Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Peter Miller

Abundant success has been the reward of Peter Miller in his efforts to found a home in America. A farm and ranch owner, he spends his winters in Denison and his summers amid the beautiful scenes of nature in Montana. His prosperity is to be ascribed to his unwearied application and good business judgment, two qualities that are of great importance in the accomplishment of any wothy undertaking.

He is a native of Prussia, born December 30, 1846, a son of Christian Dietrich and Sophia (Petersen) Miller, who were also born in Prussia. The father. whose birth occurred in Galding, learned the carpenter's trade and became a contractor and bridge builder. In 1869 he emigrated to America and after spending ten years at Davenport, Iowa, settled in Denison, where he lived retired, passing away in 1891, at the age of seventy-four years. His wife died three years later, having attained the same age as her husband. They were both members of the Lutheran church.

Nicholaus Miller, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a forester in Germany in the employ of the government and was an officer in the army at the time of the Napoleonic wars. There were three children in his family, John, Nicholaus and Christian. The grandfather on the maternal side was Claus Petersen, who made thatched roofs for houses and also served as a soldier in the army at the time of Napoleon.

There were eight children in the family of Dietrich and Sophia Miller, namely: Nicholas, of Denison; Henry, of Holstein, Iowa; Peter, of this review; Christina, now Mrs. William Werner, of Holstein; John, of Schleswig, Iowa; Doris, the widow of Nicholas Frantz, of Denison; Minnie, now Mrs. Fred Martens, of Davenport, Iowa; and August, of Denison.

Peter Miller was reared in his native country and received his education there, spending one year, after laying aside his books, on a sailing vessel at sea, He then became a teamster in the Danish army and later served in a similar capacity in the German army. In 1867, he came to America and spent the first winter at Davenport, Iowa, being attracted in the spring to Nebraska, where he assisted in the construction of the Union Pacific Railway. However, he again went to Davenport and began farming in Scott county. About 1877 he removed to Otter Creek township, Crawford county, where he established his home, now owning a valuable place of two hundred and forty acres in that township. In 1890 he took up his residence in Denison and three months later went to Montana, where he started a sheep ranch near Lloyd, which he also owns. He spent eight years in the northwest but has lived in Denison during the winters since 1898. He is recognized as a man of good business ability who seldom undertakes anything that he does not carry through successfully.

On the 22d of December, 1875, Mr. Miller was united in marriage in Scott county to Miss Elizabeth Claussen, who was born at Eckenford, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, a daughter of George Henry William and Marie (Wieland) Claussen, Her parents came to America in 1853 when their daughter Elizabeth was a year and a half old and settled at Davenport, where she grew to womanhood. Her mother died about two months after coming to this country and the father subsequently married, the maiden name of his second wife being Mary Stegennann. She passed away in 189I. Mr. Claussen departing this life in 1906, at the age of eighty-four years.

There were two children by his first marriage: John, who lives at Wilton, Iowa; and Elizabeth, now Mrs. Peter Miller. Of the second union two children also were born: Christian, of South Dakota; and Doretta, the wife of George Banick, who is engaged in the banking business at Wilton. Mr. Claussen was a soldier at the time of the revolution in Germany in 1848.

John Claussen, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Miller, was a carpenter and lived to be fifty years of age. In his family were four children, John, Henry, Frederick and Rudolph. Her grandfather Wieland, on the maternal side, engaged in teaming in Germany and owned a number of teams. His children were Peter, Dirk, Sarah and Marie .

Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Miller: Henry and Christ are engaged in the stock business in Montana. Henry married Sophia Hofe1dt and has four children, Ervin Peter, Leslie Robert, Dorothea and Marjorie. Christ married Caroline Khure and has three children, Lillian, Dorine and Doris; the two youngest being twins. Louis died at the age of thirteen years. Lillian is now the wife of J. W. Miller, abstractor for the Bank of Denison, and the mother of one daughter, Waline.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller occupy a beautiful home in Denison, which he erected in 1898 and provided with all modern conveniences. Socially he and his wife are well known and religiously they are affiliated with the Lutheran church, of which they are stanch supporters. Mr. Miller gives his support to the republican party and is a valued member of Sylvan Lodge No. 507, A. F. & A. M., of Denison, but his friends are by no means limited to lodge membership, as they are to be found wherever he is known. No one envies him his good fortune as it has been obtained by thoroughly honorable means, and his properties are managed in such a way as to add to the permanent welfare and prosperity of the country.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.