Biography of Charles F. Miller
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Charles F. Miller. In making mention of some of the business firms of Fort Scott the name of C. F. Miller stands as a representative of an established business in the implement, vehicle and automobile line. Mr. Miller had virtually grown up with the business, which through the years had gradually expanded and grown and now occupies an important place among the city’s commercial institutions.
Mr. Miller was born and reared in Fort Scott, his parents being among the early settlers, having come to Kansas in 1859. Mr. Miller comes of English, German and Scotch ancestry, and is also a descendant of the historic character of New England, Hannah Dustin. His father, the late Dr. Jonathan G. Miller, was a native of Morgantown, West Virginia, where he was born in 1826. He practiced medicine at Newcastle, Indiana, before coming to Kansas. Doctor Miller invested in land and built the Miller Block at Fort Scott in 1863. This block stands at the corner of Main and Wall streets.
When twenty years of age Charles F. Miller became assistant bookkeeper for the Durkee & Stout Implement & Grain Company. Afterwards he became bookkeeper and assistant manager for H. L. Page in the same line. Starting at the bottom of the ladder he learned the business in every detail. He soon bought an interest in the concern which became known as the Page & Miller Implement Company. After some years Mr. Page retired and Mr. Miller became sole owner. From 1902 to 1915 he continued to operate the concern, adding automobiles and specializing on the Ford car. In the latter year he bought the implement business of the Fort Scott Grain and Implement Company. His business now occupies a modern display room and office which would do credit to similar establishments in the largest cities of the country. His activities in the sale of automobiles, agricultural implements, harness and seeds extend over the larger part of Bourbon County and require the service of a number of employes. These operations have entitled him to be known as one of the largest dealers in his line in Southeastern Kansas.
Besides being interested in the business life of Fort Scott Mr. Miller had taken a deep interest in the community welfare, especially along the line of improved agriculture. Scientific agriculture is one of his chief hobbies. He was one of the organizers of the Bourbon County Farmers’ Institute of which he was secretary for many years. His work had been carried along in connection with the Agricultural College and with other citizens he assisted in organizing and maintaining farmers’ institutes and extension schools. He is also devoting a great deal of time and energy to the good roads movement. He helped organize the first Kansas State Good Roads Association and also the Bourbon County Good Roads Association, and was president of the former in 1905 and had been president of the county association. Largely through his efforts a state highway engineer was secured. Although not a politician Mr. Miller served two years in the city council and worked energetically for sound finance, civic improvements and the best sanitary conditions. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and co-operates with other citizens in that body toward the promotion of Fort Scott’s commercial interests. He belongs to the Masonie Order, including the Scottish Rite Consistory, is also an Elk and for many years had been a trustee of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Miller was married at Fort Scott in 1910 to Miss Rosalind I. Bell, daughter of John S. and Nancy (Groves) Bell. Mrs. Miller is a post-graduate of the Fort Scott High School and is well known in club circles. She is especially active as a member of the Pierian Club and as vice president of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of this district and president of the City Federation. She is also vice regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution.