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Marilyn (Ruebensam) and Harley MILLER

Having met initially in the basement of Immanuel's United Church of Christ of Papineau was an appropriate beginning for Harley Ray Miller an Marilyn May Ruebensam since most of their married life has been spent only 2 doors from that church. That meeting was the summer of 1947 when Harley was painting the parsonage next door and Marilyn was teaching Daily Vacation Bible School. That began a 5-year courtship, ending in their marriage June 21, 1952, in the church. Marilyn, on only child, was born in Papineau July 30, 1930, to Edna May (Frogge) and Walter J. Ruebensam, who had married at the home of her parents, J. Benton and Emma (Schoth) Frogge in Papineau January 9, 1924. Walter and Edna lived briefly on a farm southeast of town with Walter farming and opening a Framer's Union cream-testing station. Eventually, they operated a tavern, a trucking business, a grocery store, and a farm implement dealership in Papineau. The tavern was located next to the Papineau Coliseum, the grocery stores in the former T. Denoyer auto agency and the Tegge Brothers Building, where the implement business and the Papineau Post Office were also located.

Walter was Immanuel Church's board president and board member, and Edna was financial secretary, choir member, and Women's Guild officer and member. Walter was president and board member of Papineau School District No. 8 and of St. Anne Community High School and Republican precinct committeeman many years. He was the Papineau Village Clerk with Edna as his secretary and bookkeeper for those jobs and their businesses. Home visitations for the American Red Cross was one of her favorite service activities. Evenings would find them driving or riding horses or ponies together with Marilyn reluctantly tagging along on a pony. Buying and selling livestock, especially the equine variety, was an avocation as well as a vocation. Showing Belgian draft horses in halter and in 2-, 4-, and 6-horse hitches was a favorite hobby.

Edna died following a long illness February 20, 1951. Walter married Genevieve McDonald in 1953. He died suddenly April 16, 1979.

Harley was born in Kankakee May 27, 1930, to Laura June (Hansen) (1911-1976) and Andrew Jackson Miller (1905-1973). His sister, Mary Ellen, had been born the previous year. Andy was a carpenter, a trade Harley learned early. However, the contractor's horses and ponies that needed training were more to Harley's liking, and he continued his equine interests which had begun with hi first ride on his Grandfather Charlie Miller's draft horse on an Iroquois farm. Following Watseka High School graduation and the end of 4 years of football, he was a car salesman prior to joining the Air Force in 1951. There he was a diesel mechanics instructor.

Marilyn graduated from Papineau District No. 8, St. Anne High School, and Northwestern University with a B.S. in speech education. Following 1 year of teaching at Onarga High School, she and Harley were married. They lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Harley was stationed. Emma May was born there in July 28, 1953; Harley was discharged in October, 1954, and they moved to Papineau, where Jane Ann was born June 18, 1955, and Carol Sue October 9, 1958.

Harley assisted Walter Ruebensam in the farm implement and farming business until the implement shop burned in 1961. Now he is a farmer, real estate salesman, riding teacher, and auctioneer. Marilyn taught high school English and speech for over 16 years in St. Anne and has substituted 9 years in Watseka and Central schools as well as Kankakee Community College.

The family hobby remains the showing of horses and ponies. Harley served 10 years as village trustee and 12 years as mayor, as church board president and board member several terms each. Marilyn has been active as church organist and Sunday School superintendent and in Women's Guild. She is chairman of the county unit of the American Cancer Society, board member of the Red Cross, secretary of the Executive Board of the Iroquois County republican Women, and member of the management committee of the Old Courthouse Museum and of Delta Kappa Gamma.

(this is from the History of Iroquois County page 506-transcribed by Carrol Mick)


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