Biography of Stephen A. Miller
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Since the death of Chief Journeycake, Stephen A. Miller, a well known farmer and oil man of Nowata county, has been acting chief of the Delawares. He is now residing on his farm, three-quarters of a mile south of Delaware. A native of Kansas, he was born in Wyandotte county, on the 27th of September, 1863, a son of Andrew and Sallie (Hill) Miller. His father was born in White River, Ohio, and was one of the first settlers in Kansas. He came to Indian Territory with the first Delawares, to which tribe he belonged, and locating at Coodys Bluff, Nowata county, acquired land which he immediately put under cultivation and on which he erected the old double-hewed log house which still stands. There he and his family lived, his sons assisting him with the farm work and he raised cattle in large numbers, achieving gratifying success in that connection. In that early day there were no railroads, the only means of transportation being by horses and oxen, and all supplies were hauled from Kansas, a distance of some one hundred and fifty miles. Stephen A. Miller well remembers when deer and turkey could be shot from his father’s front porch, and it was no uncommon thing for quails to come into the yard and eat and drink with the chickens. Buffaloes were to be found in large numbers just one hundred and fifty miles from the homestead. Andrew Miller was one of Chief Journeycake’s councilmen. He was likewise one of General Fremont’s scouts in the expedition to California, and during that trip suffered untold hardships. His demise occurred twenty-seven years ago, on his farm near Bartlesville and in his passing Oklahoma lost one of her most representative pioneer citizens. Mr. Miller married Miss Sallie Hill, a daughter of Thomas Hill, who with his brother, John, was captured by the Delawares in the western part of Colorado. Their parents had been massacred by the Indians. When the boys were captured they tried to escape, but they were not successful and were adopted into the tribe. Later they became great warriors in the tribe and Thomas became chief of the Delawares. Captain Thomas Hill fought in the United States army during the Mexican war. His son, Thomas, Jr., is still living and was likewise a great warrior among the Delawares. He is now with the Nez Perce Indians in Idaho.
In the acquirement of an education Stephen A. Miller attended the public schools of Coodys Bluff and later entered Bacone University at Tahlequah. Professor Bacone became very much attached to Mr. Miller and wanted to take him to New York but the father would not permit his son to go. Subsequently, after putting his textbooks aside, Stephen A. Miller engaged in farming and is still active along agricultural lines. He located on his present place twenty-five years ago last August, the farm being located one-half mile south of Delaware. He and his family own six hundred and forty acres here, which they devote to farming and stock raising and they also have eighty acres in the oil belt near Copan, and eighty acres near Ramona, the latter tract being farm land. The Millers also own two hundred and fifty acres near Bartlesville, located on Fish creek, which is rich in oil. There is also oil on the home place. Since the death of Chief Journeycake, Mr. Miller has been acting chief of the Delawares and heavy demands are made upon his time in that capacity. He is on the business committee of the tribe, representing fourteen claims to the amount of forty-nine million, nine hundred thousand dollars, and he is now working on the bounty claim. The other claims will soon be taken up. Recently Mr. Miller made a trip to Washington, D. C., in the interests of his people. He is a highly intellectual man and well fitted to discharge the duties devolving upon him as acting chief of the Delaware Nation.
It was on the 19th of December, 1882; that Mr. Miller was married to Miss Catherine Armstrong, a daughter of William and Marie (Simon) Armstrong, the former a Shawnee and the latter of Delaware extraction. Mr. Armstrong’s mother was a Shawnee. Mr. Armstrong was a highly educated man and well and favorably known in Bartlesville, where Mrs. Miller was reared to young womanhood. Marie Simon Armstrong died forty-two years ago. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Miller six children have been born : Edward T., who is thirty-seven years of age, married Martha Everett, and is the father of one boy, Edward T., Jr., thirteen years of age; Eve is the wife of Solomon Newcomb, and the mother of three children, Alfred and Solomon, Jr., and an infant; Ida May is the wife of Jesse Townsend and the mother of one daughter, Lena Catherine; Sadie Lena, who married Charles Lookout. She has been assistant clerk in the Royalty division, Osage Agency, Pawhuska, Oklahoma. She graduated from the Haskell Institute of Lawrence, Kansas, with the class of 1920, having specialized in domestic economy; Stephen A., Jr., twenty years of age, who attended the high school at Nowata, and is a great football player, having to his advantage some six feet, five inches of height. He is now at the University of Oklahoma, at Norman; and Alfred A., eighteen years of age, who is a student in the high school at Delaware. Mr. Miller is one of Nowata county’s most representative agriculturists and citizens and he is readily accorded the respect and esteem of all his fellowmen.