Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 926


Albert Gaul Miller. One of the prominent citizens of Mohnton, Berks county, is Mr. Albert G. Miller, who is now living retired, after many years spent in a mercantile business. Mr. Miller was born Feb. 27, 1860, in Mohnton, son of Jonathan H. and Mary A. (Gaul) Miller.

Mr. Miller attended the Cumru township schools and Mount Joy Seminary, after which he learned the hatting trade and followed that occupation until 1880. In this year Mr. Miller purchased his grandfather Joseph Gaul's store property at Mohnton, where he engaged in the mercantile business for ten years, being very successful. In 1890 he organized the Mohnton Lumber & Planing Mill Company, of which he was elected treasurer, a position in which he served until the firm sold out. During the ten years of his mercantile enterprise he served as assistant postmaster. In 1894 Mr. Miller engaged with the hat manufacturing firm of J. H. Miller, Son & Co., in which he continued two years, when he entered the manufacturing field on his own account, continuing therein until 1902, when he re-engaged in the mercantile business, organizing the firm of Mohn & Miller. This firm had the largest store in the borough and commanded the best trade, being very successful. In 1906 Mr. Miller retired.

In 1881 Mr. Miller was married to Mary A. Dietrich, daughter of Charles C. and Sophia (Gehret) Dietrich, of Richmond township, Berks county, and to this union there were born three children: Elmer D., who graduated from the township schools, the Reading Classical school in 1900, the State College in 1902, and Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in 1906, is now bookkeeper in the Schuylkill Valley Bank, Reading, Pa.; Arthur D., who graduated from the township schools, the high school at Shillington in 1904, and the Keystone State Normal school, Kutztown, Pa., in 1906, is now enrolled as a student in the Electrical Engineering course at State College, class of 1911; Alvin died at the age of fifteen months.

In politics Mr. Miller is a Republican, and he has been prominent in the ranks of his party. He served as auditor of Cumru township in 1885, 1886 and 1887; and as school director from 1900 to 1903, being secretary of the board for the last two years of his term of office, and was also an instigator of the erection of Cumru high school in 1902; and he was auditor of Mohnton borough during its first year. He is a member of Zion United Evangelical Church, where he has been secretary of the board of trustees since 1894, a teacher of the Sunday-school for twenty years, and a member of the building committee, which erected the present structure in 1894. He is a member of Knights of Pythias Lodge No. 485, where he has been through the chairs, and Knights of the Golden Eagle Castle No. 137, being a charter member of both organizations. He has a fine residence on Church street, which commands an excellent view of the surrounding country.




Amandon M. Miller, owner of a fine farm of 150 acres, situated in the northern part of Marion township, is a leading citizen of his section, and is now serving as a member of the board of supervisors of his township. Mr. Miller was born Oct. 8, 1860, in Marion township, son of Jared and Rebecca (Mogel) Miller.

Daniel Miller, the grandfather of Amandon M., was a resident of Tulpehocken (now Jefferson) township, where he died at the age of seventy years. He was a stone and brick mason and passed his entire active life at that trade. He married Elizabeth Shade, and they were the parents of three children: Joseph, who died in Pottsville, Schuylkill county, Pa., in 1907; Daniel, who spent his life in Jefferson township; and Jared S.

Jared S. Miller, father of Amandon M., was born March 27, 1838, and in early life learned the stone and brick mason's trade with his father. He also engaged extensively in agriculture. In addition to this for the past forty-five years he has been a veterinary surgeon, and in this line he enjoys a large patronage. He is the owner of two tracts of land, one of ninety-eight acres and the other of thirteen acres, but he now makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Charles P. Holzman, at Schaefferstown, Jefferson township. Mr. Miller married Rebecca Mogel, daughter of Samuel Mogel, and they were the parents of these children: Amandon M.; Calvin A., of Fleetwood; Ellen, who married Charles P. Holzman; and James, who died at the age of six years. The mother of this family died April 18, 1906.

Amandon M. Miller attended the schools of Jefferson township and was reared to agricultural pursuits, remaining at home until he was twenty-two years of age. At that age he embarked in farming on his own account on his father's farm. He remained there for nine years, and at the end of that time, in 1891, went to his father-in-law's farm of 150 acres, which is situated in the northern part of Marion township.

Mr. Miller married Emma K. Killmer, daughter of Edward L. and Rebecca (Filbert) Killmer, and they have become the parents of these children: Katie, who married Frank Blatt, of Marion township; Edward J., a telegraph operator, who lives at home; Samuel, who died at the age of five years; Lizzie and Mabel, both at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller and their family are well known in their section of Berks county. He is a member of Christ Lutheran (Tulpehocken) Church of Marion township, and Mrs. Miller is a member of Trinity Church of Jackson township, Lebanon county. He has served as deacon and elder in his church, and is now a member of the cemetery committee. In politics he is a Democrat, and has served a s county delegate from Jefferson and Marion township, and at the present time is a member of the board of supervisors of Marion township.

Fraternally he is connected with Golden Rule Lodge, No. 159, I. O. O. E., Womelsdorf.


p. 802


Rev. Benneville H. Miller, M. D., a retired minister of the United Evangelical Church of the East Pennsylvania Conference, who is now engaged in the practice of medicine at Mohnton, Pa., was born June 30, 1842, in Cumru township, Berks county, son of Jonathan and Cassie (Hornberger) Miller.

