Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1313


James M. Miller, general superintendent of the Reading Paper Mills, including the Tulpehocken, Reading and Packerack Paper Mills, one of the important manufacturing plants in Reading, is one of the progressive men of the city. He was born near Robesonia, Berks county, Sept. 20, 1859, son of Daniel S. and Henrietta (Heck) Miller, and grandson of Mathias Miller.

Mathias Miller was the owner of a fine farm in North Heidelberg township, and there made his home. He ranked among the best of the advanced agriculturists to whose energy and ability so much of the better development of Berks county id due. He married Sarah Stump, and they became the parents of a large family of children.

Daniel S. Miller, son of Mathias, was born on the old homestead in North Heidelberg township, and for some time after reaching mature age devoted himself to farming, but later moved to Reading. His wife was Henrietta Heck, and to their marriage was born one son, James M.

James M. Miller was but a child when he accompanied his parents to Reading, and there in the public schools he obtained his education. When he was fifteen years of age he was apprenticed to learn the machinist's trade at the Tulpehocken Mill at Reading, and from that time to the present he has been continuously identified with the paper mills of the city, with the exception of six years, during which time he conducted a machine shop of his own, at first in partnership with a Mr. Schmehl and later with a Mr. Zacharias. He had thoroughly learned his trade, and he rose rapidly from the lowest to the highest position, giving faithful service wherever placed. He was made superintendent of the Packerack Mill July 1, 1893. Here he but repeated his former success, so fully demonstrating his ability in an executive as well as in a mechanical capacity that on Jan. 1, 1895, he was promoted to the position of general superintendent of the Reading Paper Mills, including the Tulpehocken, Reading and Packerack Paper Mills. His administration has proved to be of very great material benefit to the company and the city.

These mills transact an immense amount of business, and Mr. Miller has a force of 160 men to direct, all skilled laborers. He has been able not alone to get the best results possible from their work, but at the same time he has won their unbounded esteem and good will, his kindness and consideration toward every one carrying with it the natural reward of general respect. He is a man of high principles, whose word in the business world carries great weight, and he is well read and informed on the questions of the day.

On Nov. 3, 1881, Mr. Miller was married to Miss Eva Hiester, daughter of John and Sarah (Gerhart) Hiester, and eight children were born to this marriage, one of whom died in infancy. The others are: Arthur, Julia, Stella, Robert, Harvey, Mabel and Beatrice. Mrs. Miller died in 1900 at the age of forty-one years, and is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. Mr. Miller married (second) Aline E. Mathey, daughter of Frederick Mathey, a native of Switzerland, who came to America and settled in Reading. The family attend the German Reformed Church. Mr. Miller has attained the thirty-second degree in Masonry. He belongs to Reading Lodge, No. 62, F. & A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237; Reading Commandery, No. 42; Philadelphia Consistory; Lodge of Perfection, 14, Reading (charter member); and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.


p. 1052


J. Jerome Miller, a highly esteemed resident of Hamburg, Berks county, who has been cashier of the Hamburg Savings Bank since 1877, was born in that borough Oct. 29, 1843, son of Edward M. Miller.

Edward M. Miller was born in 1818, followed cabinet-making for a number of years, and served the Schuylkill Navigation Company for a long time as section boss along the canal from Leesport to Schuylkill Haven. He acted as a councilman of the borough for several terms and officiated as chief burgess. He died in 1897, aged seventy-nine years, and his wife, who had been Sarah Moyer, born in 1823, daughter of John Moyer, of Hamburg, died in 1899, aged seventy-six years. Mr. and Mrs. Miller had eight children: Miss Clara; John R. (m. Benie Westwood); J. Jerome; Emma (m. Dr. J. F. Isett); Gustavus A.; Simon; J. Edward; and a son who died in infancy.

