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Bureau,Marshall,Putnam Biographical Records 1896 > Professor Jacob Miller


Source: Thje Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
Originally published 1896
S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., Chicago, IL
Reproduced on CD purchased from OLD GLORY ACCENTS

RELATED LINK: Index to all Biographies from this book

Transcribed by: Denise McLougnlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
www.tampicohistoricalsociety.citymax.com

 

Page 44

PROFESSOR JACOB MILLER

PROFESSOR JACOB MILLER, at present engaged in the real estate, insurance and loan business in Princeton, Illinois, was for a number of years proinently connected with the educational interests of Bureau county. He was born in Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, June 15, 183, and is the youngest of the family of seven children born to Isaac and Mollie (FERNSLER) MILLER., aslo natives of the keystone state. By occupation the father was a farmer and drover, going to Ohio for stock, which he would retail to the farmers of Pennsylvania, who would feed them and then sell in the eastern markets. He was an upright, honorable man, widely and favorably known, and both himself and wife were members of the Untied Brethren church. He died instantly from an apoplectic stroke, August 12, 1868, and his wife some time later. They wedre of German extraction. Of the children, Henry, now deceased, married Eliza LANDIS, and followed farming in Pennsylvania; Mattie, deceased, was the wife of Philip WOLFENBERGER of Bureau county, Illinois; Christina, a resident of Annville, Pennsylvania, first married John GASSER, and after his death Jacob BACHMAN; Sarah is the widow of John FERUSLER and lives in Annville; Elizabeth is the second wife of Philip WOLFERSBERGER, postmaster of North Princeton, and J. FRANK, who married Emma BESHLER, and now lives at Perrysburg, Pennsylvania, was major of the dashing Ninth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry in Genral KILPATRICK's command, and gallantly served throughout the whole civil war without being wounded or imprisoned.

Professor MILLER acquired his education in the Annvill academy and the Mr. Pleasant college, Pennsylvania, after which he engaged in teaching both in town and country schools for many years. In 1855 he was a teacher in the Berrysburg seminary of Pennsylvania, but in the summer of that year came to Princeton, and for the following two years taught at Buda, Bureau county. Going to Dayton, Ohio, he there engaged in bookkeeping in the Unted Brethren printing establishment.

At Day Professor MILLER was married in 1857 to Miss Mary A. DOW of Buda, Illinos, a daughter of Tristram C. and Susan (Lyford) DOW natives of Canterbury, New Hampshire, the former of English and the latter of Scotch extraction. On the 21str of June, 1846, her parents came to Bureau county, settling in Concord township, and died at annawan, Illinois. In their family were the followin children: Almira, Joseph L., Tristram T., Josiah, John L., Mary A., and Lyman. Of the above Tristram was major in the Ninety-third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the civil war and later became a primnent citizen of Davenport, Iowa, John L. was captiain in the same regiment...

To the professor and his wife were born seven children, three of whom are still living: Byron G., Victor and Myrta, while those decased are Cora Belle, Lotta, Lymie O. and Viola. Viola who was the wife of William W. REED, died June 11, 1894, at the age of twenty-five years. Byron married Ida MEDLEY, by whom he has three children - Maude, Harry and Victor. He is train dispatcher beteen Sedalia, Missouri and Kansas City, and resides at the former place; Victor a resident of Spokane, Washington, is chief of the operators of a division of the Norther Pacific railroad; Myrta is keeping house for her father. The wife and mother, who was born May 26, 1832, died of consumption September 10, 1894. She was a faithful member of the United Brethren church, to which our subject also belongs, was a woman of domestic tastes, an excellent wife, mother and friend, while in sickness and charity she had but few equals.

After his marriage Professor MILLER returned to Bureau county and opened a hotel at North Princeton, known as the Empire house, which he conducted until the war broke out. He had alreadyopened the Bureau academy at that place, being associated with Professor George N. WAGNER, of the Franklin and Marshall college, a German Reformed institution, formerly located at Mercersburg, but now at Lancaster, Pennsylvaina. Here they carried on their school very successfully until the erectionof the Princeton high school. In connection with D. N. STROCK and P. WOLFERSBERGER, he purchased the Princeton planing mill, which they carried on for several years, when our subjet sold his interest to Strock Brothers.

For some years Professor MILLER served as justice of thepeace, and in 1873, again took up school work, being elected countyu superintendent, which position he filled satisfactorily and successfully for four years. Of him the superintendent of public instruction for the state said: "He had the ability to awaken the enthusiasm of the teachers, and his institutes held for their instruction were well planned and effetive. Mr. MILLER is very familiar with the organization, adjustment and grading of schools." The superintendent of schools for Pennsylvania says of him: "I have no hesitation in saying that Professor Jacob MILLER of Princeton, Illiois, is a very fine  scholar and a wide-awake , efficient teacher. He has executive ability of a high orer and is worthy of confidence in every respect. At two different periods, from 1873-1877, and from 1885 to 1889 he was the superintendent of the schools of Bureau county, Illinois, and I know from personal knowledge that he was ranked with the best superintendents in the state." Signed, Henry HOUCK. From Wheaton college, of Wheaton, Illinois, he received the decree of M. A.

Professor MILLER has over two thousand specimens of geology and zoology in his office, which is one of the largest and finest individual colletions i the state. Among the most valuable is a place of marble flooring taken from the ruins of Caesar's palace at Rome. He also has a wood carving made in the fifteenth century, representing Christ brought into the temple, which is in a very fair state of preservation. The figures are Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Anna, Simeon and the priests. His list of fossils is suprisingly extensive, which has required many years to collect, and much pains has been taken in clssifying and arranging th same. One of his most attractive cases is the one filled with shells, mosses, corals, etc.

The professor has a valuable miscellaneous collection, including relics from twelve different tribes of Indians, composed of bows, arrows, scabbards, etc. and a great many rare specimens, such as Indian drums, drapes, axes, moccasins, etc. He also has many mound builders' relics, which are quite rare, and pottery and porcelain ware many hundred years old. He has a large collection of fossil ferns, found inthe coral beds of Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Books, old and rare, Professor MILLER has in abundance, some dating back as far as 1494, and has a volume of the Psalms of David, whose date is 1472, and a Vulgate Bible, printed in 1592. He has an immense volume of the German Bible, published in 1765, a present from his fahter, and a German book of Martyrs, published at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in 1748, being one of the thirteenhundred printed at that time. Mr. MILLER also has a scrap book encyclopedia of his own making containing one hundred volumes, which he bgan in 1888, and which he has completed. Every volume is numbered, paged and indexed, and th work contains over forty thousand subjects of universal information, including history, biography, poetry, science, stories, fun, fancy  portraits of many eminent men and women, lectures, literature, statistics and miscellany. He has begun another series and has now some forty volumes. His library numbers over one thousand volumes and is probably one fo the best selected and most epensive private libraries in Bureau county. In Professor MILLER's housse was organized the Princeton Academy of Sciences, which was incorporated January 23, 1882. This society has been successfully constinued since its foundation. Socially, Professor MILLER is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while politically he is indepenent. He stands high in the state as an educator, and to him many hundreds of men and women are indebted for their start and for encoraging words inendeavofint to claim the hill of knowledge. As a citizen he also takes front rank, faithfully discharging every trust reposed in him.

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