"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Miller, Samuel Stephens whose death at Rhinelander, Jan. 23, 1921, brought sorrow to many hearts, was born in the town of Christiana, Dane County, Wis., July 17, 1850. His early life was spent on the farm of his father, Benjamin MILLER, who was a member of a prominent New York farmily and had emigrated to Wisconsin at an early day. Born a sturdy child of sturdy parents, he emerged from early childhood bearing the lasting marks of infantile paralysis, a physical handicap that persisted throughout his life. His early education was obtained in the common schools of the day and at Albion College, then known as Albion Academy, from which he was graduated in 1871. In 1873 he was graduated from the law department of the University of Wisconsin. Following his admission to the bar and a brief apprenticeship at Eau Claire, he in 1878 opened a law office in Whitehall, Trempealeau County, Wis. He was speedily chosen district attorney of that county, a position he filled with credit for six successive years; and in 1886 he was further honored by election to the State Legislature and served that district one term as assemblyman. During his residence in that section he had much to do with shaping its early political and geographical affairs. In 1887, soon after the birth of Oneida County. Mr. MILLER came to Rhinelander, where he subsequently continued in the practice of law until the time of his death-a period of nearly 35 years. During the first ten years of his practice here he was associated in partnershp with Judge MCCORMICK, the firm being known as Miller & McCormick, and from 1909 to 1916 he was likewise associated with Judge Harry L. REEVS under the firm name of Miller & Reevs. During his long professional career at Rhinelander Mr. MILLER not only enjoyed a large and lucrative practice, but occupied many positions of honor and trust. For 12 years he served the people of Oneida County as district attorney, establishing an enviable record, and leaving the office only of his own volition. Always deeply interested in civic and political affairs, he was often drafted into the public service. He was secretary of the building committee during the construction of the new Oneida County court house, and a few years later, when the court house was decorated, he served as chairman of the decorating committee. He also rendered useful service as a member of the school board and of the library board, in the city of Rhinelander, and was for many years chairman of the county committee of his political party, and at the time of his death was divorce counsel of this county and president of the Oneida County Bar Association. After the United States entered into the World War he was appointed by Governor PHILIPS as president of the Federal Draft Board in Oneida County. He took an active part in the promotion of the Rhinelander Telephone Company and was elected its first president, in which office he served for several years; and for 11 years he was a director in the attorney for the First National Bank of Rhinelander. In his professional life Mr. MILLER ranked high and for many years held an enviable position at the bar. He will long be remembered for his incorruptible integrity and his intellectual honesty. He never deceived a court or jury, and above all, a client. A pacifist by nature, his cases were fought with dignity, without seeking undue advantage, and with unfailing courtesy to his opponents. Making no claims to eloquence, his possessed a singularly frank and winning way of presenting causes, convincing alike to courts and juries. The battle over he accepted victory with no sound of trumpets, and defeat without rancor. In 1878, at Whitehall, Trempealeau County, Wis., Mr. MILLER was married to Annie MOSHER of Eau Clarie, Wis., who passed away in January, 1899. Of this union three children were born: Mrs. Rollo WHITCOMB of Seattle, Wash.; Mrs. L. T. SIDWELL of Kearney, Nebr., and Miss Anna MILLER of Rhinelander. In October, 1901, Mr. MILLER was united in marriage with Mary E. OAKEY of Madison, Wis., who survives him. The domestic life of Mr. MILLER was most ideal. A kind, indulgent husband and father, he loved his home; and it is in the home, stripped of unnesassry social formalities, that one's true nature is best known, and there the sweetness of Mr. MILLER's life and disposition was best portrayed. Surrounded by his family and books, he presented a happy picture none too common in this day and age. As a man and a member of society Mr. MILLER represented the highest type. His life was an example of purity and high-minded citizenship that will never be forgotten by those who knew him. One of the pioneers of Oneida County, he was ever active in saping its destiny, and none but the older residents can fully appreciate his contributions to the public welfare. He was highly esteemed in every community in which he lived, and most of all in the community in which he died, and in his departure of his family lost a noble head, the public a model citizen, and every officer of the court a sincere friend.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 284-285, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.

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