Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 381] who has won the highest esteem and regard of his fellow-citizens of New Castle, and performs a leading part in the commercial life of the place, is the manager of the Western Union Telegraph Co., and is also a dealer in cigars and tobacco, with office and store at No. 22 East Washington Street, New Castle. He was born in Perry township, this county, June 9, 1856, and is a son of James R. and Sarah O. (Morton) Miller, grandson of James M. and Hannah (Rose) Miller, and great-grandson of William and Nancy Miller. The great-grandparents of our subject were natives of Scotland, and when they came to America with the children then born to them, they settled in Mercer Co., this State, where William Miller purchased at a nominal sum a level tract of land, which was then an untouched wilderness, and comprised some three hundred acres. Locating near a spring of pure cold water, he commenced his clearing and erected a large and comfortable log-house, in which he ever afterward lived. He was a hard worker, and provided well for his offspring; he was a kind parent and a tender husband, and was well-known for his happy disposition. Most of the farm was cleared during his life-time, and it remained his home till his death at the age of seventy-eight. He served in the War of 1812, was justice of the peace many years, and contributed in other ways to the support of the lawfully vested authorities. His wife lived to be eighty years old. There were born to them the following children: William; Joseph; James M.; Nancy; and Mary; besides several more who did not grow up.

James M. was born on the homestead, which was located near Grove City, Pa., served an apprenticeship in his youth at the carpenter's trade, and worked on the locks during the construction of the old Pennsylvania Canal. He followed his trade until the age of fifty-five, when his wife died aged forty-eight years, and he went to Galva, Ill., where he bought a farm, living there until his death at the age of seventy-six. His first wife, who was a daughter of James Rose, left him seven children, all of whom grew to occupy honorable positions in life; they were: James R.; Martha; Sarah; Lovina; William, now deceased; David M., also deceased; and Ervin. By his second marriage with Miss Kemp, he was presented with three children: Charles; John; and Lamira. He was originally a Democrat, but in his later years voted the Republican ticket; he belonged to the Presbyterian Church.

At the age of sixteen, James R. Miller left Wilmington College, which he was then attending, to teach school, and besides teaching district school taught two terms of select school at Hopedale, two terms in East New Castle, and was teaching in the Union School at New Castle when the war broke out, and he responded to the call for volunteers. He was one of the first volunteers from his district, and from his influential position, and from his experience in public life, having served in the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, he was made sergeant in Co. H of the 12th Reg. Pa. Vol. Inf., enrolling his name for three months' service. After six weeks in the army, he was taken sick with typhoid fever and cared for in a hotel at York, Pa., as at that time no hospitals had been established. With little hope for his ultimate recovery, because of the serious impairment of his mind, he was removed, when he became convalescent, to New Castle, where his wife's faithful and loving ministry at length restored him to health. Then for a short period he acted as a clerk in a grocery store, and was then appointed as clerk and baggageman for the N. C. & B. Valley R. R., now known as the E. & P. R. R., which position he held ten years, when his health failed him, and he was forced to resign and take means for the recuperation of his strength. Subsequently he became agent for the N. C. & F. R. R., and continued in the road's service five years, when his health again became poor, and he was compelled to retire from active work. He bought the P. K. Sedwick estate of No. 63 Milton Street, and has made it a very pleasant home for his declining years. Sept. 5, 1855, he married Sarah Olivia Morton, daughter of William and Hannah (Slemmons) Morton. Mr. Morton was a well-to-do and generally popular farmer of Harrisburg township, Pa.; he was a justice of the peace many years, represented the town in the Legislature, and held other offices of responsibility, dying at the age of sixty-seven in 1851. His wife lived to be seventy years old. Their children were: Margaret, the wife of James Wilson; Robert S., a Presbyterian minister; Joseph W., also a Presbyterian divine; Tirza F., the wife of M. Curry, taught for a long time in the High School; William was a farmer; Hannah was a teacher; Mary J. was also a teacher, and married W. D. Butler; Sarah O., the mother of our subject, taught school even after her marriage; Philo S. was a teacher; Samuel was a Presbyterian minister. To the parents of our subject were born the following children: Horace G., the subject of this sketch; Ella K., born April 11, 1858, married I. B. Griffith, a grocer of New Castle, and has two children: Olivia M. and Paul B.; Hannah Rose, born June 15, 1860, married J. G. Nothdurft of New Castle, and has one child, Hiram J.; Mary M., born June 3, 1867, married J. W. Reis, a dry goods merchant of New Castle, and has two children, Lillian M. and Wilbur W.; Harriet Hersey, born June 18, 1870, graduated from the Female Seminary at Washington D. C., in the musical course, and is now employed as an instructor in her special line; William Gray, born Sept. 25, 1873, a graduate of the Baltimore College of Physicians and Surgeons, is the resident physician of the Shenango Valley Hospital. Our subject's father is a Republican, and has been auditor and a member of the city council. He is a member of the local G. A. R. Post, and belongs to the Presbyterian Church.

Horace G. Miller, the subject of this brief biography, attended the public school and Johnson Academy, and during his vacation at the age of sixteen years became a messenger boy, and when seventeen years old was appointed the first messenger for the New Castle telegraph office, which was then located in the Leslie House. In 1873, he worked at Lawrence Junction for a short time, and in the same year was appointed agent at New Port, and became manager in 1875 of the Atlantic & Pacific Co.'s telegraph station at Millerstown, Pa. On Oct. 23, 1877, the Western Union Telegraph Company absorbed the various and conflicting lines, and our subject was appointed manager of the office and business at New Castle, Jan. 1, 1878. His service has been uninterrupted from that time to this, and his work in all that time has been generally satisfactory to the officers of the company and the patrons of the office. In 1886, he found an opportunity to enlarge his field of usefulness in the mercantile circles of New Castle, and added to his duties as manager of the W. U. Telegraph office the retail dealing in cigars and tobacco. Also during this time Mr. Miller was interested in the retailing of hard, and soft coal, having yards on the east side, where the Gailey Lumber Co. is now located. From 1875 to 1878 he speculated extensively in the oil fields. Jan. 12, 1882, he was married to Maggie Wallace, daughter of Dr. John W. Wallace, who until his death, which occurred June 24, 1889, was one of the most prominent citizens of Lawrence County. He represented this district in Congress 1862-1864, and 1874-1876. Mr. Miller's present residence is No. 29 North Jefferson Street, the house built and formerly occupied by Dr. John W. Wallace; he built, for the reception of his bride, the first house ever erected on Lincoln Avenue. Our subject has gathered about his fireside four children, as follows: Annie W., born Dec. 15, 1882; Francis M., Jan. 12, 1885; Louise M., Feb. 27, 1889; and Horace G., Jr., Aug. 19, 1894. Mr. Miller is an uncompromising Republican, and has served on the Republican County and State Committees, and is president of the Republican Club. He is well-advanced in Masonic Orders. He is a member and past master of Mahoning Lodge, No. 243, F. & A. M.; Delta Chapter, No. 170, R. A. M.; past high priest of the Lawrence Commandery, No. 62, K. T.; and Mystic Shrine. He is past chancellor commander of the K. of P., New Castle Lodge, No. 404, was its first and is now its master of exchequer. He is a member of the Sons of Veterans, O. L. Jackson Camp, No. 249; and junior Order of United American Mechanics.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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