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Portrait of a UTA Family
The Taylor family's association with UTA and its preceding institutions began in 1911. It continues today through Lloyd Clark and his granddaughter, sophomore Alida Eggen.

Birth of Nations spawned UTA family affair
With the family home on land now occupied by UTA's South 40 parking lot, it's not surprising that seven Nation siblings attended neighboring North Texas Agricultural College in the 1930s and 1940s.



 

A room with a view
Unconventional courtship leads to 50-plus years
of marriage for NTAC couple

Every afternoon, Amp Miller and his buddy Lloyd Clark leaned out their dorm-room window to watch the prettiest girl on the North Texas Agricultural College campus walk by.

“Oh, all the screaming and hollering that went on. It was quite an event,” Amp remembers.

The howling was directed toward Ruth Boutwell, whose dating schedule was packed. But Amp longed to be on it. “It was hard for me to crack in there. She’d go out to lunch with one fellow, to the dance with a second, and then to the late-night dance at the local club with a third. Eventually I gave up for the short term—stepped back a little.”

One day, from their perch in Davis Hall (now Brazos Hall), Amp turned to Lloyd and declared, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry.” And, several years later, he did.

When Uncle Sam called in 1943, Amp left on a three-year tour of Europe. But the military was not to be his career.
“I went into the Army as a private and came out as a private first class,” he said with a laugh. “Congress had passed a law that if you’d been in for 30 months and hadn’t caused any trouble, you had to be promoted.”

While Amp was overseas, Ruth finished at NTAC (now UTA) and completed her bachelor’s degree at U.T. Austin. She was back in Dallas when she heard Amp was home. They went on their first date in 1946, when Amp invited her to the wrestling matches.

“The heroes won, the villains lost. It was a rousing night,” he said. “But the guys behind us spilled beer on her new coat.” The second date would be a classier venue—the symphony.
“It was lovely, and no one spilled beer on her.”

When Amp finally popped the question in 1946, Ruth hesitated for a moment. “What if some day I find someone I like better?” she asked. “You never will,” he replied.
They married Aug. 31, 1946. “We’re so lucky,” Ruth says today. “I’ve always really enjoyed being with Amp.”

They have three children, including their oldest, Amp III. The name, originally given to Amp’s father, honored a favorite great-uncle Ampie. Amp himself started out with the name Armstead, but that changed.

“When I started school, I told my dad I couldn’t even spell it,” he said. “I asked him to change my name to Amp, too. So he went down to the records office and did it. Now we have an Amp the third and our grandson is Amp the fourth.”

Cherished memories and dear friends keep bringing Amp and Ruth back to Arlington from their home in Dallas.
“I can’t applaud the alumni group enough,” Ruth said. “They help us keep up with all of our old friends. That has meant so much to us.”

The NTAC alums dance and visit and reminisce. And Amp still thinks Ruth is the prettiest girl on campus.


– SWN

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