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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  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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Bradford Miller, formerly mayor of Topeka, and one of the substantial, valued and popular citizens of Shawnee County, was born in Stark County, Ohio, in 1840, and is a son of Rev. John B. and Sarah (Shaffer) Miller. The Miller family is of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction.

The father of Mr. Miller was born in Ohio and the mother in Pennsylvania. The former was a Presbyterian minister and also owned farming lands in Stark County, his father having been a farmer there. There were seven children born to Rev. John B. Miller and wife. One son, H. B. Miller, is now a member of the Kansas State Senate, from Osage County.

Our subject obtained his primary education in the public schools and later was a student at Mount Union College and classmate of the noted Bishop Hamilton, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. When only 16 years of age he began to teach school and continued, more or less continuously, until his 22nd year, when, in 1862, he enlisted for service in the Civil War, entering the 86th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., as a private. At the election of officers he was made 1st lieutenant and served 100 days in answer to the second call for troops. Upon his return he was called into the provost marshal’s office and served as a deputy and as enrolling officer at Alliance, Ohio, until the close of the war. While in Ohio, he was elected first president of Council No. 117, known as Knox Union, organized by the National Council of the Union League, at North Georgetown, Columbiana County. The charter for this was issued June 12, 1863, and at the Grand Council of Ohio he received this honor, one which he justly prizes, under the seal of Grand President Sam. Galloway and Grand Secretary E. W. Brownell. Associated with him in Council No. 117, as its first secretary, was John W. Buck.

In 1868 Mr. Miller left Ohio and settled in Topeka. In 1873 he Purchased a farm of 320 acres, 80 of which he has since sold; the property is located in Mission township, and is one of the best equipped and best improved farms in Shawnee County. Mr. Miller has not resided on the farm since 1902 and not continuously prior to that, as many calls to public office made it necessary for him frequently to take up his home in Topeka. During the greater part of his residence on the farm he devoted special attention to the development of clover and alfalfa, concerning which he has contributed a number of valuable articles to the secretary of the State Board of Agriculture. He makes 12 reports a year to the United States Department of Agriculture. The farm is now run as a dairy farm, and in the last three years milk to the value of $5,000 has been told in Topeka. Mr. Miller has spent large amounts of money in developing this land from its virgin state and has spent a fortune in making its valuable improvements. His farm residence is an ideal rural home and the great barn which contains 34,000 feet of lumber in its solid timbers, and the immense granaries and other buildings make the place notable all over the county.

Mr. Miller wisely invested in considerable land in and about Topeka at an early day. He laid out the addition in the northeastern part of the city known as the Bradford Miller Addition, building several fine residences here and selling the whole body of land in city lots. His public offices have been ones of responsibility, testifying to the esteem in which he has long been held by his fellow-citizens. From 1873 to 1876 and from 1887 to 1890 he served as county commissioner; during 1878 he was assessor of Topeka and in December, 1883, he was elected mayor of Topeka in which office he served until April, 1885. He also served as treasurer of Shawnee County, from 1880 to 1884. In 1885 he returned to the farm and devoted his attention to his great clover fields until failing health brought about his retirement to the city, in 1902. He has been one of the leading men of his township for years, a justice of the peace, and treasurer and member of the School Board. Mr. Miller occupies a very pleasant home which he purchased when he first came to Topeka, which is situated at No. 626 Clay street, opposite the Clay School.

Mr. Miller was married in Ohio, in 1864, to Harriet Summers, who was born in Columbiana County, Ohio. They have five children, namely: Minnie, who married C. C. McPherson, of Rossville, Shawnee County, and has three children: Clarence L., Virgil L. and Helen; Henry O., who is in the lumber business at Tulsa, Indian Territory; Martha, who married John R. Wilt, of Rossville, Kansas; Mary, who married A. T. Lucas, sheriff of Shawnee County, of whom a sketch appears in this work,—they have one daughter, Helen Miller Lucas and B. H., who is auditor of several large lumber companies at Lawton, Oklahoma, who married Miss Sessions, of Ottawa, Kansas.

Mr. Miller and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church at Mission Center, Kansas, in which he served as elder until failing health made it advisable for him to curtail his activities. His first religious connection was with the First Presbyterian Church, of Alliance, Ohio. He is a citizen who has always had the best interests of city and county at heart and on many occasions has demonstrated his progressiveness and public spirit.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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