WILLIAM J. MILLER. Many of the leading men of this county are its native-born citizens as in the case of Mr. MILLER, who was born May 4, 1834, in the northwest part of Beaver Creek Township, Greene County. His parents were James and Sarah (HARNER) MILLER, and his father came to this region during its pioneer days. James MILLER, a native of Greencastle, Pa., was born September 15, 1807, and his wife, Sarah, was born in Beaver Creek Township, this county, December 17, 1802, the same year that Ohio was admitted into the Union as a State. The father of our subject in his journey to this county was accompanied by the well-known John HARBINE, one of its earliest pioneers. Mr. MILLER occupied himself as a carpenter and was married to Miss. HARNER about 1840. He had secured one hundred and thirteen acres of land—that upon which his son now resides—and where he settled with his young wife, they beginning housekeeping together in true pioneer style.
James MILLER opened up a good farm from the wilderness where he and his estimable wife spent the remainder of their days. Mr. MILLER died about 1870 at the age of sixty-seven years. Up to the beginning of the Civil War he had affiliated with the Democratic party, but not being able to harmonize with the Democracy on the question of Union and slavery, he wheeled over into the Republican ranks, remaining there until the close of his life. The mother died about 1870.
The parental household of our subject consisted of two children only, William J. and Sarah J., the latter being the wife of John DAVIS and living in Beaver Creek Township. James MILLER had three brothers: William, Matthew and Robert. Robert located first in Greene County, Ohio, and from there went to Logansport where he remained until his death. The MILLER family is of German and Scotch ancestry, from which countries respectively the paternal grandparents of William J. emigrated at an early day.
Mr. MILLER has spent his entire life upon the farm where he now lives. He attended the district school during his boyhood and youth and obtained a practical knowledge of agriculture, which with his habits of industry have made him a successful and independent farmer. He is largely interested in Poland-China swine and has carried off the blue, and red ribbons at the County Fairs. The head of Mr. MILLER’S herd of swine has taken the red ribbon at the Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois State Fairs. He has made of this industry a specialty for the past seven years. His farm buildings are ample and convenient and he avails himself of modern methods and improved machinery in all his operations.
Mr. MILLER was first married in 1864 to Miss Anna PRUGH. She was born in Montgomery, Ohio, and was the daughter of Peter and Charlotte (MITCHELL) PRUGH who were among the earliest pioneers of that section. They came hither from Maryland where Mr. PRUGH had learned the trade of a shoemaker and which he followed in connection with farming after coming to this State. His family included three sons and four daughters, of whom Miss Anna was the youngest born. Of her union with our subject there was born one child, a son, John G., and the mother passed away seventeen months after her marriage; this son is now in Beaver Creek Township.
The second marriage of Mr. MILLER occurred in 1868 with Miss. Sarah E., daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (GETTER) STEELE of this county. Six children were born of this union, viz: Jessie F., William L., Clarence Orphus, James L., Sarah Elizabeth, and Annettie G., the latter deceased. Mr. and Mrs. MILLER are both connected with the Reformed Church. The parents of Mrs. MILLER were natives respectively of Greene and Warren Counties, this State, and Mr. STEELE politically was a Republican. Their family consisted of one son and five daughters, Mrs. MILLER being the eldest born. The paternal grandfather was Ebenezer STEELE, further mention of whom is made in the biography of J. D. STEELE on another page in this volume.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio Chapman Bros., Chicago, Copyright 1890.