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Jesse Council McMillan Family

written by Gordon Howard

(husband of Jackie Curran [formerly of Thornhill/McComas,WV now living in California] and un-offical geneologist of the McMillan Family)

Jessie Council McMillan was born 29 May 1864 in Ashe County, NC.
He married Mary “Molly” Jane Johnson about 1883 in Ashe County, NC.
  • Jessie was the son of William McMillan (1832-1865 and Mary “Polly” Ann Cox(1830-1902)
His grandfather, John McMillan, Sr. was the first Clerk of The Court for Ashe County, NC. This family immigrated from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland about 1778.

The McMillian family of Ashe County, NC were farmers, merchants, and grocers and highly respected. Jesse moved to Mercer County, WV about 1906, or before June of 1907 when his youngest child Flora Adeline McMillian was born on June 11, 1907. She was the youngest and only child of Jesse and Molly that was born in WV. He was about 43 years old when he moved. Jesse was a farmer and lived near the Belcher Cemetery which is located today on the Windmill Gap to Coaldale gravel road. His grandson Mid McMillan said,
"Jesse being a farmer, had cattle, grew all their food, hay, and probably sold some of his crops. He mowed his hay and used it to feed his cattle."
His daughter, Flora McMillan told the writer that,
"her daddy Jesse and her brother Emmet McMillan, built the fireplace on her house at Coaldale."
This fireplace is made of rock and still stands.

After Jesse's death in 1932 his wife Molly moved to Thornhill and lived near the property of Henry Hall, down in a hollow to the west. In her final days in 1940 she was very sick and died at home. The ambulance could not get down the hollow to where she lived with her son Dan McMillan and her body was carried to near the Henry Hall home to be transported. Little else is known about Jesse and Molly. Jesse and Molly are buried at the Belcher Cemetery, Mercer County, WV. Jesse's father William McMillan of Ashe County NC served in the Civil War joining in 1861. He was discharged in the fall of 1864.  He died in the spring of 1865 of tubercolis and is buried at the Senter Primitive Baptist Church, Chestnut Hill, Ashe Co., NC.

[Photograph courtesy Johnsie Mabel McMillan Curran]
Jesse Council McMillan, About 1910

[Photograph courtesy Johnsie Mabel McMillan Curran]
Mary “Molly” Jane Johnson McMillan, About 1910

Mary “Molly” Jane Johnson and Jesse Council McMillan, About 1924

Jesse Council McMillan with Grandson on Horse, About 1924

The Seven Children of Jesse Council McMillan, About 1924

Front row (L-R)
  • Ora McMillan (1888-????)
  • Flora “Florie” Adaline McMillan (1907-1996)
  • Ollie McMillan (1892-1948)
Back row (L-R)
  • Robert “Bob” Vance McMillan (1901-1959)
  • James “Emmet” McMillan (1885-1945)
  • Hoyt McMillan (1894-1958)
  • John Andrew “Dan” McMillan 1898-1965)

Listed below are the children of
Jesse Council McMillan and Mary “Molly” Jane Johnson.

James “Emmet” McMillan

  • James “Emmet” McMillan was born August 22, 1885 at Nathan’s Creek, Ashe County., NC. He married Elizabeth Cordelia “Cordie” Jenkins about 1906 at Ashe County, NC.
  • Cordie was born December 18, 1886 in Ashe County, NC. She was the daughter of Edward “Vance” Jenkins (1860-1940) and Lou Ellen Stringer (1863-After 1907).
  • James “Emmet” McMillan owned the McMillan store at Windmill Gap.

Wedding of James “Emmet” McMillan and Elizabeth Cordelia (Cordie) Jenkins in Ashe Co., NC, 1906

James “Emmet” McMillan (third from left) parents were Jesse Council McMillan and Mary “Molly” Jane Johnson. Elizabeth Cordelia “Cordie” Jenkins (fourth from left). Her parents were Edward “Vance” Jenkins and Lou Ellen Stringer of Ashe County, NC. Left side is Maud Stringer (daughter of Maud and Mandy Stringer). Second from left is Betty Jenkins Little (sister of Cordie). Sixth from left is Effie Jenkins Darnell (sister of Cordie). The fifth, seventh, and eighth persons from the left are not known by the writer.

James “Emmet” McMillan moved from Ashe County, NC to Mercer County, WV about 1908. The McMillan family lived in several locations within Mercer County. They lived in Goodwill, Simmons, several places at Thornhill, and two places at Windmill Gap. He was born August 22, 1885 Ashe County, NC and died April 26, 1945 while visiting Ashe County, NC relatives. He is buried at Crumpler Cemetery in McDowell County, WV. Elizabeth Cordelia “Cordie” Jenkins was born December 18, 1886 Ashe County, NC and died July 1939 Mercer County, WV. She is buried with her husband at Crumpler Cemetery McDowell Co., WV.
Note in the above photograph, there are four hats hanging in the trees, but only three males in the photograph. The other male must have been taking the photograph.

