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Below is a family biography included in Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1903.  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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Samuel Miller. Among the large, well cultivated and finely improved farms of Oakland County, that owned by Samuel Miller, consisting of 650 acres in sections 11, 12, 13 and 14, Springfield township, well illustrates the capabilities of this section as an agricultural locality. Mr. Miller has been a resident of the county since he was 10 years of age. He was born October 12, 1826, on a farm, near Chili, Monroe County, New York, and is a son of George and Polly (Smith) Miller, the former of whom was born October 26, 1801, in Sussex County, New Jersey, and the latter, on a farm located in New York, between Cayuga and Seneca lakes.

George Miller lost his father at the age of four years and was reared by strangers. Later he engaged to work for a farmer by the name of Noah Tyler, with whom he remained until he was 21 years old, when Mr. Tyler bought him 66 acres of land in New York State to reward him for his services. That was the beginning of what must be considered a remarkable career, for Mr. Miller had never enjoyed any schooling, in fact was taught to write by his own children, and had had no chance to save money or establish himself in business. He was a striking example of the term “self made man.” At the time of his death he owned 300 acres of land and was worth some $20,000. Six children were born to his union with Polly Smith, as follows: Mrs. Hannah Sherwood; Samuel, our subject; Mrs. Ann Gunigal; Mary, who died aged 16 years; George, who died aged three years; and David, who was born in Independence township, Oakland County, where he is now one of the leading farmers.

Samuel Miller came to Michigan in June, 1835, with his mother and uncle, his father having located here in the previous April. He can easily recall the long journey to Detroit and especially the conditions which met the family on the way from Pontiac to their projected home in Independence township. The mother paid $12 for transportation of her family of five, from Detroit to Bloomfield Center, although on account of the mud being hub deep, our subject and his uncle made the most of the trip on foot. It was not an encouraging outlook, but it was the condition which met the greater number of the pioneers of that time. A farm of 120 acres in Independence township had been secured by our subject’s father from the party who first settled it, and the first home was a little log house, 16 by 20 feet in dimensions, with no windows or floor. It sufficed for the summer and a new log house was built which served for 20 years.

In 1863 our subject came to his present farm which then consisted of 120 acres, to which he subsequently added by purchase until he at one time owned 607 acres. The farm on which is his residence, consists of 271 acres; there he has the finest brick house in the township and three immense barns. The rest of the land has been divided among his sons. Mr. Miller started on 120 acres in section 12, Springfield township, where his home was burned in 1865. The present handsome home was built in 1877 at a cost of $6,500. Our subject has cleared a considerable part of his land himself. Formerly he raised large crops of wheat, realizing as much as 1,450 bushels one year. He later became interested in stock raising, owning as many as 40 head of cattle and feeding as many as 1,000 sheep and 100 hogs in a season, selling mainly in the home market. As to grades, he prefers Durham cattle, Poland-China hogs and Shropshire sheep. At present he makes stock and potato raising a feature of his operations. The yield of the latter this year will be 2,500 bushels, and he has raised as many as 6,000 bushels in one season. Other products are in proportion and his orchards are equally productive.

Samuel Miller was married first, to Katherine Howser, who was born in Brandon township, Oakland County, Michigan. His second marriage was in 1862 to Elsie L. Mesurall, who was born in Independence township, Oakland County, 63 years ago. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Miller are the following: Sidney I., operating the home farm, who was married first to Lillian Friday, by whom he has one son, — Galbraith, — his second marriage was with Marguerite Brady; Charles G., a farmer of Springfield township, Oakland County, who was married to Nora Taylor and has one child, Josephine; Benjamin F., also a farmer of Springfield township, Oakland County, who was married to Leda Bradley and has two children, — Barbara and Bradley; and David, a farmer of Springfield township, Oakland County, who was married to Myrtle Noyes and has one child, Lottie.

Mr. Miller’s whole life has been an agricultural one. In politics he is identified with the Republican party and has supported its principles ever since he cast his first vote, in 1848, for President Taylor.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published in 1903. 

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

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