Daniellie (Daniel) Miller, the American ancestor of this well-known family, crossed the Atlantic ocean on the good ship "Patience," Capt. Hugh Steel, from Rotterdam, via Cowes, and landed at Philadelphia, Aug. 11, 1750. He was married (first) to a Miss Hanagy, by whom he had no children, and he went to Germany for his second wife, being married, in about 1758, to Veronica Mishler, who was born in 1736. She bore him the following children: Christian, born Feb. 17, 1760; Elizabeth, born Sept. 20, 1762; Jacob, born July 19, 1764; Abraham, born May 13, 1766, who became an Amish minister, married Anna Hostedler, and had six children: Christian, Sarah (m. Christian Wisley, an Amish minister), Daniel, Catherine (m. Christian Yoder, an Amish minister), Magdalena (m. Jacob Mast), and Susan (m. (first) Peter Petershine and (second) John Remp); Susanna, born Oct. 17, 1767; Fanny, born Sept. 18, 1769; Barbara, born Jan. 12, 1774; and Magdalena, born Sept. 21, 1776.

Christian Miller, grandfather of Rev. Benneville H., was born Feb. 17, 1760, and died Feb. 10, 1832, being buried in a private cemetery on the old Miller homestead at Shillington, in Cumru township. He became a minister of the Amish Church, and was beloved and esteemed by all who knew him. On June 1, 1783, Rev. Miller was married to Catherine Kurtz, born Aug. 27, 1761, who died April 20, 1837, the mother of these children: Abraham, born April 2, 1784, died Oct. 19, 1831; Polly, born Oct. 10, 1785, died April 26, 1867; Elizabeth, born Aug. 31, 1787, m. John Plank, and died Dec. 21, 1874; Daniel, born April 9, 1790, m. Catherine Kerling, and had eight children --Elizabeth, Susan, Christian, Daniel, Catherine, Samuel (who has Charles), Harry and Mrs. Jacob Kessler; Catherine, born Sept. 27, 1797, m. Solomon Zook, of Tulpehocken township; Isaac, born July 18, 1802,, m. Molly Wademan, had four daughters, and died Oct. 2, 1876; Hannah, born March 18, 1805, m. in 1822 Stephen Mast, born in 1800, died in 1868, and they had ten children; Jonathan was born Nov. 12, 1807.

Jonathan Miller was born on his father's farm in Cumru township, Nov. 12, 1807, and was a lifelong farmer where Shillington is now situated, owning 211 acres of excellent farm land, most of which is now divided into building lots. He was possessed of considerable means, and was a man of high worth and sterling traits of character. Mr. Miller was a member of the Amish Church, while his wife was of the Reformed Church, and both rest from their labors in Dr. B. H. Miller's vault in the Mohnton cemetery. Jonathan Miller married Cassia Hornberger, daughter of Conrad and Elizabeth (Mosser) Hornberger, and to them were born children as follows: Henry m. Mary Gebhart; Jonathan, of Mohnton, m. (first) Mary Gaul, and (second) Mary Fleischer; Benneville H.; Mary m. Owen Deeds, of Shillington; Franklin lives at Shillington, unmarried; Sarah m. Curtis Richmond, of Terre Hill; Daniel m. Amanda Kuser, deceased, of Lancaster county, Pa.; and Catherine m. Alvin Dietrich, of Yellow House, Pennsylvania.

Rev. Benneville H. Miller spent his youth on his father's farm, and his early educational advantages were secured in the public schools of his native township. In his sixteenth year he learned the milling trade, and was employed in the same for four years. He served as a local minister from 1868 to 1871, in the latter year entering the itinerancy of the Evangelical Church. Shortly thereafter he was appointed by the East Pennsylvania Conference to the Kutztown circuit, which then comprised the following places: Kutztown, Fleetwood, Blandon, Pricetown, Friedensburg, Pleasantville, Rockland, Richland, Wessnerville, Kistlers Valley and Albany. In 1872 he was appointed to Hamburg Mission, in 1873 was appointed to Mahantango circuit in Schuylkill county, serving three years; in 1876 to Uniontown; in 1879 to Allentown; in 1882 to Emaus; in 1885 to Cressona; in 1887 to Mohnsville, in 1890 to Mahanoy City, and in 1893 to Weissport, and it was while serving the latter charge that his health failed completely. The long, arduous service had undermined his strength, strained his nervous system and robbed him of his voice. He was compelled, therefore, to resign, and shortly afterward removed to Philadelphia. After recuperation, he entered Hahnemann Medical College as a student, and three years later attended the Southern Homeopathic Medical College, from which he was graduated in 1899. He immediately settled at Mohnton, Pa., where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession. Dr. Miller took also a special course at the Philadelphia Lying-In Hospital of Practical Obstetrics, and he is an electropath of note, in which practice he has been very successful. Dr. Miller resides on Church street, Mohnton, where he owns a fine modern residence, purchased by him in 1899. He also owns two other dwelling houses within the borough of Mohnton. In politics the Doctor is independent, voting not for the party, but for the man. He cast his first vote in 1860 for Abraham Lincoln, and in 1861, on that great President's call for 75,000 volunteers, he shouldered a musket in defense of his country, enlisting under Capt. McKnight in Company E, 42d P. V. I. Socially the Doctor is connected with the Sr. O. U. A. M., of Mohnton. He and his family are members of Zion's United Evangelical Church of Mohnton, and Mrs. Miller is an active member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, Women's Missionary and Ladies' Aid societies, doing much in various ways to assist in the work of the church.

