Monday, August 10, 2015

65th MCMILLIN & RELATED FAMILIES REUNION




With the anticipation of the beginning of August, comes the anticipation of the McMillin Reunion….and oftentimes the dread of the hot Mississippi temperatures for Saturday’s outside event.   Over fifty McMillin kin were pleasantly surprised on August 1, 2015, as the temperatures dropped and a nice breeze kept them cool for Saturday’s cook out to commence the 65th reunion under the pines of Lake Tiak O’Khata in Louisville, Mississippi.


President, David McMillin of Monroe, Louisiana stepped back into the role of chef and prepared perfectly seasoned hamburgers, hotdogs, and bratwurst.  Family members supplied all the “fixings”, drinks, and desserts. MacMillan tartan flags, the Scottish flag and the American flag brought by Dr. Lamar & Carol McMillin of Vicksburg offered the festive ambiance.

The Colonial Room was the venue for Sunday’s event.  It was decorated with the traditional MacMillan tartans.   Vases with  various greenery gathered from Mrs. Joyce Johnson’s gardens, and arranged by Ashlie McMillin Johnson of Athens, Georgia, served as centerpieces.  Each held a Scottish and American flag to represent the McMillins’ heritage.  Squares of MacMillan tartan formed the base for each centerpiece. The room was decorated by Carol and Lamar McMillin, Leesa and Shirley McMillin, and Sylvia McMillin.

To begin the meeting, the McMillin Grands marched into the room and led the group in singing “The MacMillan Rallying Song”.  They carried various objects to emphasize each verse of the song. ( the plaid, the holly, a silver crest, a shield, and a sword)   Jane McMillin and Sue McMillin Faulkner of Lampasas, Texas registered each guest, and Hallie Jean Blalock of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Faith Frazier of Franklinton, Louisiana assisted with nametags.

David McMillin, president, welcomed the sixty relatives from Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. Words of thanks were offered to those of the group that had been involved with different aspects of the reunion. 

Johnny Crowell, from Louisville, delivered the devotional titled “Heritage”. He told how important a godly based heritage is and used  II Chronicles 7:14 as his text from the Bible:  “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways;  then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” Johnny encouraged his listeners to ask this of the Lord: “… Begin the change with ME!”

The McMillin Grands entertained with a hand bell presentation under the direction of Lenora Frazier of Franklinton, Louisiana.  The children played “Circle of Life” and “America the Beautiful”.  Grandchildren participating were Jacob, Maggie, Samuel, Eleanor, Eli, and Isaac Crew of Ringgold, Georgia and Lucy, Noah, Levi, and Rose Johnson of Athens, Georgia, the 10 grands of Johnny McMillin and Frazier Bahm, grandson of Percy Mac Frazier both from Franklinton, Louisiana.

Frazier Bahm offered the blessing for the meal and the McMillins enjoyed the delicious Southern buffet luncheon provided by Lake Tiak O’Khata.

As tradition goes, each person or a representative of each family stood and told how they “fit” into the McMillin family. Most of the attendees at the reunion are direct descendants of the children of William McMillin, the immigrant, and Mary Elizabeth McInnis.  William McMillin was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1763 and came to the United States and married Elizabeth McInnis about 1800.  Both are buried in the Old Baptist Cemetery in Louisville.

Recognized this year as the most senior in attendance was Mildred Coggins of Tupelo, Mississippi.  She turned 87 on October 20.  The group missed two matriarchs of the family this year: Joyce Bennett Hull, who suffered a fall and had to have surgery, and her sister, Sue Bennett Fulcher.  The family hopes both ladies are back next year
Youngest in the group was fourteen month old Lyla Elizabeth
McMillin, granddaughter of Dr. F. Lamar and Carol McMillin and daughter of Stephen and Jennifer Lynn McMillin of Vicksburg, Mississippi. 

Lampasas, Texas was the place recognized as being the greatest distance from Louisville, and sisters, Jane McMillin and Sue McMillin Faulkner traveled over ten hours for this annual event.  Janet and Mark Donoho from Dallas, Texas made the next longest trip. 

John McMillin from Chattanooga, TN, once again received recognition for bringing 14 of his immediate family to the reunion.  All ten of his grandchildren came dressed in their MacMillan Hunting tartan.
Each person out of the four categories was treated for luncheon as a gift of gratitude.

Jamie & Lisa McMillin of Louisville shared wedding news:  Jay and Megan were married May 31, 2015 and on June 14, 2014, Paul and Hannah wed.  On a sad note, 80 year old Christine Moore, wife of Jimmy Moore for 61 years passed away on July 25, 2015. She was from Collierville, Tennessee and has faithfully attended the McMillin Reunion for many years.  Jim, Christine’s husband is first cousin to Mrs. Joyce Bennett Hull.

