Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1449


George Miller, who since April, 1908, has made his home in Maiden-creek, comes of Swiss stock. His great-grandfather, Christian Miller, came from Switzerland, bring with him his family. There is record of his three sons, Jacob, George and Henry.

George Miller, son of Christian, was a farmer and landowner, and was born March 17, 1786. He died on his own farm Jan. 4, 1872. The handling of tools always afforded him great enjoyment, and he learned cabinet making, and became a carpenter and undertaker, making and finishing the coffins for his trade. He married Elizabeth Reisch, born Sept. 22, 1799, and died April 15, 1867. They had three children: Charles, mentioned below; Samuel, who married Miss Stoyer, and kept and owned the old Miller hostlery in Adamstown, Lancaster Co., Pa.; and Mary, who married (first) Charles Place, and (second) Charles Faust, who survives her and resides at Blandon.

Charles, Miller, son of George, was born near Wily's mill. He, too, became a cabinet maker and undertaker, following those callings all his active life. He married Maria Schrack, and they had four children: Josiah, who died unmarried in Tucson, Ariz.; George; Mary E., who married Owen Fox, of Blandon, and has had children?Charles L. (deceased). Laura, Robert, Mayme, Warren, Mabel and Owen; and Charles Jacob who married Adalina Hoffman, and has had children?Lloyd and Ralph, the latter dying young.

George Miller was born near Calcium, in Maiden-creek township, Aug. 20, 1854, and was educated in the common schools of his district. He makes his home with his sister, Mrs. Owen Fox. He is prominent in fraternal organizations, being a member of Lodge No. 1084, I. O. O. F.; the I. O. R. M., of Fleetwood; Knights of the Mystic Chain, at Fleetwood; and the Sick and Accident Insurance Company of Philadelphia. He is a member of the Blandon Lutheran Church. Mr. Miller is unmarried.


p. 1527


George J. Miller, a well-known resident of Mount Penn borough, whose substantial brick residence is situated on Twenty-third street, was born Aug. 14, 1864, in Reading, Pa., son of Joseph H. and Elizabeth (Merget) Miller.

Joseph H. Miller was born May 29, 1839, at Honeybrook, Chester county, Pa., and when a young man leaned the machinist's trade. In 1885 he went to Chicago, Ill., where he spent one and a half years, but returned East to become foreman of the Reading Hardware Works, where he remained seventeen years. This position he resigned to become connected with the Navy Yard, at Washington, D. C., where he is now employed. In political matters Mr. Miller is a Republican. He was married Jan. 9, 1862, to Elizabeth Merget, born March 30, 1844, who died Nov. 25, 1886, in Reading, daughter of Jacob and Helena Merget, and to this union there were born children as follows: Charles A., a machinist of Reading, who married Amanda Dersch; Wilmer J., who is single and a moulder of Reading; Mary H., who married A. L. Hook, of Washington, D. C.; Dorothy, who married W. F. Mohr, of Reading; Alice A., a dressmaker of South Fifth street, Reading; Rosa, who also lives on South Fifth street; Katie G., who for six years has been a teacher in the public schools of Reading; and Elizabeth V., who has been a teacher for three years.

George J. Miller attended the public schools of Reading until about fifteen years of age, and then learned his trade with Miller, Printz & Company, of South Ninth street, manufacturers of all kinds of machinery, with whom he remained for a full apprenticeship of five years. Since that time he has followed the trade as a journeyman. He worked in all for Miller, Printz & Co., for a period of eight years, and in 1886 connected himself with the Scott Foundry, where he remained one year. He then entered the employ of the Reading Hardware Company, but since 1902 he has been working in the tube works of the Reading Iron Company's plant. In the spring of 1905 Mr. Miller erected a substantial residence on Twenty-third street, Mount Penn borough, and here he has lived since Sept. 26th of that year, previous to this time having been a resident of the Second ward of Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are attendants of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Reading. In political matters he is a Republican, while fraternally he is connected with the P. O. S. of A., No. 417, Birdsboro; the Reading Hardware Co. Beneficial Association; and Reading Aerie No. 66, F. O. E.

On Oct. 4, 1890, Mr. Miller was married to Annie E. Borkert, and to them were born two daughters: Edith Violet, and Alva, the latter of whom died when three years old.

