MILLER, Daniel L.--- Probably within the entire scope of the influence of the German Baptist Brethren denomination there is no name more honored than that of Elder Miller, whose influence has been felt throughout the entire brotherhood for many years, and whose talents have been materially effective in promoting the missionary enterprises of the organization. Endowed by nature with splendid mental faculties, he was nevertheless handicapped in boyhood by an adverse environment and destiny seemed to restrict his usefulness to a narrow field. With a courage that knew no disheartening obstacle, he secured by laborious application an education superior to that of many a boy more happily placed. In the mean time he neglected no duty to father and home. At the age of twelve years he was placed with a farmer to work for his board and during all of his youth he worked either on a farm or in his father's mill in Washington County, Md.
Upon coming to Illinois for the first time, Mr. Miller secured employment with John Long, but later returned to Maryland in order to assist his father in the mill. On coming west as a permanent resident, he became a clerk in a store at Polo and later embarked in mercantile pursuits as a partner of Samuel Shoop. His next venture took him into the grain business as a partner of George Ambrose, in additon to which he operated a grocery business as the sole owner for five years. Meanwhile he had become one of the leading men of the German Baptist Brethren denominaton in Illinois, and had assisted greatly in the establishing of mission churches. With two other leading men of the brotherhood he burchased Mount Morris College and converted it to the use of the Dunker Church, as his donomination is often called. Disposing of his business interests in Polo in 1879, he removed to Mount Morris and for five years gave himself wholly to the building up of that educational institution, having become its President after the resignation of J. M. Stein. During the time of his offical connection with the school he also took up special studies.
While laboring in the eductional field, other lines of activity appealed to Mr. Miller's consecrated and energetic spirit. In company with Joseph Amick he purchased the periodical "Brethren at Work," after the failure of its former owner, M. M. Eshelman, and changed the title to "Gospel Messenger," of which he acted as editor. His first trip across the ocean occurred in 1883, when, accompanied by his wife, he went to Europe and spent nine months in Germany and Denmark, finally proceeding to the Holy Land. While in Germany he was admitted to University Halle, and took lectures under Dr. Conrad, on political economy, and Dr. Tschacart on church history. Letters descriptive of his travels were published in the "Gospel Messenger" and were read in almost every part of the world, the circulation of the journal being greatly increased by reason of the popularity of the letters. In response to a demand for a book account of the trip, he consented to the publication of his letters in this form, the title being "Europe and Bible Lands." The entire edition was subscribed for before it came from the press and subsequent editions were needed.
After nine years of devotion to college duties and editorial work, Mr. Miller in 1892 again visited Palestine, and later published "Wanderings in the Bible Lands," which recieved a much wider sale than had been accorded the first volume. His "Seven Churches of Asia" brought gratifying financial returns to the Mission Board, to which he had given the namuscript. In his third trip abroad he was accompanied by Joseph Lehman, visiting Egypt and ascending the Nile about one thousand miles. During 1895, accompanied by his wife, he started on a trip around the world, returning to America after a year's absence. Two years later he published "Girdling the globe," which was dedicated to the cause of missions. The fifth trip abroad by Mr. and Mrs. Miller was made in 1898, when they made a special study of Jerusalem, Smyrna dn India. Their last trip around the world was made in 1904-06, this including a trip to Australia, South Africa (making a special investigation of the Boer county while there), India, China, and Japan, and returning home by way of San Francisco, arrivign there two days before the earthquake. After this trip Mr. Miller wrote another book entitled "The Other Half," a description of the otherr half of the globe. This work was given to the church. With slides from photographs taken by himself during his travels he was delivered many interesting illustrated lectures, which invariably have been grace by large audiences. In 1868 Mr. Miller married Miss Lizzie Tally, of Philadelphia, who is the author of "Letters to the Young from the Old World," that has run into several editions.
While practically retired from life's greater activites, Mr. Miller is at the head of the editorial staff of the "Gospel Messenger" and is chairman of the general missionary and tract committee of the denomination. Throughout churches of his faith far and near, he is loved and venerated as a consecrated preacher of the truth and a talented writer. His mind is a storehouse of valuable information which is readily available for instant and effective use. By self-culture he acquired a wide and fluent command of language. Travel broadened his views and enriched his mind. A deep and genuine love for humanity has added to his usefulness. The fact that he lacked early educational advantages has given him great solicitude for others similarly situated, and no one champions more earnesly that he the cause of our schools and colleges. His has been a life of great usefulness and activity, and as he passes into the afternoon of existence, it is with the knowledge that he had done his part toward helping his fellow-men spiritually, eductionally and morally.
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