My mother's father, Burrell Million, Sr. was born in 1851 in Monticello, Missouri where he was reared. Members of his family owned a bank, hotel, and other businesses in Monticello. We have canceled checks showing he was in Farber, Missouri before he came to Oklahoma. He came to Oklahoma in 1904, first engaging in the banking business in Apache, then moving to Supply in 1911 where he bought the Bank of Supply. He was the president of the Bank of Supply which he successfully conducted to the time of his death. He led an active business life, giving liberally of both his time and means to the upbuilding of the community. He died in 1920 of heart trouble.
The picture to the right is the Apache Bank.
My grandmother, Emma Catherine Kell (Bonnie) was born in Indiana in 1856. I do not know anything of her early years except that she married my grandfather in Missouri in 1877. She had the title of vice president of the bank although I do not remember her actually working at the bank. I was very fond of her; she was a very loving woman. Both of my grandparents are buried in Hennessey, Oklahoma.
Bonnie's father, Samuel Kell, my great-grandfather, participated in the Oklahoma land rush along with his son and daughter, Alice and Edwin. Edwin received a homestead near Okarchie and Alice received one near Bison. The story is that Samuel gave a drunk a ride during the land rush and when they got to the place that Samuel wanted the drunk fell off the wagon. He later claimed he was on the land first and my grandfather lost his claim. Samuel spent the rest of his life with Alice on the family homestead.
Edwin later moved to Apache and had a grocery store there. He later married the daughter of the family who owned the hotel and also ran the hotel.This may be how the Millions ended up in Apache. The Millions were active in the business comunity in Lewis County, Missouri. I assume Edwin convinced his sister Bonnie and Burrell Million that there was opportunity for them in Oklahoma.
My mother, Ora Million Zerby, was a beautiful, talented, dear woman. She was more of a business woman and society person than a loving mother. Daddy, Percy B. Zerby, was a loving and gentle person with a gift for words. . This was a second marriage for both of them. My mother was Catholic and my father a Baptist, which at that time was not the best combination.
Mother was born in Missouri; I believe in Williamstown. At least that was where Aunt Ethel was born. She attended a Catholic college at a Catholic convent in Quincy, Illinois. She was originally married to Dr. Arthur Perry. She had Uncle Don and Uncle Sam while married to Dr. Perry. I also believe she lost several babies.
my mother's first husband, was practicing medicine in Missouri when my
Grandfather Million convinced him to move to Apache. There was no doctor
in Apache at the time. Shortly after they moved to Apache some type of
epidemic broke out along the Texas/Oklahoma border in the panhandle. Dr.
Perry volunteered to go help fight the epidemic. They are not sure what
happened but they found him one morning frozen to death in a store he
was sleeping in. The front door was open. It was assumed he may have caught
the epidemic and was not able to get up and close the door.
My mother had a brother, Burrell Jr. and a sister Ethyl. Burrell Jr. was quite an athlete and played baseball on two different teams which Grandpa was not too happy about.
My father, Percy Brandon Zerby, was born February 2, 1885 in Missouri. He had three brothers and three sisters. There are documents showing his family tree going back eleven generations to Mecklenburg in North Germany. I do not remember anything about Daddys early years. His father, John H. Zerby, worked at the hospital and at the butcher shop. He had come to Junction City in 1917. My father worked in the bank my mothers family owed. This is how he met my mother who also worked in the bank. After my grandfather died my uncle, Burrel E. Million, Jr. became the president of the bank. My grandmother was vice president, Daddy was cashier, and mother was the assistant cashier. Daddy was also the town treasurer in 1912. I also believe Daddy was the president of the State Bankers Association at one time He was a very respected man and at one time there was talk of him running for governor. He loved to read and always had a collection of books. We would often be awaken at night by Daddy reciting poetry.
At left are my grandparents, John H. and Nancy Zerby. They also lived in Supply.
For more detailed information on all of the family, reference the genealogy link on the Al Dorr Family web site.