History of the Restoration Movement

Samuel Harrison Millard D.D.


Photo Source: J. W. West, Sketches Of Our Mountain Preachers, p.187

The Life Of Samuel H. Millard

Timothy Millard came from Ireland to America in the latter part of the 17th century, and settled in Pennsylvania. His first born son, named Samuel, was born on January 18, 1741. This Samuel Minard married Elizabeth Henton, daughter of George and Elizabeth Henton. Their son, Samuel, was born July 3, 1786. He married Alice Dethart Morrell. To this union were born twelve children, Samuel H., the seventh child, being born on November 1, 1820, in Sullivan county, Tenn.

From an address delivered in July, 1895 at Weavers Church, Sullivan county, Tenn., by Samuel Millard on the occasion of the celebration of his ministry of fifty years, the following data on his life is taken:

He was born about two miles south of Weavers Church where he lived until 1853, and never lived more than twenty miles distant. His first school was taught by an Irishman named John Russell in the old church building, where he was taken by his older sisters. The first discourse, remembered from childhood days, was delivered at old Weavers church by Elder James Miller, a pioneer preacher. of the Christian Church in East Tennessee. Samuel Millard was converted on August 6, 1842, ''under the shade of the oaks south of the present church, David T. Wright being the preacher." He went forward at the first invitation at the singing of the third verse of the song-'' If the fathers want to go Why don't they come along, etc." and was baptized on the 8th in the Holston river by Elder John Wright.

Soon after his conversion he began to be very active in all phases of the work. He carried his New Testament in his pocket and read it while he rested his weary hands and body from his plowing and wood chopping. He delivered his first discourse on July 20, 1845 at a school house in district No. 6, in Johnson county, Tennessee. On the following Saturday, July 26, 1845, he gave a second one at Weavers. Again at Boones Creek in August, 1845 he used as a subject- “The just shall live by faith” Rom. 1:17.

The annual meeting o E the East Tennessee and Virginia Cooperation of Christian churches was held at Weavers on August 8, 18±5 and Bro. David M. Buck was engaged to evangelize until August1846 for the Co-operation, succeeding Bro. McInturff. By the earnest solicitation of Bro. Buck and the unanimous vote of the church, Samuel H. Millard was then ordained to the ministry. On Monday, August 11, 1845, the ceremony was accompanied by fasting and prayer, and the laying on of hands. Bro. McInturff made the ordination address and gave the ministerial charge from II Timothy 3:14-17; 4:1-6. Brother Millard says "I accepted this with the Bible in my hands, it being sufficient to direct me in the work for which I was being set apart and I leave it to my hearers to decide how faithfully l have followed this divine rule and charge during these fifty years."

Soon after his ordination, in company with David M. Buck, Brother Millard visited on horse back the counties of Grainger; Anderson and Roane in Tennessee, going as far west as Post Oak Springs (the site of the first Christian Church in Tennessee in 1812) and preaching at various points and visiting the scattered membership. Several obeyed the gospel and on this first trip he baptized several. In the spring of 1846 he and Bro. Buck visited and preached in Lee, Scott, Russell and Washington Counties, Virginia; also in Johnson, Carter, Unicoi (now), Sullivan, Washington and Greene Counties in Tennessee. At one meeting held at Buffalo Creek (now Milligan College) thirty to fifty joined the church. The Minutes of the Annual Meetings show that Brother Millard served as an evangelist under the employ of the District parts of thirty-five years, sometimes full time, and others as part time worker. His travels carried him as far west as Chattanooga and Livingston in Middle Tennessee, and cast as far as Christiansburg, Virginia. The first year he received one dollar and a pair of Kentucky jeans pants. As a messenger from the East Tennessee and Virginia Co-operation he Virginia state meetings in Richmond in 1853 and 1859; also visited the Southwest Virginia Co-operation many times. He served as representative of the district in the Tennessee state convention in Chattanooga, and was a member of the committee which organized the state work. He labored at Buffalo and Bristol for 17 years, “attended and kept alive during the much to be regretted war 4 years from 1861 to 1855 the congregations at Bristol; 'Corner House,' Weavers. Poplar Ridge (until the last year when Bro. Barker attended them), and Walnut Springs (mainly built during that time)." He says “an intelligent brother who watched me closely said he never heard a sentence uttered by me during the war, by which he could tell what my politics or sympathies were, for my preaching was under my ordination charge and vow of “Watch thou in all things.” The only difficulties which arose came from my not speaking either for Lincoln or Davis.”