J. Jerome Miller was educated in the borough schools, and when the Civil war broke out in 1861, he enlisted as a private for three years in Company G, 96th Pa. V. I., commanded by Capt. James N. Douden. He was engaged in all the battles fought by the Army of the Potomac, and was honorably discharged Aug. 6, 1865. At Spottsylvania Court House, May 12, 1864, Mr. Miller was wounded, and on account of this wound was transferred to Company F, 22d Veteran Reserve Corps, and was promoted to corporal.

Upon his discharge Mr. Miller returned to Hamburg and learned cabinet-making, which, in connection with carpentering, he followed for several years. He then engaged in a general store business with J. F. Isett, under the firm name of Miller & Isett, which he continued for three years, and then resumed cabinet-making, being employed at his trade until Jan. 1, 1877. The directors of the Hamburg Savings Bank having elected Mr. Miller cashier, he began his connection with this financial institution in the northern section of the county, and has continued to fill this responsible position to the present time. At the start the paid-up capital of the bank was $10,000 on an authorized capital of $50,000; the resources showed a loss of $20,000 on account of prominent bank failures at Philadelphia, and the deposits were but $18,000. However, the affairs of the bank were straightened out, improving steadily, until on July 1, 1906, the capital was $50,000 and the reserve funds $55,000. Mr. Miller has officiated as councilman and school director for twenty-one years. He has take a prominent part in the discussion and efforts of the Board of Trade for the improvement of Hamburg, officiating as president of that body for fifteen years until July, 1906, when he resigned.

Mr. Miller married Amanda Bean, daughter of Nehemiah Bean, in 1874, and they have one daughter, Sadie; another daughter, Clara, died when seven years old.


p. 889


John H. Miller, proprietor of "Miller's Hotel," at Wernersville, and director of the Union Bank at Womelsdorf and of the Wernersville National Bank, at Wernersville, was an organizer of both these banks, and he is considered one of the most progressive and public-spirited citizens in this section of Berks county. He was born in Lower Heidelberg township, July 1, 1849, son of Abraham and Ellen (Hain) Miller, and grandson of Henry and Christina (Ruth) Miller and of John Hain.

Henry Miller, the grandfather, was a farmer in Lower Heidelberg for many years. He was twice married, his first wife being Christina Ruth, and his second Isabella Hoyer. By the first union there were four children, namely: Hannah married John Evans; Kate married Adam Leiss; Polly married Richard Klopp and (second) Addison Eyrich; Abraham married Ellen Hain.

Abraham Miller, born in 1818, died in 1897, aged seventy-nine years. He occupied himself with farming all his life. His wife, Ellen Hain, was a daughter of John Hain, of Lower Heidelberg, one of the very prominent men of that vicinity. They were the parents of nine children: Catharine married Michael Newman; Sarah married Isaac Hain; Hannah became the wife of Sebastian Miller, of Illinois; Mary married Daniel Glass; Elizabeth wedded John L. Bowman; Sebastian moved to Illinois in his younger days and there married; John H. Married Sarah A. Kintzer; two died young.

John H. Miller received his early education in the public schools, later attending the Millersville Normal School and the Frederick college. After leaving school he engaged in farming for six years, and then located in Wernersville, where he made his headquarters while carrying on butchering among the farmers of the neighboring townships, also assisting them during the summers in harvesting for eight years. For two years he farmed on his own account. In 1888 he purchased the Wernersville hotel property, and began conducting a public house, which he has since carried on in a very successful manner. The old building had been erected by his grandfather, John Hain, in 1857, when the Lebanon Valley railroad was opened up. In 1895 on the lot adjoining Mr. Miller put up the fine four-story brick hotel, with all modern improvements, now known as "Miller's Hotel," which is recognized as one of the best conducted hotels in the county. It is a very popular stand during the whole year and especially in the summer, when many travelers register there, all speaking in high terms of the management. Mr. Miller has also erected four of the most handsome houses in Wernersville, with all the latest improvements.

