Interview with Mr. Reid Miller conducted on 6 July 1978. Mr. Miller has resided in Gait for the past eight years but previous to that he always lived on farms in the Glen Morris area. Mr. Miller’s sons still farm in Glen Morris.
Interviewer: How long did you live in Glen Morris?
Mr. Miller: Well, I lived here all my life, until I moved to Galt about eight years ago. I was "born on the farm where George, my son is now. My Dad was born on the Miller homestead on Highway 2b and then he bought the farm where George is now.
Interviewer: What kind of a farm was the one you grew up on?
Mr. Miller: It was a mixed farm, cattle, pigs, hens, turnips etc. We took the turnips and sold them right at Glen Morris. Many falls we were selling turnips for 100 a bushel. If you got 800 bushels off your crop at 100 a bushel that would more than pay your taxes.
Interviewer: How many acres were on your farms?
Mr. Miller: There were just 100 on my farm. There were 58 on the Homestead farm. About 1930 I bought 5 acres off the old McKenzie place so that gave us 150 acres.
Interviewer: What school did you go to?
Mr. Miller: I went to the school i n Glen Morris, to the old brick school. Previous to that there was a log school across the road from the brick school.
Interviewer: Do you remember anything about your teachers there?
Mr. Miller: Oh yes. Miss Smith was my first teacher. It was a one room school with a big stove in the middle. You would go in the morning and it would be quite chilly but it would warm up. We had to walk just over a mile to school, but when you did it everyday it didn’t seem to bad. There have been three generations of Millers who have attended the brick school. First there was myself, then my son John and then my grandson Scott.
Interviewer: Could you tell us about the many different things that were located in the Centennial Hall?
Mr. Miller: Originally it was the Methodist Church, then it was a Forresters Hall, then the school board bought it for overflow and now it is a community hall.
Interviewer: Could you tell us about some of the industries that were located in town, the grist mills, saw mills etc?
Mr. Miller: They were mostly before my time. Most of them were located right down by the river. One of the more recent industries was the Hannen Varnish Factory. It moved from Glen Morris to Gait and then back to Glen Morris. It closed then about 10-15 years ago. It was located right across the river where the old bridge was. There only one or two people in the factory. There were tow blacksmith shops and the library but all the beer places were gone before my time. I was brought up right. No temptations.
Interviewer: What did you do for fun around the village?
Mr. Miller: Well I used to go courting the girls with the horse and buggy. You just put the lines around the post or behind your back and then your arms were free to hug the girl. When it was late you could fall asleep because the horse would bring you home. We used to go to the store two or three times a week and sit around and gab and play cards. We also played some tennis on grass courts behind what is now the Centennial Hall. We skated on the river in the winter and swam during the summer depending on the school teacher.
Interviewer: Were there any organizations around? Any farmers groups etc.?
Mr. Miller: Not too many. We had a farmers club where you could buy binder twine, salt, etc. at cheaper prices. My Dad belonged to the Forresters. From 1900-1910 they were quite a strong group in Glen Morris. They had quite a membership. They met every so often and had an oyster supper once a year.
There were a few church groups. The church that is used now was the Presbyterian before Union.
Interviewer: Were there any stores in the village?
Mr. Miller: The main store was burnt down. It was right on Main St. Then there was a store across from the really big house that is now apartments. Fleming had the store that burnt and then Merchant took over after it was burnt. There was a hotel where the library is but I don't remember that. There was a big horse stable there. Must have held about twenty horses. There was also a stable at the church.
Interviewer: What about transportation from Glen Morris?
Mr. Miller: There was the old Grand Valley run and then the Lake Erie and Northern took over. There was a trolley that you could take either to Paris or Gait. The Grand Valley's main run was from Kitchener to Brantford. The tracks for it went right across Pete Morton's and Don Sharp's field. You could get picked up anywhere along the track. We sometimes had to help push it up the hill. We usually used harse and buggy or horse and cutter to get to Gait.
Interviewer: Could you tell us anything else that happened in Glen Morris?
Mr. Miller: Well we used to have dances, euchre parties. Just after I was married we went from house to house and had really good house parties.