Hugh Miller often showed Thistle Ha’ visitors a fancy, well-worn cane given to his grandfather, and told its story below. The cane was destroyed in the house fire at Thistle Ha’ in 1985.
As told by: Hugh Miller

A local widow came to Thistle Ha’ and asked John Miller for help. Her son had just been convicted of murder, and was sentenced to hang. She explained that two men and her fifteen-year-old son had broken into a farmer’s house in the middle of the night, looking for liquor. The farmer had come downstairs to investigate the noise, and in the ensuing struggle, the farmer was struck and killed.

She felt her son’s penalty was too severe: he was a youth who had become influenced by bad men since her husband’s death, he was a bystander during the fight at the farmhouse, and the family couldn’t afford to pay for an adequate defense at his trial. John Miller said he would see what he could do.