Miller

Nathan Miller

Married to Minnie Betsy (Holstein) Miller

Born 1861

Born in Russian Poland

Immigrated in 1880

Married Minnie in 1886

Minnie Betsy (Holstein) Miller

Married to Nathan Miller

Born 1869

Born in England

Immigrated in 1880

Married Nathan in 1886

Maurice Miller

Son

Born 1887

Born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Names associated with this surname:

  • Nathan Miller
  • Minnie Betsy (Holstein) Miller
  • Maurice Miller
  • Pearl Miller
  • Henry Miller
  • Minette Miller
  • Sadie/Sally Miller
  • Ethel Elizabeth (Berger) Miller
  • Samuel R. Berger
  • Irene Stella Berger
  • Miriam Miller
  • Joe Miller

Pearl Miller

Daughter

Born 1890

Born in Pottsville Pennsylvania

Married to Samuel R. Berger in 1911

Moved to Grand Junction

Henry Miller

Son

Born 1892

Born in Leadville, Colorado

Minette Miller (known as Tutsey)

Daughter

Born 1894

Born in Leadville, Colorado

Sadie Miller

(later changed her name to Sally)

Daughter

Born 1898

Born in Leadville, Colorado

Arriving in the late 1880s, the Millers stayed in Leadville longer than any of the other Jewish families who immigrated to the area. The patriarch, Nathan, was born in Russian Poland during 1861 [1] in the Polish-Lithuanian city of Vilnius, a major center of rabbinical learning. Nathan was originally trained as a rabbi.[2]  In 1880 he immigrated to the United States where in 1886 he married Minnie Holstein.[3]  Minnie was born in England, during 1869, although both her parents had immigrated from Russia. [4] Minnie immigrated to the United States in 1880.  Both Nathan and Minnie spent some time in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the 1880s. [6]

In 1887 the Miller’s first son, Maurice was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.[7]  Pearl and Henry were born one and two years later, respectively.[8]  Pearl was born in Pottsville but Henry would be born in Leadville.[9]  Nathan Miller moved to Colorado in 1887 where he first lived in Granite, a small mining camp near Leadville. He was later followed by the rest of his family.[10]  In 1892 Nathan Miller first appears in the Leadville City Directory, where he is listed as a peddler living at 127 West Chestnut Street.[11]  Nathan did not like being a rabbi and had moved west to pursue an occupation as a miner. When Nathan moved to Leadville he accordingly started a mine, which has remained in the possession of the Miller family to this day.[12]  Nathan was very invested in running his mine

and took care of his employees. During economic down turns the Millers would sometimes provide lunch to the mine employees.[13]  Nathan managed the mine and Minnie oversaw the family’s clothing business.[14]  The Herald Democrat also indicates Nathan and Minnie operated a store in Leadville that same year. Originally the Millers started their business venture in Leadville with Isaac Jacobs. However, this partnership deteriorated[15] and the Millers accused Jacobs of theft in June 1892.[16]  Shortly afterwards Nathan placed an ad in the Herald Democrat advertising the end of his partnership with Jacobs. Customers to whom Jacobs was indebted were instead instructed to seek out Nathan Miller.[17]

In 1894 Minette Miller was born.[18]  The following year the family moved to 123 West Chestnut Street.[19]  This residence is also where the Millers’ clothing business is listed until 1898 when the store moved to 223 Harrison Avenue.[20] Also, in 1898, Sadie Miller was born.[21]  In 1900 the Miller’s store, known as “The Hub,” occupied 219 – 223 Harrison Avenue.[22]  In 1904 the store moved to 521 Harrison avenue[23] where it stayed until 1910 when it moved to 319 Harrison Avenue.[24]  From 1911 through 1915 “The Hub” was at 317 Harrison Avenue.[25]  In 1916 the store returned to 510 Harrison Avenue.[26]  Minnie Miller’s store remained at this address until 1926 when it moved to 604 Harrison Avenue.[27]  In the city and phone directories for this period Minnie Miller is always listed as the owner of “The Hub.” Nathan often appears as a manager. The store was in operation until 1932.[28]

Exterior of "The Hub" (M. B. Miller Clothing Store) at 604-606 Harrison Avenue, late 1920s or early 1930s.

Interior view of "The Hub" (M.B. Miller Clothing Store).

