“On July 23, 1864, the ship Bellone, that had set sail from Antwerp, Belgium docked in the Boston Harbor. On the ship was a 21-year-old, registered as a farmer from Hanover, Germany. His name was Carl Ernst Friedrich (Fritz) Miltner, born in Celle, Germany. Fritz was my great-grandfather,” according to Eugene Marshall.
“Fritz accepted a stipend from a man who had been ordered to serve in the military and in his place was subscripted July 25, 1864, as a member of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, The Minute Men. Fritz served in the unit until the end of the Civil War in 1865. He was discharged on July 29, 1865, in Washington D.C., and received his separation pay on August 10, 1865,” according to Marshall.
Fritz then worked his way to Galveston, spent ten years there and in Houston Texas, and then in 1878 moved to Dallas. In 1880 he obtained a job with the Slaughter Ranch, headquartered in Dallas but located in the Arlington area. Working long enough to earn money, Fritz purchased some land on Cadiz Street and became a “truck gardener.” His garden was on Cadiz Street, and his house was on Lamar Street. The 1900 census shows his address to be 420 Lamar.
In 1869, a young lady by the name of Emma Fellerson arrived from Sweden. She first went to Illinois. She was to be my great-grandmother. She married and lost her husband. Emma came to Dallas and worked for the Slaughter Ranch, then became a cook for the Everts family.
On July 1, 1882, Judge Price married Fritz and Emma. On September 26, 1884, Fredrick Miltner, (Fred), my grandfather, was born. At one time, the Fredrick Miltner family were the only Miltners in the United States.
Grandpa attended and graduated from Professor Malcom’s private school. In those days, a private school was the only kind of school there was in this part of the world. While at the school, Fred became a very good friend of Charles Fagin. He may be the Fagin that became a general during the Second World War.
The first job I heard of Grandpa having was one in which he was in charge of a crew (or the crew) to build the Oak Cliff Viaduct. According to his obituary it is now called the Houston Street Viaduct. I have a picture of him and his viaduct crew with the bridge under construction in the background. The contractor, Leo (?) Corrigan liked Grandpa so much that Corrigan asked him to go to Kansas City to be the foreman of a project of building an underground tunnel. Grandpa went. After the completion of the tunnel, Corrigan bought a ranch in western Kansas and asked Grandpa to be the foreman of it. After his contract there was up, another of the bosses or owners of the construction company asked him to be the foreman of a ranch in the Hill Country of Texas, near Barksdale. Grandpa accepted the position.
At some point, when Fritz lived and worked on Cadiz Street, the Morton Milling Company wanted to build a flour mill on the land that the garden was on. Fritz sold the garden to the Morton Milling Company.
Fritz then bought a parcel of land from what was part of the Lagow Estate located south of Fair Park. The land he purchased was at the northeast corner of Lagow and Spring Avenue. That land became Fritz’s “garden” and home.
Fritz and Emma had passed away by 1918. The Fred Miltner family did not return to the old home place on Canal Street until his contract in Barksdale was up sometime in 1920. Grandpa then started work as head of maintenance at the American Laundry, where he stayed until he retired.
In about 1934, a couple of years after I moved in with the family, Fred was awarded a certificate of merit for his 50 years of pioneer work for the city of Dallas.
Marshall then added, “When the area below Fair Park began to be developed, the city fathers had made arrangements to put in a street along the northern edge of the property, but did nothing about it until after the family moved there in 1945. The street addition proposal may have come about when Grandpa, Fred, sold the lower part of the garden. The street even had a name, Canal Street. During my stay in the old home place, there was absolutely no way to use the so-called street and in my time there, never was. It was nothing but plain old dirt, with no entrances or exits, and part of it had to pass through what at one time was a creek. The house where I grew up faced on the “street that never was” and had a house number of 4222 Canal Street. Across Lagow from the garden, there did exist a dirt street called Canal Street that had several houses on it.”
By Eugene Marshall. Courtesy Proud Heritage, Volume III by Dallas County Pioneer Association.