Mr. Miller is not only very enterprising in his own affairs but also in those concerning the public welfare. He has been connected with a number of important improvements at Wernersville and many others outside of town. He encouraged the establishment of a waterworks system by supplying the people with superior spring water from the South mountain, and he was one of the first persons to suggest the organizing of a national bank there, and from their organization he has been a director of both these local institutions. He also gave his financial assistance to organize the Union bank at Womelsdorf, in 1903, and has served as its director. For ten years he gave his fellow-citizens most efficient service as township treasurer.

In 1871 Mr. Miller was married to Sarah A. Kintzer, daughter of Adam Kintzer, of Marion township. Ten children blessed this union, as follows: J. Adam, who married Eura Derr; Annie, wife of Dr. Leonard Hain; Elizabeth, who married Henry Fitler; Eva; Frederic; George; Nora, and three who died in infancy.


p. 463


John H. Miller, who has been prominently identified with all the leading interests of the borough of Topton for many years, was born April 1, 1845, in Maxatawny township, Berks Co., Pa., son of Charles and Marie (Heffner) Miller.

John Miller, his paternal grandfather, lived in Lowhill township, Lehigh Co., Pa., but later moved to a farm in Maxatawny township, Berks county, the same being now owned by Rev. A. J. Fogel. He had six children as follows: Charles m. Marie Heffner; John m. (first) Caroline Bortz, had three children-Alfred, Mary and Catherine-and (second) Eliza A. Good and hod one child-Lizzie; Jonas m. a Miss Weiser, and had two children-Jemima and Sallie; Joseph m. May Zeigler, and had six children-Oscar, Alvin, George, Sallie, Montana and Fiana; Joshua m. Frederica Zangley, and had children-George, James, Emma, Francisco and Charles; Esther m. Napoleon Dresher, and had children-Joseph, John, Fiana, Rosalinda, Angelina and Jane.

Charles Miller, the eldest of the above family, was born in Lowhill township, Lehigh county, on the banks of the Jordan river, Feb. 14, 1806. He accompanied his father to Maxatawny township and worked on the home farm until his marriage, when he bought the farm now owned by his son, John H. Miller, in Maxatawny township, on which he lived until may 12, 1905, when his long and blameless life closed at the age of ninety-nine years, two months and twenty-eight days. He was a member, and in the latter part of his life an elder, of the Reformed congregation of the Siegfried Church in Maxatawny township. In political feeling he was a Democrat, and he always took an active part in politics, but never solicited an office. On Oct. 6, 1842, he married Marie Heffner, born Dec. 31, 1818, died May 31, 1857, aged thirty-six years and five months, daughter of Jacob and Esther Heffner. Mrs. Miller was born and reared on a farm now owned by her only son, John H. Miller, in Maxatawny township. She was a devoted Christian all her life, and was baptized April 5, 1819. Jacob and Esther Heffner had a family of six children, the other beside Mrs. Miller being: David, Daniel, Solomon, Lydia and Esther. Charles Miller and wife had two children: John H. and Mrs. Eldridge Zimmerman, both residents of Topton, and three grandchildren, namely; Charles D. Zimmerman and Milton and Harvey A. Miller.

John H. Miller was afforded far better education opportunities than were given many youths of his day. After close attendance in the public schools of the township, he spent two terms at McAllisterville Academy, in Juniata county, one term at Freeland Seminary, now Ursinus College, in Montgomery county, and two terms at Fairview Seminary at Kutztown, now the Keystone State Normal School. Having a preference for business rather than farming, he accepted a position with J. A. & Isaac Fegley who carried on a hotel and general store business at Monterey, Berks Co., Pa., and after serving there for two years, he accepted a position with Butz & Heffner, who were engaged in the coal, grain and lumber business at Topton Station, on the East Pennsylvania Railway. At the same time he was appointed station agent at the place for the railroad company, which position he filled for sixteen years, giving it up on account of ill health.