In 1905 the Miller’s eldest son, Maurice, began working as an electric engineer.[29]  In 1906 Maurice worked for his parents’ store as a clerk.[30]  The following year the Leadville City Directory lists Maurice as a helper for D&RG&R&R.[31]  In 1908 Maurice was back working as a clerk for his family.[32]  Around 1909 Maurice served a stint in the U.S. Navy.[33]

 

In 1909 the Miller family moved their residence to 130 E 7th Street.[34] That same year the Millers suffered a terrible tragedy when their son, Henry was wantonly killed in a firearm accident. The following article from the Herald Democrat elucidates the heartrending account of Henry’s death.

 

“One of the most unfortunate shootings in Leadville’s history resulted last night in the death of young Henry Miller through the accidental discharge of Merchant Police James McDonell’s revolver while using the weapon as a club in trying to separate two dogs which

were fighting in the city jail courtyard. Officier McDonell was taken into custody by Under Sheriff Dwyer and will be held pending the verdict of the coroner’s inquest.

 

Young Miller lived for possibly thirty minutes after being shot, Drs. Griffith, Boyd and Sullivan working heroically to save the young man’s life, but from the outset his chances of recovery were irretrievably hopeless as the bullet entered the left side of his abdomen, causing a fatal wound.

 

The boy’s mother presented a pitiful spectacle in the offices of Dr. Griffith, being heartbroken over the sorrowful occurrence.

 

According to eye witnesses of the affair, Captain Mahnke had arrested “Paddy” O’Connel, a Midland route hostler, who for some time past has been a quaint figure on the streets leading a vicious bulldog by a chain, for making a nuisance of himself on the avenue. O’Connel as usual had his bulldog with him and just as the

the captain was taking his prisoner through the court ward to the city jail the dog broke loose, attacking “Major” the dog which accompanies Merchant Police McDonell on his nightly rounds.

 

McDonell who prizes the dog very highly immediately stepped up and tried to prepare the two dogs. Seeing that the bulldog was doing considerable damage to “Major” the officer drew his gun and commenced beating the bulldog on the head in order to force it to let go.

 

By this time a crowd of some fifty persons had gathered to witness the struggle. Suddenly a shot was heard and Miller, one of the by-standers, staggered back crying “I’m hit.”

 

Officer MeDonell not realizing that his weapon had been discharged continued beating the dog while several spectators quickly carried Miller to Dr. Griffith’s office across the street where everything known to medical science was done to save his life.

McDonell as soon as he learned that his own gun had caused the boy’s fatal wound hurried over to the doctor’s office to offer any assistance which might be needed in administering the young man.

Nathan Miller at the mine.

Henry Miller, early 1900s.

He was 19 years old when he died in 1909.

Henry Miller with his high school football team, 1908 or 1909. He is at the top left.

Officer McDonell in a statement issued immediately after the shooting said: “At about twenty minutes to ten, as near as I can judge, I came around the corner of the Topic saloon on Fifth and Harrison avenue. As I reached the front of Baer brothers’ liquor house I saw Captain Mahnke place O’Connell under arrest. O’Connell was leading a bulldog by a chain. The dog slipped its collar just as Captain Mahnke was leading O’Connell down the court yard toward the jail, and grabbed my dog. I tried to separate them as they fought down the courtyard but was unable to do so with my hands. By this time a crowd of perhaps fifty people had gathered in the court. I saw there was no use trying to get the dogs apart without a club and none being handy I drew my revolver and commenced pounding the bulldog on

the head with the barrel. Then I heard a shot. I kept pounding away, however, not realizing that it was my weapon which was discharged, thinking it was somebody in the crowd firing to kill one of the dogs. Later I discovered that one shell had been discharged in my revolver. I always keep my gun on an empty and cannot understand how it could have revolved and gone off. As soon as I found out that I had shot the boy I went over to the doctor’s office to see what could be done. The door was locked when I got there preventing me from gaining an entrance. I then called up the sheriff and told him of what had happened. The unfortunate accident has overwhelmed me with grief.

 “James M’Donell”

Henry Miller is the 19-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan H. Miller who conduct a clothing store at 321 Harrison avenue, and was born and raised in this city. He was a student at the High school of 1908 and 1909.

 

Several persons who were within a few feet of Officer McDonell when the shot was fired say that from the flash of his revolver it looked to them as if the gun was discharged as it pointed toward the pavement which would indicate that young Miller was struck by a glancing bullet.

