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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


WILLIAM MILLER. The pioneer element of this county recognizes the subject of this notice as one of its most worthy representatives, and he may be usually found at his pleasant and comfortable home in the little city of Meredosia, where he has many friends. He has just passed the sixty-fourth year of his age, having been born April 3, 1825. His native place was Baton Rouge, La., and his parents were Joshua and Catherine (Thomas) Miller, natives of New York State.

This branch of the Miller family is supposed to be of English descent, as was also the mother of our subject. The parents came to Illinois at an early day, and the father of our subject died in New Orleans, about 1825, from an attack of yellow fever. The mother was subsequently married to William Crawford, and they resided for a time in Missouri. Mr. Miller has been a resident of this State since a youth of seventeen years. His education was obtained by attendance at the subscription school, which was carried on in a log cabin with greased paper for window panes, the floor of puncheon, and the benches made of slabs upheld by rude wooden legs. The system of instruction was in keeping with those primitive times, and the text books (unlike those of the present day), were used by one child after another until worn out.

The life of our subject passed in a comparatively uninterrupted manner until the time of his marriage, which took place July 22, 1847. The maiden of his choice was Miss Lorena Thacker, and they became the parents of twelve children, only eight of whom are living, namely: John; William; Mary, the wife of George Turnham; Hannah, Mrs. Isaac Lake; Sarah, Mrs. Weber, a widow; Oscar; Edgar; and Frances, the wife of Henry Wade. Mr. and Mrs. Miller after marriage settled on a farm in Brown County, Ill., and Mr. Miller operated as a renter a number of years. He finally purchased 200 acres of land on Meredosia Bay, in township 16, range 13, to which he removed at once and entered upon its cultivation and improvement. Later he sold forty acres, and lived upon the 160 acres remaining, until removing to Meredosia in the winter of 1887. Prior to his removal he sold his farm for $5,600.

Mr. Miller's property has been accumulated solely by his own industry. He first worked out by the month, living in a most economical manner and saving what he could of his earnings, until he had enough to purchase implements for farming on rented land. In his labors and struggles he has had the faithful assistance of his estimable wife, who has stood by his side through storm and sunshine, bearing with him the heat and burden of the day. Mrs. Miller was born in this county Jan. 9, 1827, and is the daughter of William and Charity (Glisson) Thacker, whose parents were among the earliest settlers of Central Illinois. They were natives of Tennessee, and came to this county in 1826, where they spent the remainder of their lives. They looked upon the present site of Jacksonville when it was only marked by a few rude houses and bore little semblance to a town. During the latter years of their lives they lived on a farm northeast of the city, then removed to Meredosia, and two years later to Brown County, where the mother died in 1845, and the father in 1857. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Miller, politically, uniformly votes the Democratic ticket. He has never had any ambition for office, preferring to confine his attention to agricultural pursuits. He enjoys an extended acquaintance throughout the county, where he numbers his friends by the score. The deceased children of Mr. and Mrs. Miller are Cordelia, Stephen A., Margaret J., and one who died in infancy.

1889 Index
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