T.J. and Melvin Miles (front) were the Fairfax Fair Parade Grand Marshals Saturday, August 11, 2018. Pictured riding in the parade with them are their daughters, Lori Smith and Susan Mattson (back).
Melvin and Thelma Jean “T.J.” (Stevens) Miles were married on December 23, 1959, in Depauw, Indiana. Melvin is the son of Walter and Anna Elizabeth “Beth” (Holmes) Miles and a lifelong resident of rural Fairfax in the Elkdale Community. T.J. is the daughter of Sheldon and Zelma Stevens, was born in Detroit, and was raised in southern Indiana. They are the parents of two daughters: Lori (Gregg) Smith, Fairfax, and Susan (Tim) Mattson, Maryville, Missouri. They are grandparents to Miles (Amber) Smith, Fairfax; Leslie (Joey) Kankovsky, Omaha, Nebraska; Nic Mattson, Kansas City, Missouri; and, Tate Mattson, Columbia, Missouri. They are great-grandparents to Zailynn Cook, and anxiously await the births of Baby Smith and Baby Kankovsky as the sixth generation of their Miles’ family. Melvin and T.J. are long-time members of the Fairfax Baptist Church. He is a deacon and usher, and she has served faithfully in many different facets of the church through the years.
Melvin served the United States Army from 1958-60 stationed in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Ft. Knox, Kentucky. On July 4, 1959, Melvin and T.J. met on a blind date. He was stationed at Ft. Knox and she worked at the Blue Boar Café in Louisville, Kentucky, while attending Indiana Central College in Indianapolis, Indiana (now University of Indianapolis). After Melvin’s service to the Army finished in January 1960, they moved to and currently reside on the home place of his Uncle Harry and Aunt Elsie Miles. It became a Missouri Century Farm in 2016.
Through the years, Melvin and T.J. have farmed their place and the original Miles Family Century Farm established by grandparents John Hildred and Fannie Elizabeth (Creed) Miles in March 1896. It is where Walter was literally born and passed, Melvin was raised, and Lori and Gregg have raised their family and currently reside. It became a Missouri Century Farm in 1996. In addition, Melvin and T.J. farmed for their neighbors, John and Fay Bowness, for over 30 years. These farms have produced corn, beans, and many hay bales! The big red and white barn on the original family farm was home to many mules and milk cows in the early years. Cattle, hogs, and chickens were livestock raised on the farms, and milk and eggs were goods once sold. T.J. has grown wonderful large vegetable gardens that have fed their family and many others at their table and beautiful flower gardens, all that she has enjoyed tending. Melvin has also enjoyed the restoration of his 1963 Ford, “Old Green,” pick-up and the many miles trucking grain in his 1972 Chevrolet ten-wheeler, “Old Blackie.” Lori and Susan were raised learning the ways of the farm walking beans, working in the hayfields, mowing the yard, and lending a hand where necessary. Their Grandma Stevens once noted, “I was always afraid Mel would make boys out of those girls”!
Melvin and T.J. continue to enjoy farm life and time with their family and friends. And they are very honored to have their grandson, Miles, as their partner in the farming operation.