Miller, James (Treasurer)

Born: 1795-05-23 Rockingham County, Virginia

Died: 1872-09-23 Bloomington, Illinois

James Miller was a merchant, state government official, and church official. Miller spent his early years working on the family farm and attending district schools in his native Rockingham County, Virginia. He moved with his family to Madison County, Kentucky, when he was sixteen. Having little aptitude for farming, he left the family farm to become a merchant. At the age of twenty, he won election as collector and sheriff of Madison County. In March 1824, he married Juliet McClelland, with whom he had one child. Juliet died after only one year of marriage and James married Isabella McGarvey in 1827, with whom he had four children. Eager to escape the institution of slavery, Miller left Kentucky in 1835 and moved to Bloomington, Illinois, where he formed a partnership in a mercantile business with John Magoun and John E. McClure. Miller also acquired large tracts of land in and around Bloomington. In 1850, he was engaged in mercantile pursuits and owned real property valued at $4,000. In May 1856, the Illinois Anti-Nebraska Convention nominated Miller for state treasurer of Illinois, and he won election, as a Republican, to the office in November 1856. Voters reelected Miller state treasurer in 1858, and he remained in that office until his resignation in August 1859. By 1860, Miller owned real property valued at $20,000 and had a personal estate of $6,000. He was also very active in the Methodist Church, and he occupied positions in the church until his death.

The History of McLean County, Illinois (Chicago: Wm. Le Baron, Jr., 1879), 807; Kentucky, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1783-1965, 3 March 1824, Muhlenburg County, 18 March 1827, Christian County, (Lehi, UT: Operations, 2016); Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 30 May 1856, 2:3; 30 August 1859, 2:1; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Bloomington, McLean County, IL, 10; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 3, Bloomington, McLean County, IL, 239; Gravestone, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Bloomington, IL.