On Nov. 29, 1866, Dr. Miller was united in marriage with Emmeline Overholser, former school teacher of Lancaster county, where she taught school three terms. She is the daughter of the late Rev. Isaac and Mary (Landis) Overholser, of Terre Hill, Lancaster county, the former a pastor of the United Evangelical Church. To Dr. and Mrs. Miller have been born four children: Dr. Martin L. is mentioned elsewhere; Myra L. m. Henry Stauffer, former manager of the Hershey Manufacturing Company, at Manheim, Pa., but who left for Oregon in October, 1908, and has two children, Miriam and Russell, Celia E., born Feb. 1, 1875, died March 31, 1877; and Matthew A., born May 7, 1879, died Jan. 27, 1884.


p. 1451


Charles J. Miller, postmaster, station agent and telegrapher at Calcium, where he is also engaged in an extensive flour, feed, grain and coal business, was born near Calcium, in Maiden-creek township, Sept. 23, 1862, son of Charles and Maria (Schrack) Miller.

George Miller, son of Christian and grandfather of Charles J., was born March 17, 1786, and died Jan. 4, 1872, having spent his life in Maiden-creek township, where he was engaged in carpentering and undertaking, and where he owned a tract of land. He was married to Elizabeth Bersch, who was born Sept. 22, 1790, and died April 15, 1867, and they had these children: Samuel m. Priscilla Stahlnecker and removed to Adamstown, Lancaster county, where he kept the well known hostelry, "Miller's Hotel"; Charles; and Mary m. Charles Place, a farmer near Shoemakersville.

Charles Miller, father of Charles J., also followed undertaking and the trade of carpenter, and resided in Maiden-creek township, where he owned the old homestead. He died about 1900, aged seventy-four years. Mr. Miller married Maria Schrack, daughter of Daniel Schrack, and they had four children: Josiah, who died single in Idaho; George, who is also single, a resident of Blandon, Pa.; Mary, m. to Owen Fox; and Charles J.

Charles J. Miller received his early education in the local schools of his native district, after leaving which he learned telegraphy, and subsequently became station agent and telegrapher for the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, in whose employ he has been for twenty-five years, giving the utmost satisfaction. He is also postmaster of Calcium, where he has through energy and enterprise built up a large trade in coal, flour, feed and grain. It is generally conceded that Mr. Miller is one of Calcium's most public-spirited men, and as a citizen he stands high in the esteem of his fellow-townsmen.

Mr. Miller was married to Adaline Hoffman, daughter of David and Catherine (Koller) Hoffman, and they have had two children: Lloyd, born Aug. 29, 1884, was reared and educated at Calcium, where he learned telegraphy and typewriting with his father, whose partner he now is in the firm of Miller & Son; and Andrew died young. Mr. Miller and his family are members of Blandon Lutheran Church, of which he is now serving as a deacon. He is fraternally connected with the F. & A. M., of Kutztown; Blandon Lodge, I. O. O. F., and the American Protective Association.



Clayton Irvin Miller, undertaker and embalmer at Reading, in which business he succeeded his father, the late Ephraim S. Miller, was born in Reading, at the family home, No. 420 Washington street, Nov. 1, 1873.

Several generations of the Miller family have found homes and fortune in Berks county. Jacob Miller, great- grandfather of Clayton I., lived all his life in Robeson township, Berks county, and was a prominent farmer. He married Susanna Coplin, and their children were: Jacob, Levi, Henry, David, Harriet and Ann.

Levi Miller, son of Jacob and Susanna, was born in Robeson township, Oct 11, 1817, and in his youth he learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed some years, finally, however, turning his attention to farming, in which occupation he was engaged at the time of his death, May 10, 1849. In politics he was an old-line Whig, and he held a number of local offices. He married Susanna Scarlet (born June 29, 1814, died May 28, 1854), daughter of Ephraim and Lydia Scarlet, Quakers who formerly lived in Chester county, but afterward located on Hay Creek, near Birdsboro, this county.

Ephraim S. Miller, son of Levi, was born in Robeson township, March 31, 1840, and was educated in the common schools and in the school at Morgantown, under Prof. Tutton. The cabinet maker's trade attracted him, and after completing an apprenticeship thereto, served under Frederick Henninger, at Reading, with whom he remained six years, in August 1861, he began for himself by opening a shop at No. 329 Penn street, Reading. At the end of six years he moved to No. 420 Washington street, and opened an undertaking establishment, and at the time of his death June 13, 1907, he was the oldest funeral director in Reading, having been continuously engaged in the business for 46 years.

For some years in connection with his business he conducted a livery stable. He devoted much time to perfecting himself in his work, and for 12 years was a member of the Undertakers' Examining Board for the State of Pennsylvania, to which position he was appointed by four consecutive Governors. He was the only undertaker in Reading who was a member of the State Funeral Directors' Association, a society which he was instrumental in organizing, and in which he was a member of the Executive committee.

Mr. Miller was a member of the First Baptist Church, which he had served as a trustee for 47 years, 16 of which he was president of the board. His fraternal connections were with Lodge No. 62, F.& A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.; Mt. Penn Council, No. 495, R. A.; Reading Council, No. 46, O. U. A. M.; and the K. G. E. In politics he was a Republican, and for three terms he represented the Seventh ward in the common council.

