Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

SAMUEL J. MILLER. - Samuel J. Miller is one of the most enterprising and energetic farmers and stock raisers of Cooper township and is the owner of a well improved and valuable farm on section 4. He was born in that township on the 3d of April, 1869, and is a representative of an old Virginian family. His paternal grandfather, Christian Miller, was a native of the Old Dominion and from there removed to Ohio, whence he came to Illinois in 1830, locating in Sangamon County. He entered about two thousand acres of land in Cooper township and to its cultivation and improvement devoted the remainder of his life.

Jacob C. Miller, the father of our subject, was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, April 9, 1824, and accompanied his parents on their removal to Ohio and later to Illinois. Here he grew to manhood and wedded Miss Mary E. Prather, a native of Maryland and a daughter of Perry Prather, who settled in Sangamon county at an early day. Mr. Miller became a prominent farmer of Cooper township and continued to make his home there until called to his final rest in October, 1896. His wife survived him only a short time, dying March 13, 1899, at the age of fifty-seven years. In their family were four children, who are still living: Samuel J., who is the oldest; Don W., a farmer of Cooper township; Edith E., wife of J. E. Martin, of Fork Prairie, this county, and Lottie M., wife of Willis Runnels, of Clear Lake Township.

Upon the old home farm in Cooper township Samuel J. Miller was reared in much the usual manner of farmer boys and as soon as old enough to be of any assistance began to aid in its operation, giving his father the benefit of his labors until twenty-three years of age. On the 8th of March, 1893, he was married in Cooper Township to Miss Cora Dunn, who was born in Schuyler county, Illinois, but spent most of her girlhood in Sangamon county. Her father, Ebenezer Dunn, was a blacksmith at Rochester, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have one son, Ralph D., who is now attending the home school.

After his marriage Mr. Miller located upon a part of his present farm, consisting of one hundred and five acres, and to its improvement and cultivation he has since devoted his time and energies. He has also extended the boundaries of his place until they now include two hundred and thirteen acres. He gives considerable attention to the raising and feeding of stock, making a specialty of hogs. He practices the rotation of crops and is very progressive in his farm methods. He is, however, extremely practical and, possessing sound judgment and good business ability, he has met with most gratifying success.

Politically, Mr. Miller is an ardent Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for Grover Cleveland and the last for William J. Bryan. He has never cared for official honors, but was appointed to serve an unexpired term as supervisor and was a member of the county board for two years, during which time he served on several important committees. For two years he was township collector and is now in his third year as school director. He is a member of the Code of Honor of Rochester. His genial, pleasant manner has made him quite popular in both business and social circles, and as a public spirited, enterprising man he is recognized as a valued citizen of the community in which he lives.

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