Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 820


Martin Luther Miller, M. D., of Mohnton, proprietor of the Miller Furniture Company, was born in Mohnsville, April 1, 1869.

Dr. Miller passed his boyhood at various points in the State, and at different times attended the schools of Berks, Lehigh and Schuylkill counties. When more advanced he entered the Schuylkill Seminary at Fredericksburg, and was graduated from that institution with the class of 1889. Later he decided upon adopting the profession of medicine, and therefore in 1895 entered the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia, being graduated three years later. For the next year he practised at Mohnton, but then removed to St. Lawrence, Berks county, for a year and a half. While his success in establishing himself in the latter place was very flattering, Dr. Miller regarded Mohnton as offering a better field, and so returned there in 1901, since which time he has built up a very good practice.

Although eminently successful in his profession, Dr. Miller has also the traits of a good business man and combines the two interests. In the fall of 1902, in partnership with William G. Leininger and B. Frank Steffy, he formed the Steffy Music & Furniture Company, an enterprise that from the beginning has enjoyed a liberal measure of public favor and patronage. In July, 1906, Mr. Leininger withdrew from the firm because of the pressure of other interests, and in a few months an agreement was entered into between Dr. Miller and Mr. Steffy whereby the latter also withdrew and the Doctor became the sole owner. The business is located in a two-story building 26x60 feet, on Wyomissing avenue. A full line of furniture, bedding, upholstery, carpets, etc., is carried and a large trade is done.

In the political field Dr. Miller is also active, working with the Republican forces to promote the general welfare. He was prominent in the movement to have the town incorporated and served on various committees.

At the first election, after the incorporation of the borough in 1907, he was elected a director of the public schools for the three-year term, and, at the organization of the board, was chosen treasurer of the school district. Fraternally also he is a well-known figure, belonging to the K. of P., No. 485, of Mohnton, of which he is Master of the Exchequer, and to the P. O. S. of A., No. 211, of Mohnton. Even more vitally is the Doctor's influence felt in the work of the Zion United Evangelical Church, of which he and his wife are members. The Sunday-school, which is one of the largest in the county, is known for its excellent singing, due in large measure to Dr. Miller's careful work as chorister. He is an accomplished musician, both as pianist and vocalist, and since 1900 has given his best ability to training this school. He is also the efficient president of the K. L. C. E., which has a large membership and is a marked influence for good in the community. Whatever line of work Dr. Miller undertakes, he proves himself a man of force and ability and his position and influence among his fellow-townsmen is a prominent one.

In July, 1895, Dr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Lillian C. Musselman, daughter of Reuben and Sarah (Henry) Musselman, the former a carpenter of Weissport, Carbon county.


p. 676


Among the well known members of the Miller family is Samuel M. Miller of Albany township, Berks county.

Samuel Miller, grandfather of Samuel M., was born May 20, 1798, in Windsor township, Berks county. He located in Albany township at an early age, and died there Sept. 3, 1872. He was a farmer and owned nearly 300 acres of land about Round Top. His farms are now the property of Alfred K. Dietrich and David Weisner. He married Maria Fisher (1804-1883), and their children were: Isaac, who gained wealth in Oklahoma; Jacob, of Eagle Point, Pa.; Samuel; Ann, m. (first) to a Leiby, (second) to a Greenawalt; Daniel, an auctioneer of Lynnville, Pa.; William F., of Reading, Pa.; Mrs. Monroe Buck, of Reading; Moses, of Lechners, Schuylkill Co., Pa.; and Ephraim, who was buried in Wessnersville.

Samuel Miller, on of Samuel, was a farmer in Albany, owning two farms of eighty and seventy acres, respectively. The first is now owned by his son Samuel M. and the other by his daughter Missouri Dresh. He operated a sawmill which stood on the road near the Dresh buildings leading to Samuel M. Miller's home. He built the house now occupied by his son who bears his name, in 1872. He was a Democrat, and was supervisor of the township where he was well known. By his wife, Sarah Ann Dietrich, daughter of John Dietrich, he had children: Catharine m. Daniel Reeser; Jacob died at New Ringgold, Pa.; Louise m. William Kerchner; Mary m. Samuel Stump; Lydia m. Edwin Kerchner; Polly m. Alvin Evert; Missouri m. Jonas Dresh; Samuel M.; and Sarah Ann and Charles C. both died young.

