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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
Rev. Duncan James McMillan, D.D.


DUNCAN JAMES, fifth son of Rev. Edward and Mary Ann (Brown) McMillan, was born in Tennessee; his ancestry on both sides were Scotch. His father, Edward, was the son of Malcolm and Joanna (Jacobs) McMillan. Malcolm was the son of Edward and Janet (Huie) McMillan, who were married in Kintyre, Scotland, about 1770, and came to America three years later. Before the Civil War the family removed to Illinois; the father and three sons, of whom Duncan was the youngest, served in the array. The death of the father in the service of his country left the family dependent upon their own resources.

Duncan worked hard at whatever offered, as farm-hand, wool-buyer, salesman, schoolteacher, and finally as tutor in college, until he completed his collegiate and theological courses. He received the degrees of A.B., S.T.B., and A.M. from Blackburn University. He was superintendent of the Carlinville city schools for two years, then pastor of the Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church, Carroliton, Ill., until impaired health compelled him to seek the Rocky Mountains.

He established schools among the mormons, incurring the enmity of Brigham Young, who denounced him as "an imp of perdition, a minion of Satan, a Presbyterian devil,’’ then instructed the ‘‘saints’’ to "get rid of him as you would a wolf that had entered your sheep-fold." There followed several attempts at assassination, in his room, parish and pulpit, which he bravely resisted. Thus he wrought and conquered, won the confidence of the people, and in ten years opened about forty mission schools, including four academies. His mission jurisdiction was extended over Utah, ldaho and Montana; he founded the College of Montana, and was six years President.

He was Secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions for eight years pastor of the New York Presbyterian Church twelve years, and in 1911 was called to be Secretary of the Board of Church Erection. He has represented his Presbytery in the General Assembly seven times, has been seventeen times representative of the Boards, was once Chairman of the Assembly ‘s Judicial Commission, and once Moderator of Synod. The degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by Washington and Jefferson College.

In 1879, he was married to Miss Emily Kent, daughter of Rev. Adam Johnston, a native of Glasgow, Scotland. They have two children: Clarence, a lawyer, member of the New York Bar, and Florence, a professional musician.


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