The man who starts out in life with a definite purpose in mind toward the realization of which he directs his concentrated energies invariably attains his amhition ultimately. As a youth Charles Miller aspired to become a successful agriculturist, and the realization of his desire is evidenced by the beautiful farm of three hundred and twenty acres which he cultivates in Iowa township.
Mr. Miller is the eldest son of Christopher and Madeline (Hager) Miller, natives of Hamburg, Germany, from which country they emigrated to the United States in 1852, landing in New York on the 29th of April. Three days later the son Charles was born, his natal day being the 2d of May.
The parents continued to live in New York city for three years and then removed to Davenport, of which city they were residents for five years. At the expiration of that period they migrated to Muscatine, where they remained until 1865 and then went to Tipton. After living there for two years they removed to Mechanicsville, Cedar county, Iowa, where they spent the remainder of their days, being laid to rest in the cemetery of that town.
The father, who was a shoemaker, was actively engaged in his trade up to four days before his death, which occurred in 1903. The mother's demise occurred in 1899.
They were the parents of five children, those beside our subject being: Betty, the wife of E. W. Stoddard, of Cedar Rapids; Lizzie, who married John Sutton, of Manilla; John, who is a resident of Mechanicsville; and Frank, the youngest member of the family.
The first nineteen years of the life of Charles Miller were spent under the parental roof, very largely occupied in acquiring an education, in the pursuit of which he attended the German and public schools. In 1871 he left home to begin his business career, and, coming to Crawford county, he worked by the month as a farm hand for three years, following which he engaged in breaking prairie and threshing. He broke between twelve and fifteen hundred acres of prairie during the early years of his residence in this county, which was then very sparsely settled. In 1878 he first located upon his present farm, but later spent three years elsewhere, returning in 1886. All the improvements upon the property have been made by him.
For his wife and helpmate Mr. Miller chose Miss Minnie O. Thompson, who passed away on the 14th of November, 1908, and was laid to rest in the cemetery at Manilla. Seven children were born unto them: C. F. and W. A., both residents of Isabel, South Dakota; and John M., Eli Alfred, Hugh Edward, Guy Elijah and Clarence Chester, all of whom are at home.
The family attend the services of the Methodist Episcopal church of which Mrs. Miller was a member. When he first attained his majority Mr. Miller gave his political support to the candidates of the democratic party, but being a gold standard man he transferred his allegiance to the republican party when Bryan first ran for president. Although he takes an interest in local affairs he has never been an office seeker, as his personal interests have always demanded his entire attention. No man in Iowa township is any more entitled to be termed self-made than is Charles Miller, whose measure of success is attributable to his own perseverance and thrift and is generally so recognized by those who know him.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.