CHARLES E MILLER
"Earn thy reward, the gods give naught to sloth," said the sage, Epicharmus, and the truth of the admonition has been verified in human affairs in all the ages which have rolled their course since his day. The subject to whose life history we now direct attention has, by ceaseless toil and endeavor, attained a marked success in business affairs, has gained the respect and confidence of men and is recognized as one of the distinctively representative citizens of Doniphan county. He is now connected with general farming and stock raising interests, but has left the impress of his individuality upon many departments of business.
Mr. Miller was born in Broome county, New York, in the town of Binghamton, in June, 1841, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Sole) Miller, who also were natives of the Empire state. The father was numbered among the defenders of the Union during the civil war, enlisting as a member of the Thirty-seventh Iowa Infantry, known as the Graybeard regiment. Charles E. Miller was very young when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Dubuque, Iowa, and in the public schools of that state he acquired his preliminary education, which was supplemented by study in Epworth College at Dubuque. In 1860 he joined the "boys in blue" of Company L, First Iowa Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Fitz Henry Warren, of Burlington, Iowa. On the organization of the regiment it was ordered to St. Louis, where troops remained for some time and then went into the interior of the state.
Later they saw service in Arkansas and Louisiana and proceeded south to the gulf, taking part in many raids, skirmishes and engagements. Finally they were ordered to Texas, when the border was threatened, there doing garrison duty and suppressing Indian raids. Mr. Miller faithfully performed every duty that devolved upon him, whether on the tented fields or in the midst of the scenes of carnage. He was mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, in 1866, after a long and faithful service, during which time he had passed through many thrilling scenes and experiences, but had escaped serious injury.
After his discharge Mr. Miller returned to Dubuque and for two years gave his attention to farming in the county of that name. He then went to St. Joseph, Missouri, where he entered the employ of a lumber firm, with whom he remained for eleven years. In 1879 he came to Doniphan county, Kansas, locating at Severance, and purchased the lumber business of O. B. Carl. He then formed a partnership under the name of Cook & Miller, which connection was continued for three years, when he purchased Mr. Cook's interest, continuing the business alone and conducting three yards in Kansas and one at Steel City, Nebraska. He was very successful in the undertaking, but finally sold out to Henry Cotsworth & Company, of Chicago. This was followed by a successful experience in connection with the grain trade at Severance and Hollenberg, Kansas, and Steel City, Nebraska. He operated three elevators, but at length disposed of his grain business and purchased his present farm in Iowa township, comprising three hundred and twenty acres of rich land, which is under a high state of cultivation and improved with all the accessories and conveniences of a model farm. The place is stocked with a high grade of Poland China hogs and Durham cattle and has commodious barns and sheds for the protection of his stock. His outbuildings are always kept in good repair and an air of neatness and thrift pervades the place, indicating the careful supervision of the owner. His orchard is among the best in the county and has just yielded a good supply of apples (1899). His attractive and substantial frame residence was erected in 1894 and is justly regarded as one of the hospitable homes of the community. He was for some time the president of the Bank of Highland, which position he held at the time he sold his interest in that financial institution. He is now the president of the Highland Butter & Cheese Company.
Mrs. Miller, an honored and esteemed lady of the neighborhood, was in her maidenhood Miss Julia Whitbeck. She was born near Albany, New York, was married in 1867 and has become the mother of four sons and three daughters. William Lincoln Miller, the oldest, is on the farm with his father and mother; the other six died young.
In his political views Mr. Miller is a stalwart Republican, unswerving in his support of the principles of the party and has efficiently served in a number of offices. For several years he has been a member of the school board, was the mayor of Severance and a member of the city council. In 1896 he was elected the county commissioner for the first district of Doniphan county and is now serving his second term in that office. He is a man who forms his plans rapidly and is determined in execution and thus he has acquired success in business. Steadily he has worked his way upward until to-day he is numbered among the substantial citizens of his adopted county. His course has at all times been straightforward and his record is an open book which all may read. He possesses the true spirit of western enterprise and belongs to that class of substantial citizens who have laid the foundation for the prosperity and future progress of this great commonwealth.