James “Emmet” McMillan and Grandson James Donald “Don” Curran at Thornhill, About 1941

Elizabeth Cordelia “Cordie” Jenkins McMillan with Daughter Cordie Mae McMillan, About 1917

Emmet and Cordie had the following children:
  • Fields Edward McMillan (1907-1929). Killed in coal mine accident.
  • Johnsie Mabel McMillan (1909-1993). She married Lynch Alexander Curran, Sr.
  • Jesse Cleveland McMillan (1911-1980). He married Hazel Eller.
  • William Raymond “Ray” McMillan (1913-1954). He married Byrdie Garland.
  • Alice Lahoma McMillan (1915-1915). Died as infant.
  • Cordie Mae “Toots”McMillan (1916-Present). She married William Donald “Donnie” Bare.
  • Myrtle Jean McMillan (1920-Present). She married Charles Raymond “Cotton” East. (Click here and locate Judy East [daughter of Myrtle & Cotton East] and Pat (Spicer) Smith [webmaster of this site] in this Bramwell Class of 1963 photo)
  • Beatrice “Ellen” McMillan (1922-Present). She married Dr. Loyd “Paul” Quillan.
  • James “Marshall” McMillan (1923-Present). He married Bobbie Jean Love.
  • Millard “Mid” Vance McMillan (1925-Present). He married Susanne Anna M. Weischenberg.
  • Emery Lewis McMillan (1926-1951). Not married. Killed in automobile accident.

Ora McMillan

Ora McMillan (1888-after 1944) and Grover Cleveland “G. C.” Williams (about 1888-after 1944) lived at Crumpler and he worked as a coal loader. He was a very efficient coal loader and would load four coal cars by noon and then go home. A normal loader would take all day to load four car loads of coal according to Mid McMillan. He became sick and could no longer go into the coal miles, but it was not time for him to retire. Henry Mabe, the mine foreman, hired him so he could have a job until his retirement time with the coal mines.

Ora and G. C. had four children as follows:
  • Willy Claude “Jack” Williams married Eva Hodges
  • Ollie Mae Williams married 1st Charles Davis and 2nd William "Wil" Bowman
  • Della Scott Williams married Benjamin Garvin
  • Jesse “Elmer” Williams married Mayda Conner

Ollie McMillan

Ollie McMillan (1992-1948) married William “Wil” Nathaniel Jenkins April 2, 1911. Ollie and Wil lived near Montcalm. As you leave Montcalm going toward Bluewell and turn onto Lorton Lick Road they lived in the first large white house on the left side of the road. Wil was a policeman when they married and involved in political activity. Wil was a descendant of Lewis Benjamin Jenkins (1824-1900) of Alleghany Co., NC.

Ollie and Wil had seventeen children as follows:
  • Maude Mae Jenkins married Clarence Severt
  • James “Homer” Jenkins married Gerry Mae Moody
  • Ruth Jenkins
  • Ethel Florence Jenkins married Conway Tearle Cline
  • Eugene Jenkins
  • Wilbur Chester Jenkins married 1st Elsie Lusk and 2nd Helen Hall Johnson
  • Phyllis Ramona Jenkins married David Neff
  • Russel Edmund Jenkins
  • Roosevelt Hoover Jenkins
  • Gladys Virginia Jenkins
  • Paul Andrew Jenkins married Cattaine Mae Hartwell
  • Claude Jenkins
  • Mary Ellen Jenkins married Robert Hundley
  • William Elbert Jenkins married 1st Iva Tiller and 2nd Evay Jane Jarvis
  • Joseph Marshall Jenkins married Lou Jarvis
  • Jesse Vance Jenkins, Sr. married Shirley Ann Lusk
  • Clifford Eldridge Jenkins married 1st Geraldine Eldreth and 2nd Mary Lou Slaton

Ollie McMillan Jenkins, About 1937

William “Wil” Nathaniel Jenkins with Boy, About 1942

Edward “Vance” Jenkins and Lou Ellen Stringer, About 1917

These are the parents of William “Wil” Nathaniel Jenkins. Edward “Vance” Jenkins was born 1860 Wilkes County, NC and died 1940 at Ashe County, NC. Lou Ellen Stringer was born 1863 in Ashe County, NC. Her death date is not known. Note Vance’s right hand in the above photograph. His fingers were cut off in a sawmill accident. These are also the parents of Elizabeth Cordelia “Cordie”Jenkins McMillan that married James “Emmet” McMillan.