Samuel M. Miller, born in Albany township Sept. 21, 1862, is a farmer on the homestead, and is a successful grower of potatoes. In the spring of 1887 he began farming on his present place, which tract became his in 1892. He is a Democrat, and has been supervisor and constable of the township. In 1887 he married Mary Lizzie Bailey, daughter of Michael Bailey. She died in 1908, aged forty-two years. Their daughter, Ida V., m. Frederick D. Feinour.


p. 359

Surnames: MILLER

Samuel F. Miller, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was born at Richmond, Ky., in 1816. He was appointed by President Lincoln in 1862, and came to be an authority on constitutional law next to Marshall. He father was born at Reading, Pa., and had removed to Kentucky shortly before 1816, where he engaged in farming.


p. 1227


Solomon S. Miller, a representative business man of Philadelphia, Pa., where he was a prominent and successful wholesale merchant for upwards of forty years, was born March 9, 1836, in Windsor township, near Hamburg, Berks county, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Sieger) Miller.

Daniel Miller, who was a farmer of near Lenhartsville, in Windsor township, where he died in 1867, aged sixty-nine years, was married to Elizabeth Sieger, daughter of Jacob Sieger of Shoemakersville, and they had five children, namely: Elizabeth died young; Maria m. David Baver, a farmer of near Port Clinton; William S. m. Catherine Price, and died at Reading in June, 1907, aged eighty-one years; Reuben m. Emmeline Heckman; and Solomon S.

Solomon S. Miller received his preliminary education in the local public chools until he was sixteen years of age, when he became a clerk in the general store of Reuben Weidman at Shoemakersville. Shortly afterward, Solomon S. Koller became the owner of the store and he continued with the latter until 1860. With this experience of eight years in a country store, he went to Philadelphia and secured a position as salesman in the large wholesale dry-goods house of Riegel Brothers, No. 345 North Second street, and to qualify himself to fill the position satisfactorily he took a course in Pierce's Business College, devoting his evenings to this purpose. He continued with this firm five years, and then entered the employ of Hood, Bonbright and Company, and was with them only a year when he became a partner. This was in 1866, and he continued with this old and popular firm for twenty-three years. Then he withdrew and founded the wholesale dry-goods house of Miller, Bain, Beyer and Company, at the corner of Tenth and Filbert streets, with which he continued as the senior partner until June 1, 1908, when he retired on account of illness. The firm are leading importers and jobbers of dry goods at Philadelphia and their trade extends throughout the United States. Two other young men, with similar ambition, from the same vicinity of Berks county, also proceeded to Philadelphia about that same time and engaged in the wholesale business and became equally successful, Solomon S. Koller and Mahlon N. Kline.

Mr. Miller, inheriting a religious disposition, identified himself with the Green street Methodist Episcopal Church soon after locating in Philadelphia, and his devotion to the church was so highly appreciated that he was selected to serve the congregation as one of its trustees. After having been connected with the church for some years he transferred his membership to the Methodist Episcopal Church at Twentieth and Spring Garden streets, on account of the proximity of his residence and the convenience of his family, and here he has been serving as a trustee for upwards of twenty-five years, officiating as president of the board for a term, and at the present time as vice-president. In 1899 Mr. Miller traveled extensively in Europe, visiting England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Holland.

In 1867 Mr. Miller was married to Sallie E. Early, daughter of Edward Early of Philadelphia, and they had three children: Edward E. died in infancy; William S. m. Elizabeth Allen of Philadelphia and has one child, Gwendolyn; and Clinton H. m. Marion Colby, of Minneapolis.


p 441


Hon. W. Oscar Miller, former State senator and now a prominent citizen of Reading, where he is engaged in practice as a lawyer, also dealing in real estate, is an active worker in the Democratic party, and is known throughout the State as a politician of sagacity and foresight. He was born in Maxatawny township, Aug. 28, 1857, son of Joseph and Mary (Ziegler) Miller.

John Miller, great-grandfather of the Hon. W. Oscar, lived in the vicinity of Fogelsville, Lehigh Co., Pa. The Millers have been noted for their longevity.

John Miller (2), son of John, was born near Fogelsville, in Lehigh county, but in his young manhood came to Maxatawny township, Berks county, and engaged in farming for the remainder of his life. His political views made him a supporter of the Democratic party. He was a member of the Reformed Church, and in that faith he died in 1846. He was the father of five sons and one daughter, namely: Charles, who died in Maxatawny township, in May, 1905, aged ninety-nine years, two months, twenty-nine days; John, who died in June, 1905, aged ninety-five years; Rosalind, who married Napoleon Drescher, and died at the age of eighty-three; Jonas, who died aged seventy-two years; Joseph; and Joshua.