After being with Butz & Heffner for two years, Mr. Miller then associated himself with P. L. Diener and B. C. Bear, trading under the firm name of Baer & Diener & Miller, and bought out the firms of Butz & Heffner and Diener & Ubil, also engaged in the same business together with a general store business. A combination was effected and the entire business was carried on for eight years. In the meantime Mr. Miller was attending also to his duties as station agent for the railroad company, and served as secretary of the Topton Iron Company, and also of the Topton Loan and Building Association, which position he held from the day of its organization until it had run out, which was in eight and one-half years, when all shareholders had drawn out two hundred dollars, par value less fixed premium. Later on, in connection with his railroad duties, Mr. Miller associated himself with P. L. Diener, D. D. Hintersites, Jacob Carl and Jacob Lesher, under the firm name of Diener, Carl & Co., and engaged in mining iron ore, having mines on the lands of Charles Miller, Edwin A. Trexler and Nathan Luan. Two years later Mr. Miller sold out his interest in the ore business and devoted himself for a time exclusively to his railroad business.

A short time after resigning his position as station agent, he accepted that of salesman for the sale of hand and soft coal for the firm of Percy Heilner & Son, of Philadelphia, which position he held for eight years. Then, he and his son, Harvey A. Miller, accepted work as sales agents for the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron o., a position in which he continued until six years later, when the company decided to sell all their products direct and to dispense with sales agents. This closed Mr. Miller's active participation in business although not his active interest. In 1887 he was elected a director in the Farmers' National Bank of Reading, a position he still holds. In 1878 he was one of the incorporators of the borough of Topton and is now holding the position of councilman, to which he was elected in 1905. For fully fifteen years he served as a school director, and his advice has been asked and his judgment consulted in almost all that has particularly concerned the development of the town's various public interest. For two terms he served as a justice of the peace. In 1904 he helped to organize the Crown Knitting Company of Topton, now employing about one hundred hands, and turning out about 12,000 half hose a day, shipping their product all over the United States.

On Oct. 20, 1865, Mr. Miller was married, by Rev. A. J. Herman, to Eliza A. Kuhns, of Maxatawny township, daughter of Solomon and Mary Ann (Becker) Kuhns. To this marriage two sons were born, namely: Milton Robert, born Aug. 20, 1866; and Harvey Albert, born June 15, 1868. The older son married Ida L. Sell, daughter of Daniel K. and Mary (Knab) Sell, and they have one daughter, Pauline, born March 24, 1891. The younger son married Jennie C. Trexler, daughter of Charles D. and Catherine (Haas) Trexler, and they have two children, Marie K. and Mae E.

Mr. Miller was baptized April 20, 1845, by Rev. Charles Herman, and his sponsors were Amos Clouser and his wife Esther. He was confirmed in the fall of 1861, by Rev. Charles Herman, and became a member of the German Reformed Church of Maxatawny, called Siegfried's Church. He is one of the seven men who, forty years ago, organized the Topton Union Sunday School (and was for many years its superintendent), which was the nucleus of St. Paul's Church, now a flourishing body of Topton.


p 836


John J Miller, an enterprising business man of Reading, Pa., engaged extensively in the hat business, was born in New York City, Aug. 27, 1855, son of John Miller, a native of Bavaria, Germany.

John Miller, father of John J., had learned the hatter's trade in the old country, and on coming to America in 1849, located in that business in New York, and at Orange, N. J. He died May 30, 1902, in his seventy-fifth year. John Miller married Margaret Hick, a native of the same province in Germany, all they had nine children, as follows : John J., Susan, Jacob , Adam, Charles, Elizabeth , Frederick, Barbara and Sophia. Mrs. Miller died Sept. 23, 1907. In religious belief the Millers are Evangelists , and the Hicks Catholics. Mr. Miller was a member of the Maennerchor , and was independent in political matters.

John J. Miller received his schooling in New York City and in New Jersey, and when old enough became an apprentice to the hatter's trade which he has followed to the present time. In 1898 he located in Reading, in the employ of John Hendel's Sons., and is now general manager of their first floor, having introduced the fur business in this establishment. He has been very successful in his line, and is considered an expert.


p. 573

Surnames: MILLER

J. Milton Miller is a member of the Berks County Bar. His grandfather, Jacob Miller, was a pioneer of this county and resided at Hamburg. Dr. Alexander Merkel Miller, father of J. Milton, was a physician of repute, and practiced his profession at Tower City, Schuylkill county, but died at the age of thirty-eight years, in 1877.

