from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Charles Miller is the owner of one of the most beautiful country homes of Poweshiek county and this part of Iowa. It is situated on section 32, Sugar Creek township, and here he took up his abode about twelve years ago, up to which time he had resided in Mahaska county, so that he is widlely known in latter county, and in fact, throughout the county, and in fact, throughout this part of the state. He was born in Logan county, Ohio, February 26, 1841, a son of George and Sarah (Brown) Miller, the former born in Maryland in 1794, and the latter in Virginia in 1804. They were married in Ohio and the father there followed cabinet-making, carpentering and other mechanical pursuits. He came to Iowa in 1857, puchasing one hundred and twenty acres of land in Prairie township. Mahaska county. It was then a wild and unimproved tract, a little log cabin constituting the only building upon it. For a year the family lived in that pioneer home, at the end of which time Mr. Miller added a frame addition, and upon that farm he continued to reside until called to his final rest at the very advanced age of ninety years. His wife also passed away in Mahaska county when sixty years of age. In their family were seven children, five sons and two daughters, of whom Charles is the youngest. One of his brothers, George Miller, is living in Perry, Kansas, while Samuel resides at Rich Hill, Missouri. The others have departed this life. Charles Miller acquired but a limited education in the schools of his native state, and when sixteen years of age came to Iowa with his parents. From that time on he worked as a farm hand by the month, and after he was eighteen years of age his wages, which had hitherto been given to his father, were retained by him for his own use. When twenty years of age he took charge of his father's farm and afterward cared for his parents throughout the remainder of their days. Mr. Miller's first purchase of land in addition to the old home property was a tract of forty acres. His entire life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits, and he has purchased land from time to time, now owning nearly four thousand acres in Mahaska and Poweshick counties, being therefore one of the most extensive landowners of the state. His investments have been judiciously made and his property interests are today very valuable. He resided in Mahaska county until about twelve years ago, when he removed to his present farm on section 32, Sugar Creek township, Poweshiek county, just a half mile across the Mahaska county line. Here he erected a palatial home costing more than five thousand dollars. It is one of the finest country residences in this part of the state, built in pleasing style of architecture, while its furnishings are all that wealth can secure and refined taste suggest. Mr. Miller has always been an extensive stock feeder and in years past bought as high as one hundred thousand bushels of corn annually to feed his stock. He has shipped at times whole train loads of cattle and hogs, and though he is not carrying on the business quite as extensively as formerly, he still buys corn and feeds cattle on a large scale. He likewise owns two elevators at Taintor, a mile and a quarter from his home, where he has enormous corn cribs for storing corn. He is interested in several other enterprises, being a dealer in lumber and agricultural implements in Taintor and a partner in various firms for the buying and selling of stock. In fact the extent and importance of his business enterprises make him one of the leading representatives of commercial and agricultural interests in this part of Iowa and his labors have been so well directed as to gain for him a position of prominence among the substantial citizens of the state. In 1864 Mr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Martha Beal, a daughter of William Beal, one of the early residents of Mahaska county. She died in 1872, leaving a son and a daughter: Porter R., who is married and lives in the Indian Territory, where he is engaged in stock-raising; and Etta, the wife of A. B. Hull, a farmer and merchant of Taintor. Mr. Miller was again married in 1873, his second union being with Della Moore, a daughter of George Moore, one of the early settlers of Iowa, who lived for many years in Mahaska county. By the second marriage there have been five children, and the family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death. The record is as follows: Ernest G., who married Grace Stanley and lives on a farm in Poweshiek county Loto C., the wife of Charles Linstead, who resides near Taintor on one of her fathers farms; C. T., who married Miss Steen and resides upon the old homestead farm in Mahaska county; Fern, who is with her parents; and Adella, who is attending school in Oskaloosa. Mr. Miller has witnessed great changes in the county and in business conditions in Iowa. He made his first shipments of hogs to Chicago in 1861, sending nine hogs which sold at a dollar and a half per hundred and brought him thirty-seven dollars. In the early days he engaged to drive hogs to Ottumwa, receiving forty cents per day for the work. He went without his dinner and he had no overcoat nor overshoes. Though he has accumulated a vast amount of property he can look back to the days when his possessions were extremely limited and he has met reverses and obstacles in his path, yet has overcome these by determined and earnest purpose. He has never been known to take advantage of the necessities of his fellowmen in any business transaction, but through the legitimate channels of trade and investment has won gratifying and admirable success. His mind goes back to the days when houses were illuminated in the most primitive manner; a rag stuck in a pan of grease serving to light the room. Later candles were in use and then came kerosene lamps, which were thought to be a wonderful improvement upon the former methods of illumination. Today he has a beautiful home of his own designing with hardwood finish throughout and heated with hot water. One of the most attractive features is the large open fireplace in the sitting room, making a most cheery picture in winter days. Mr. Miller has traveled quite extensively and on one occasion went back to the old home in Ohio. There looking over the old farm, he came to the conclusion that his father had done well to raise and support a family there. In politics Mr. Miller has always been a democrat, yet does not consider himself bound by party ties and when he thinks the best interests of community, county or country demand his support of a republican candidate he does not hesitate to scratch his party ticket. Several years ago he was a candidate for state representative on the democratic ticket and his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him by his fellow townsmen is indicated by the fact that he ran eight hundred votes ahead of the ticket. He has never aspired to office, but has held minor township positions. He is spoken of in terms of good will and friendship by many who know him and he has a very wide and favorable acquaintance in Mahaska county as well as in Poweshiek county, his home being near the division line. His life has indeed been well spent, and he certainly deserves the success which has crowned his undertakings.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy