James Miller

JAMES MILLER is a member of a family which has many intimate and interesting connections with pioneer things and modern business activities in and around Denton, Doniphan County. Mr. Miller was a farmer for many years, and is now living retired at Denton, giving his chief time and attention to his duties as president of the Denton Bank.

His birth occurred in Huron County, Ohio, October 14, 1841. His father, William Miller, was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1824. Soon after his marriage he came to America, locating in Huron County, Ohio, and later removing to Marion County in that state. He followed farming and died at Marion County in 1897. After becoming an American citizen he voted as a republican. The maiden name of his wife was Ann Hall. She was born in Lincolnshire and died in Marion County, Ohio, at the age of seventy-one. Their children were: Eliza, who died unmarried in Marion County at the age of thirty-one; Alice died in Indiana, the wife of Charles Bayless, a farmer, also deceased; David died in Marion County Ohio, where he was a farmer, and the fourth and youngest of the family is Mr. James Miller.

James Miller obtained his early education in the rural schools of Marion Township, Ohio. He lived on his father's home farm until eighteen and after that worked out for other farmers at monthly wages. When he was twenty-three years old, in 1864, he enlisted to serve in the Union army in the 174th Ohio Infantry. He was with that command until the close of hostilities, and his chief service was in the states of North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee and Kentucky. After his honorable discharge from the army he returned to Marion County and continued working by the month until he removed to Kansas in 1872. Mr. Miller arrived in Doniphan County with meager capital, but with a proved experience for hard work and a determined purpose to gain a permanent foothold as a farmer. He took up farming at once, and continued steadily until he retired in 1910 to Denton. Mr. Miller still owns his farm of 160 well-improved acres three miles southwest of Denton and also has a residence on Main Street. Since coming to take up his residence at Denton he has assumed the presidency of the Denton Bank. Mr. Miller is a republican, is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and is an honored member of Denton Post No. 191 of the Grand Army of the Republic.

In 1879, seven years after he came to Doniphan County, Mr. Miller married Miss Louisa Denton. To their marriage were born five children: Amanda, who died at the age of seven years; Alice, who died at seventeen months; John, who died when five months old; George, who died at the age of nineteen months; and Anna Eliza, who is now a member of the freshman class in Baldwin University at Baldwin, Kansas.

Mrs. Miller was born in Morrow County, Ohio, May 25, 1855, and was educated in the public schools both of her native county and of Doniphan County, Kansas. She is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mrs. Miller's father, George Denton, and his brothers were pioneers of Doniphan County and they laid out and platted the town which is named in their honor. George Denton was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1829, and thus his family originated in the same part of Great Britain as Mr. Miller's family. George Denton was the son of William Denton, who was born in Lincolnshire in 1804 and died there in 1865, having spent his life as a farmer. He married Mary Welborn, who was born in Lincolnshire in 1810 and died in Doniphan County, Kansas, in 1873. All told they had fourteen children, and three are still living: James, a farmer in Morrow County, Ohio; Solomon, a farmer at Denton, Kansas; and Jacob, who is also a farmer and lives at Denton.

George Denton, who died at Denton, Kansas, in 1902, located in Doniphan County in 1873, and was successfully engaged in farming there until 1898, when he retired to Denton. He was a republican and at one time served as a member of the School Board. He served as president of the Denton Bank until his death. He and his wife were active in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

He had come to the United States two weeks after his marriage to Miss Eliza Topliss. They first located in Morrow County, Ohio, where he followed farming until they removed to Kansas. Miss Eliza Topliss was born in Lincolnshire, England, in March, 1839, and is still living at Denton, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Miller. Her father, George Topliss, was born in Lincolnshire and died there in 1911, having spent his vigorous and active years as a farmer. George Topliss married Mary Coney, who was a lifelong resident of Lincolnshire. In the Topliss family were ten children, and five of them are still living: Mrs. George Denton, Maria, wife of Solomon Denton, a farmer at Denton, Kansas; Martha, who lives in Lincolnshire, England, widow of Joseph Houghton, who was a farmer; Harriet, who is married and still lives in Lincolnshire; George, a retired farmer at Lincolnshire, England; while Sarah died only in the present year, 1917, in Lincolnshire. Mr. and Mrs. George Denton were the parents of six children: Mrs. James Miller, Ellen, wife of Aaron Long, a Kansas pioneer and now living as a retired farmer in Horton, Kansas; Martha Jane, wife of Henry C. Miller, a farmer near Horton; Sarah Ann, wife of Miller White, who owns a large and profitably managed farm near Willis, Kansas, Eliza, wife of Ed Henney, a retired farmer at Horton and also engaged in the coal business in that city; and W. G., who is a farmer near Denton, Kansas.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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