MILLER, WILLIAM KLAHR
Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III
William Klahr Miller (1842-1923), was born the third of ten children on July 5, 1842 at Strausstown, Pennsylvania, son of Michael Mathias Miller (1814-1881), and Catherine Klahr Miller (1817-1915). He was the second of seven sons.
His great-great-grandfather Mathias Miller (1743-1805), fought in the Revolutionary War.
From November 1862 to July 1863, he served as a drummer and second musician with Company H 151st Pennsylvania Infantry. He was active in the engagement at the Battle of the Wilderness, and the Battle of Gettysburg.
In 1875, he married Emma E. Liess (1853-1927). They had no issue.
In the 1879-1886 Reading City Directories he is listed working variously as a clerk, cloth salesman, and paper bag maker living at 125 1/2 Reed Street, Reading, Pennsylvania. He is noted as one of the eldest surviving employees of 21 years at Dives, Pomeroy, and Stuart Department Store, later on in 1923 known as Pomeroy's Inc. He worked there until late 1922 when taken ill.
Miller was active in the late 1870's and throughout the 1880's as a part time coin dealer. He was also a well-noted angler catching many black bass some 19 inches long.
In June 1879, he sold rare silver and copper coins to Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., and to the Chapman Brothers silver and copper coins.
In July 1879 he advertised in Numisma, Vol. 3, No. 4, page 1.
He was listed as a coin dealer wishing correspondence in Mason’s Coin Collector’s Herald, June, 1879.
Fig. Miller's advertisement in Mason’s Coin Collector’s Herald, Vol. 1, No. 2, September, 1879, on page 19. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library
Fig. Miller's correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked Reading, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1879. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.
Mason mailed him one of George Cogan’s catalogs in September, 1880.
Mason met Miller several times, first on March 22, 1880, and later refers to the two Millers at Reading, whom he visited on October 31, 1880.
Fig. Miller's correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked Reading, Pennsylvania, January 22, 1881. His graphic illustrated advertising cover announces his publication of his 8 page Miller’s Combined Silver and Copper Coin Catalogue. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.
In January 1881 he advertised in Numisma, Vol. 5, No. 1, page 1.
He attended Charles Steigerwalt’s third coin auction on December 22, 1881, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he met Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., George B. Massamore, Gayland from Rawlingsville, Pennsylvania, and Frank Dietrich from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In the July 1882 issue of Numisma he advertised his Miller’s Silver and Copper Coin Catalogue with Illustrtaions of the Large and Small Eagle Varieties of Old U. S. Coins.
He died of chronic nephritis one day after his 81st birthday in 1923 at the Homeopathic Hospital after being bedridden for eleven months previously at home. He is buried at Zion Lutheran and Reformed Cemetery, Womelsdorf, Berks, County, Pennsylvania.
In the May 1939 issue of Hobbies, Thomas L. Elder drops Miller's name into a lengthy list of "Early Coin Advertiser's" in his column Recollections of An Old Coin Collector, on page 96.
Miller’s Combined Silver and Copper Coin Catalogue
Miller’s Silver and Copper Coin Catalogue with Illustrtaions of the Large and Small Eagle Varieties of Old U. S. Coins.
Mason, Herald, Vol. 1, No. 1, June (1879) : 3d; 7b; Herald, Vol. 1, No. 2, September (1879) : 19a;Herald, Vol. 2, No. 1, June (1880) :2a; Vol. 2, No. 2, September (1880) :11a; Vol. 2, No. 3, December (1880) : 20c; Vol. 3, No. 4, March (1882) : 60c;
The Reading Times, Saturday, July 7, 1923