Daniel Borkert, the grandfather of Mrs. Miller, was born in 1800 in Reading, and died in 1880. He was the son of Caspar Borkert, the founder of the family, and was a bricklayer by trade. He married Catherine Gonz, and to them were born twelve children, as follows: William, born in 1825; Daniel, born in 1829, died in 1886; Franklin, born in 1832; Mary, born in 1833; Sarah, born in 1834, died in childhood; Albert, father of Mrs. Miller; Augustus, born in 1838; Richard, born in 1840; Susan, born in 1843; Amanda, born in 1845; John, born in 1847; and Thomas, born in 1849, died in childhood.

Albert Borkert, who has been a lifelong resident of Reading, Pa., was born in that city Sept. 14, 1835, and was married in 1858 to Malinda Wentzel, by whom he had twelve children: Thomas m. Alice Reber and lives in Reading; Sallie m. George Faber, of Reading; Annie E., Mrs. Miller; Susan, who died in childhood; Kate m. Harry Swoyer, deceased; Emma, who died in infancy; Maggie m. Jacob Burkholder, of Philadelphia; Harry, single, at home; Nora m. Charles Eagle, of Reading; Bessie, m. Howard Koch, a tailor of Reading; Lillie m. Aloysius Wondrough; and Albert, who died in childhood.


p. 1549


George W. Miller (deceased), for many years a prominent dry goods merchant in Reading, was a man whose inflexible honesty and strict adherence to his word make his name a synonym for business integrity all over Berks county, and his career proved conclusively that success need not be attained by dishonest and ignoble methods. Mr. Miller was a native of the city and passed his whole life there.

Samuel Miller, father of George W., was of Welsh ancestry. His wife was Harriet Pearson, and they had a family of three children, George, Hiram and Morris P. In religious belief the family were Presbyterians, and in politics Mr. Miller was a Republican.

George W. Miller was reared practically by his uncle, John Pearson, who was in his day a leading merchant of Reading. The boy was sent to the public schools and he continued to attend until he was well along in his teens, thus acquiring a solid foundation for his future career. On leaving school he entered his uncle's store as a clerk and worked for him for quite a number of years, until he had accumulated sufficient capital to buy out Mr. Pearson. His sole management of the store lasted up to the time of his death, an event which occurred June 24, 1882.

Mr. Miller is survived by his widow, Mrs. Matilda W. (Otto) Miller. She was a daughter of Dr. John B. Otto, of whom mention is made elsewhere. Their marriage took place Nov. 26, 1850, and they were granted nearly thirty-six years of wedded happiness before Mr. Miller's decease. Six children blessed this union, namely: Mary P., who married Walter S. Davis, and has two daughters, Esther and Helen; a child that died in infancy; Henry O., who married Miss Emma Hipple, and is assistant treasurer of the Colonial Trust Company, Reading; John, deceased; Anna P.; and George W., who married Mary, daughter of George F. Boyer, and has one child, Fred. Mr. Miller adhered to the faith of his father, both in religion and politics. He was a good Mason, and had taken a number of degrees, belonging not only to Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M., but also to the De-Molay Commandery, No. 9, Knights Templar.


p. 1437


G. Wilson Miller, the proprietor of the "Hotel Miller," located at the corner of Seventeenth and Cotton streets, Reading, Pa., was born Sept. 11, 1871, near Trexlertown, Lehigh county, Pa., son of John and Elizabeth (Moyer) Miller, the former a native of Lehigh county, and the latter of Reading and a doughtier of the late Philip Moyer of Berks county.

G. Wilson Miller attended the public schools of his native county, and later came to Berks county, locating at Reading, where he completed his education. He commenced working when but nine years of age, driving a horse and cart at an ore mine in Lehigh county during the summer months, and after leaving school he worked for a few months at printing. At the age of eighteen years he learned the stove moulding trade at the Mt. Penn Stove Works, Reading, in the employ of which company he continued until 1902, as a journeyman. In September, 1904, Mr. Miller became the proprietor of the "Hotel Miller,"

which he has conducted to the present time, with much success. Since coming to Reading from Lehigh county, Mr. Miller has been a resident of Cotton street, and he is very well known and exceedingly popular. He is a member of Union Fire Company No. 13, of Reading, of the Association, and of the Uniform Bank, and is also identified with Friendship Commandery No. 247, Knight of Malta. He and his family are members of the Reformed Church.

