Kansas History and Heritage Project-Anderson County Biographies

Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894

HON. JOHN W. MILLER. There is an obscurity in the game of life that to the robust mind is always attractive. The important uncertainty of the final outcome serves as an incentive to great deeds. To push forward and win the battle is one common impulse and ambition of humanity. But in this vast concourse of struggling warriors the number who achieve success is comparatively small, and in the majority of instances is confined to those who by reason of family inheritance or extended learning have a better start than their fellows. Without these qualifications success is rarely attained, and when it is the fortunate being is invariably the possessor of an indomitable will, untiring energy and an unusual amount of native shrewdness and ability. Such a man is the Hon. John W. Miller, the present Probate Judge of Anderson County.

A native of Ohio, his birth occurred in Tuscarawas County July 30, 1850, he being a son of George and Sarah (Braninger) Miller, natives of the Keystone State. The parents were married in Ohio, and soon afterward settled in Tuscarawas County, where they remained until 1866, and then made their way to Kansas. For about eighteen months they resided in Douglas County, but from there they removed to Bates County, Mo., remaining there two years, and thence to Linn County, where they resided until 1870. They then came to Anderson County and settled near Hickory Grove, Rich Township, where the father resides at the present time. The mother passed away January 5, 1891. They were the parents of six children, all of whom grew to mature years.

The Hon. John W. Miller, the only son in the family, made his home under the parental roof until after settling in Anderson County. His youthful days were passed in assisting on the farm and in attending the common schools, in which he received a good practical education. In September, 1873, he commenced teaching school, and for sixteen years gave nearly his entire time to that profession, doing all his teaching in four districts. Being naturally of a studious turn of mind, he applied himself diligently during his spare moments and thus obtained a good education. In the fall of 1890 his superior ability was recognized by the people and he was elected to his present position, and re-elected in 1892.

In the year 1878 our subject was married to Miss Alice Elizabeth Miller, a distant relative. She was a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Miller. Six children have blessed this union, viz.: Roy, Ola, Lonnie, Samuel, Harry and Dale. Formerly independent in his political views, he is now a Populist, and was one of the organizers of the People's party in the southern part of Anderson County. Before being elected judge he served his township as Trustee and Clerk, and held other local positions. He is a man of excellent judgment and is unquestionably one of the foremost citizens. Gifted with intelligence, of unswerving integrity, he today commands the respect of his fellow-men, and numbers his friends only by his number of acquaintances. Socially, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of land near Kincaid. This he purchased when it was raw prairie, and he now has the same under cultivation, and on it has a good orchard. He has been a resident of Garnett since 1891, and is universally respected.

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