Joseph Miller, son of John (2), was born in Maxatawny township, Jan. 21, 1819, and there grew to manhood with a full practical knowledge of farming. He attended the common schools, and for two winters a subscription school. His death, the result of internal injuries received in a fall from an apple tree, occurred in August, 1890, in his seventy-second year. He married Mary Ziegler, born May 3, 1830, and to this union were born the following children: W. Oscar; Mantana m. A. S. Heffner, a coal and lumber merchant at Topton, this county; Sally I. m. L. A. Stein; Alvin J.; Fianna m. the Rev. James O. Leibensperger; and George F. Joseph Miller, the father, was a stanch Democrat, and served as school trustee for several terms.

W. Oscar Miller was given the benefit of a good education. After finishing the common school he went to Kutztown, and graduated there from the Keystone State Normal School in 1875. He then entered Lafayette College, and later went to the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, graduating from the Law Department in 1879. The following year he was admitted to practice in Reading, and for a quarter of a century he has had his law offices at No. 610 Washington street.

From the time he attained his majority he has been active in politics and in the Order of Odd Fellows. As early as 1887 he was a delegate to the State Convention, and in 1889 was elected district attorney, an office he filled to the general satisfaction of the public. In November, 1896, he was elected to the State Senate. As chairman of the County committee in 1892 and 1894, he did yeoman service for his party, and in 1896 he was a delegate to the National Convention at Chicago which nominated William Jennings Bryan for President. As editor of the Reading Democrat he has been able by his forceful and logical arguments to mould public opinion in favor of the reforms he advocated. In 1896 he made a statement one week before election that there would be only 375 Gold Democrat votes cast for Palmer and Buckner in the county, and the results showed 416; while in 1900 he predicted Gov. Pattison's majority to within one vote of the correct result in the county.

Mr. Miller married March 23, 1889, Emma L. Reider, daughter of Augustus and Elizabeth (Heffner) Reider, of Pricetown, granddaughter of John Reider, and great-granddaughter of Daniel Reider (1794-1891). To this union has been born one daughter, Frances.


p. 1244


William W. Miller, a representative young business man of Shillington, Pa., dealing in machinery, tools, dies and specialties, was born in the house in which he now resides, Oct. 26, 1870, son of William H. Miller.

Nicholas Miller, great-grandfather of William W., was a laborer of Adamstown, and was twice married. Daniel Miller, his son, was a blacksmith by trade, and also followed agricultural pursuits near Adamstown, where he died at the age of seventy-one years. He and his wife had the following children: Abraham, who resides near Adamstown; Jeremiah, of that place; Joseph, Elias, Daniel, John, all deceased; Caroline m. Samuel Zimmerman, residing in Iowa; and William H., the father of William W.

William H. Miller was born in 1836 in Lancaster county, and under his father learned the blacksmith trade, which he followed for a number of years. He was an expert tool maker, and one of his latest pieces of work was the making of the Bible stand in the Shillington Emanuel Reformed Church. For several years he engaged also in the mercantile business in Reading, Gouglersville and later at Shillington. He died at the age of forty-six years, and is buried at Gouglersville. Mr. Miller's first marriage was to a Miss Burkholder, of Bowmansville, and to this union there were born twelve children, the only survivor of whom is Reuben, a cabinet-maker of Millmont, Berks county. He married (second) Lydia H. White, daughter of William White, and to this union was born one son, William W. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were members of the Union Church of Allegheny, belonging to the Reformed denomination.

William W. Miller secured his education in the local schools and the Scranton Correspondence school, taking up the mechanical course. In 1886 he accepted a position at the Penn Hardware Company, in the machine department, remaining there for a period of four years, after which he went to St. Louis and Chicago for more experience. He remained in the West for one year and then returned to Reading, where he was employed at the Reading Hardware Company for three years. For twelve years he worked at the Chantrell Tool Company, at Millmont, Berks county, the last few years being master mechanic there. In 1900 he built his present shop, sixteen by thirty-six feet, two stories high, and engaged in business on his own account, manufacturing tools, machinery, dies and specialties, and also being the inventor of the large seller "Perfect Spark Timer," for automobiles. He employs three skilled workmen and has a large and increasing business.

