In both the military and political service of his country David Truxton Miller has won distinction by his loyalty to the public good, his fidelity to the trust reposed in him. On southern battle-fields he has followed the stars and stripes to victory, and in the civic department of the nation’s service he has labored to promote the principles which underlie good government and form the foundation upon which all stable prosperity must rest. He has inscribed his name high on the roll of Boise’s distinguished citizens, and is now serving as deputy collector of internal revenue there.
Born in Ohio, on the 2d of May, 1843, Mr. Miller is of English and Irish lineage, his ancestors having come to America in 1728. Representatives of the family participated in the war for independence, and in one of the battles of the Revolution the paternal great-grandfather of our subject sustained a gunshot wound in his thigh. Although he carried the ball to the day of his death, he attained the ripe old age of eighty years. His son, David Miller, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Alexander, Virginia, and became the father of John Wesley Miller, who was born in Pennsylvania, and on arriving at years of maturity married Matilda Ford, a native of Washington County, Ohio. They became the parents of eight children, five of whom are living. Throughout his entire life the father engaged in the manufacture of iron, thus providing for his family. He lived to the advanced age of ninety years, and his wife was eighty-nine years of age at the time of her death.
David T. Miller, whose name introduces this sketch, spent the first ten years of his life in Newark, Ohio, and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Iowa, a location being made at Sigourney, where he pursued his education in the public schools. Later he became a student in the Iowa State University, but left that institution in December, 1863, in order to enter his country’s service as a member of Company G, Fifteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The civil war was then at its height and thousands of brave men on both sides had sacrificed their lives for the cause which they were following. It required great courage for volunteers to go to the front and take the place of those who had been shot down in battle, for the country now realized that the war was no holiday affair, but an awful actuality that carried death, destruction and sorrow with it. Prompted by an unfaltering patriotism, however, Mr. Miller donned the blue. He was with Sherman throughout his brilliant campaign and on the celebrated march through Georgia to the sea, and thence through the Carolinas, and with the victorious army participated in the grand re-view in Washington, “where wave after wave of bayonet crested blue” swept through the streets of the city. Through all his service Mr. Miller was never off duty for a single day, and though often in the thickest of the fight was never wounded or disabled. In July, 1865, he received an honorable discharge and with a military record of which he may justly be proud he returned to his home.
He then resumed his interrupted education by pursuing a two years’ course in the State Normal School of Iowa, after which he engaged in teaching and also read law in the office of Judge Cory, of Ottumwa, Iowa, being admitted to the bar in 1870. He then began practice in Ottumwa, continuing a member of the bar of that place until 1891, when he came to Boise and opened a law office in April. He soon won a liberal clientage, and also became active in the movements calculated to advance the interests of the city. He was very prominent in an effort to build a railroad from Boise to Butte, Montana, but on account of the financial panic which occurred this project had to be abandoned.
In his political views Mr. Miller has always been a stalwart Republican and is widely recognized as one of the influential and capable workers in the ranks of the party in Idaho. In 1892 lie received the nomination of his party for representative to the state legislature, made an excellent canvass and was elected. Further honors awaited him, for after the assembling of the session he was chosen speaker of the house, in which capacity he served in a most creditable manner. His knowledge of parliamentary law, his absolute fairness and freedom from all partisan or personal bias, his uniform courtesy and urbanity, all combined to make him one of the most able speakers that has ever occupied the chair in the lower house. In the fall of 1896 he made a vigorous canvass in behalf of President McKinley and his logical, instructive and entertaining addresses did not a little in turning the tide of favor for the Republican candidates. Recognition of his services came through his appointment to the position of deputy United States collector of internal revenue, and on the 1st of December 1897, he entered upon the discharge of the duties of the office. The business of the office has been largely increased during his incumbency, and he is now taking in many thou-sands of dollars annually for the government.
On the 2nd of October 1872, Mr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Mary Griswold, and with their two children, Maud and Sidney, they occupy a very pleasant home in Boise, where they enjoy the warm regard of many friends. Mr. Miller is widely and favorably known throughout the state, his abilities well fitting him for a position of leadership in political, professional and social life. The terms progress and patriotism might be considered the keynote of his character, for throughout his career he has labored for the improvement of every line of business or public interest with which he has been associated, and at all times has been actuated by a fidelity to his country and her welfare.