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Benjamin Huber Miller
April 10, 1845

B. H. MILLER, attorney at law, Olin; born in Rome Township in 1845, "one year after the settlement of the family in Iowa;" left the farm March 1, 1858; gone for two years; in 1864, went to Mechanicsville; in 1868, to Stanwood, and engaged in the drug business till 1872. Was Postmaster at Stanwood, also Justice of the Peace, and Township Clerk; Treasurer of Independent School Board. Came to Olin in April, 1872, and engaged in drug business; has been Justice of the Peace and Postmaster at Olin. Admitted to the bar in March, 1875. In politics, Republican; in religion, Spiritualist. His wife, Eva Foreman, born in Rome Township in 1846. Married September 12, 1869, and have four children—Earl F., Harry W., Merton M., Mable E.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 649.

Benjamin Huber Miller, whose name is inscribed high on the roll of leading and successful lawyers, practicing at the Jones county bar, was born in Rome township, this county, April 10, 1845. His father, Jacob Miller, was born in Virginia, December 23, 1799, and was descended from German ancestry. In the year 1803, his parents removed from the Old Dominion to Ohio, being among the pioneers who aided in reclaiming that state for the purposes of civilization. Having arrived at years of maturity, Jacob Miller wedded Miss Mary Keller, who was born in Pennsylvania, August 12, 1802. Her father was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and her parents removed to Ohio in 1803. It was in September, 1844, that Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Miller came to Iowa, spending their remaining days in Jones county, where the father died when almost eighty-two years of age, while the mother survived to the remarkable old age of ninety-two years, four months and eleven days. Their family numbered seven sons and three daughters, of whom Judge Miller is the youngest. He and his brother, Levi K. are now the only survivors of the family.
In the public schools Judge Miller pursued his education and has always given considerable attention to historical and scientific research. He is practically a self-made man, his wide reading, comprehensive study and keen observation bringing to him knowledge that most men acquire in college life. His youthful days were passed on the farm and following his graduation from the high school of Lisbon, Iowa, he engaged for a few years in teaching in the country schools. He then turned his attention to the drug business, in which he engaged for eight years. Like most boys in pioneer communities he had little ambition in any particular line save to accumulate sufficient property for comfortable existence but as he passed on in life each forward step brought him a wider outlook and broader opportunities which he has improved to good advantage until he now occupies a creditable position as a representative of the Iowa bar. He was engaged in the drug business for eight years and then turned his attention to the profession of law. At the bar he has been an earnest worker for the success which only follows careful preparation, comprehensive and accurate knowledge and thorough understanding of legal principles in relation to the points in litigation. The early cases with which he was connected served to indicate to the public something of his ability which has developed as the years have gone by through the exercise of his talents in the work of the courts. Gradually he secured a good clientage which constantly developed in volume and importance and later he was honored with political preferment in the line of his profession, being elected judge of the eighteenth judicial district, his service on the bench continuing from the 1st of January, 1903, until the 1st of January, 1907. His decisions were strictly fair and impartial and manifest, his unfaltering fidelity to the highest standards of the calling to which life, liberty and justice must look for protection. On his retirement from the bench he resumed private practice and the clientage accorded him is now extensive.
The first office to which Judge Miller was ever called was that of justice of the peace, his service as such being in both Cedar and Jones counties. He has likewise been honored with the mayoralty of Olin and Anamosa and in each instance gave a business-like administration characterized by substantial reform and improvement. He has also been a member of the board of education of Olin and of Stanwood and in all of his public service has been actuated by a conscientious desire to further the interests of the public through the prompt and faithful discharge of his duties. His service as a member of the board of education covered more than a quarter of a century and he has always been recognized as a stalwart champion of the public schools. He is not, however, a politician in the sense of office seeking, believing that the positions should seek the man rather than the man the position and his elections have come as the free will offering of a people who have recognized his ability and sought the benefit of his services. His political views are in accord with the principles of the democracy.
Judge Miller was married at Anamosa, September 12, 1869, to Miss Eva Foreman, whose parents settled in Jones county in 1844, near the home of the Miller family. Her father was born in Kentucky and her mother in Virginia and after living for some years in Indiana, they became residents of Iowa. Mrs. Miller was born in Jones county and is exactly one year her husband's junior. The children of this marriage are six in number: Merton M.; Earl F., who wedded Myrtle E. Olmstead and has one son, Chester E.; Harry W.; Mabel E., now deceased; Luelle B., who married Frances Fisher and has one child, Mary Evelyn; and Ruby A.
Judge Miller is a prominent Mason and is in hearty sympathy with its basic belief and principles concerning the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. He became a member of the order when twenty-one years of age and is now affiliated with Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 200, A.F.&A.M., at Olin, of which he served for ten years as master. He is also a member of Mount Sinai Chapter, No. 66, R.A.M., of Anamosa and Mount Olivet Commandery, No. 36, K.T., of Anamosa. His membership also extends to El Kahir Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Cedar Rapids and De Molay Consistory, No. I, S.P.R.S., at Clinton, Iowa. He is also a member of Sumner Lodge, No. 92, K.P., at Anamosa and is now chief grand tribune of the grand lodge of the Knights of Pythias in the domain of Iowa. He belongs to both the local and state bar associations and thus keeps in close touch with the members of the profession. He has been called upon to deliver many public addresses of a political or other nature and his masterly handling of his subject is indicative of his broad reading and his wide general information. He takes to himself no credit for what he has accomplished but the consensus of public opinion classes him with the representative and prominent men of Jones county.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 282.


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