 

He with his mother had closed their store shortly after half past nine and were walking toward their home when the boy was attracted by the crowd gathering to see the dog fight. He told his mother to walk on ahead and he would stop to see what the

trouble was. He then stepped into the courtyard and a few moments later was lying hopelessly wounded.

 

The weapon with which McDonell was trying to part the dogs is a II Colt’s revolver. The veteran officer is crazed with grief and utterly inconsolable.

 

The dead boy’s father is at present in Alma and knows nothing of the sad affair. Young Miller also has a brother, Morris Miller in the United States navy.

 

Mr. McDonell was later released on a $3,000 bond.[35]

 

The shooting of Henry Miller by Mr. McDonell was ruled an accident [36] and Henry Miller was interred in the Leadville Hebrew Cemetery.[37]

Sally and Minette, 1900s?

Maurice Miller while in the Army,
circa 1918.

Sally and Minette

Easter Sunday, April 12, 1914.

Christmas in 1919.

L-R, back to front: Maurice, Pearl, Minette, Nathan, Irene Stella Berger, Minnie.

In 1910, returning after the death of his younger brother, Maurice was back in Leadville working at the family store.[38]  Maurice would continue to work with his family until his departure from the city in 1931.[39]  In 1910 Pearl Miller began to be listed in the city directories.[40]  She also appears in 1911[41] before marrying Samuel R. Berger, an optometrist, later that year.[42]  In 1913 Minette Miller begins to regularly appear in the directories, followed by her younger sister Sadie in 1916.[43]  In the same year Minette Miller is listed as the principal at the Tennessee Pass School.[44]  In 1917 Maurice Miller traveled to Denver in an attempt to reenlist with the navy during the First World War. However, his reenlistment was denied as he did not meet current requirements for recruitment.[45]  Despite this setback, Maurice then enlisted in the Army and worked at Fort Dix in New Jersey during the remainder of the First World War.[46]  In 1918 Minette Miller worked as a stenographer and Sadie was a bookkeeper at the family store. [47]

In the 1920s, the remaining Miller children, now grown up, began to come into their own, working in Leadville and the surrounding area. In 1920 Minette began the year teaching in Grand Junction,[48] later she completed her courses at the State Normal School (now University of Northern Colorado).[49]  Minette Miller is listed in the 1920 census as living in Grand Junction with her married sister Pearl Berger.[50]  After the completion of her education, Minette and Sadie took a three-month visit to Portland, Oregon.[51] The Miller women were also involved in Leadville society. In 1922, Minnie, Minette and Sadie were all founding signatures to the Leadville chapter of Mothers, Wives, Daughters and Sisters of Legionnaires.[52] In May, 1922, Sadie Miller traveled to Grand Junction to visit her sisters, Minette and Pearl.[53]  It is not clear when Minette Miller returned to Leadville, however, she reappears in the 1930 census, once again living with her family in Leadville. [54]

During this period, Maurice Miller continued to be active in his family’s business and Leadville society, he was also one of the originators of the Healy House.[55] During the 1920s Maurice and his friends helped sponsor the boxer, Jack Dempsey.[56]  Accordingly, he frequently appeared in the Herald Democrat during the 1920s. In April, 1920, Maurice is mentioned in the Herald Democrat for traveling to Denver in his “new Stephens Salient Six Car.”[57]  Throughout the following years, Miller often visited Denver, sometimes with his mother,[58]  in his Salient Six, to attend baseball games[59] or visit friends and family. Maurice was also a member of the local Freemason and Shriner chapters. He particularly enjoyed his work with the Shriners because they supported and cared for children suffering with polio and other diseases.[60] Miller was also invested in the economic health of Leadville, and attended a 1920 chamber of commerce meeting discussing ways to remedy the city’s economic situation. Miller believed in “the need for developing a greater spirit of belief in the future of the city

and stated that unless Leadville  citizens first sold the city to themselves they could hardly hope to successfully sell it to visitors.”[61]  In June, 1921, Miller also appeared in the papers talking once again about Leadville’s economy. This time he spoke of the merits of quality vs. quantity in regards to the stocks stores carried.

