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Below is a family biography included in The History of Polk 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 W. Miller, M. D., one of the successful and eminent practitioners of Morrisville, Polk County, Mo., is the son of George and Elizabeth Miller, who were natives of Kentucky, born in 1806 and 1815, respectively. Grandfather Miller was from Londonderry, Ireland, and his wife from Germany. Dr. John Gray, grandfather of our subject, was of English descent. George and Elizabeth Miller remained in Kentucky until 1843, when they moved to Cooper County, Mo., and nine years later to Bentonville, Ark, where they remained until 1862, and then they came to Polk County. Here Mr. Miller is now living with his son, Dr. John W. Miller. His wife, who died in 1870, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, as is also her husband, who has been a member for fifty years. He was a Whig before the war but has since then been a Democrat in his political views. By occupation he has been a cabinet-maker and house carpenter all his life. In their family were two children, a son and daughter. The eldest, John W., was born January 11, 1842, and when thirteen years of age, was using his father’s hand-ax, when, by accident, he cut the tendon of his right heel, and for eight years went on crutches. He received a limited education, and at the age of eighteen years began studying medicine under Dr. John Gray. After prosecuting his studies for three years, the war broke out and forced upon him a practice, which, with poverty, kept him from attending medical lectures. He moved to Greene County in 1863, and in 1865 to this county, where he has practiced ever since. March 16, 1869, he married Miss Mollie Winton, a native of Greene County, and the daughter of Rev. G. M. Winton. Five children were born to this marriage: Bertie J., G. Claude, Grace, W. Glenn and Max. Both Dr. and Mrs. Miller are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. After living on a farm until 1883 he moved to Morrisville, and now has one of the finest drug stores in the town. Aside from this he is the owner of 183 acres of land, four miles south of Morrisville, on Sac River. For twenty-six years he has been a practitioner of Polk County, and has met with unusual success. He is a member of the Bolivar Medical Society; belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and the A. O. U. W., and in his political views affiliates with the Democratic party.

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This family biography is one of 132 biographies included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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