Will A. Miller Jr. biography

WILL A. MILLER, JR., is a foremost young business man and public-spirited citizen of Amarillo. As manager of the Will A. Miller Land Company at this place he has been an effective factor in promoting permanent immigration to this section of the state and developing it as a great farming and stock-raising region. The Will A. Miller Land Company was founded by Mr. Miller’s father, Will A. Miller, Sr., who was one of the leading business men of Decatur, Wise county, this state, for twenty-seven years, and a well known and honored Confederate veteran. Captain Miller was born at Monroe, Louisiana, in 1842, and in 1861 enlisted at that place as an artilleryman, going out as a sergeant and afterward being promoted to the command of a battery of artillery. It is notable that he opened the great battle of Shiloh, on the part of the Confederates, by firing the first shot from artillery. He was in a number of the great battles of the war, and won distinction by his service. For some time after the war he lived at Texarkana, Arkansas, and in 1870, which remained his home until April, 1905.

In 1881, he started in the real estate business there, making a specialty of ranch and cattle lands. About 1884 the Will A. Miller Land Company was organized, which is now owned by himself and his sons, Will A. and Stuart, the latter managing the Shamrock office. They land transactions are now carried on at the Amarillo office, of which Will A. Miller, Jr., has charge. Several years ago this company has made the immigration agent of the Fort Worth and Denver Railway, and in that capacity the company’s operations have followed the road from Fort Worth to Texline; and they have gradually opened the country toward the northwest and promoted the growth and development of all the towns and surrounding country on that line. Besides the large interests which they represent as agents, the Millers have large properties of their own, among which is a fine ranch in Archer county and one in Potter county, sixteen miles west of Amarillo. The large business transacted by the company may be better understood from a few figures concerning their recent operations. In the year 1903 they sold at the Amarillo office a million and a quarter acres of Panhandle lands, and during the first eight months of the year 1904 their sales totaled a million acres. They have a made a specialty of selling the lands of the famous L. X. and L. S. ranches, which are now in the process of division into small stock farms. The L. X. ranch lies in Randall and Potter counties, and at the time it was put on the market it contained nine hundred and eighteen sections of land. The L. S. ranch lies in Potter and Oldham counties, is almost as large, and has all been sold.

Captain Miller was a man of much influence at Decatur, and for several years he was honored by election to the office of clerk of the county and district courts there. His wife’s maiden name was Emma Whetstone, and she was born near Shreveport, Louisiana, their marriage being celebrated during the progress of the Civil War. He is now living at Amarillo and is one of the progressive citizens of this city. Will A. Miller, Jr., was born at Texarkana, Arkansas, May 14, 1871, and was reared and received his education at Decatur, Texas. He afterward studied law in the law department of the Texas State University at Austin, where he was graduated in 1891. He has never practiced except in connection with the company’s business, and is the company’s attorney and continues his legal work to the same. He came to Amarillo to establish the office of the land company in 1899 and has since remained a resident of this city. He is a very busy man, has the requisite energy for an extensive business of this kind, and his time is almost entirely occupied in promoting the growth and settlement of the Panhandle. He spends large sums for advertising, and has been the medium through which many settlers have been located in the stock-farming business in this part of the state and made worthy and permanent citizens. His business is always conducted on a thoroughly reliable and honest basis, without the misrepresentation and exaggeration which cause the statements of the ordinary real estate agent to be discounted fifty per cent to the judgment, and this policy has paid well and been to no small degree responsible for the large and continued success of the company. Mr. Miller has traveled so extensively through all this Panhandle region that he is one of the best known men of this section, and he likewise wields no small influence among his fellow citizens. At the present writing he is serving as chairman of the Potter county Democratic executive committee.

In 1896 Mr. Miller was married at Decatur, Texas, to Miss Nellie Beard, and they have two children, Lee Roy and Charlotte.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 41-42.