 

“Maurice Miller, prominent clothing merchant, emphasized the same thing when he said, “Instead of quantity Leadville merchants are running to quality, with more so-called “city” lines, and more “snappy” articles. While stocks are smaller they are more varied and the opportunity for selection is greater.” Regarding the anticipated cut in prices, Mr. Miller added, “as far as the reduction in prices is concerned for the fall, the standard goods, the high class articles, will not show as radical a reduction as the lower-grade goods.” Speaking of the business outlook, he said, “There is good cause for optimism. There is proof of it, for instance, in the establishment of another clothing store here. Such a move is not taken usually in the face of a depressing outlook.”[62]

In 1921, Maurice Miller was also part of Leadville’s chapter of the Red Cross. Miller helped represent the interests of returning soldiers from the First World War. “Maurice Miller of the soldiers’ section read a communication from the War Risk Insurance bureau at Washington, D. C. in which the section is complimented upon its efficient handling of the soldiers’ compensation work here.”[63]  Some of Miller’s pursuits were more recreational. In May, 1922, Miller started a Twilight League Baseball Club.

 

“An amateur baseball venture promises to eclipse anything of its kind yet attempted here was in its infant stages last night, when Maurice B. Miller, president of the Leadville Indoor Baseball league during the season just closed and organizer of the Leadville Sandlot league, announced that a group of which he was one was planning the establishment of a twilight league.

The personnel of the league is expected to consist of business men. All games will be played after working hours. Details of the new organizations are expected to be given out within the next few days.”[64]

 

Maurice Miller underwent a life changing event in the fall of 1922 when he married Ethel Elizabeth Berg of Denver.[65] Ethel was born in Russia in 1900 and immigrated in 1904.[66]  Miller and his wife would go on to have two children, Joseph in 1923, and Miriam in 1925.[67]  Both children were born in Colorado. Maurice Miller’s household is listed in the 1930 census as residing in Leadville.[68] They appear for the last time, in Leadville records, the following year in the 1931 phone directory.[69]  In the 1940 census, the family was listed in Denver, but their last place of residence was Palo Alto, California.[70]  Maurice’s family moved to Denver for issues related to health.  Despite living in Denver, Maurice’s family continued to travel to Leadville to visit the rest of the Millers.[71]  Miriam, known as “Sissy” grew up in Leadville, and lives in Denver

today (2017). She has fond memories visiting Leadville and her aunts during her childhood.[72]  Miriam and Joe, known as “Joeboy” in his childhood, spent their summers away from Denver in Leadville. Miriam first learned to drive when Tutsey (Minette) took her out to drive “around the loop” by Mt. Massive and the Leadville Fish Hatchery.[73]  Miriam and Joe often got to play “around the Loop” and at the mining district beyond East 7th and 5th streets, sometimes under the supervision of Tutsey.[74]

 

In 1934, after 48 years of marriage, Minnie and Nathan Miller passed away. Nathan was the first to pass in March, three months later Minnie followed her husband.[75] The following obituary was included in the Herald Democrat after the death of Minnie Miller.

 

“In the Herald democrat of October 6, appeared a brief announcement of the death at the home of her son Maurice, in Palo Alto, California, of Mrs. Minnie M.  Miller. The passing of Mrs. Miller who had been a resident of

Leadville for the greater part of her life; was a profound shock to a wide circle of friends here. Minnette Miller, her daughter, who is a teacher in the public schools here, left immediately for California, and the entire family were reunited at Palo Alto to pay their last tribute of affection to their mother, who now rests in Home of Peace Cemetery, in Colma

 

After their death, Minette and her sister Sally were the only Millers left in Leadville. Sally resided in Leadville until at least 1940 when she appears in the census with Minette.[76]  In 1943 Sally Miller married Don Andrews, who was in Leadville during the Second World War to work with mills in the mining industry.[77] Minette continued to reside at 130 West 7th Street and started working for Leadville’s welfare department in 1947.[78]  Minette Miller resided in Leadville until 1981 when she passed away. Minette was the last remaining member of Leadville’s original Jewish community who resided in the city and was buried in the Leadville Hebrew Cemetery.[79]  Today, the last remaining Miller born in Leadville, is Miriam, who resides in Denver.

Sally with family dog named Patters.

L-R, back to front: Ethel, Minette, Pearl, Minnie.

Probably 1920s.

Minnie, Sally (with cat), and Maurice.

Minette Miller, "Tutsi"

1930s or 1940s?