On April 15, 1893, Mr. Miller was married to Emma Spatz, and they have these three children: Edna E. and Sarah S., twins, and Helen M. Mrs. Spatz is a daughter of Jacob and Lydia (Tobias) Spatz, of Exeter township, and granddaughter of Abraham and Catherine (Lorah) Spatz, who lived above Jacksonwald, in Exeter township. There the grandfather died in 1879, aged eighty-four years less one day. He and his wife had three children, namely: Sarah, who is single; Ephraim (died in 1908) and Jacob, both of Exeter township.

The Spatz ancestors were Revolutionary war patriots and performed noble service for the freedom of their country. John and DeWatt Spatz, brothers, were both captured by the British in the Revolutionary war, and family tradition has it that one of them gave the silver buckles on his shoes for bread, when he was nearly starving as a prisoner.


p. 1467


Harry R. Miller, who is carrying on agricultural operations on a fine farm situated on the road leading from Mount Aetna to Freystown, Pa., was born Sept. 20, 1868, at Allentown, Lehigh Co., Pa., son of John Edward and Elizabeth (Ziegler) Miller.

John Frederick Miller, the great-grandfather of Harry R., was born in Herzogthum Saxe- (Saxony) Altenburg, Germany, where he died aged about seventy-five years, having for many years served in the office of recorder of that place. His son, Charles Frederick Miller, was also a native of Saxe-Altenburg, where he was born May 11, 1805, and where for some time he served in the capacity of lieutenant of police. In 1856 he emigrated to

America landing at New York, form whence he came to Pennsylvania, and there he died August 10, 1873, being buried at Tulpehocken Church. He was married and had a family of fourteen children, of whom nine died young, the other five being; William, assistant at courts; Carl, a cigar maker; Marie, who married Frederick Fritchie, a letter carrier; Richard, a tailor of New York City; and John Edward. The first three live in Germany.

John Edward Miller, the father of Harry R., was born Dec. 5, 1843, in Saxe-Altenburg, and came to America with his father in 1856. He was a soldier in the Civil war, being a member of Co. B, 98th Reg. P. V. I., and after his term of service expired he engaged at his trade of cabinet making. For six years he was lock-tender on the old Union Canal, one mile above Myerstown, Lebanon county, and he also carried the tri-weekly mail between Mount Aetna and Wintersville, walking the distance, three miles, on foot for ten years. He is now living retired at Mount Aetna. Mr. Miller was married (first) to Elizabeth Ziegler, daughter of Daniel P. and Mary (Kline) Ziegler, who lived near Ziegler's Mill, Bethel township; and to this union were born the following children: (1) William died young. (2) Harry R. (3) John, a farmer of Limerick Square, Montgomery county, m. Bertha Hunsberger, and they have two children,--Leroy and Harry. (4) George, who resides near MountAetna, across the Berks line in Lebanon county, was reared in Bethel township by his uncle, Israel Ziegler, and by his first wife, Jennie Royer, had seven children,--Charles (deceased), Jonas, Lizzie, Daniel, Jessie, Stella and Esta; and by his second wife, Maggie Hibshman, of Lincoln, Lancaster county, he has a daughter, Margaret. (5) Francis died young. (6) Charles died aged eighteen years. (7) Frank died young. John Edward Miller was married (second) in 1882 to Lovina Long, but there were no children by this union.

Harry R. Miller accompanied his parents at an early age to Berks county and later to Lebanon county, but subsequently returned to Berks. At the age of seven years he went to work for his uncle, Jacob Ziegler, with whom he learned the trade of miller, and at the age of eighteen years he received his first wages and commenced to shift for himself. He spent three years on the farm in Montgomery county, but returned to Berks county, and since his marriage has been living on one of the old Crouse homesteads, on the rod leading from Mount Aetna to Freystown. He is a democrat in politics and has been active in his district, having served as school director for three terms. The family are embers of the German Baptist Church.

On May 16, 1891, Mr. Miller was married to Elizabeth Crouse, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Keller) Crouse, and to them six children have been born: Lydia C., Mary C., Sallie C., Henry C., Ada C. and Ira C.


p. 1020


Harvey A. Miller, who is serving his second term as justice of the peace of the borough of Topton, of which he is also treasurer, is one of the prominent and useful citizens of his community. He was born at Topton, Berks Co., PA., June 15, 1868, son of J. H. and Eliza Ann Miller.

