Biography of Alvin W. Miller

Alvin W. Miller, of Formoso, had spent nearly all his life in Jewell County; and since coming to Formoso had built up a large furniture and undertaking business and is widely known as that eity’s progressive mayor.

Mr. Miller was born at Lena, Illinois, March 18, 1876. His father was the late T. A. Miller, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1841, was reared and educated and married in his native state and followed the trade of wagon making. For a number of years he lived at Freeport, Illinois, and in 1878 came to Jewell City, Kansas, where he followed his trade suecessfully until his death in November, 1916. He was a republican, a very active supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was past master of Jewell Lodge No. 11, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and was a veteran Union soldier. He went to the war with an Illinois regiment. T. A. Miller married Rebecca Hoover. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1845 and is still living at Jewell City. There were nine children: Harry, a painter and decorator at Jewell City; Warren, connected with a commission firm at Kansas City, Missouri; Charles, a farmer in the State of Washington; Rosa, who died at the age of twenty-four; Andrew H., mentioned in a later paragraph; Louis, who died at the age of thirty-two in Jewell City; Alvin W.; Edith, wife of Alexander Salisbury, a Missouri farmer; and Sherman, who was drowned at the age of eleven years.

Alvin W. Miller grew up at Jewell City, where he attended the grammar and high schools. Leaving school at the age of eighteen, he became clerk in a store in Jewell City and in April, 1898, enlisted as orderly sergeant of Company D of the Twenty-first Kansas Infantry. He was mustered out in January, 1899, and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. Most of his time was spent at Chickamauga, Georgia. The record of this regiment will be found on other pages.

After his brief military experience Mr. Miller came to Formoso in 1899, and was employed in the store of George Trump until 1905. He then engaged in the furniture and undertaking business and had been very succeasful. He owned his store on Main Street, also the opera house of the town, and his home is in the Leydig Addition to Formoso.

For six years Mr. Miller was a member of the town council and was first elected mayor in 1913, being re-elected in 1915 and 1917. There are few towns in Kansas that have had a more efficient and progressive administration than Formoso under Mayor Miller. One of the chief improvements was the establishment of an electrie lighting system for the town, and there had just been completed the organization of a fire department, with auto truck, chemical engine and other apparatus for the prompt extinguishment of fire. Formoso now had the best street improvements of any town of its size in Jewell County. Mayor Miller was also instrumental in getting the city hall erected.

Mr. Miller is a stockholder in the Aetna Building and Loan Association of Topeka, is an active member of the Commercial Club, is a republican in politics, is affiliated with Formoso Lodge No. 336, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Jewell Chapter No. 85, Royal Arch Masons, is past noble grand of Formoso Lodgn No. 432, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is past consul and for the last eight years banker of Formoso Camp No. 1622, Modern Woodmen of America, an order with which he had been identified twenty-two years, and is also a member of the Kansas Fraternal Oitizens.

In June, 1903, at Formoso, Mr. Miller married Miss Elsie G. Hale, daughter of J. F. and Mary (Higby) Hale. Her parents live at Osborne, Kansas, where her father is publisher of the Osborne News. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have four bright young children: Vivian, born in 1904; Opal, born in 1906; Howard, born in 1910; and Doris, born in 1914.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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