Mr. J. Milton Miller was born July 25, 1872, at Tower City. He attended public school for only a few years, and his education was continued after he was twenty years old at the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, Pa. In 1898 he was admitted to the bar of Berks County, and later to the higher courts. On Jan. 27, 1897, he was married to Miss Sara G. Miller, daughter of J. Russell Miller, who was in the Reading Railroad service for more than forty years, and who was a Corporal of Company A, 88th Pa. V. I., serving in the Civil War for four years. J. Alexander, Richmond P. and Emily L. are the children of this marriage.

Mr. Miller is a Democrat in politics, a member of the Americus Club, and belongs to the Calvary Reformed Church, where he takes an interest in the church and Sunday school work.


p. 1352


The Millers or Muellers have more representatives in Berks county than any other one family. There were many by that name who immigrated in the early days, and a number of these were evidently not related in any way. It is possible that there are two or more immigrant ancestors of that name to be found in some localities, but the oldest Miller family in the county located in the Tulpehocken valley in the spring of 1723.

In a list of members of the Tulpehocken Lutheran Church, from 1743 to 1746, as given in Rupp's "Thirty Thousand Names of Immigrants," there are shown the following named Muellers: Michael, Joh. Michael, John, Joh. Adam, Joh. Peter, Jacob and Leonhard.

In a list of members of the Tulpehocken German Reformed Church, between 1735 and 1755, same authority, there are shown Muellers as follows: Nicklaus (Nicholas), John, John Jacob.

The following information has been gleaned from various sources: From the records of births and baptisms of the "Little Tulpehocken Church" (near Bernville, Berks county), as published in Dr. W. H. Egle's "Notes & Queries" (annual volume, 1899); from tombstone inscriptions in the graveyards of the Little Tulpehocken and Host Churches, and from private sources. The Proprietary and State Tax Lists of Berks county show forty-two taxables of the name in 1768; seventy in 1779 (residents of twenty-three of the twenty-nine townships and Reading); and sixty-one in 1784.

(I) 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 15 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); 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. 28, 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.

The line of Jonathan B. Miller from (I) Jacob is through (II) Matthew or Matthias, (III) Johannes, (IV) John and (V) Samuel W. Miller. We have the following details concerning these generations.

(II) Matthias Miller, born Oct. 18, 1743, was the father of children as follows: Maria Barbara, born Jan. 24, 1762, baptized Jan. 31, 1762 (sponsors, Christopher Muench ? Minnich ? and wife); Maria Magdalene, born 1764 (?), baptized 1764 (sponsors, Jacob Wagner and wife Maria Apollonia); John, born 1766, baptized 1767 (sponsors John Mueller and wife); Catharine Charlotte, born May 21, 1769, baptized June 4, 1769 (sponsors, the grandfather and grandmother); Maria Elizabeth, born May 22, 1771, baptized 1771 (sponsors, Casper Heckel and wife); Anna Maria, born Sept. 21, 1772, baptized Oct. 23, 1772 (sponsor, Anna Maria, single, daughter of Jacob Mueller); Susanna Catharine, born March 31, 1774, baptized May 17, 1774 (sponsors, Christopher Winder ? Winter ? and wife).

(III) Johannes (John) Miller, born Aug. 25, 1766, died March 6, 1846. He lived in Tulpehocken township, where he conducted a tannery. On May 30, 1789, he married Maria Salome Gilbert (born Dec. 7, 1772, died June 6, 1854), and tradition says he had eight children, but the will mentions only three, though "all my other children are referred to, thus substantiating the tradition. It is known he had sons John, Samuel, Henry and Matthew, and daughters Catharine and Justina. The other two are said to be daughters. (The tombstone inscription shows that there had resulted from his marriage at the time of his death six sons and five daughters, forty-eight grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren).

