Marshall Historical Society

Obituary of the Rev Samuel Miller

Former Pastor of Deansboro Dies at His Home in Sherburne

Native of Augusta and Graduate of Whitestown Seminary and Hamilton College, He Practiced His Calling as Minister Many Years—Was Fine Greek and Latin Scholar and Able Preacher of the Gospel.

Sherburne, April 11, 1919 — At his home in this village this afternoon occurred the death of Rev. Samuel Miller, well known in many towns of Central New York as an esteemed member of the Christian ministry. Mr. Miller had been pastor at Deansboro, Pitcher and this village and after his health failed he came here to make his home. He had been seriously ill only a few days.

The funeral will be held Monday at 2 p.m. At his home here.

Samuel Miller was born in Augusta, Oneida County, November 1, 1829. He was brought up and educated there and worked on a farm in summer and taught school winters until 1855. His father was averse to sending him to college, so he made his own way in education. He prepared for college at Whitestown Seminary and graduated at Hamilton College in the class of 1860. He was one of the Clark prize orators and received the Phi Beta Kappa key for scholarship. While in college he was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. George M. Weaver of this city was valedictorian of the class.

Mr. Miller's connection with Hamilton College was something out of the or- dinary. Many of his relatives and near friends have been students at the institution. His brother, Levi IX Miller, graduated in the class of 1861, and Levi's son, William, graduated in the class of 1889. His brother, the late Hon. William H. H. Miller, of Indianapolis,graduated in the class of 1862, and he had a son, Samuel, who graduated in the class of l890. Another brother, Curtis, had a son who graduated in 1905. Samuel Miller graduated in 1860, his son, Curtis R. Miller graduated in 1889, while his grandson, Barton Miller, is a member of the class of 1919. Mr. Miller lived to at tend the golden jubilee of his class.

He went to Union Theological Seminary in New York for a year, and then returned and took up his theological studies at Auburn Theological Seminary. The war broke out and he enlisted in Company K of the One Hundred and Seventeenth Volunteer Infantry and was made second lieutenant.

He remained but a short time and returning completed his studies at the Auburn Seminary in 1863, when he was ordained.. He had begun the work of a minister in 1862 and continued it until 1908, A period of 46 years. His first charge was at Eaton, Madison County where he remained six years.

His second charge was at Sherburne, Chenango County, where he remained eight years. The next charge was at Deansboro, Oneida County, where he remained 15 years. Then he removed to Pitcher in Chenango County, where he was pastor for 16 years.

After he had lived in Pitcher six years his health failed and he removed to Sherburne, where he had since lived.

He continued his ministry at Pitcher, however, driving back and forth between that place and Sherburne, although the distance was 28 miles. He preached regularly until 1908, but since then has been called on frequently to perform marriage ceremonies or conduct funerals among his former parishioners. He supplied the church at Pitcher for quite a while when he had no regular salary, but performed the services for the sake of keeping the church together.

Mr. Miller had been a lifelong member of the Oneida, Cortland and Delaware Association of the Congregational Church and was probably the oldest member of that association. He had served it a number of times as moderator. He was a very fine scholar and read Greek and Latin with ease. He taught his son and prepared him for college. While the churches which he served were all located in the country, he had the ability to fill any pulpit in the denomination. From early manhood he had not been in good health, but suffered more or less with indigestion.

He was obliged to live in the country for the sake of his health. He had always had a farm on which he worked more or less. Knowing that he was not robust he took good care of himself, and so not only lived out alloted three score and ten, but put an additional score on the scriptural limit.

Mr. Miller came of an old and distinguished family. He was a son of Curtis Miller and Lucy Duncan Miller.

His mother was a descendant of the Stanhopes of Scotland. Samuel Duncan was wounded at the battle of Bunker Hill. The Miller and Barton families were among the very earliest settlers in the town of Marshall, coming from Connecticut. Davis Barton in 1793 and Isaac Miller in 1794-95. The first Congregational church in the county was organized in Marshall in 1797.

Mr. Miller was a lifelong Republican.

He was twice married. His first wife was Henrietta Hedges of Augusta, who lived but a short time after marriage.

In August 1863, he married Mary Agnes Bigelow of Auburn, whose father was physician at the prison. She died May 6, 1916. His children are Curtis Bigelow Miller of the law firm of Fuller and Miller, Utica, and May, wife of Herbert Brownell, who is professor of science in the State University at Lincoln, Nebraska. A daughter, Gertrude, died in 1908. He leaves 8 grand- children. A brother, Hon. William H. Miller of Indianapolis, at one time attorney general of the United States is dead, and a sister, Mrs. Philip M. Hull of Clinton is the only relative of the family alive.

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