Ephraim S. Miller was twice married. On March 28, 1861, he wedded Amelia Seyfert, and their children were: Etna m. Charles O. Custer; Elizabeth m. John J. Kienzle; Clyde S.; Howard L.; Susanna m. William R. Monyer; Clayton Irvin; and Daniel. Mrs. Miller died April 7, 1891. Mr. Miller m. (second) Deborah H. Lee, daughter of Thomas and Rachel Lee, Quakers of Oley township, and she survives him. Mr. Miller's funeral was in charge of the Funeral Directors' Association of Pennsylvania, which organization held a meeting in Reading the week of his death, and interment was made in the Charles Evans cemetery.

Clayton Irvin Miller has always lived in Reading. The public schools afforded him a good education and as he had assisted his father in the undertaking business from the time he was 13 years old, it was natural that he should later become associated with him in the business, and eventually succeed to it. At his father's death, Mr. Miller bought out the long established business, and he has since carried it on quite successfully, winning new laurels for the name. In October, 1891, he finished a course in embalming at the United States College of Embalming, New York City, which qualified him as an embalmer; and on March 12, 1897, he passed an examination before the State Board of Undertakers, and received a license to practise his profession throughout the State.

Fraternally Mr. Miller belongs to Lodge No. 62, F.& A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.; Friendship Lodge, No. 247, Knights of Malta; Thaddeus Stevens Council, No 252, O. of I. A., of which he was secretary ten years; Wyomissing Council, Royal Arcanum; and Camp No. 670, P. O. S. of A., which he served as secretary six years. He is a member of the First Baptist Church, in which he has been a trustee since 1902.

On Nov. 28, 1895, Clayton I. Miller was married to Mary E. Carrigan, born at Blandon, daughter of the late Samuel Carrigan, a native of Lancaster county. After the death of Mr. Carrigan, his widow became the wife of David Lebo, and now resides at No. 629 Laurel street, Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have one son, Irvin Parker.


p. 1538


Cyrus A. Miller, farmer and dairyman of Centre township, Berks county, was born in this county, in Tilden township, in the year 1848, son of Elias and grandson of Philip Miller.

Philip Miller, the grandfather, was born May 22, 1784, son of Philip, and died Nov. 19, 1855. He was a farmer in Upper Bern township, where he died, and is buried at Miller's Church, in the old cemetery, near Bern; his wife is also interred there. She was Elizabeth Deckler, of Upper Tulpehocken township, born Nov. 18, 1792, died Jan. 10, 1874. They had five children: John, Elias, Mary, Kate and Eliza.

Elias Miller, son of Philip, born Jan. 30, 1825, died June 22, 1885. He is buried at St. Michael's Lutheran Church. He was a farmer of Upper Bern township, owning land there, and was a well-known man in his day. He served as school director in Centre township. He married Catharine Althouse, born Dec. 18, 1821, daughter of John Althouse, died June 17, 1897. A family of eight children was born to them, namely: Cyrus A.; Monroe, who lives in Hamburg, this county; and six who are deceased, John, Charles, Mary A., Catharine, Elvina and Sarah.

Cyrus A. Miller remained with his father until twenty-four years old, after which he farmed for his father for twenty years in Tilden township, thence moving to the Bushong farm, in Bern township, where he was located for three years. He then resided in Spring township for a year. In 1902 settling on a farm of 240 acres in Centre township, a valuable tract at Shoemakersville, in addition to general farming he engages in dairying, keeping from twenty-five to thirty cows and shipping his milk to Sheridan and Mahanoy City. He has fine stock, having twelve horses, and his place is well equipped with up-to-date farming appliances.

In 1873 Mr. Miller married Lucy Seaman, daughter of George and Catherine (Mertz) Seaman, and granddaughter of George and Catharine (Kauffman) Seaman. Four children have been born to this union: Kate, who married Henry Shollenberger and lives at West Hamburg, Berks county: Irwin, at home; Elmer, who died when six years old; and Mattie, who died when six years old. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have adopted Wilhelmina Ashenbach, who is now (1908) nine years old.

Mr. Miller is a member of St. Michael's Lutheran Church, and socially he unites with Veteran Castle, No. 481, of Reading. He is a Democrat in politics, and while in Tilden township served as school director.


p. 1322


Daniel Miller, a well known business man of Reading, who is extensively engaged in stone-cutting and contracting, is a native of Germany, born in Bavaria, Feb. 7, 1857.

Mr. Miller was educated in the schools of his native country and there learned the trade of stone-cutter, which he followed in the Fatherland until 1882, in January of which year he came to the United States. In his native land Mr. Miller had served three years in the army, being a corporal at the time of his discharge. On coming to America he first settled in Newark, N.J., working at his trade there for two years, after which he removed to Stockton, in the same State, continuing there for a like period. At the end of this time he came to Reading, first engaging with Bower & Messimer, and later with Frank Evans. While with the latter gentleman he worked on the postoffice building, and it was he who carved the caps over the main entrance, a very creditable piece of handicraft, for which he received many flattering compliments. In 1889 he formed a partnership with Gottlieb Hersh and August Hess, but two years later Mr. Hersh and Mr. Miller re-formed the firm, the former continuing a partner until his death, in 1895, since which time Mr. Miller has continued alone. In 1883 he built the Girl's high school, on of the handsomest structures in this section of the State, in 1886 the Reading National Bank and the Schuylkill Valley Bank, and in 1884 the church at Ninth and Elm streets, one at Ninth and Greenwich, and one at Hamburg, Pa. He built the Lauer residence, on Third near Chestnut Street, Mercer's residence, a row for Mr. A. H. Kretz, the Baer office building, St. John's Lutheran Church, and the Nolan building. One of the finest pieces of work that Mr. Miller has done is the carving on a mantel in George F. Baer's library. He built the Auditorium in Reading, St. Peter's Catholic Church (this latter being one of the best he has done), worked on the nurses' home for St. Joseph's Hospital, and built the steeple on the church at the corner of Perkiomen Avenue and Spruce Street. Mr. Miller has the reputation of always living up to the word of his contracts. He is an expert stone-cutter, handling all kinds of stone, such as Hummelstown brown stone, Indiana lime stone, blue flag stone, and all kinds of marble and granite.

