board.
Manton had 10 grandchildren. Some of these are shown below. Billy, Greg, Julie, Mark & Andy….more to come
Manton passed away on January 21, 2002.