(IV) John Miller, son of Johannes, was a native of Tulpehocken township, born Sept. 18, 1790, baptized Oct. 20, 1790, sponsors Matthew Miller and wife Maria. He lived on a farm belonging to his father a short distance from the tannery on homestead farm. In later years his brother Henry lived on the homestead and succeeded to the tanning business. John moved to Bernville, where with his son Samuel he carried on the tanning business. Afterward the tannery was sold. John Miller married Elizabeth Wagner, and they had one son, Samuel W., born Jan. 15, 1816. He died March 21, 1861.

(V) Samuel W. Miller, born Jan. 15, 1816, in Tulpehocken township, received a common school education there and then went to work in his father's tannery, early becoming familiar with the business, which he followed with his father. As previously noted, the tannery was sold, and Samuel W. Miller engaged in mercantile pursuits at Bernville in 1847, beginning in a small way, as his limited means necessitated, but enlarging his establishment as the demands of trade required until he had a well-equipped establishment. He was alone in the business until he admitted his son to partnership, in 1866, and they continued together as S. W. Miller & Son until Samuel W. Miller's retirement, March 1, 1878. He died Nov. 23, 1885. He married Sarah Brossman, also of Tulpehocken township, born Dec. 4, 1821, and to them were born three children: Monroe, deceased; Isabella, wife of Dr. D. D. Deppen, and Jonathan B.

(VI) Jonathan B. Miller was born Nov. 21, 1841, at Bernville. There he spent his boyhood days and received his education in the public schools. From childhood he had assisted in and about his Picture of Jonathan B. Millerfather's store, and when fourteen he began to work there regularly, continuing thus until he was admitted to partnership, in 1866, at the age of twenty-four, this association continuing, as previously stated, until 1878. Meantime the business had increased in volume and the establishment was steadily enlarged to accommodate the growing trade. In 1867 the son, J. B. Miller, erected a new store on the site which the business has ever since occupied, and this proving inadequate within a few years a large extension was built, bringing the proportions of the building up to 55 by 106 feet, three stories in height. Mr. Miller conducted the business alone from the time of his father's retirement until April 1, 1903, when he sold out to James F. Talley. He carried on what was known as the "model store" at Bernville, and his establishment was reputed to be the most up-to-date mercantile house in Berks county outside of Reading. His business was also the largest in the county outside of Reading, and he employed six clerks regularly, with two extra on Saturdays, retaining the general oversight of the business himself. He was always solicitous for the comfort and welfare of his employes, and his store was not only run in a business-like manner but well appointed, being heated with steam, which was also supplied to the adjacent dwelling, and having the illuminating plant on the premises.

On Nov. 26, 1887, Mr. Miller bought the property and furniture business at Bernville formerly owned and carried on by Frank Schroeder, carrying on same as a branch to the general merchandise business until April 4, 1891, when he sold the property and stock to James H. Hollenbach.

Mr. Miller conducted his mercantile business on a cash basis, having made it a principle to buy and sell for cash in early life. For over a quarter of a century he maintained his standing as the foremost business man of western Berks county. His store in Bernville probably made him more widely acquainted throughout the county than any of his other interests, but they were equally important, if not more so. For ten years he had a large branch store at Lebanon, Pa., which was conducted under the firm name of J. B. Miller & Sons. He established the Bernville creamery and the bakery, and in his active years was a large real estate dealer in that borough. He was also interested in the manufacture of mens' shirts for New York firms. In 1901, he bought out the grocery stock of Daniel S. Esterly, of Reading, who did a wholesale business, and it was continued for a year at the same stand, until J. B. Miller erected the new building at Nos. 39-41 South Seventh street, to which they moved. They did a very large business there until after the death of Mr. Miller's eldest son, Harry G., who was a victim of the Honda railroad wreck in 1907, after which the business was sold to the Hooven Mercantile Company of New York. Jonathan B. Miller is now living retired, enjoying the rewards of a successful career. He lives in a handsome residence at No. 815 Centre avenue, in Reading, and is best known as J. B. Miller of Centre avenue or Bernville. He still retains many interests and paying properties, including the Hiester mill and farm in Bern township. There are 116 acres of land in the property, and the mill was established many years ago; Mr. Miller remodeled it in 1899, when he put in a roller process with a capacity of fifty barrels daily. The mill is leased. Mr. Miller is also the owner of the block known as the Star building, in Buffalo, N. Y., at the corner of Broadway and Pratt streets. He has been a director in the Schuylkill Valley Bank of Reading since 1898 and is also connected with the Bernville Bank, with which he has been connected since it organization.