In 1885 Mr. Miller was married to Christina Bickley, and to this union four children have been born: Charles, a stone-cutter and machinist; Daniel Jr.; Catherine, m. to Charles Schauffert; and Helen. Mr. Miller is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church. In politics he is a Democrat. His fraternal connections are with Teutonia Lodge No. 367, F. & A. M.; Reading Lodge No. 115, B. P. O. E.; the Harmonie Maennerchor; several beneficial associations; the Bavarian Society, and the Brotherhood of St. John's Lutheran Church.


p. 599


Daniel H. Miller, one of the venerable citizens of Spring township, Berks county, Pa., was born at Sinking Spring, August 20, 1835, on the Miller homestead, son of Capt. Daniel and Mary (Hain) Miller.

Sebastian Miller, grandfather of Daniel H., was a native of the Fatherland, who settled in Cumru township some years prior to the outbreak of the Revolutionary war. In that great struggle he bore arms, as captain of the 7th company of the Berks County Militia, which on May 17, 1777, was in active service, his officers being First Lieutenant, Adam Ruth, Second Lieutenant, John Gernant, Ensign, John Ruth, and Courtmartialmen Michael Ruth and Peter Fisher. Captain Miller was a farmer by occupation and gave each of his sons a large property, Sebastian obtaining the farm at Adamstown, on which was also a tannery; John, a farm at Sinking Spring; Henry, a farm in Cumru township; Capt. Daniel, the property now in the possession of Daniel H. Miller, of Sinking Spring; and Benjamin, the farm near Fritztown, now in the possession of John Miller, a descendant. Capt. Sebastian Miller was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, was a man of courage and enterprise, and was esteemed and respected by all who knew him. He was buried in the Sinking Spring burial ground, adjoining the church. Captain Miller's sons were: (1) Sebastian married Catherine Gernand. (2) Johannes born March 20, 1773, died Nov. 7, 1836; he married, in 1789, Hannah Ludwig, and they had six sons and three daughters, two of the former and one of the latter dying in infancy. (3) Henry. (4) Benjamin. (5) George married Susanna Ruth. (6) Captain Daniel. Capt. Sebastian Miller also had several daughters, one of whom married a Ruth, and another a Gernand.

Capt. Daniel Miller, father of Daniel H., was born on the Miller homestead at Sinking Spring, May 2, 1789, and died there Feb. 6, 1844, aged fifty-four years, nine months, four days. He was first corporal in Capt. Henry Willotz's company, which was at York from Aug. 28, 1814, to March 5, 1815, and subsequently he was commissioned captain by Gov. Joseph Hiester of Pennsylvania. He was an active official in military affairs of Berks county, and was known and recognized as an authority on such matters. Captain Miller owned the property now in the possession of David G. Miller, of Sinking Spring, a descendant, and was a lifelong agriculturist, becoming well and favorably known in his community. He married Polly (Mary) Hain, born Oct. 14, 1801, who died May 23, 1884, daughter of Frederick Hain, also a captain during the Revolutionary war. To this union were born: Hiram (born Sept. 21, 1821, died June 1, 1877) spent his life at Sinking Spring, where he married Ephia (1817-1872), and had one son, John M., of Reading; Isaac, who settled in Freeport, Ill., had two children, Milton (a very wealthy citizen of Mexico) and Hannah (who died unmarried); Sebastian, a farmer of Danville, Ill, had three children - Harry, Ellen and Daniel; Jennie married Percy G. Smith, a clerk in the War Department, Washington, D. C.; Frederick lived in Oakland, Cal.; Daniel H.; Miss Katherine lives on the old place; and Elizabeth married Jandon Smith, and resided at Williamsport for many years.

Daniel H. Miller attended the old eight-cornered schoolhouse located on the Van Reed road, for some winters, his teacher being Prof. Henry Stetler, of Chester county. He was reared on his father's farm, and until fourteen years of age lived with his parents, then engaging in school teaching for two terms at the old Steffey schoolhouse, and one term, in 1867, at the Springs. He attended Graybill's Commercial school at Reading for nine months, and then resumed teaching, the school term lasting but four months, and the salary being one dollar per day.

In the spring of 1854 Mr. Miller, Dr. Fisborn, and Rev. Eugene Van Reed, went to California, settling in Sierra county, where Mr. Miller engaged in mining, conducting the Pennsylvania Company, which was located twenty miles north of a town called Minnesota. He remained in California for thirteen years, and was fairly successful, also traveling in Oregon, Washington, Mexico, Cuba, Panama, and the Central West of the United States, Virginia, New Jersey and other parts of this country. In the fall of 1866 he returned to Berks county, where he has since remained. In 1894 Mr. Miller erected a fine brick residence on Flying Hill avenue, and here he now lives in quiet retirement. In politics he is an independent Republican, and from 1884 until 1904 served as supervisor of Spring township, a period of twenty years. He is a member of the Jr. O. U.A. M., of Sinking Spring. He and his family are Reformed members of St. John's Union Church, of which he was a deacon.

