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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1893.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM H. MILLER, a practical agriculturist, extensive stock-raiser and prominent citizen of Berrien County, Mich., is pleasantly located upon an extensive and valuable homestead, a part of section 29, Berrien Township. Born in Preble County, Ohio, November 21, 1837, our subject was the son of Henry and Nancy (Simpson) Miller. The father, like his son, was a native of Ohio, but the grandfather, David Miller, was born in Kentucky and was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The mother, a native of Maryland, was the daughter of Walter Simpson. Married in Montgomery County, Ohio, the parents subsequently removed to Preble County, where the father died in 1849; the mother, surviving her husband’s death thirty-nine years, passed away in 1888. Eight children blessed the old Ohio home, four of whom are yet living. Elizabeth Lybrook resides in Cass County, Mich.; E. D. lives in Chicago; James M. is a citizen of Lawrence, Kan.; and our subject, William H., completes the list. The parents were members of the United Brethren Church, and the father was especially active in religious work. Politically Henry Miller was an old-line Whig. Until he was eleven years of age, our subject remained in Winchester, Ohio, where he attended the district school, receiving primary instruction.

In 1849, William H., with his mother and family, removed to Michigan and settled upon a partially improved farm, where our subject worked steadily until the breaking out of the Civil War. In the fall of 1861, Mr. Miller enlisted in Company I, Twelfth Michigan Infantry, and at the organization of the company was elected Sergeant. Immediately forwarded to the front, the regiment participated in the battle of Pittsburg Landing and was under Gen. Prentiss in both days at Shiloh. Although so many of the troops and Gen. Prentiss were captured, our subject was among the fortunate few who escaped, and the next morning, when the troops were re-organized, he remained there on duty under Gen. Logan. During the months of June and July, he took an active part in the battles at Jackson, Tenn., and in August was at the engagement in Bolivar, Tenn. Upon September 2, Mr. Miller served on picket duty near the battlefield of Iuka, and upon October 5 was present at the battle of Metamora. In the mean time our subject was promoted to the position of Orderly-Sergeant. May 31, 1863, he was among others detailed to guard the Mississippi Central Railroad from Hickory Valley to near Bolivar, the command afterward engaging in the battle of Middleburg, Tenn., with Van Dorm’s rebel cavalry. Mr. Miller was later with Grant at Vicksburg, where the forces opposed Gen. Joe Johnston, and was in the fight at Helena, and assisted in the capture of Little Rock, Ark. Constantly surrounded by danger, he escaped as if by a miracle both wounds and capture.

During the winter of 1863-64, our subject re-enlisted as a veteran at little Rock, Ark., and January 14 left home on a thirty-days furlough. February 20, returning to the front, he took part under Gen. Steele in the battle of Pine Bluff, and with the command was on his way to the relief of Gen. Banks at Red River, but the troops were ordered back. March 23, 1864, Mr. Miller was promoted to be First Lieutenant of Company I. September 4, he accompanied the raid up the White River and participated in the fight of Gregory’s Landing, and also took part in the battle of McDowell’s Bluff, and upon August 26 was in a fight at Clarendon. He was in command of his camp at Buttermilk Station, guarding the railroad, and constantly engaged in skirmishes and sorties until May, 1865, when he resigned and was mustered out after an active service of three years and seven months. After receiving his commission, our subject, being in command of the camp, was constantly on duty, and, as before stated, was never wounded or captured, but his cartridge box was once struck with grape shot. After his military service ended, Mr. Miller returned to the farm.

Upon June 25, 1865, William H. Miller and Miss Eva Johnson were united in marriage and received the hearty best wishes of many friends. Mrs. Miller is the daughter of John Johnson, Sr., of Berrien Township, and, born October 21, 1840, within the limits of the township, she has spent her entire life in the near locality of her present home, where she enjoys the esteem of a host of friends. Our subject and his wife were the parents of two children. Josephine, married to Royal Morris, resides in Niles Township, and has one child, a daughter, Eva; Fred died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Miller occupy the old homestead of one hundred and twelve acres, of which one hundred and five are highly cultivated and improved with an attractive residence and commodious barns. Mr. Miller devotes himself exclusively and profitably to mixed farming, raising grain and live stock, and for the past number of years breeding Shropshire sheep of a high grade. In religious affiliation, our subject is a member and Class-leader of the United Brethren Church. He takes an active interest in educational advancement and has been a School Director of this district and a school officer for many years. His daughter received excellent advantages for instruction and is qualified to teach. Fraternally, Mr. Miller is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Berrien Springs, and has held all the offices of the Order. He is also a member of Post No. 39, G. A. R., Berrien Springs, of which he is Presiding Adjutant; he has been Commander and has received all the offices. He is also a member of the select Knights of the Ancient Order of United Woodmen at Niles, and has been Lieutenant-Commander of the order. He is connected with the Grange, of which he has been Master, and has likewise affiliated with the Agricultural Society at Niles, and is also connected with one at Berrien Springs, of which he was Secretary. Politically, our subject is a stalwart Republican, and has with ability discharged the duties of Township Treasurer. Taking a deep interest in matters of local enterprise and progress, Mr. Miller is actively in accord with efforts tending to advance the public welfare, and is esteemed by all who know him as a liberal-spirited citizen.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published in 1893. 

View additional Berrien County, Michigan family biographies here: Berrien County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Berrien County, Michigan here: Berrien County Michigan Map

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