A.C. Millar had a determined look about him even at age 3.
Editor’s note: A.C. Millar was president of Hendrix College from 1887 to 1902 and again, from 1910 to 1913. He was president when Central Collegiate Institute was renamed Hendrix College in 1889 and when the College moved from Altus to Conway in 1890.
About the Author
Memories of Alexander Copeland Millar, My Grandfather
by George D. Millar, Jr. '49
||By Susan Millar Williams
I first encountered my great-grandfather in a series of albums that sat on a slanted shelf in my parents’ living room. The books traced the history of the Millar clan from eighteenth-century Ireland to twentieth-century America, but at the heart of every volume was the family patriarch, A. C. Millar. I pored over those musty books, spellbound and envious. Who was this bearded man? Why were people willing to do whatever he said, even when he was little more than a pimply teenager? And more to the point, how could I ever compete with someone who became president of a college when he was only 25?
When I graduated from Hendrix at the age of 21, I compared my achievements with A. C.’s and found them paltry. To an English major with no idea what to do next, A. C. Millar’s charisma and precocity seemed almost as daunting as the fact that Carson McCullers published The Heart is a Lonely Hunter when she was only 23.
There was a lot I didn’t know back then—the books that still sit on my parents’ living room shelf tell only part of the story. Sometime in the late sixties, my grandfather and my great uncle divided the family papers between A. C.’s three grandchildren. Aunt Boots, Elizabeth Millar Rush, who lives in Los Altos Hills, Calif., got one part of the collection. My father, Paul Harwood Millar Jr., got another. And their cousin, George Dana Millar Jr., who lives in Conway, got the rest. Together, these letters and diaries reveal the evolution of Hendrix College and how it fits into the history of higher education in America.
Slang, and How it is Slung
Missouri and the ministry
Alex arrives in Altus
The move to Conway
The first hard winter
The loss of George
Alex's departure and return