In 1868 Mr. Miller was married to Rebecca Reber, born in 1845, daughter of Joel and Lovina (Faust) Reber, of Heidelberg township. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have two sons, namely: George, born Feb. 19, 1872, who married Ella Frankhauser, has two children - Esther and D. Shelton, is a dealer in horses and resides with his parents; and J. Norris.

J. Norris Miller, one of Sinking Spring's well known young men, was born Oct. 31, 1874, received his education in the local schools, and was licensed to teach, although he has never followed that profession. He has spent all of his active life in dealing in horses, and in this line has been very successful, being judged a capable business man and substantial citizen. In politics he is a Republican. His religious connection is with St. John's Lutheran Church, where, since 1899, he has been treasurer of the Sunday-school. In April, 1896, Mr. Miller was married to Alice M. Huyett, daughter of Charles H. and Elizabeth (Beidler) Huyett, and one son, Warren H., has been born to this union.


p. 1611


Miller. The Miller family of Berks county has resided here for a century and a half, and its members have proved themselves loyal and useful citizens in war and in peace.

(I) Johan Nicholas Miller, Sr., was a native of Germany. He came to America during the middle of the eighteenth century, and settled in Cumru township, Berks county, Pa., where he followed his trade, that of butcher, during the remainder of his life. During the War of the Revolution he gave valiant service to his adopted country. He was the father of four sons: Johannes, mentioned father on; Johan Nicholas; Peter, a butcher in Spring township, who married Mary Dusing, and had two sons and three daughters; and Philip, who died unmarried.

(II) Johan Nicholas Miller, son of Johan Nicholas, Sr., was born Sept. 12, 1794, and died Feb. 24, 1883. In early life he learned the butcher's trade with his father, and this he followed in connection with farming all of his life near Fritztown, Spring township. He married Judith Kessler, daughter of Peter and Polly (Weiss) Kessler, and they had these children: Jonathan K. (mentioned below), Priscilla (m. Isaac Pott), Leah (m. Jacob Kelchner), Elizabeth (m. Patrick Odier), Susan (died aged four years), Augustus (a farmer in Heidelberg township), Louisa (died aged seventeen years) and Kate (m. William Focht).

(III) Jonathan K. Miller, son of Johan Nicholas, was born in Cumru township Aug. 9, 1838, and when a young man he learned the trade of stone mason with William Bressler, of Spring township, for whom he worked until Oct. 27, 1862. On that date he enlisted as a private in Company E, 167th Pa. V. I., and served as a musician. He was honorably discharged Aug. 13, 1863. After the close of his army service he resumed his trade which he has followed to the present time. Since 1889 he has made his home in Mohnton. On Feb. 26, 1867, Mr. Miller married Sarah Hill, daughter of Henry and Maria (Fix) Hill, and to them have been born these children: James, born in 1867, m. Lillie Bitting; William A.; and Lizzie, born Dec. 13, 1873, m. Daniel Krick, of Mohnton.

(IV) William A. Miller, son of Jonathan, was born in Spring township March 12, 1870, and he received his education in the local schools. He left school to work on the farm, but after several years he learned cigar making with John Steffey, of Vinemont, an occupation which has engaged his attention since. In 1897 he removed from Spring township to Mohnton, Cumru township, where he lived with his parents for four years, and then located in Shillington, where he has since been employed by Karmer Brothers. In the fall of 1905 Mr. Miller erected a fine two-story house, at the corner of Miller and Church streets, in the front of which he keeps a grocery and carries a fine line of staple and fancy groceries and notions. His wife takes care of the business during the day time, and they enjoy a large and ever increasing trade.

Mr. Miller is a gifted musician and is leader of the Winona Band of Mohnton, which consists of twenty-five pieces, and which as played at Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Lancaster, Kutztown and Dorney's Park. He enjoys an enviable reputation as a clarinet player, and has given lessons on this instrument and on the cornet, on which he is also a skilled performer. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are consistent members of Emanuel Reformed Church at Shillington, of which he is a trustee, and for the past nine years has been choir leader. He is also superintendent of the Sunday-school, and in various ways has been active in church and Sunday-school work. In political matters he Is a Republican, has been elected to the school board of Cumru township, which has thirty-two schools, and is president of the township board of education, this board having charge of the best managed and most thoroughly equipped schools of Berks county. Socially Mr. Miller stands high. He is a man of progressive and enterprising spirit, and when the question of incorporating Shillington arose he was in the foremost ranks of leading citizens in the movement, believing that it was for the welfare of the community.

On May 12, 1891, Mr. Miller was united in marriage with Miss Mary Ellen Schweitzer, born Sept. 5, 1873, daughter of Adam B. and Maria (Steffy) Schweitzer, and granddaughter of John and Catherine (Eshelmann) Schweitzer. By this union there is one daughter, Maggie Minerva, born Feb. 2, 1901.

(II) Johannes Miller, son of Johan Nicholas, Sr., lived in Spring township. He married Catherine Snyder, and they became the parents of three sons and three daughters.

(III) Peter Miller, son of Johannes, was a shoemaker, woodchopper and farmer. By hard labor he acquired a farm of sixty-five acres, on which he erected a house in 1843, and a barn in 1844. This house he replaced with a much larger and more modern home in 1889. On an adjoining farm lived his brother, George Miller, who erected his home in 1842. This locality took the name of Millerstown from the three brothers, Peter, George and John. Peter Miller married Sarah Stieley, daughter of John Stieley, and they became the parents of these children: Rebecca (m. Jacob Hatt), Sarah (m. John Hatt), John (died aged eighteen years), Katie (m. Thomas Moyer), James (died in infancy), Anna (m. Daniel Mellon), Levi (m. (first) Katie Zacharias, and (second) Sallie Seltzer), Peter S. and Isaac. Peter Miller Sr. died in 1896.

