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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON GEORGE N. MILLER

Researched & written by: Judy C. Ware
March 2009

Judy C. Ware

     There was only a four year age difference between George N. Miller and Josiah Ware.  When Miller wrote his letter (dated January 26, 1880) to Josiah Ware, he was 74 years of age and Josiah was 78.  He and Josiah were both obviously visiting at the White House (as can be construed from the letter) and it would only be three short years later that Josiah would pass away.  Clearly Josiah enjoyed sharing his stories from the Civil War and his experiences with many of the powerful men of that time.  President Rutherford B. Hayes was still in office as President of the United States and his wife, Lucy Ware Webb Hayes, was Josiah’s cousin.

     George Miller was a native of Hartford Connecticut who attended Yale in his younger years.  “Before taking his examination for a degree however, he had an excellent business opportunity offered him and he promptly accepted, left college, and went to Charleston, South Carolina where for 20 years he conducted a large cotton plantation that employed scores of slaves.  In 1845, however, he found himself so affiliated with Northern ideas that he could no longer support the notion of slavery.  He brought his cotton business to an end, disposed of his slaves, and returned to Connecticut.”

     At one point, George lived in Wallingford, Connecticut – which is where the letter of 1880 to Josiah was posted from.   In an article written by John B. Kendrick about a horrible tornado that hit Wallingford in 1878, he noted that “G.N. Miller of the community, while sitting upon the veranda, saw the huge black cloud moving from the north, & while watching it as it demolished their windmill, had his attention quickly called to the lake, where another mass of cloud of inky blackness was moving from the southwest . . .” From all accounts, this tornado was indeed an awful example of nature’s fury and all the residents of Wallingford were greatly affected.  Those that were lucky enough to escape the worst of the storm’s wrath moved among the dead and injured, helping in whatever way they could.  Kendrick went on to write that “...Miss Nash was sitting on a bed, holding in her lap Miss O’Rourke’s bleeding head and bathing it.  George N. Miller was watching by her bedside on Saturday morning at two o’clock.”  It is unknown if Miller sustained any personal or property damage from the storm, but he obviously lived through it since his letter was written two years later.

     For many years, George N. Miller was director of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Connecticut Railroad.  He grew to great prominence in his community and “continued his connection with the railroad up to the time of his death.”  He died in March 1891 at the age of 85 years.

References:

New York Times Obituary, New York Times published March 11, 1891 

History of the Wallingford Disaster by: John B. Kendrick, Hartford, Conn.: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., Printers 1878

Letter written from George N. Miller to Josiah Ware dated January 26, 1880, transcribed by Judy C. Ware, March 2009 Original copy owned by Jane & Scott Dudgeon.


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This site maintained by John Reagan and last updated July 12, 2009