HENRY MILLER. This well known resident of Williamsville is one of the leading German-American citizens of Sangamon county and in his successful business career he has shown the characteristic thrift and enterprise of the race. Beginning with no capital except that acquired by his own industry he has built up a large trade as a dealer in shoes, harness and agricultural implements and is today one of the prosperous citizens of Williamsville, where he has been in continuous business longer than any other merchant. He dates his residence here from 1868.
Mr. Miller was born near Brunswick, Germany, November 12, 1839, and was reared upon a farm in that county. Bidding good-by to his native land he sailed for the new world in 1861 and on landing in Baltimore proceeded at once to Illinois, stopping first in Will county, where he worked on a farm for six months. He then went to Joliet, where he learned the shoemaker's trade and continued to follow the occupation at that place for four years. In the meantime he acquired an excellent knowledge of the English language, with which he was wholly unfamiliar on coming to America, although he had received a good education in his native tongue. On leaving Joliet, Mr. Miller went to Chicago, where he worked at his trade for about a year, and at the end of the that time removed to Lincoln, Illinois. He next came to Williamsville and after working at the bench for several years bought a stock of boots and shoes and has since conducted a store along that line. He also started a harness shop and subsequently became interested in the farm implement business, dealing in all kinds of farm machinery, buggies and wagons. In each line he has built up a good trade and is recognized as one of the most enterprising and reliable business men of the place. He has built two business blocks which he still owns and the prosperity that has come to him is certainly well merited, it being the result of his own industry, perseverance and good management. Besides his store buildings he has a neat and comfortable residence and a warehouse for the storing of implements.
At Springfield in 1869 Mr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Barbara Meyer, who was born in that city of German ancestry and there grew to womanhood. The children born of this union are: W. H., who is in the harness shop with his father, is married and has two children, Pearl and Margaret; Frank has charge of the implement department of the business; Fred, a lad of thirteen years, is still in school; Emma is the wife of W. E. Jones, a farmer of Williams township and has one son, Merrill; and Rena is at home. Since casting his first vote for General U. S. Grant in 1868, Mr. Miller has supported every presidential candidate of the Republican party but has never sought or desired office, preferring to give his entire time and attention to his business interests. Both he and his wife were reared in the Lutheran faith and still hold membership in that church. Fraternally Mr. Miller is a Master Mason. Although he came to the United States empty handed he has always made the most of his
opportunities and has met with a well deserved success. He stand high in business circles and has the confidence and respect of all who know him.