(IV) Peter S. Miller, son of Peter and Sarah, was born Dec. 11, 1850, in Spring township, and was educated in Miller's school-house on the homestead, which was erected by the township in 1845. He left school when eighteen years of age, and worked at home for his parents until he was twenty-four. He then worked as a laborer for seven years, making his home during this time at Weitzeltown. In 1882 he returned to the farm and tenanted it until his father died in 1896. He then purchased the farm, and he still continues to cultivate it with great success. This farm consists of 102 acres, including six acres of woodland. He also does some trucking and attends the Reading market, having had stand No. 28 at the Bingaman street market since 1882. His farm is equipped with the latest improved machinery, and he also owns some fine live stock. The excellent buildings and the generally neat appearance of the premises all reflect credit upon his management. He built his fine barn in 1905. He also owns a farm of fifty-eight acres in Spring township, one of the old Krick farms, which he purchased in 1907, and which is tenanted by his son, Peter. H.

In politics Mr. Miller is a democrat, and has been delegate to several county conventions, and as early as 1881 served as township supervisor, repeatedly since then refusing nominations. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, No. 155, Sinking Spring; I. O. O. F., No. 835, Wernersville; and K. G. E., No. 344, of Sinking Spring. He and his family attend the church at Sinking Spring, he being a Reformed member and his wife a Lutheran member.

On March 11, 1871, Mr. Miller married Susan Epler, daughter of John and Rachel (Irving) Epler, of Gouglersville, Pa. And their eleven children were: Prof. Franklin P. is mentioned below; William C., a machinist at Mohnsville, m. Amanda Mosser; Ida S. m. Milton C. Rentz, a teacher at West Reading; Lillie E. m. Well. Kachel of Edison, Pa.; Edna E. m. Martin Kocker, of Reading; Peter H., a farmer, m. Carrie H. Krick; Mazie m. Franklin Grill, of Sinking Spring; John L., unmarried, is at home; Theodore C., who graduated from the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1906, is now a student at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa.; and Gertrude A. and Carrie M. are at home.

(V) Prof. Franklin Pierce Miller, A. B., A. M., was born at Fritztown in 1871, son of Peter S. and Susan (Epler) Miller. He attended the public schools of Spring township, and later the Charter Oak Academy of the same district, under Thomas J. Oberlin. He then taught school in his native township for four terms, after which he attended the Kutztown State Normal School, from which he was graduated in 1893. Returning home he taught the Montello grammar school for two terms, and during this time prepared himself for the freshman class of Franklin and Marshall College, with the assistance of Rev. D. J. V. George. He graduated from that famous institution in 1899, with the degree of A. B., receiving his master's degree three years later. During his college course he specialized in Ethics. In the spring and summer of 1899, Prof. Miller conducted a summer school at Leesport, Pa., and prepared many young men and women, who since have become well known educators. In the fall of the same year he entered the theological Seminary at Lancaster, where he pursued his studies successfully for about two years, and then accepted a call from the Keystone State Normal School to the department of Physical Science, a position he filled with great ability. He successfully reorganized the department and built it up after the most modern approved plans, his laboratory being better equipped than any other in similar institutions in the State, and his pupils being universally noted for their thoroughness in this line. The authorities of the Theological Seminary being impressed with Prof. Miller's zeal and ability granted him permission to finish his theological course in absente, which he did in two years' time, becoming a regular graduate. He was licensed at Womelsdorf by the Reformed Church of America in 1902, to preach the Gospel, after which time he filled various pulpits in Eastern Pennsylvania. In 1904 Prof. Miller took a post-graduate course at the University of Chicago. He wrote and published a laboratory Manual on Physics. He died Jan. 2, 1909.

On July 2, 1901, Prof. Miller was married to M. Ella Krick, daughter of Adam B. and Lucy (Reber) Krick, and to this union came one son, LeRoy K., born Oct. 26, 1904


p 603


Franklin K. Miller, who is proprietor of the well-known Excelsior Soap Works, one of the large industries of its kind in Reading, Pa., was born March 3, 1840, on the old Miller homestead in Upper Tulpehocken township, at Strausstown, son of Michael and Catherine (Klahr) Miller.

