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County Historian Grand Marshal Print E-mail

Bamberg County Historian, Betty Jane Miller, is being honored as the 2011 Schuetzenfest Parade Grand Marshal on Saturday, August 20th in Ehrhardt.

Betty Jane Barker Miller was born in 1936 in Barnwell County, graduated from Barnwell High School in 1954, and then from Newberry College, Summa Cum Laude, in 1959.

She taught in schools throughout South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

She moved to Ehrhardt in February, 1969 and was Chairman of the English Department and taught English from 1969-1971 at Bamberg - Ehrhardt High School. She was later Chairman of the History Department at Andrew Jackson Academy.

She finished her last 17 years in the classroom in Colleton and Hampton counties.

In every parish in which she lived she taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and filled pulpits and speaker slots when needed.

Miller left Ehrhardt in 1985 to return to her Barker home near Kline where she now resides. She has always looked at things with the eye of history. When she walked into George Copeland’s home in 1969, she said, “This house belongs on the National Register.” That was done in 1992.

She remembers with joy the day in 2000 when she defended the nomination for Mizpah Methodist Church for the National Register.

Bamberg County has eight historical markers that she worked on: Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church, 1988; Mizpah Methodist Church, 1992; St. John’s Baptist Church, 1997; Buford’s Bridge, 2002; Rivers Bridge, 2004; Woodlands Plantation in Bamberg, 2005; Mountain Home Plantation, 2007; and Salem Methodist Church, 2009.

She transferred her membership to Charles Pinckney D.A.R., Bamberg in 1972 and is a member of Ehrhardt - based Bratton- Jenkins U.D.C. She is an Honorary Member of Rivers Bridge Camp 842 S.C.V. and a member of the historical societies in Allendale, Barnwell and Bamberg counties (Old Barnwell District). She honors her two German Great - Great Grandmothers by lifetime membership in the Orangeburg German Swiss Society. She is a life member of the William Gilmore Simms Society.

Miller remembers with joy the six years she worked with historians Margaret Laurence and Nancy Foster to produce the book, 'The History of Bamberg County' in 2003. When asked when she will write her book, she replies, “What I know wouldn’t do to tell!”

Her fondest wish is that one day Bamberg County will have a museum to house the treasures of its treasured people of long ago.

Miller has one son, Burton Ronald Miller of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

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