First all her grandfather was a very successful cattleman in Cameron Parish. Born in 1857, Eugene continued the work of his father Pierre V. Miller, A Civil War Veteran. In “Eugene Miller Early King of Cattle” by Nola Mae Ross, 1989, it stated “…Eugene Miller…became the pioneer patriarch of the cattle industry on the big ridge. "Eugene Miller is a ranchman with great herds of cattle, and he devotes most of his time to riding a horse, " reported one early newspaper. Starting out with a small heard of wild marsh cattle, Miller built a cattle empire which he operates with four of his sons and five sons-in-law.”
- “Another daughter, Annociade, married Albert Theriot. From this branch of the Miller family came the Broussards, Crains, Richards, Eaglesons, Zampanis and Arceneauxs. One son, Pierre Jr., was the ancestor of several attorneys and judges in the Jennings area, including Judge Minos D. Miller.”
My parents [Annie Mae's parents], Ozena Miller and Charles Richard, lived with my grandparents, so I remember them very well. My grandfather's life was tied up with his cattle. He had thousands of them." "I remember the cattle drives when they took cattle to summer pasture or to market. Most of the cattlemen along Grand Chenier would meet at our home and leave from there for Mulberry Ridge and Chenier Oau Tigre." "I helped my mother make the syrup cookies that they always carried in their saddlebags. Sometimes the men were gone for a month."
“Another granddaughter, Corrine (Mrs. Steve Canik) of Grand Chenier, whose parents were Louise Portier and Arceneaux Miller, remembers living near her grandparents. "The old homestead, which we visited often, was a large house with four big bedrooms upstairs and four more downstairs. There was a huge dining room and kitchen, plus the usual outhouses in back." Her father, Arceneaux, was a cattlemen, as were several other sons of Eugene - Severin, Prevat and Leazima [M. Miller comment: Leazima is a daughter who married Alcie Theriot] - and also sons-in-law Pete Broussard, Charles Richard, Sosthene Broussard, David Doland and Steven Carter. Two of Eugene's sons were Dr. Martin O. Miller, who practiced in New Orleans, and Dr. Laurent O. Miller, who practiced medicine in Grand Chenier from 1911 until his death in 1949.”
“Dr. Miller also told of the first pair of shoes he got when he was six. "They were quickly discarded as they were stiff and uncomfortable, with uppers and a row of buttons down the side." His daughter, Annie Laura Miller of Baton Rouge, recalls their Sunday dinners, with most of the uncles and aunts and cousins gathering at Eugene Miller's home. "We thought we were rich when grandpa got us a ball and bat so we could play baseball." Another of his daughters, Marilyn Miller, lives in New Orleans. “
“There is one living child of Eugene Miller - Melicia (Mrs. Sosthene Broussard), who is 93 years old and lives on Pecan Island near her son, Harris Broussard, and daughter, Florence (Mrs. Steven Broussard). She recalls attending the little Miller school and then later going to Mt. Carmel Catholic School in Abbeville, before coming home and marrying Sosthene Broussard of Creole.”
“Dr. Barbara Doland Coatney of McNeese, the daughter of Estelle Miller and David Y. Doland and granddaughter of Eugene and Angeline Miller, has collected a great deal of history on the family. She estimates the descendants run into the hundreds in this area alone.”
“The Miller family made a great impact upon the cattle raising business in Grand Chenier, beginning at a time when cattle were wild, long-horned and skinny marsh animals, and building it into a profitable industry. Eugene Miller, pioneer cattleman, had a long list of descendants who have branched out into many different professions and who are still contributing much to the improvement of the world around them.”
Annie Mae Richard’s Family
In addition to her grandparents family, Annie Mae’s immediate family’s achievements would make anyone beam with honor.
Martin Richard, Sr., Annie Mae’s oldest brother, said of his oldest brother Henry “Harry” Richard: “Regarding my brother, Harry, receiving the Purple Heart. As I recall during the battle at St Lo [it served as a strategic crossroads in July 1944. American bombardments caused heavy damage and the city was 95% destroyed. With the high number of casualties, the martyr city was called “The Capital of Ruins”], Harry was in a jeep that ran over a land mine and was injured. He was very lucky because the other passengers in the jeep were critically injured or killed. Harry was chosen as the exemplary soldier in his division or company and was sent home for two weeks vacation during the Battle of the Bulge. Lucky again. The group I was in along with everything the 8th Air Force could muster flew at 10,000 feet to more accurately blast a path through the German Front Lines at St Lo allowing American troops to break through. Normally we flew at 25 to 30.000 feet. So he was on the ground at St Lo and I was in the air.”
Martin Richard was a highly decorated veteran as well. The following was written by Cyndi Sellers in the Cameron Parish Pilot in July 2009”
“Martin Richard, a resident of Metairie, formerly of Grand Chenier, was among 38 American veterans receiving high tribute in France as part of this year's D-Day commemorations. He was one of three Louisiana World War II veterans chosen to receive France's highest decoration, the Legion of Honor.
The veterans enjoyed an all expense paid trip, courtesy of the French government, had their own personal military escort, and were treated royally.
On June 6, the veterans participated in ceremonies commemorating the 65th anniversary of D-Day, also attended by President Obama, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, and Prince Charles of England. The ceremonies took place at the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.
On June 22, the Louisiana House of Representatives and Senate honored the three veterans with concurrent resolutions, and afterward they were guests of Gov. Bobby Jindal in his office. The resolution recognized Richard for participating in 9 firing missions in France and 26 firing missions Germany while serving in the Army. In August of 1944 he was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire over France and was captured. He spent nine months as a prisoner of war in Grostyskow, Poland.
Richard has been honored with numerous awards for outstanding bravery and valor during the war, including the Prisoner of War medal and Distinguished Flying Cross.
He is a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and has served as commander of the South Louisiana Chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War.
The resolution closes with the words: ‘Therefore, be it resolved that the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby commend Martin Richard of Metairie upon his receipt of the French Legion of Honor medal for his military service on D-Day during World War II, does hereby record for posterity the outstanding achievements and remarkable courage of this heroic gentleman, does hereby extend heartfelt and enduring appreciation for the tremendous honor that he brings to his family, friends, and community, the state of Louisiana, and the United States of America, and does hereby recognize that the experiences and achievements of this extraordinary veteran will never be forgotten and will forever remain a source of great inspiration and pride on the minds and hearts of all who know, admire and love him.’ "