JESSE E. MILLER. A public official of Southern Illinois who through faithful and efficient discharge of his duties has won the confidence and esteem of the people of his community is Jesse E. Miller, who is now serving his fifth term as clerk of Alexander county. Mr. Miller, who is a well-known farmer and lumberman of Cairo, is a native of Alexander county, having been born near Elco, January 6, 1861, a son of Milford Green and Mary A. (Walton) Miller. His grandfather, who was of German parentage, had two other children to come to Illinois and rear families, Daniel and Mrs. Barbara Mowery.
Milford Green Miller was born in 1820 in Rowan county, North Carolina, and was there married (first) to a Miss Cauble, who died, leaving him one son, George, now a resident of Diswood, Illinois. He married (second) Mary A. Walton, who was of German and English descent, and they began their married lives on a North Carolina plantation, but in 1857 came to Illinois and settled in the rural community of Elco. There Mr. Miller spent the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits, and in bringing up his children to sturdy man and womanhood, and fitting them, by education and otherwise to take honorable positions in life. He died in 1892 at the age of seventy -two years, his widow surviving until 1909 and being eighty-four years old at the time of her death. Their children were as follows: Margaret, who became the wife of Henry Whitaker and died in Alexander county; Sidney B., postmaster of Cairo; Clinton Eugene, residing in Miller City, Illinois; Susie I., who married J. S. McRaven, of Marion, Illinois; Jesse E.; and Mary J., who married William Brown, of Cairo.
While coming through the years of his minority Jesse E. Miller attended the country schools and the Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale. He followed his inclination to teach school and engaged in the work in 1879, continuing therein for nine years. Having thus added materially to his intellectual equipment and acquired a little capital, he engaged in the merchandise business at Elco, and was appointed postmaster of the town. In 1898, when a vacancy occurred, he was appointed county clerk, and at the succeeding four elections he was returned to the office by comfortable majorities. In his political affiliations, Mr. Miller is a Republican, as was his father, exercised his prerogative as a party man from early manhood, mixed with adherents of the faith at political gatherings, and served as a delegate to conventions and as a member of his county political committee. Although many years have been devoted to official life, he has ever maintained a personal interest in the management of his farms, and for some years has been a dealer in timber and railroad ties, also handling the product of various local lumber mills.
Mr. Miller was married near Elco, Illinois, September 1, 1889, to Miss Fluanna Short, daughter of Francis A. and Fluanna (Sowers) Short, whose other children were: Henrietta, the wife of Clinton E. Miller, of Miller City; Ida, who is deceased; Eli A., of Pulaski county, Illinois; and George W., residing at Elmodena, California. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have had the following children: Blanche F., a graduate of the Cairo high school; Jesse S., who died June 10, 1908, at the age of thirteen years; and Frank M., Edward E. and Dorothy R. With his family Mr. Miller attends the Methodist church, of which he is a member and trustee and in the support of which he has been liberal.
Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 3, pages 1673-1674