Mr. Miller's friends are not confined to Bernville and Reading, but are found all over Berks county, and he has many acquaintances in Philadelphia. He is a Republican in politics, and held a number of offices while living in the borough of Bernville, serving as school director there (for eight years), as burgess, member of the town council, and in minor offices. He has long been prominently identified with the Berks County Merchants Association. In 1907, when Bernville celebrated its now historic "home week," Mr. Miller, although then a resident of Reading, took a very public-spirited interest in the occasion. He suggested to the committee of arrangements that a "Reading Day" might be an acceptable feature, and the suggestion was adopted, Mr. Miller being made chairman of the Reading committee of arrangements. On a beautiful autumn morning a parade over one mile long started from Reading over the Bernville road, and more than fifteen thousand people attended "home week" on that day. All the prominent merchants had lavishly decorated wagons or vehicles in the parade, and Mr. Miller and his family were given the place of honor in the procession. They had a handsomely decorated carriage, on which were displayed two placards, one bearing the words "Ye Old Home," the other "We're here because we're here." They were taken up all over the county and by the Philadelphia and New York papers, which gave the home week proceedings very gratifying notices.

On Dec. 24, 1863, Mr. Miller married Eliza L. Dondore, born Dec. 11, 1844, daughter of Gabriel Dondore, descendants of Jacob Dondore, a pioneer resident of Bern township. Mrs. Miller died April 13, 1908, the mother of children as follows: Sarah Lydia, born May 27, 1865, is deceased; Harry Grant, born Dec. 12, 1867, died May 11, 1907, a victim of the railroad wreck at Honda, Cal., in which so many Shriners met disaster (he was married and had children ? Helen, deceased, Albert Rauch, Frederick Dondore and Virginia Dorothy); Benjamin Franklin, born Aug. 17, 1870, has two children, Richard Shane and Benjamin Franklin; John S., born July 4, 1872, has three children, Sarah Lydia, Ralph Jonathan and Robert Henry; Catharine E., born June 11, 1874, was married Nov. 28, 1899, to Rev. Thomas H. Leinbach, and has three children, Theodore Miller, Harold Miller and Arthur Miller; Amelia I. was born June 16, 1876; Mary M., June 27, 1878; James Garfield, June 21, 1882 (deceased); Emily N., June 13, 1885.

Mr. Miller and his family are Evangelical Lutherans, and still retain their membership in the Friedens Church at Bernville, which he served as deacon and treasurer for many years. He has always been liberal in his contributions toward religious and charitable objects. He is a member of Keim Post, G. A. R., having served in the State defense during the Civil war as a member of Company I, 48th Regiment, Pennsylvania State Militia. He has also been a member of the Pennsylvania German Society for many years.

