▲This photo of William B. and Catherine Hover Miller's
grave marker, located in Hartington City Cemetery, Hartington Nebraska is courtesy of Bill Ramsey.  Taken Nov. 24 2006


Back to William B. Miller Family Page
William""Bill" Ramsey sent me a copy of William Benjamin Miller's obituary .  His copy was so poor that both of us had to struggle to read it..  Bill did the greater share of the transcription so I just reformatted all his work with few changes.  It was really helpful  I am trying to obtain a copy of the original but until I receive that, this will do very well.  A hand written note on the copy said this obit was first printed on December 1, 1927.

This obituary gives many dates and locations which help place W. B. and his family into chronological order.  Also it confirms relatives names and and doubly confirms a family story about W.B. accompanying a wagon train carrying the first printing press to Denver in the 1850s.  Before the obituary was found, this was just part of an oral history passed on to children and grandchildren and even great grandchildren from William to Jesse E., and to Leslie H., etc, etc.   Its always nice when family "legends" can be confirmed.

W. B. MILLER, 90

        DIED SATURDAY

PIONEER CROSSED PLAINS

WITH OXEN TEAM IN 1859

PASSED AWAY

______

          W. B. Miller, well known Cedar county pioneer, died in the home of his son Jess in Gross, S. Dak., Saturday morning from a stroke resulting from a fall.  Mr. Miller, who was 90 years old, was unusually active, had a   particularly strong constitution, and altho he realized he was older than many of his friends, he had no thot of death.

      Mr. Miller was born in Butler county, Penn. on July 25, 1837.  When he was 19 years old he moved to Wisconsin and on December 19, 1858 he was married to Miss Catherine Ann Hover at Green county Wisconsin.    1860 he moved to Buchanan county, Iowa and in 1883 to Lyon county, Iowa.  In 1885, Mr. and Mrs. Miller moved to Cedar county where he bot the farm owned by “Father” Martin, Episcopalian minister in Hartington, which he still owned at the time of his death.  Mrs. Miller died in 1913 and abut 3˝ years ago Mr. Miller went to Gross to live with his son.

      Mr. Miller crossed the plains with Major Russell and Major Woddell in 1859, going from St. Joseph in Missouri thru to Denver.    There were 24 covered wagons in the train, with eight yoke of oxen for each team, and the passengers walked.   The plains were black with hordes of buffalo and the sky line was dotted with smoke from many an Indian camp. Many times during the trip, members of the train were in danger of Indian attacks.  In this train was the first printing press taken to Denver.  Mr. Miller remained in Denver for 18 months before making the return trip.

       Mr. Miller is survived by 7 children, 36 grandchildren, and 25 great grandchildren.   The sons are Jess at Gross, South Dakota, W. E. at Wynot, Bert at Clearwater, A.C. and L.A. of Hartington and the daughters are Mrs. A. Combellic of Kennewick. Washington, Mrs. B. M. Benson of Deer Park at Washington. Three sisters; Mrs. M. J. Grubbs, 88, of Bonesteel S.D., Mrs. Lucy Levanduske of Cripple Creek, Colorado, and Mrs. H.F. Burtt of Allegheny City Penn. and two brothers, John of Red Wing, Minnesota and James of Itasca, Wisconsin, also survive Mr. Miller.  His mother died at the age of 89 and his father at the age of 87.

     Funeral Services were held in the Congregational Church of Hartington Monday, Rev. Louis Heib officiating, and the burial was made at the Hartington cemetery.  

     Mr. and Mrs. Roy Farr of Newport, Leslie Miller of Wessington Springs, and Mrs. J. H. Minnear here at attend the funeral.

             ---------------------

Dan Miller, who is W.B. Miller's great grandson, sent his information concerning the "printing press transfer to Denver" to me on 15 Feb 2010.

"My name is Daniel Everette MIller, and I live in Yankton, SD, just 29 miles from my brother Hyle (Miller) in Hartington.
My great-grandfather was W.B. Miller, who is buried in Hartington, NE. One of the stories passed down in our family is how he transported a printing press to Denver, CO. Perhaps the first printing press to get there. He would relate to my brother Hyle how they had to cut down trees and lash them to the wagon wheels in order to float the wagons across the rivers. After Denver, he came to Cedar County, NE and homesteaded. My brother Hyle visited this homestead many times when he was a boy."