Besides his service as district evangelist, Brother Millard served the following churches monthly: Weavers, 33 years; Popular Ridge, 20 years; Bristol, 19; Limestone, 12; Boones Creek, 10; Johnson City, Turkeytown and Beaver Creek, each 4; Roan Mountain and Buffalo, 2; Walnut Springs, 9; “Corner House,” 6; and Liberty in Johnson County, 1 year. Ofttimes he preached for two churches on the same day, and many times he preached in school houses, mills, barns, private houses, at graves and in graveyards, likely from 65 to 80 different places in Sullivan county alone. Goodspeed's History of East Tennessee, says'" “The Christian church at Goodson (Bristol), Virginia owes its origin largely to the efforts of Rev. Samuel H. Millard, who as early as 1854 began preaching in the depot. The next year a brick church on Virginia Hill was completed and a society organized.”

Fellow ministers of the Christian Church in his day were Madison Love, Daniel Mcinturff, David M. Buck, James I. Tipton, George Duncan, and Thomas J. Wright, nearly all of whom preceeded Millard to the grave.

He concludes his sketch of his Fifty Years Ministry with '-'Paul gives us what he considers a life moulded by the Holy Spirit which I call attention to and ask you to decide the correctness of mine.'' See Acts 20 :18-221, 25-31, 33-35.

Samuel H. Millard married first Maria Blevins, the ceremony being performed on August 7, 1851, by Elder Daniel Mcinturff. To this union were born seven children, of whom Carinthia (Mrs. Thos. Wright) of Bristol, and Mrs. Amner Sweet, of Canton, N. C., alone survive today (1938). Mrs. Maria B. Millard died in 1872 and on Oct. 23, 1873 Samuel Millard was married by Bro. Wm. C. Maupin to Mary Jane Taylor Kitzmiller, the daughter of Dr. Caswell C. Taylor and Nancy Duncan of Buffalo Creek, Carter county, and the widow of Abdiel U. Kitzmiller. Mary Jane Taylor stands out in the. memory of the writer as an unusual woman. A staunch member of old Buffalo Creek Christian Church, she taught school in the old church in the village called Cave Springs. After her first marriage to Kitzmiller, who was a teacher, they moved to Missouri where their family of three daughters and a son were born. After the death of a daughter and then her husband in 1862, the young widow returned to her father's home in Carter County, where she lived until her second marriage to Brother Millard. They lived in Bristol where Brother Millard preached until October 6. 1878, when the Millards moved to their farm in the eastern edge of the then small town of Johnson City. In 1885 the home at 118 Millard street was built. This was the family residence for their remaining years.

Brother Millard was the second minister of the First Christian Church in Johnson City, serving that congregation in 1879, 1880 and 1882. When their Sunday School was organized on Dec. 1, 1879, with Elder Jordan C. Hardin (grandfather of the writer of this sketch) as Superintendent, J. Worley Millard (son of S. H. Millard) was assistant superintendent, and Miss Mary Kitzmiller (a step daughter) was secretary. This position was held by Miss Kitzmiller for fifty four years until her death in 1933. Prominent among the first teachers were Mrs. Mary Jane Millard, Misses Amner and Alice Millard, both daughters of Bro. Millard.

Samuel H. Millard celebrated his 50 years in the ministry in 1895, and continued his labors for the Lord whenever he could give service. He died on May 14, 1905 and is buried in the family plot in Oak Hill Cemetery in Johnson City, where thirty-five years before he had buried his father in the gospel—Brother John Wright.

Mrs. Mary Jane Millard was a woman of very forceful character. She was the first president of the Ladies Aid Society in the Johnson City church, and led a most active and useful life until her death in 1926, aged ninety years.

J. D. Hamaker pays this tribute to Samuel Millard—"An outstanding minister—I think of him as the Nestor of the ministerial force of the time (The years 1872-1875)."