Mr. Miller married Maggie G. Fritz, daughter of John Fritz, and to this union have been born these children: Edna E., William A., Elwood A., Margaret and Floyd M. Mr. Miller is a member of the Gouglersville Lutheran Church, has served that church as deacon and has also taken an active part in Sunday school work. He is a member of the Reading Tent of Maccabees. He was at one time a member of the National Guards, Co. A, 4th Pa., was in camp with his company at Columbia, Gettysburg and Mt. Gretna, and holds the record of his company as a marksman, having made forty-nine targets out of a possible fifty on the Shillington range. He is greatly interested in movements for the advancement of Shillington, having been prominent in the movement to have Shillington made into a borough, and he is considered one of the substantial and public-spirited business men of the place.


p. 686


W. E. Mills, a leading citizen of Reading, Pa., serving as a member of the common council from the Sixth ward of the city, was born in Reading, Sept. 26, 1852, son of Allen and Mary Ann (Swartz) Mills, the former of Wilmington, Del., and the latter of Cumru township, Berks county, Pennsylvania.

The grandfather of W. E. Mills was born in England, and came to America in early life, locating at Wilmington, Del., where he engaged in the manufacture of paper. He and his wife were the parents of children as follows: Thomas, deceased, was a manufacturer of Philadelphia; John; May J. m. Thomas Anderson; Elizabeth m. Samuel Lengel; and Allen. In religious belief the family were connected with the Episcopal Church. It is believed that Mr. Mills was a Whig in politics.

Allen Mills, father of W. E.; was educated in the schools of Delaware, whence he came to Reading, and here for twenty-two years was engaged as an employe of the Mellert Foundry and Machine shop. His next employment was with the Scott works, and he also engaged in pattern-making. Mr. Mills died in 1888, and his wife, Mary Ann Swartz, died in 1900, aged about seventy-three years. Allen Mills was a member of Continental Lodge, I. O. O. F., and of the Pilgrim's Circle. He was well known in Reading, and highly esteemed by all who had business dealings with him.

W. E. Mills was educated in the schools of Reading, and as a youth learned the machinist's trade at Mellerts and McKurseys foundries. On completing his apprenticeship he went to Kansas and settled upon a claim of 160 acres in Solomon Valley, but returned in 1875 after two years in the country. Upon his return he found employment with the Rolland & Francis machine shop on Cherry and Carpenter streets, continuing there until the following winter, when he engaged at the Mellert foundry, continuing there for a short time. Mr. Mills then entered the employ of the J. H. Sternbergh Company, continuing there for twenty-two years, eight years of that time being foreman machinist, and the last three years master mechanic. He then went to Lebanon, where he served in the same capacity for the American Steel & Iron Company, but in September, 1900 went to work at the Johnson foundry, where he was employed a short time as foreman, and he is now with the American Iron & Steel Company, Reading.

On April 26, 1882, Mr. Mills was married to Miss Esther B. Robinson, born in Reading of Scotch parents, and to this union there were born three children: Willie R., who died aged seven weeks; Jennie M., and Esther A. Miss Jennie M. Mills is a graduate of the Girls' high school, where she took the alumni medal for her essay on Literature. Mrs. Mills is a Baptist. Mr. Mills is connected with the Improved Order of Americans, and was formerly connected with the I. O. O. F. In his political belief he is a stanch Republican, and on that party's ticket he was elected, in April, 1906, a member of the common council from the Sixth ward. He has always taken a great interest in ward politics, and is therefore thoroughly acquainted with the needs of his community. He is thoroughly capable and deserving of a seat in the executive body, where he attempts to serve his city and his constituents in a faithful manner.

John Robinson, father of Mrs. Mills, was born in Scotland, and came to America when a young man, first settling in New York City. Before the Civil war, however, he had come to Reading, and here he enlisted in Company B, 50th Pa. V. I., and was killed while in active service in the battle of Spottsylvania, and was buried in North Carolina. He married Miss Esther Douglas, also a native of Scotland. She died in Reading, Pa., in November, 1894, and is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson had children as follows: James, who served as a corporal in the Civil war, and died in New York City; Mary died unmarried; Matilda m. Henry Eyrich; William lives in Reading; Annie m. James Werts, of Reading; and Esther B., the youngest, now Mrs. W. E. Mills, never saw her father.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:27 EDT

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