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Below is a family biography included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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John Mulkey Miller, postmaster at Olean, Mo., and a native of Miller County, was born April 22, 1828, being the second child born to the marriage of Boyd Miller and Isabel Mulkey, natives respectively of Virginia and Tennessee. The paternal grandfather was also born in Virginia, but about the year 1817 removed with his family to Wayne County, Ky., and from there to Missouri in 1821, residing in St. Louis for about one year. He then pushed on to the Meramec River, and one year later located in Boone, where he resided two years and then settled permanently in Cole County. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and died about 1824. His son, Boyd Miller, in company with his brother William, bought what was known as the Old Factory Fort, on the Missouri River, about thirty miles above Jefferson City, and after remaining here a short time went to the interior of Cole County, where they each entered large tracts of land and raised the first crop south of the Moreau in 1825. A great portion of the land was covered with timber, but here Mr. Miller continued to make his home until 1837, and in the meantime cleared fifty acres of land. At the latter date he sold his land for $10 per acre and entered forty acres about two miles north of Spring Garden. To this he afterward added by purchase from time to time until his lands amounted to 1,300 acres. About 1843 his wife died. In 1848 John Mulkey Miller, his son, wedded Miss Susanna L. Witten, a native of Kentucky, who came with her father, Samuel C. Witten, to Missouri in 1836, the latter being the purchaser of the original tract of land entered by Boyd Miller. After his marriage our subject purchased 120 acres of land from his father-in-law, which he proceeded to improve, and here made his home for many years. May 2, 1850, he and his father, M. H. Belche and William Greenup fitted out an expedition and started for California, taking the overland route. This trip occupied four months. John M. Miller remained in California for nearly three years, engaged in mining, speculating and trading. July 1, 1853, the party with the exception of Mr. Belche started from San Francisco on a sailing vessel for home. A severe storm wrecked the vessel on the coast of Central America, and the party landed at Rio Lago, and traveled overland 800 miles to the Atlantic coast, where, after a month’s delay, they secured passage in a steamship for Liverpool, England, then returned to New Orleans, and from there up the Mississippi River home, arriving on the 16th of November, 1853. Mr. Miller then turned his attention to farming and stock-buying, and added several hundred acres to his farm, but in 1859 sold his property and immigrated to Texas, where he was engaged in stock-raising for one year, then returned to Missouri and embarked in merchandising at Mt. Pleasant, which business he continued to follow until the breaking out of the war. He then resumed farm life, near Spring Garden, and continued to till the soil till 1867, when he sold his property and returned to Texas. At this period the State was in a very unsettled condition, and on account of Indian troubles he remained but a short time, and soon came back to Missouri, purchasing a part of his father’s old farm north of Spring Garden. Here he remained until the latter part of 1871, then moved to Hickory Hill, Cole County, and engaged in mercantile pursuits, being at the same time appointed postmaster at that place, a position he filled until resigning, and that year he married Mrs. Elizabeth (Moore) Belche. In 1883 he moved to Spring Garden, where his first wife died June 30, 1884. Mr. Miller lived in that locality until 1885. He then moved to Olean, where he opened a hotel, and May 1 of that year he was appointed postmaster, and is still filling the duties of that office. Mr. Miller has always been an active Democrat, and for a number of years has been a member of the Masonic fraternity. To Mr. Miller and his first wife were born five children: Bell, who died at the age of fifteen years; Josephine, James L., residing in Texas; John C., also in Texas, and Lucy, at home.

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This family biography is one of 120 biographies included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Miller County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Miller County, Missouri family biographies here: Miller County, Missouri Biographies

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