Miller Family Papers, 1882-1977

Collection Overview

Title: Miller Family Papers, 1882-1977

Record Series: MsC-66

Record Group:


Creator: Miller family

Date: 1882-1977

Extent: 5 boxes (5.4 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

In the fall of 2006, John Miller, son of Earl A. Miller, contacted Archivist Gerald Peterson to see if the University Archives would be interested in papers relating to his father's career. Subsequently, in June 2007, John Miller brought several boxes of material to the University Archives. This material relates to Earl Miller; Earl Miller's sister, Alvena Louise Miller; and Miller family farming operations.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

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Historical Note

Biography of Earl A. Miller

Earl A. Miller was born February 21, 1903, in Black Hawk County, Iowa. He was the son of Henry and Anna Behrens Miller. He attended Cedar Falls public schools. He received his bachelor's degree from the Iowa State Teachers College in 1925 and his master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1931. He married Vera Mae Hood on August 7, 1929. Mr. and Mrs. Miller had two children, a son John and a daughter Marianne.

Earl Miller taught in schools in Independence and Dubuque, Iowa, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, for nine years before returning to farm in Black Hawk County. He served in the House of Representatives of the Iowa General Assembly for four terms (1949-1957). He was best known for his distinguished work in matters relating to public education in Iowa, especially school district consolidation. Mr. Miller was a member of the University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association Board of Directors and served as vice president of the University of Northern Iowa Foundation. He received an Alumni Service Award as well as the Phi Delta Kappa Service Key in 1956.

Earl Miller died April 5, 1968.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of scrapbooks, files relating to farm operations, certificates, newspaper clippings, and legal documents relating to land ownership in the Miller family. These legal documents, including deeds, wills, mortgages, and other agreements, offer an interesting look at the way that Iowa farmland passed from generation to generation from original patent grants down through the 1930s. The collection is also a good source of information on the wave of school district consolidation that took place in Iowa in the early and middle 1950s. This was a matter that raised significant controversy and debate in the state. As head of the Committee on Schools, Earl Miller was a recognized legislative leader in the consolidation movement of that era.



Box 1

Folder 1: Biographical information about Earl Miller and his family

Folder 2: "People on the Farm" booklet series from the United States Department of Agriculture, including the issue on corn and hog farming from 1977 that features John Miller and his family

Folder 3: Earl Miller--teaching contracts and certificates

Folder 4: Earl Miller--Iowa State Teachers College Commencement booklets, 1924 and 1925

Folder 5: Earl Miller--Master of Arts diploma and thesis, University of Iowa, 1931

Folder 6: Earl Miller--correspondence, talks, awards, and articles

Folder 7: Earl Miller--election expenses, 1948 and 1950 campaigns

Folder 8: Earl Miller--Iowa State Education Association contract, 1959

Folder 9: Earl Miller--correspondence relating to the University of Northern Iowa

Folder 10: Earl Miller--documents relating to the Council of State Governments regional conference, Mackinac, Michigan, 1955

Box 2

Folder 1: Documents relating to land ownership

Folder 2: Deeds to Ella Behrens from her father, William Behrens

Folder 3: William Behrens--deeds and other land ownership documents

Folder 4: Settlement of Behrens estate, 1933-1934

Folder 5: Ella Behrens estate, 1933

Folder 6: Farm lease agreements

Folder 7: Alvena Miller--country school work

Folder 8: Alvena Miller--high school programs

Folder 9: Rural school examinations, 1915

Folder 10: Alvena Miller--teaching certificate and school credentials

Folder 11: Alvena Miller--insurance records

Folder 12: Anna Miller--furniture receipts

Folder 13: Anna Miller--will, 1945

Folder 14: Farm conservation plan, 1949

Folder 15: Cedar Falls Record, March 30-31, 1942

Boxes 3-5

Included in Boxes 3-5 are the following:

  • Scrapbooks of newsclippings, correspondence, and other material relating to Earl and Vera Miller; most of the material relates to Earl Miller's service in the Iowa General Assembly
  • Earl Miller--perfect attendance certificate, Black Hawk Township, School No. 7, 1910
  • Vera Mae Hood--Bachelor of Arts diploma, State University of Iowa, 1927
  • Earl Miller--Bachelor of Arts diploma, Iowa State Teachers College, 1925

Processing Information

Collection processed by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson; finding aid prepared by Gerald L. Peterson, June 2007; modified, July 20, 2015 (GP). Last updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, October 2017. Linear feet count updated on August 7, 2017.