Jacob Mueller, the immigrant ancestor, according to his tombstone inscription at Little Tulpehocken Church, was born Oct. 22, 1697, died Dec. 18, 1772; married fifty-three years to Catharine (middle name badly worn, but probably, according to will, it was Charlotte, maiden name not shown, born Oct. 11, 1699, died April 5, 1777); "left a good name, a sorrowing widow and four children." Jacob Mueller and his wife had ten children, of whom three sons and one daughter survived the father. He was the immigrant Jacob Mueller who, with Charlotta (very likely his wife), John Jacob (under sixteen) and Barbara (no doubt another child), all grouped together on the "original list" of passengers, is shown as having landed at Philadelphia Sept. 19, 1732, having come over in the ship "Johnson," of London, David Crocket, master, from Rotterdam, last from Deal; passengers, 112 males above sixteen, 98 under sixteen; 98 females above sixteen, 85 under sixteen. He came from Germany. In 1759 Jacob Mueller paid 11 tax. He is mentioned as a yeoman in his last will and testament, made Jan. 29, 1766, witnessed by Balser Unbehauer and Henrich Kettner, and recorded in Book II, page 117. The oldest son was allowed 25 over and above all others for his birthright. The children mentioned are John Jacob, born Sept. 24, 1728 (was single in 1759); Johannes, born Nov. 9, 1733 (was married in 1759); Elizabeth Barbara Hess; and Mathias, born Oct. 18, 1743. In the Little Tulpehocken Church records of births and baptisms are found the following children of Jacob Mueller: John Jacob, born Sept 24, 1728, in Europe, baptized Sept. 26, 1728 (sponsors, Frederic William Beckle, Christopher Haist, Joseph Rohr and Joh. David Bauer); John, born Nov. 9, 1733, in Pennsylvania, baptized Nov. 16, 1733, by Rev. Philip Boehm, Reformed minister at White Marsh at the time (sponsors, Joh. Henry Fegner and Mary Elizabeth Barbara Schneider); Mary Elizabeth Barbara, born Sept. 9, 1736, baptized Sept. 28, 1736, by Rev. Bartholomew Rugner, who was Reformed pastor at Germantown, Pa., at that time (sponsors, same as for John); Matthias, born Oct. 18, 1743, baptized Nov. 6, 1743, by Rev. John. Casper Stoever (sponsors, Matthias Schmidt and wife); Elizabeth Barbara, born June 7, 1755 (baptism not given). It seems doubtful that the last named child belonged to the family of Jacob, the immigrant.

Samuel Miller succeeded his father, Johannes, in the tanning business, and carried it on during his whole life. He married a Miss Moyer, and to them were born children as follows: Michael, the father of Franklin K.; Jonathan, m. to Lydia Klahr; Sarah, m. to Elijah Weaver; Rebecca, m. to Israel Wagner; Catherine, m. to David Koenig; Matthias, m. to Eliza Snyder; Jacob, m. to Mary Gerhard; Samuel, who died in June, 1909, m. (first) to Hettie Christman and (second) to Henrietta Scholl; John, who died aged thirty-five years; Leah, m. (first) to John Miller and (second) to Joel Kantner; and William, m. to Theresa Wilhelm.

Michael Miller, father of Franklin K., was born Aug. 3, 1814, and died March 19, 1882, having been a life-long tanner at Strausstown, and also owning the old homestead and tannery. He married Catherine Klahr, and to them were born ten children, as follows: Franklin K.; Mary, deceased; William; Rebecca; Charles, of New York, who died in March, 1908; Edward and Lewis, twins, born in July, 1850; Sabilla; Levi; and Albert.

Franklin K. Miller received his education in the schools of his native locality, also attending Whitehall Academy, three miles west of Harrisburg, during the winter session of 1855 and 1856. He was reared on the old homestead, and when sixteen years of age learned the tanning trade with his father, following this occupation until his twenty-second year. During 1863, when the Commonwealth was threatened with invasion, Mr. Miller enlisted in Capt. Augustus G. Greth's Company I, 48th Pa. V. I., for ninety days, and received his honorable discharge Aug. 26th of the same year. On returning home, Mr. Miller again took up tanning as an occupation, and on June 8, 1865, removed to Tamaqua, where he followed the trade two years, then removing to Ringtown. Forming a partnership with P. M. Barrow, under the firm name of Miler & Barrow, they continued at this place for two years, when Mr. Miller went to North Branch, between Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, and there formed a partnership with his brother. They continued in the tanning business at this place until 1875, in December of which year Franklin K. Miller removed to Hazleton and there remained for a period of seven years, for a part of which time he was engaged in operating a currier shop. In 1882, Mr. Miller first engaged in a very small way in the manufacture of soap in Reading, making samples which he distributed while doing other work. He also obtained a position in a tannery, and in the fall of that year removed with his family to the city. On Christmas, Mr. Miller was laid off from work, on account of slack business, but he soon found a position at the Scott foundry, at the meager salary of one dollar per day, on which he paid rent and supported his large family. Mr. Miller's energy and industry were not to be denied, and on again engaging in the soap business, to which he gave his entire attention, after another lay-off on account of slack work, he found success. While going to and from work in the foundry he distributed samples, orders began to come in and soon his soap had gained a wide reputation. He first carried his soap to market in a basket, next used a wheelbarrow, soon thereafter getting a push-cart, and finally a horse and wagon. The Excelsior Soap Works of East Reading, Pa., is now a three-story, brick building, on a 60 X 110 feet lot, the building being 40 X 60 feet in dimensions. Here a large number of men are employed in the manufacture of laundry, fulling and scouring soaps, the latter two being specialties. Mr. Miller has four teams constantly on the streets, and his soaps find a ready sale in the markets all over the State. Success in this case has come where success was due. In all his early struggles with adversity Mr. Miller never lost heart, but at each succeeding reverse started in all over again to build up a paying business. He is now considered one of the substantial men of his community, and has a large circle of friends who enjoy his business prominence. In politics, Mr. Miller is a Democrat. He is a member of Vigilance Lodge, No. 194, I. O. O. F., of Reading, and Mount Penn Encampment, No. 152. He and his family are members of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church.

On Feb. 14, 1861, Mr. Miller was married to Miss Caroline Nunnemacher, daughter of William and Esther (Gettle) Nunnemacher, and to this union there have been born children as follows: George W., Mary, Elva, William, Stella, Henry R. (deceased), Laura, Phoebe and Beulah.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:25 EDT

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