(IV) Samuel Miller, born July 4, 1792, son of (III) Johannes, was baptized July 26, 1792, sponsors, Conrad Gilbert and wife Anna Elizabeth. He died Nov. 23, 1859, and is buried at Host Church. He was a tanner by occupation, and lived in Tulpehocken township, on the road from Rehrersburg to Bernville. He married Anna Maria Moyer (born Oct. 12, 1796, died Oct. 14, 1855), and to them were born eleven children, as follows: (1) Michael, born in 1818, died March 19, 1882, m. Cath. Klahr and had ten children: Franklin K., of Reading (m. Caroline Nunnemacher and had nine children, George W., Mary, Elva, William, Stella, Henry R., deceased, Phoebe, Laura and Beulah), Mary, William, Rebecca, Charles, Edward and Lewis (twins, born July, 1850), Sybilla, Levi and Albert. (2) Jonathan, who lives on Fourth street, Reading, married Lydia Klahr, and they have had six children: Martin, Jonathan (of Philadelphia), Daniel, James H. (a stationer of Reading), Maria and Matilda. (3) Sarah married Elijah Weaver. (4) Rebecca married Israel Wagner. (5) Catharine married David Koenig. (6) Matthias married Eliza Snyder and they have had seven children: Willoughby, John, George, Henry, Samuel, Lizzie and Mary. (7) Jacob married Mary Gerhard and they had five children: Gussie, Annie, George, Dora and Maggie. (8) Samuel, who lives in Perry, Iowa, married (first) Hettie Christman and (second) Henrietta Scholl. By the first union he had three children, Harvey, Mary and Amelia, and by the second five, Beulah, Lillie, Lizzie, Thomas and John. (9) John, who died at the age of thirty-five years, was married and had a family of four children: Sarah m. Levi Himmelberger; Rebecca m. John Himmelberger; Catharine m. Jacob Riehl; John. (10) Leah married (first) John (?) Miller and (second) Joel Kantner. (11) William married Theresa Wilhelm, and they had one child, William.


p. 698


Jonathan H. Miller, a retired citizen of Mohnton, Berks Co., Pa., was born in Cumru township, on the present side of Edison, Jan. 24, 1839, son of Jonathan and Catharine (Hornberger) Miller.

Mr. Miller attended the pay schools of Cumru township until he had attained the age of eighteen years, working on a farm during the summer seasons. He lived at home until his marriage in 1859, to Mary Gaul, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Fox) Gaul, when he came to Mohnton, and for about twenty years

was engaged in operating a grist-mill along the Wyomissing. He then learned the hatting business, engaging at that trade in Mohnton, being later in partnership with J. G. Mohn & Bros. He then entered a partnership with his son, Albert, under the firm name of J. H. Miller, Son & Co., and they continued together for fifteen years. Mr. Miller then worked at his trade with the well known firm of Whorley Bros., of Mohnton, until 1904, since which year he has lived retired. His first wife died July 2, 1876, and was buried in the Mohnton cemetery. She was the mother of one son, Albert G. Miller, who married Mary Dietrich, and resides at Mohnton, the father of two children, Elmer and Arthur. Mr. Miller m. (second) Mary Fleisher, daughter of Peter Fleisher, and to this union there were born: Edwin is unmarried and at home; Robert m. Lillie Richwine, and lives at home where he is engaged in the hat business; and Matthew also lives at home, and is unmarried. Mrs. Miller is a daughter of Peter Fleisher, who was born near the Swamp Church, in Lancaster county, Nov. 14, 1819, and died Dec. 26, 1888. He m. Catharine Brensing, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Reedy) Brensing, and they had these children: Samuel m. Mary Stettler; Mary m. Mr. Miller; and James m. Mary Howe.

Mr. Miller and his family reside on the corner of Wyomissing avenue and Wood street, in the home which was built by him in the summer of 1866. It is three stories high and of sandstone, and is considered one of the finest in the town. Mr. Miller is one of the oldest residents in the town of Mohnton, which at the time he arrived contained but five dwellings. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of Zion's United Evangelical Church of Mohnton, which he joined in 1870, when it was known as the Evangelical Church. He has served on the building committees of two churches, has been class leader of Class No. 2, trustee and steward for many years, and a teacher in the Sunday school for many years, now teaching class No. 23. Mr. Miller is one of the honorable and upright men of his township, and as an acquaintance and friend he is honored and esteemed by all with whom he comes in contact.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:26 EDT

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