Minette Miller

Christmas 1966.

Miriam (Sissy) and Joe (Joe boy), 1930s.

Minnie (right) (with Mary, a maid)

1930s?

1 U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 Census.

2 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interviews. January 11 and 29, 2017.

3 U.S. Census Bureau 1910 Census.

4 U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 Census.

5 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interviews. January 11 and 29, 2017.

6 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interview. July 13, 1017.

7 U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 Census.

8 U.S. Census Bureau. 1900 Census.

9 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interviews. January 11 and 29, 2017.

10 Ibid.

11 1892 Leadville City Directory

12 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interviews. January 11 and 29, 2017.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 “Police Court Pickings.” Herald Democrat, June 2, 1892. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

16 “For Grand Larceny.” Herald Democrat, June 14, 1892. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

17 “Notice of Dissolution of Partnership.” Herald Democrat, June 5, 1892. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

18 U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 Census.

19 1895 Leadville City Directory

20 1898 Leadville City Directory

21 U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 Census.

22 1900 Leadville City Directory.

23 1904 Leadville City Directory.

24 1910 Leadville City Directory.

25 1911 – 1915 Leadville city directories.

26 1916 Leadville City Directory.

27 1926 Leadville Phone Directory.

28 1932 Leadville Phone Directory

29 1905 Leadville City Directory

30 1906 Leadville City Directory

31 1907 Leadville City Directory

32 1908 Leadville City Directory

33 “Kills Youth By Accident.” Herald Democrat, November 9, 1909. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

34 1909 Leadville City Directory.

35 “Kills Youth By Accident.” Herald Democrat, November 9, 1909. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

36 “Death Due To Accident.” Herald Democrat, November 10, 1909. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

37 Leadville Hebrew Cemetery.

38 1910 Leadville City Directory.

39 1931 Leadville Phone Directory.

40 1910 Leadville City Directory.

41 1911 Leadville City Directory.

42 U.S. Census Bureau. 1940 Census.

43 1913 – 1916 Leadville city directories.

44 1916 Leadville City Directory

45 “Failed To Pass Examination.” Herald Democrat, August 2, 1917. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

46 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interviews. January 11 and 29, 2017.

47 1918 Leadville City Directory.

48 “Personal Mention.” Herald Democrat, April 5, 1920. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

49 “Personal Mention.” Herald Democrat, August 24, 1920. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

50 U.S. Census Bureau. 1920 Census.

51 “Personal Mention.” Herald Democrat, December 10, 1920. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

52 “Form American Legion Auxiliary Post Here.” Herald Democrat, April 2, 1922. Accessed December 11, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

53 “Personal Mention.” Herald Democrat, May 14, 1922. Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

54 U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 Census.

55 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interviews. January 11 and 29, 2017.

56 Ibid.

57 “Personal Mention.” Herald Democrat, April 13, 1920. Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

58 “Personal Mention.” Herald Democrat, October 6, 1923. Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

59 “Personal Mention.” Herald Democrat, May 2, 1911. Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

60 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interview. July 13, 1017.

61 “Twenty Men Are Chosen.” Herald Democrat, August 7, 1920. Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

62 “Business Cloud Seems Brighter.” Herald Democrat, July 7, 1921. Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

63 “Red Cross Committee Has Monthly Meeting.” Herald Democrat, July 28, 1928. Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

64 “Organizing Twilight League.” Herald Democrat, May 8, 1922, Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

65 “Personal Mention.” Herald Democrat, November 26, 1922. Accessed December 14, 2016. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

66 U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 Census.

67 Ibid.

68 Ibid.

69 1931 Leadville Phone Directory

70 U.S. Census Bureau. 1940 Census.

71 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interviews. January 11 and 29, 2017.

72 Ibid.

73 Ibid.

74 Ibid.

75 Leadville Hebrew Cemetery

76 U.S. Census Bureau. 1940 Census.

77 Miriam Wexler – Miller. Interviews. January 11 and 29, 2017.

78 1947 Leadville Phone Directory

79 Leadville Hebrew Cemetery.

Temple Israel Foundation

208 West 8th Street

Leadville, Colorado 80461

303.709.7050

Temple Israel Museum

201 West 4th Street

Leadville, Colorado 80461

longled@longled.cnc.net

Hebrew Cemetery

Within Evergreen Cemetery

North end of James Street, Leadville

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