Biography of Captain C.C. Miller

Captain C. C. Miller is one of the early settlers of Riverside and has for fifteen years been identified with its growth and improvement. He is a native of Oneida County, New York, dating his birth in 1824. His parents were Chancy and Alice (Reney) Miller, both natives of that county. His grandfather, Grant Miller, was a pioneer of Oneida County, settling there in the days of the colonies, and built the first house erected in his section. Captain Miller was but four years of age when the death of his father occurred. His mother then married Judge Aaron Burley. The subject of this sketch received the advantages of a good education. He was in attendance upon the public schools in New York until nearly twenty years of age, and then went to Ohio, joining the family, who had preceded him two years before. There he entered the Oberlin College, and after two years’ study in that institution, entered the Cleveland University and graduated in 1852. He made civil engineering a specialty in the college course and started in life in that calling as his profession, devoting himself to railroad construction, and was employed for the next two years on the Illinois Central and Atlantic & Ohio railroads.

In 1854 he located at Tomah, Wisconsin, in Monroe County, and was for the next ten years engaged in the construction of many of the railroads in that State and in Minnesota, and ranked among the leading engineers in locating and constructing the Milwaukee & St. Paul, and Chicago & Northwestern railroads. He also established himself as a land surveyor. Mr. Miller was one of the early settlers of Monroe County and was prominently identified with the building up and growth of his section. In 1864 he entered the military service of the United States, receiving a commission as Captain in the Forty-ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. His regiment was assigned to duty in southwest Missouri, under General Dodge. There Captain Miller’s professional knowledge and skill was called into action and he was appointed chief engineer of the district. He served until after the close of the war, being honorably discharged from the service in November, 1865. After his discharge he returned to civil pursuits and engaged in constructing the West Michigan St. Paul Railroad, as assistant chief engineer, and later was the chief engineer in locating and constructing the Wabasha & Lake Superior Railroad.

In 1874 the ill health of his wife made it necessary that he seek a milder climate, and he brought his family to Southern California. He established his residence in Los Angeles, and in June of that year came to Riverside Valley, as the engineer and superintendent of the El Sobrante de San Jacinto Ranch, and later was engaged in the construction of the upper canal of the Riverside water system.

In October of 1874 he brought his family to Riverside and the next year purchased the block between Main and Orange and Sixth and Seventh streets, and established his home. Captain Miller entered heartily into horticulture and the building up of the town. His beautiful grounds and desirable location induced him to open his residence as a hotel, and “Glenwood Cottage ” and its genial host soon became noted among the traveling public. He was compelled to enlarge his building to meet the demands of his ever-increasing guests. Year after year he added to his cottage and from that sprang the noted Glenwood Hotel, of Riverside, during this time Captain Miller did not neglect his professional duties as an engineer, but was engaged in many of the large enterprises of Southern California and Arizona, and was the engineer-in-chief in the construction of some of the most noted canals and irrigation systems in the country, among which is the Gage canal of Riverside. He was also interested in real-estate dealings and other interests that have tended to build up the section. In 1881 he retired from the management of the Glenwood, selling the property to his son, Frank A. Miller.

There is no man in Riverside better or more favorably known to the general public and to Riverside than Captain Miller; nor is there one who has the respect and esteem of a larger circle of friends and acquaintances. He is prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of Evergreen Lodge, No. 259, F. & A. M., Riverside Chapter No. 67, R. A. M. and Riverside Commandery No. 28, Knights Templar. He is also a member and the Post Commander of Riverside Post, No. 118, G. A. R. Politically he is a stanch Republican, and has been a strong supporter of that party ever since its organization in 1856. Captain Miller was married in 1852 to Miss Mary Clark, daughter of Dr. Clark, a prominent physician of Lorain County, Ohio. They have four children living, viz.: Emma, Frank A., Alice and Edward S. Emma is now the wife of Mr. G. O. Newman, a prominent citizen and engineer of Riverside; Frank A. married Miss Belle Hardenberg; Alice is now Mrs. Frank W. Richardson; Edward E. married Miss Hopkins. All the children are residents of Riverside.


The Lewis Publishing Company. An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890.

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