Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
MILLER, MICHAEL CLIFTON, well known throughout Sangamon County, Ill., as a breeder of fine horses and mules, also conducting a livery business and assisting in the management of a farm, has lived several years in the village of Chatham where he has erected a handsome residence, and is one of the highly respected men in his community. He was born on the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, south of Louisville, near Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Ky., November 12, 1859, a son of Thomas and Rhoda (Walker) Miller, both natives of that county. Thomas Miller was a son of Michael Miller, who was also born in Hardin County, where he spent his entire life. The Miller family were well known in Kentucky and among the old settlers of Hardin County.
Thomas Miller and his wife remained in their native State until 1890, then moving to Columbus, Ind., where in 1904, both passed away. Mr. Miller was a farmer by occupation and an active member of the Baptist Church, while his wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a quiet, home loving man, and spent his latter years in retirement from active life, having located in Columbus when seventy-five years old, his wife then being sixty-eight years old and there she passed away in October and he in December, 1904. Eight sons and three daughters were born to them and of these eight children are now living. The oldest, Mary Bell, became the wife of Wesley Shively, and died about 1894, in Pueblo, Colo., where she was buried. She left one son, Therman, now residing in Hardin County, Ky., where another son is a large stockman and operator of a famous god mine, being successful in all his enterprises. Of the other children of Thomas Miller and wife, Lulu married Charles Devall, a motorman residing in Springfield; William T., is a large farmer living near Newkirk, Okla; Michael Clifton, is the subject o this sketch; John C. is a retired farmer living in Williamsville, Ill.; Edward is a resident of Columbus, Ind.; Whitty and James are merchants of Columbus, Ind.; Benjamin, also of Columbus; Annie, living with her brothers in Columbus.
Michael C. Miller spent his boyhood days in Hardin County, Ky., and attended the pubic schools of his native State, remaining there until 1879, when he left home and went to Weir City, Kans., there engaged in mining until 1880, went to Lincoln, Neb., in the latter year and accepted a position on the new railroad being built through that section. In 1881 he made his advent in Sangamon County, first working by the month on a farm in Auburn Township, continuing this occupation about eight years. In 1889 he rented a farm near Cotton Hill, where he carried on a farming operations successfully until 1901 when he rented a larger farm, remaining here until1907, when, on March 23rd,he purchased his present place, and embarked in the livery business and the breeding of horses and mules. Being a native of Kentucky, he has the love of fine horses born in him and his judgment on such matters is taken as authority. He had a farm of 120 acres under his supervision and later one of 200 acres, and at the time of his retirement from farming was one of the most successful renters in the county. Since embarking in his present business he has been as successful, and has built up a very satisfactory business.
Mr. Miller was united in marriage, February 7, 1880, to Miss Johanna Skees, a native of Hardin County, Ky., born April 22, 1859, a daughter of Phillips and Margaret (Pierce) Skees, the former born January 12, 1834, and the latter November 27, 1838, and both died and were buried in Hardin County. Mr. Skees died February 15, 1901,and his widow April 11, 1903. Children as follows were born to Mr. and Mrs. Miller: Philip Samuel, born in Hardin County, Ky., March 9, 1883,now operating a 200 acre farm in Ball Township, Sangamon County, married Helen Nettel, a native of Sangamon County, and they have one child, Hazel; William Thomas, born November 3, 1889, graduated from Chatham High School with the class of 1910, is now bookkeeper in the Caldwell State Bank of Chatham; Emery born August 8, 1894, lives in Woodside Township; the oldest child, Lillie Dell, died in infancy.
Mr. Miller has two and three-quarters acres of land and a large and well regulated barn. Among his fine horses are a full-blooded Percheron stallion, "Mennen"; a roadster, "Linton", of the old Linton stock famous in Missouri; and an Arabian stallion Jim.
Mr. Miller and his wife are good examples of the many hardy natives of Kentucky who have settled in the State of Illinois and have achieved gratifying success. Both have worked hard and are now reaping the reward of their labor. Besides his livery business, Mr. Miller assists his son Phillips in operating 200 acres of land in Ball Township, and under their able management excellent crops are obtained each year. Mr. Miller is a Democrat in politics and since locating in Chatham, has held various local offices, including that of Justice of the Peace. He also served as Highway Commissioner while a resident of Ball Township. He and his wife are devout members of the Auburn Catholic Church. In all public matters he has always stood ready to perform his full share and has the confidence of his neighbors and associates. He erected his present home at a cost of $4,000, fitting it with many modern comforts and conveniences which are not found in the ordinary country home. He owns two other fine residences and other city real estate.