Hoyt McMillan

Hoyt McMillan (1895-1958) married first Jenny Taylor and second Agnes Evans. Hoyt was in the U. S. Army during WW I and served as a Medic. He lived in the Montcalm area. Their children are as follows:
  • Lloyd McMillan married Goldie Delores
  • Oscar McMillan married Ollie Farmer
  • Charlotte McMillan married Edward Owens
  • Opal McMillan married Hilary Edward Bowman

John Andrew “Dan” McMillan

John Andrew “Dan” McMillan married Emma Brummet. There was no issue of this family. Dan lived with his sister Florie McMillan Osborne at Coaldale.

Robert “Bob” McMillan

Robert “Bob” Vance McMillan(1895-1958) married Clara Leona “Lenna” Curran (1913-2002) about 1929, Mercer County, WV. Lenna was the daughter of Haller Alexander Curran and Anna Elizabeth Holland.

Bob and Lenna lived near the top of Thornhill mountain about fifty yards from Lynch and Johnsie Curran (in-laws of this writer). Bob was the uncle of Johnsie Mabel McMillan. Lenna was the sister of Lynch Curran. Bob was a coal miner at Crane Creek and Sagamore. Bob and Lenna are buried at the Woodlawn Cemetary at Bluewell, Mercer Co., WV. Bob was drunk and passed out while walking up the hill to his home and froze to death. He was a kind loving father. Lenna worked at the Kresge store in Bluefield until she retired. They had two children as follows:

  • Janet Louise McMillan (1931-1976). She married Maynard Archie Stephens (1929-1986).
  • Maynard “Keith” Stephens (1954-2002) married Lisa Unknown.

Marie Curran Mason Howard (sister-in-law of Gordon Howard author of this page - linked to MHS Class of 1943 photo), Lenna Curran McMillan (wife of Robert "Bob" McMillan) , and Gerri Curran Davies, 1980 (another sister-in-law of Gordon Howard - click the link to see Gerri in 1943 at the McComas Community Center)

Flora “Florie” Adaline McMillan

Flora “Florie” Adaline McMillan (1907-1996) married Charles “Charlie” Fairfax Osborne (1912-1982) about 1931, Mercer County, WV. Aunt Florie was always one of the sweetest and most loved family member. Her being the baby of the family we are sure she was probably Jesse McMillian's favorite. The last time this writer visited her in 1996 she had moved from her house into a trailer next door at Coaldale. She told me that,
"her daddy Jesse Council McMillian and her brother Emmet McMillian built the fireplace on the house they lived in. There was coal mining activity across the creek from where she lived and she told me that her daddy worked there for sometime. They loaded coal in that area. At times the wheels of the train would spin when they started moving the coal cars. They threw sand on the track in order to gain traction for the coal cars."
They had seven children as follows:
  • Jessie Lee Osborne.
  • Dorothy “Jean” Osborne (1934-1998).
  • Eleanor Osborne. She was called Violet.
  • Marvin Stanley “Mac” Osborne (1939-2003).
  • India McMillan Osborne. She was called Mary.
  • Charlie Dean Osborne (1942-2003).
  • Kenneth Roger Osborne. (Locate Kenneth Osborne and Pat (Spicer) Smith [webmaster of this site] in this Bramwell Class of 1963 photo)
  • Stewart Mason Osborne.

Flora “Florie Adeline McMillan Osborne, About 1917

Flora “Florie” Adeline McMillan Osborne and Niece Johnsie Mabel McMillan Curran (mother-in-law of Gordon Howard), 1993

This photograph was taken at the McMillan Family Reunion at Glenwood Park on September 3, 1993. The writer had a heart attack the night of September 1, 1993 just after arrival from California to attend the family reunion. I therefore missed the reunion and was in ICU at the Princeton Hospital. Several family members visited me in ICU. Aunt Florie was the oldest living McMillan family member at that time at the age of 86.
WindMill Gap Pictures
  • According to Gordon Howard, "The current McMillan store at Windmill Gap is ran by Marsha McMillan Best.  She is the daughter of James Marshall McMillan. The original McMillan store was located about 30 or so yards before you get to the point shown in the photo as you come up the road from McComas.  It was on the right side of the road coming up the hill.  I have no idea where people would be able to park then.  May be they just hitched their horse to a tree. Ha!" 
  • A spectaculor view if I must say so myself. I've received many compliments on this photo.
  • Many of the McMillan Family must have attended this church. Gordon and Jackie Curran Howard said, "Emmet and Cordie McMillan attended this church.  They have a letter from Cordie to Jackie's mother saying they were having a baptism the following Sunday and that is when Johnsie was baptised."
  • I'm sure many of the children also attended this school.