Nearly thirty-five years ago Jonathan Miller came to Crawford county and settled on eighty acres of land which he has transformed into a highly productive farm. Through his thrift and good management he has prospered financially and is known as one of the substantial men of the township.
He was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, July 27, 1850, a son of Michael and Elizabeth (Wagner) Miller. The parents were also natives of the Keystone state and are now deceased. There were eight children in their family: Hiram and Josephus, both of whom are deceased; Allan, who enlisted in the One Hundred and Fifty-first Pennsylvania Regiment and lost his life at the battle of Gettysburg; Jonathan, of this review; Elizabeth, the wife of Elias Webber, of Pennsylvania; Matilda, who married William Moyer, of Pennsylvania; Mahala, also of Pennsylvania; and Harriet, deceased.
Jonathan Miller received his early education in the district schools and early decided to seek his fortune in the west. Accordingly, at the age of eighteen, he came to Iowa and for three years worked on a farm in Jackson county. He next devoted his attention for five years to the carpenter's trade, at the end of which time he came to Crawford county and in 1876 bought eighty acres of land, which became his homestead. He has greatly improved the place by the erection of buildings and fences and by the setting out of trees, so that it is now one of the attractive places of Milford township. He possesses good business ability, as is demonstrated by the appearance of his farm, and the gratifying revenue which it yields yearly.
On the 8th of October, 1874, Mr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Ella Thomas, a daughter of William and Clarissa (Baker) Thomas, and of this union three children were born: Grace G., who is now the wife of N. Ingram, of Crawford county; Carrie, who married Charles Richardson; and Horace, who on April 18, 1906, married Miss Marie Monahan, a daughter of Anthony and Mary (Curry) Monahan, and has one child, Ila Elizabeth, who has reached the age of nineteen months.
The greatest sorrow of Mr. Miller's life was the death of his beloved companion, who passed away September 22, 1899. They journeyed through life together for twenty-five years and the general expression of regret which followed the announcement of her death indicated her high character and the esteem in which she was held by the people of the neighborhood. Religiously Mr. Miller is a sincere believer in the Christian faith and has for many years been a member of the Methodist church. In politics he adheres to the republican party. He has held various township offices and for twenty-one years has been secretary of the school board, during which time he has accomplished much good in the cause of public instruction.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.