John T. Brown in his Churches of Christ says “S. H. Millard did more than any one in his section to open the understanding of the people to the truth as it is in Christ.”

Written by Mrs. Mary Hardin McCown, (J. W. West, Sketches of Our Mountain Preachers, p.186-192)

Obituary On The Life Of S. H. Millard

In the passing of Rev. Samuel H. Millard, for some years pastor of the First Christian church here, Johnson City lost a highly esteemed and beloved citizen. A native of Tennessee, his birth occurred in Sullivan county in November, 1820, a son of Samuel and Alice Millard. His father engage in farming in Sullivan county for the greater part of his life and was one of he most successful agriculturists of the community in which he resided.

The public schools of Sullivan county afforded Samuel H. Millard his early education. Subsequently he entered the ministry of the Christian church and his last pastorate was the First Church of Johnson City. He had the distinction of being the first pastor of that church. Mr. Millard was highly esteemed in this city and he contributed in a marked degree to the development and improvement of his town, county and state. His demise occurred on the 11th of May, 1905, at the old home on Millard street, which street was named In his honor, he having built the first home there.

On the 26th of October, 1873, was celebrated the marriage of Samuel H. Millard to Mrs. Mary J. (Taylor) Kitzmiller. She was a daughter of Dr. Caswell C. and Nancy (Duncan) Taylor, natives of Tennessee. Her father engaged in farming near Johnson City for several years and subsequently began the practice of medicine. He became one of the foremost members of the profession during his day. His death occurred on the 10th of October, 1886, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. Mrs. Taylor died in 1844, in her forty-fifth year. Mrs. Millard was first married to Abdial Kitzmiller, the ceremony being performed on the 30th of January, 1855. To their union four children wore born: Nancy, who is residing in La Grande, Oregon; Martin C., likewise a resident of Oregon; Ann R., whose demise occurred on the 24th of September, 1860; and Mary E. at home. Mr. Kitzmiller was an educator, prominently known in that connection throughout Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee. His demise occurred on the 2d of April, 1862, in his thirty-fourth year.

To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Millard one child was born: Samuel T., who is now a bank examiner, with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Millard is residing in Johnson City, at the age of eighty-six years.

Throughout his life Mr. Millard gave his political allegiance to the democratic party, having firm belief in the principles of that party as factors in good government. He was one of the most energetic and resourceful promoters of the city's advancement and was a zealous and practical factor in the efforts made to secure good government for his city and state.

-From Tennessee, The Volunteer State, Vol. 4, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. Nashville, c.1923, pages 565,566

Directions To The Grave Of S. H. Millard

Samuel H. Millard is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in the eastern part of Tennessee in Johnson City. The location is go off West Main Street to 205 Whitney St. As you enter the main entrance to the cemetery travel straight ahead about 3/4ths of the way through to the other end of the cemetery. Park your car, and the grave is just to your left. The grave will be just to your left, and if you watch closely you can see it as you move slowly toward the end of the drive. At least two other restoration preachers are buried in the cemetery, A. M. Ferguson and John Wright.

GPS Coordinates
Accuracy To 18ft.
36°18'53.4"N 82°21'22.1"W
or D,.d. 36.314831, -82.356132
Grave Facing West

Grave Located Down Drive Just Past Light Pole And Pickup On Left
(Note: a newer fence and entrance sign has been added since this photo was taken)

In Loving Remembrance
Samuel H. Millard
Born Nov. 1, 1820
Ordained A Minister In The
Christian Church, Aug. 11, 1845
Died May 14, 1905

Mary Jane Taylor
Wife Of
S. H. Millard
Apr. 9, 1836
Feb. 8, 1926

Photo taken on visit in April, 2021

Initial Photos Taken - 09.06.2003
Later Photos Taken - 04.19.2021
Webpage produced 07.02.2005

Special Thanks: C. Wayne Kilpatrick and Tom L. Childers traveled with me to E. Tenn. during the lectureship at Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies in April 2021. Many thanks to them for their assistance in locating several graves. I had visited the grave of S.H. Millard in 2005 on a similar trip.

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