DR. JOHN H. MILLER is one of
the prominent business men and physicians of the city of Redding, Shasta
He was born on a farm near the village of Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, July 2, 1842, his father, Captain John Miller, having been one of the first settlers of that county. The house in which he was born was a two-story, strong, block log house that his father had built in the forest. The logs were hewed and laid close together, and the windows were provided with heavy wooden shutters. His father used to drive his ox team twenty-five miles to Detroit for supplies, going through the forest and fording rivers. While absent on a trip of this kind at one time the Indians carried away stock, stole their corn and made havoc of the country in general. His mother, secure in her stronghold, escaped unhurt.
A fact worthy of note in the history of the Miller family is that three generations of John Millers carried arms in defense of their country. Our subject's grandfather, John Miller, when a young man enlisted in the Continental army and aided in driving King George's red coats out of America. At the close of the Revolutionary war he settled at Albany, New York. His son, John Miller, was born near Auburn, same State, in 1792.
This son, the Doctor's father, was a captain in the United States forces in the war of 1812. Our subject attended the district school of his native place in winter and worked on his father's farm in summer, thus becoming inured to work, and in that primitive log school-house laying the foundation of an education which has been of so much value to him in after life. In 1861 the great civil war burst upon the country, and in 1862 the call for volunteers to put down the rebellion became urgent. At that time young Miller had attained his twentieth year, and the fires of patriotism that burned in the breast of his sire and paternal grandsire would not be downed, and he was irresistibly impelled to enlist in the service of his country.
In August, 1862, he enlisted in the Twenty-second Michigan, that grand regiment that carried its colors so triumphantly on so many battle-fields, and after three years of hard fighting victoriously return the old flag, though shot to shreds, to the State. About the first of October they were sent to the front, and soon gained the reputation of being one of the first regiments from Michigan. They participated in the battles of the Army of the Cumberland, and at the battle of Chickamauga the regiment did valiant fighting and suffered fearful loss. The last year of the war Dr. Miller was at General Thomas's headquarters, and was chief clerk of the commissary for the staff of General Thomas. At last the war closed and victory came.
After three years of service in a most sanguinary war, in which several hundred thousand good men on both sides went down in death, John H. Miller, a veteran, was discharged.
He finished his education in Buffalo, New York, and graduated in medicine in the spring of 1877. He soon after began the practice of his profession in the oil regions of Pennsylvania, remaining there three years. During that time he operated largely in oil. In 1880 he came to California and to the new town of Redding. Being pleased with the location he decided to make it his home. He at once began his practice and became interested in the growth and improvement of the town. In all his undertakings he has met with eminent success, has a good practice and owns a nice drug store. The Doctor has also interested himself in horticulture on his ranch of 160 acres, which is located four miles east of Redding. On it he has planted a great variety of fruits; prunes, almonds, peaches, Bartlett pears, cherries, apricots, figs and grape vines.
In 1866 Dr. Miller married Miss Elizabeth Hughes, who was born in France of English parentage. They have four children, three sons and a daughter, all born in Pennsylvania, viz.: Charles H., Edward H., Harold A. and Ethel E.
The family are Presbyterians. The Doctor is a trustee and an elder in the church and aided in the building of their house of worship. He is also Superintendent of the Sunday-school, and it is with pleasure that one notes the lively interest he takes in the children of the city. He is a Republican, a G. A. R., and a member of the Masonic fraternity.
Source: Memorial and Biographical History of Northern
California, Lewis Publishing Co., 1891
Transcribed by: Betty Wilson August 2004