Berkeley County, West Virginia Biography of W.S. MILLER


         W.S. MILLER has been called the father of the apple industry in Berkeley County. He first planted 16 acres of orchard on the old Miller homestead near Gerardstown in 1851. His neighbors predicted failure. When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Miller had on hand a large number of peach, apple, pear and plum nursey trees that he budded himself. Since he had no sale for them at the time, he set them out on his own land. At the close of the war, he had 4,000 budding trees and continued to set out nursery stock until he had 6,500 planted 2,500 peach and 4,000 apple. From this humble beginning sprang the commercial apple industry of Berkeley County. Mr. Miller made good, made money, sold his crop each fall, and induced others to venture into the business.

         W.S. Miller was the father of several sons who became large orchard planters. One, John M. Miller, was the largest apple grower in the county. His other sons, D. Gold Miller of Gerardstown, Harry P. Miller, Port Miller and Gilbert P. Miller of Paw Paw and Romney, were owners of large commercial orchards of apples and peaches.


    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from History of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1928

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