Alexander County

Biography - Sidney B. Miller

HON. SIDNEY B. MILLER. A man who both as a public official and as a prominent citizen has been an important factor in moulding Cairo's municipal history is Sidney B. Miller, the popular and efficient postmaster of this city, a position which he has held for the last ten years. Mr. Miller was born in Rowan county, North Carolina, and is a son of Milford Green and Mary A. (Walton) Miller.

Milford Green Miller was born in the same county in North Carolina, of German descent, and had a brother, Daniel, and a sister, Mrs. Barbara Mowery, who also came to Alexander county and reared families. Milford G. Miller was twice married, his first wife being a Miss Cauble, who at her death left him one son, George, now a resident of Diswood, Illinois. Mr. Miller's second marriage was to Mary A. Walton, who was born in North Carolina, of German and English descent, and in 1857 they came to Illinois and settled in the rural community of Elco, Alexander county. Mr. Miller engaged in agricultural pursuits, to which the remainder of his life was devoted, his death occurring in 1892, when he was seventy-two years of age, while his widow survived until 1909, and was eighty-four years old at the time of her demise. They had the following children: Margaret, the wife of Henry Whittaker, died in Alexander county; Sidney B.; Clinton Eugene, who lives at Miller City, Illinois; Susie, who married J. S. McRaven of Marion, Illinois; Jesse E., of Cairo, who is serving his fourth term as county clerk of Alexander county; and Mary J., who married William Brown, a well-known citizen of Cairo.

Sidney B. Miller was reared in the vicinity of Elco, was educated liberally in the public schools, was reared to the work of an agriculturist, which he followed in youth and part of young manhood, and for a few terms taught district school. He then joined his brother in the erection of a flour mill at Elco and operated it for a time, and was engaged in the grain and milling business when he yielded to the local clamor for his candidacy for a public office. He was elected county clerk in 1886 and again in 1890, and in 1894 was elected sheriff for four years. At the expiration of this term he engaged in the timber business, operated a sawmill in Alexander county and handled timber extensively. In 1900 Mr. Miller was elected a representative to the Illinois General Assembly for the fiftieth district, and served one term. His service in that body gave him an extensive acquaintance with prominent Republicans in the state and the political friendships he made were a factor in his further interest in political activity. He has been a member of the Republican county and congressional committee, has helped organize state conventions and contributed to the success of many Republican candidates for state and congressional office. He was appointed postmaster of Cairo by President Roosevelt in 1901 and was commissioned by him a second time in 1905, President Taft reappointing him in 1909. Although a firm Republican and steadfast in his loyalty to his party, Mr. Miller has never been animated by any controversial spirit that would antagonize those of opposite political belief. Consequently he has hosts of warm friends and supporters among his political opponents, whose votes have often been given him when he has been a candidate. Mr. Miller has never married.

Extracted 06 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, Volume 3, pages 1475-1476.

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