July 20, 2010
Clint Miller . . . Lost Legacy and Dying Memories
A. Clinton Miller was more than a prominent business man as the "Ask Sam's" column stated. Clint came from a quietly wealthy family. His father left in the neighborhood of $2,000,000 when he died in the early 1900s. All three children received a share and Clinton owned somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty properties in and around Salem as well as land in Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas. Prior to Charles Lindbergh's cross-country tour with a scheduled stop at Winston_Salem's Maynard Field in 1927, Miller donated $17,000 for the purchase of land to build a bigger field for the landing of Lindbergh and his Plane, "The Spirit of St Louis.
But as in the case of Miller field being renamed Smith Reynold's Field for a young aviator son of R. J. Reynolds and who died at the age of twenty-one under "mysterious" circumstances. Then even Ernie Shore Field has been replaced, rather the home of baseball moved to the new Winston-Salem Dash stadium which is called BB&T Ballpark.
I think it comes down to --- he who has the bigger wallet wins and just about any place can be renamed (except for Lincoln's tomb and others so aptly named after the final resident).
In 1942, Miller donated 30 acres of land on the west side of Winston-Salem providing that the city would donate another 8 acres of land. Miller Street had already been named and since the land passed through the new park, the park was named Miller Park. So at least Miler Street and Miller Park are still in existence though it is doubtful that few people survive who remember the Miller family and their contribution to settling this area.
My favorite letters are those that tell the story of youth and growing up, of weddings, births, and personal family matters which have turned me into a voyeur of life in a long ago bygone era of defiant grandeur, in the time when millionaires were made.