PAST AND PRESENT
OF
MENARD COUNTY, ILLINOIS - 1905

Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company


Transcribed by: Steve Madosik III

Page 137

ROBERT DON LEAVEY MILLER was born February 3, 1838, in Pettis county, Missouri, near where the city of Sedalia now stands. His father, William A. Miller, was a politician of some notoriety, serving in the legislature and constitutional convention of Missouri and was a candidate for congress at the time of his death, which occurred March 2d, 1847, when he was forty-one years of age. His mother was Agnes C. Mitchell, born in Tennessee, May 13, 1805. Her father, Captain Thomas Mitchell, removed to Missouri in 1814, when it was a territory, and the family lived for three years, in Coles Fort because of the hostility of the Indians. Her four brothers were the first white men to ferry across the Osage river. Daniel Boone was, for some time, and inmate of that fort and died in that vicinity. Mrs. Miller died in 1886, at the age of eighty-one years.

The subject of this sketch received his early education in the subscription schools in northwest Missouri, being reared within four miles of St. Joseph, Missouri. At the age of sixteen he entered Chapel Hill College, taking the full classical course but lacked one year of completing it. He then began the study of medicine, but after eighteen months of hard study abandoned it and read law and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced but very little. Mr. Miller united with the Cumberland Presbyterian church in 1858. In 1864 he was ordained a minister of that church and has preached constantly ever since. At one time it was said that he said the ceremony for one third of the people married in Menard county. He has attended more funerals than any other man perhaps in this part of the state. He taught school sixteen years and has been in all county superintendent of schools in Menard county for twenty-three years, twenty-two years consecutively. Menard county was the fifth county in the state to adopt a "Course of Study" and this was written and published by Mr. Miller. He organized the Cumberland Presbyterian church in Petersburg and built the house of worship for them and served as their pastor for over six years. He built the church house at Lebanon and also the new Cumberland Presbyterian church in Fancy Prairie. These are three of the best church edifices in the county. Mr. Miller is now (1904) pastor of the church in Fancy Prairie.

Mr. Miller was married to Miss Charlotte A. Riche, December 24, 1856 in Buchanan county, Missouri. To them have been born seven children, five of whom are still living; Sarah M., wife of Ed. C. Drake, now of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was born December 6, 1857, and married November 27, 1883. Mary A., born August 15, 1863, is still at home, teaching school. Emma E. (Jube), born January 25, 1867, was married to Harmon J. Marbold, June 24, 1891, in Ouray, Colorado. George Mitchell, born January 11, 1869, was killed by the cars March 25, 1879. Leyria A., born February 2, 1873, was married to Dillon L. Ross, attorney at law, October 3, 1894. They live in Council Bluffs, Iowa. R. Pauline, born September 8, 1874, was married to Professor Frank T. Chapman, December 26, 1899. He is instrumental and she vocal teacher of music in Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon. Robert D. F., born March 12, 1879, died October 28, 1884. There are fourteen grandchildren living and one dead.

Mr. Miller has spent his life trying, in an humble way, to assist the young in the line of education, both intellectual and moral. He has been an ordained minister for over forty years and his salary has not averaged over two hundred and fifty dollars a year. At sixty-six years of age, he is hale and hearty and can do as much work as to any period of life. Mrs. Miller is enjoying reasonably good health, and they hope to live to celebrate their golden wedding.


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