“The Beauty of the Earth”
By Mary Elizabeth Miller
God drenched the hills with sunshine
And searched the woodlands fair,
Then sowed the seeds of kindness
Throughout the land he cares.
God kissed the earth with gladness
And breathed a breath of air,
Then took away the sadness
That caused much despair.
God painted golden sunsets
Above horizons blue,
Then gave the peace and quiet rest
That only faith can do.
God placed the stars in Heaven
Enshrined in all their glory,
Then filled the world with rhythm
To tell his wondrous story.
Like the expressive words about God and His creation of Earth’s beauty written in the poem by Mary Elizabeth Miller, the Miller family has left their own legacy here in Scott County with the establishment of the Mary Elizabeth Miller – Virgil S. Miller Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Scott County Community Foundation.
Virgil S. Miller was born Nov. 15, 1897 to Thomas and Emma Miller, on the family farm in Johnson Township where he would reside his entire life. He was a graduate of Scottsburg High School and Indiana University.
Mary Elizabeth Gray Miller was born on Sept. 21, 1915, to Hayes and Lula Richey Gray in Rush County. She was a graduate of Scottsburg High School and Lincoln Nurses Institute.
Virgil and Mary Elizabeth were married June 27, 1942, and made their home at the Miller homestead. Virgil had been a teacher for a number of years at various places in Indiana, but after their marriage he began teaching at Austin High School and would continue to teach there until his retirement. He was elected Scott County School Superintendent and held the position until it was abolished by consolidation. He was the first person in Scott County to start special education classes in Lexington.
After marriage, Mary Elizabeth gave up nursing and became a housewife. She was known for raising a large vegetable garden and many beautiful flowers. The couple were active members of New Providence Baptist Church.
Soon after Virgil’s death on July 24, 1967, Mary Elizabeth sold the family farm and moved to Green Street in Scottsburg. She cared for her parents and an aunt until their deaths. She continued to grow her beautiful flowers, and until her health failed she provided the floral piece for the alter table at her church.
Mary Elizabeth Miller died Sept. 14, 2007. In her will she had requested the establishment of a scholarship fund to benefit students at both Scottsburg and Austin high schools. A student will be awarded $1,000 from each school to pursue a degree at a four-year college or university. With the creation of this scholarship, students for generations to come will receive assistance in their pursuit of higher education.
“She had always talked about doing something to honor her husband, who had taught and was a superintendent,” said Mary Elizabeth’s cousin, Sue Collins. “She was a real sweet lady.”
By establishing a scholarship fund, the family name will be honored forever.
If you would like to donate to the Mary Elizabeth Miller – Virgil S. Miller Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Scott County Community Foundation, please call 752-2057, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in the office at 60 N. Main St. You may also mail your tax-deductible contribution to P.O. Box 25; Scottsburg, IN 47170.