Jane McMillin, of Lampasas, Texas presented a program on her great grandfather, David Ennis McMillin, who was born in Winston County in 1845 and lived there his entire life except during his two years’ service during the Civil War.   

Dave was the tenth of 14 children and was his father’s namesake.  great, great, great granddaughter of the immigrant, William McMillin.
He was the grandson of William McMillin, who came to America from Northern Ireland about 1799.  Jane is the

The McMillins came to Winston County about 1835 from South Carolina.  One of their daughters, Mary married Nathaniel Woodward.  The Woodwards had moved to Winston County a year earlier and were responsible for persuading the McMillins to move as well.

Dave McMillin married Nancy J. “Nannie” McCully on Jan 3, 1870.  Thus began a double bond of kinship between the McMillin and the McCully’s.  A second connection came in 1875, when Dave’s niece, Joanna McMillin (daughter of Samuel Fitten) married Nannie’s nephew John C. “Jack” McCully.

David and Nannie’s first child, Virgil Homer McMillin was born on Nov. 1, 1870.  Two years later, their second and last child, Annie was born.  Sadly, Nannie died about a year later—on the day after Dave’s 28th birthday.  He never remarried.

About 1882, Dave built a beautiful two story house about five miles north of Louisville.  When the Gulf & Chicago Railroad came through Winston County (about 1905), the company built a switching station and a flag stop in front of Dave’s home.  The area was named “McMillin Switch”.  It is said there also was a store nearby.

Dave’s son, Virgil Homer McMillin, became a medical doctor and
spent nine years in Guatemala (from about 1894 to 1903) working as a company surgeon for the Guatemala Northern Railway which was building a line across the country.

When Virgil came home to convalesce from malaria, he met Maud Rush of Kemper County, who had been teaching school in Louisville.  They married in 1907 and moved to Texas. Virgil and Maud’s daughter, Betty Sue married Dr. Ernest Samuel Cunningham and their children were Betty Rush, Dinah Camille and Sam, Jr.   Virgil and Maude’s son, David Rush McMillin also because a doctor and stayed in Texas.    “Rush” married LaVerne Gary and their children were Ann Elizabeth, Sue Zane, Mary Jane, and William David, who lived only a few hours.  Mary Jane, who is called “Jane” gathered this information and presented it at the 65th McMillin on August 2, 2015.  Sue Zane McMillin Faulkner, Jane’s sister accompanied her to the reunion.  Both sisters still live in Lampasas, Texas, but family ties are strong and therefore they continue to be active participants in the McMillin and Related Families of Louisville and Winston County, Mississippi.

In 1916 Dave became one of the ruling elders of the Presbyterian Church in Louisville.  He also had served as chairman of a building committee to build a new church after the old one was destroyed by a cyclone in 1913.

On March 18, 1925 – just five days before his 80th birthday – Dave died suddenly of an apparent heart attack.  He is buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Louisville.

Jane and Sue’s great granddaddy, David Ennis McMillin’s obituary in the Louisville Enterprise stated, “Mr. McMillin was a life-long citizen of this country, a man of true honor; a brave soldier in the lost cause; a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, and a worthy Mason, being the third oldest member of the Louisville Lodge.”

The business portion of the meeting began and Jamie McMillin gave the treasurer’s report in Claire Crowell’s absence.  Secretary, Sylvia McMillin gave her report and Jamie McMillin, treasurer of the cemetery fund gave an update. Funds in this account are used to support the upkeep of McMillin ancestors’ monuments and future plans are to purchase a monument in the Masonic Cemetery in Louisville for William C. McMillin, one of the sons of David McMillin.  
The Clan MacMillan Society of North American’s report was given
by F. Lamar McMillin.  He attended the International Gathering of Clan MacMillan and Septs in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in June of 2015 where George G. MacMillan of MacMillan and Knap, Chief of Clan MacMillan from Finlaystone, Scotland, was the honored guest.    The next CMSNA Gathering will be held in two years

Danna Bennett McMillin reprinted copies of the little green book compiled in 1953 by Dr. F. Lamar McMillin, Sr. entitled Historical Notes and Speculations on the McMillin and Related Families

Officers for next year were elected: President, David McMillin; Treasurer, Claire Crowell; Secretary, Sylvia McMillin; and Treasurer of the Cemetery Fund, Jamie McMillin.

Date for next year’s reunion is August 6 – 7, 2016.

2015-2016 Officers were elected:  President, - David McMillin; Vice President -  Johnathan McMillin; Treasurer - Claire Crowell; Secretary- Sylvia McMillin, and Treasurer of the Cemetery Fund – Jamie McMillin.

Dr. F. Lamar McMillin, Jr. ended the meeting with A MacMillan Exhortation:  “Remember the poor, pray for the sick.  Make no peace with injustice in this world and continue to learn to aid the distressed….”