Amy and David McKinstry's Ancestors

Pictures of June Mills

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This is from the Mount Vernon (IL) High School yearbook.

This from her days at Southern Illinois University.

Tyra Mills (Father), June with cat, Cora (Mother), Reba
Sorry, I don't know the cat's name.

June was a teacher for many years.  This note was a favorite.  
Sammy needs to be excused so his Mother can take him to the tavern.

June Mills McKinstry
Born July 5, 1914 in Jefferson County.

Converted in 1927 & baptized Aug 1927.
Joined Methodist Church 1936.
“Faithful Member” from then on.

Married Sept 25, 1943.

Songs for her funeral
“Still, Still With Thee
“Be Still My Soul”
“Sometime We Will Understand”.

Play “Nearer My God, Rock of Ages, Fade Fade Each Earthly Joy, Asleep in Jesus, Beautiful Robes, Saved by Grade, Abide With Me.”
I want an obituary.  I’d rather the casket never be opened at least not to the public.

I will meet you in heaven – June.

The Story of June McKinstry’s Life

Mildred June Mills was born on July 5, 1914 to Tyra and Cora Mills of rural Keenes, IL.  Tyra was a prosperous farmer. 

The family went to Garrison Temple Methodist Church.  This Methodist church preached salvation by grace.  They held revival meetings and those who repented were baptized in the creek.  Methodists used to be very evangelistic, much like Baptists.  The present-day United Methodist Church is far different.

June was “Converted” in 1927 and baptized Aug 1927.

June walked to the one-room country school in the neighborhood.  A change came for her when her parents decided she should go to high school.  This was a big deal, most people in the rural neighborhood did not go to high school.  It was necessary for her to live in Mount Vernon to go to high school.

June graduated from Mt. Vernon High School and went to college at what is now Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.  At that time it was at least mainly a college for training future teachers.  She taught in many one-room country schools.

In probably the late 1930’s June got a job teaching at Duncan School in Perry County, IL.  In that rural neighborhood she met Robert McKinstry.  Eventually they were married September 23, 1943, in Geneva, IL.

June had been teaching in Geneva, IL.  When a female teacher got married she would no longer be allowed to teach school.  Married women “did not work outside the home”.  Attitudes were different then, to say the least.

June’s Mother, Cora Mills “did not work”.  That is she did not hitch up the horses and go work in the field.  Cora raised chickens, grew a big garden and canned the produce.  This was a big part of what the family ate.  All cooking was done on a wood-burning stove.  To do laundry she had to heat water in a big cauldron and wash the clothes on a washboard.  Cora made lye soap for the family to use.  But she “did not work”. 

Anyway, June could no longer teach school. By this time Robert had shipped out to the Pacific and was there for the rest of the war.  June went to Oregon and got a job at a shipyard.  This was during WWII, and the nation was mobilized for war.  Her first job at the shipyard was cutting big sheets of metal with a welding torch.  June was “Rosie the Riveter”.  Later they found out she had a college education or maybe they just figured out she had a brain.  She was transferred to working in the shipyard office.  She worked in the shipyard for the rest of the war. 

At times June worked in factories and as a waitress.  Also she worked as a nurse at a hospital.  The timeline for some of this is uncertain, although it must have been during her college years.

When the war ended Robert came home from the Army.   For two years he farmed in Jefferson County, IL.  They lived in the house which had belonged to June’s Grandfather, Horace Boudinot Wilson.  This was near June’s parents, Tyra and Cora Mills.  Then Robert bought part of his family farm and farmed in Perry County Illinois.  June taught school in a variety of places. 

This is a good job interview story:  June had decided to quit teaching and just be a farm wife.  The principal at Tamaroa High School needed a teacher.  It was nearly time for the school year to start.  So he drove out to the McKinstry farm and asked June to teach.  She agreed.