Miller, George F.
The following data is extracted from Biography and Genealogy of Western Massachusetts, 1639-1925.
GEORGE F. MILLER-In holding the distinction of being the oldest business man active in North Adams to-day (1824), George F. Miller is widely recognized. His forty-six years of activity in his present office is a record of high achievement and constant usefulness over a long period of time. This is not, however, the entire span of his career, he has for nearly sixty years been identified with insurance business, having written his first policy in 1865. A man of lofty ideals and always alert to the interests of the people who seek protection through his agency, Mr. Miller is universally esteemed, and his name bears great significance to the welfare and prosperity of this city and this region. He is a son of Joseph and Susan (Shaw) Miller. His father was a leading carriage manufacturer of Greenwich, New York, many years ago, and a well-known figure in civic affairs in that community, where he held various local offices.
George F. Miller was born in Schaghticoke, New York, January 56, 1847. Receiving his education in the public schools of Greenwich, he found his first business experience in a store at Lansingburg, New York, now known as North Troy. His employer acted as an agent for an insurance company along with his commercial interests, and Mr. Miller being the best penman in the store, was requisitioned as the writer of the policies. Thus it was as early as 1865 that his identification with insurance business began. Coming to North Adams in 1867 Mr. Miller was first employed as clerk in the office of E. R. Tinker, then the local revenue agent, and for more than three years he continued in that connection. Meanwhile, he kept in close touch with insurance affairs, which were, at that period, in the early stages of their development. In 1870 Mr. Miller established himself as an insurance executive, and from that time until the present he has been active along these lines. In 1878 Mr. Miller began the occupancy of his present office at No. 62 Main Street, North Adams, and in 1885 he formed his present affiliation with the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company which maintains its home offices in San Francisco. He has made a specialty of fire insurance from that time until the present, and in every branch of insurance which he handles he is meeting a very definite and vital need in a very efficient and progressive manner. A recent issue of the "Fireman's Fund Record" which is devoted to the interests and inspiration of the members of this great organization, gave a record of Mr. Miller's usefulness and published two portraits of him, one as he appeared when he took up their work and one as he appears to-day. The "North Adams Herald," under date of June 19, 1924, said of him:
"Mr. Miller is in his 78th year and is hale and hearty for a man of his years. Ever since he came to this city he has been prominent in the business life of the place and is one of its hardest workers. He is one of the first of the business men on the street in the morning and stays until closing time.
"He is one of the best penmen in the city, his writing resembling copper-plate engraving. For many years he was secretary of the Hoosac Valley Agricultural Society, and his work on the books is considered most beautiful."
Mr. Miller was keeping books long before there were typewriters, and at a time when all correspondence had to be done by hand, and his penmanship was always marked by its neatness and precision.
Mr. Miller has served in the City Council, and many years ago, before the town became a city, was chairman of the Board of Assessors. Fraternally, he is prominent, being a charter member of all Masonic bodies in North Adams, the Lodge, Chapter and Commandery. He is the only surviving charter member of the Commandery, with which he has been affiliated for more than fifty years, and of the fifty-three charter members of the Chapter he is the only one now living. Mr. Miller became a Mason in 1869, before Greylock Lodge was organized, and opened the books for the lodge in North Adams when it was instituted. He attends the Episcopal Church.
George F. Miller married, in North Adams, November 23, 1876, Delta A. Adams, daughter of jasper H. and Harriet (Sheldon) Adams, and they are the parents of one daughter, Elsie, a graduate of Durey High, and Dora Hall, Wellesley.
Source: Biography and Genealogy of Western Massachusetts, 1639-1925