Harvey A. Miller was educated in the Topton schools and the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, Pa., where he was graduated in the class of 1884. For five consecutive terms he followed teaching but later connected himself with Rohrbach Bros. & Co., in the flour business, and remained several years, after which he entered into partnership with his father in the wholesale coal, roofing slate and flagging business under the firm style of J. H. Miller & Son. This firm is also general agents for Eastern Pennsylvania for the York State & Lock Company, and for the last quarter century has supplied some of the largest banking institutions in the country with vaults. Mr. Miller is further interested in manufacturing fine, seamless half hose for a corporation known as the Crown Knitting Company, for which he acts as superintendent, general manager and secretary. This is a large industry, and employment is given the year round to from seventy-five to eighty hands.

On Oct. 24, 1895, Mr. Miller married Jennie C. Trexler, daughter of Charles D. and Catherine (Haas) Trexler, the former being a merchant at Topton. They have two daughters, namely: Marie, born March 12, 1898; and Mae, born May 12, 1903. Mrs. Miller is a member of the Lutheran Church, and Mr. Miller of the Reformed Church. He has been very active in church and Sunday-school work, and has been superintendent of the school.

In politics Mr. Miller is a Democrat, and exerts considerable influence in party matters in this section. He is frequently sent as a delegate to conventions and made a member of important committees. In addition to the offices named, he has served as deputy coroner for several years.


p. 1325


Henry Grant Miller, a victim of the ill fated Shriners excursion, wrecked May 11, 1907, at Honda, Cal., and formerly a well known business man of Reading, member of the firm of J. B. Miller & Sons, then the largest wholesale grocery house in Berks county, was born Dec. 12, 1867, at Bernville, this county, son of J. B. Miller.

His funeral, which was held at his late residence, No. 1396 Perkiomen avenue, Reading, May 22, 1907, was largely attended by those who knew him as a good citizen, kind neighbor and loyal friend. The beautiful floral tributes that half filled one of the rooms were a mute testimonial of the high regard in which he was held. Forty members of Hermit Commandery, Knights Templar, of Lebanon, with large delegations from De Molay and Reading Commanderies, were present. Rev. Dr. E. T. Horn, of Trinity Lutheran Church conducted the services at the house, and interment was made in the Charles Evans cemetery.

Mr. Miller had been given a thorough business education, after which he began working in his father's large general store at Bernville, where he remained until 1889. He then became a partner in the firm of J. B. Miller & Sons, at Lebanon. Pa., conducting an extensive business in dry goods and groceries at Ninth and Railroad streets of that city. Here they continued until 1900, when the late firm of J. B. Miller & Sons was established with warehouse and offices at Nos. 41-43 South Seventh street, Reading, and of this firm Mr. Miller was a partner. The members were all men of business ability and standing in the community, and the house commanded the trade of not only Berks, but the surrounding counties as well. Since the death of Mr. Henry G. Miller, the surviving partners have sold out their interests.

Mr. Miller was prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity, being a member of Mount Lebanon Lodge, No. 226; Weidele Chapter, Lebanon, No. 197; Lebanon Council. No. 27; Hermit Commandery, No. 24; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Reading; of the Reading Lodge of Perfection (charter member), and Harrisburg Consistory, S. P. R. S., thirty-second degree. He was a past officer of merit of the first four mentioned divisions. He also belonged to the B. P O. E., No. 115, Reading, and the Sons of Veterans of Lebanon, Pa. Mr. Miller was an archaeologist, and was the owner of a fine collection of old dishes and china ware, as well as of rare coins and paper money. He possessed a full genealogical record of the Miller, Dewees, Dundore and Rauch families, and took an active interest in the Pennsylvania German Society.

On Feb. 28, 1895, Mr. Miller was united in marriage with Katherine May Rauch, the accomplished daughter of John B. and Sarah (Hunsicker) Rauch, of Lebanon. Pa., and to this union there have been born four children: Helen, born July 12, 1896, died July 8, 1899; Albert Rauch, born Dec. 31, 1899; Frederick Dundore, April 28, 1902; and Virginia Dorothy, Oct. 12, 1904.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:24 EDT

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