The Miller Surname and Homeopathy
February 10, 2008
The Miller surname contributed some influential homeopaths who worked in Chicago, Cincinnati, Baltimore, New York and Pittsburgh.
Adam wrote Letters on Homeopathy, Including a Brief Explanation of the System, with Directions for Diet, under Homeopathic Treatment, Plain Talk to the Sick: With Directions for Homoeopathic Treatment and … , Review of Dr. S. A. Latta’s Pamphlet, Entitled “The Cholera in Cincinnati, or a Connected View of the Controversy between the Homeopathists and the Methodist Expositor: Also, A Review of the Report Read before the Homeopatic Association.
Elizabeth Smith Miller 1822 - 1911 was homeopathic supporter Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s cousin. Her father was homeopathic supporter Congressman Gerrit Smith, whose father was the partner of the extremely wealthy John Jacob Astor who also supported homeopathy:
Marvin Hughitt (Nobel Prize Trustee) was one of the organizers of the most recent of Chicago’s six medical colleges, the Chicago Homeopathic College… “The annual meeting of stockholders of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company held here yesterday … ‘rubbed elbows’ and fraternized with Cornelius Vanderbilt II, John Jacob Astor, and the other millionaire directors… The meeting was held in President Marvin Hughitt’s private office… continue reading:
Smith Miller and her daughter Anne Fitzhugh Miller formed the Geneva Political Equality Club, and Anne’s friend Jane Ver Planck began the famous Camp Fossenvue on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake on her family land.
All of the great and the good came to Seneca Falls, including Max Eastman who edited The Liberator, and it is no surprise that the National Woman Suffrage Association began there when homeopaths Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Caroline Brown Winslow, Susan Ann Edson, Clemence Lozier and homeopathic supporters Lucretia Mott, Susan B Anthony, Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, Frances Willard, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Anna Howard Shaw, Martha Coffin Pelham Wright, Mary Wright Sewell, Carrie Chapman Catt and Josephine S Griffing and others met at Seneca Falls in 1848.
The action that is credited with bringing the dress reform movement to national attention in the United States was initiated by Elizabeth Smith Miller, daughter of Gerrit Smith, who began in the spring of 1851 to appear in public in a dress she had designed. It included what she called “Turkish trousers” (full, billowing pant legs that tapered to a tight fit around the ankles) and a skirt shortened to about four inches below the knee.
Miller created a sensation, largely because she wore it without having a need to perform physical labor. She argued that it was a more healthful style of clothing, unlike the typical dresses of that day that could include thirty-five yards of fabric and ten pounds of petticoats.
Miller’s cousin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, joined Miller in wearing the reform dress, and their mutual friend, Amelia Jenkins Bloomer of Homer, New York, quickly embraced their actions. Although traditional physicians were largely on the side of insisting that women remain dressed in conventional clothing, many eclectic, homeopathic, and hydropathic medical practitioners supported the new style.
Aligned with temperance advocates and health reform movements—and the support of publicly recognized women such as Stanton—the dress reform campaign quickly became aligned with the women’s rights movement. Most of the major figures in the suffrage movement donned the reform dress at one time or another. continue reading:
In 1897, a year after her husband’s death, Miller and her daughter were instrumental in arranging for Geneva to be the site of the annual convention of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association (NYSWSA). During this event she entertained speakers and many of the delegates in her home.
Shortly after this convention, her daughter, Anne, founded the Geneva Political Equality Club, and Miller served as its honorary president for the rest of her life. Because of their many acquaintances, the Millers were able to ensure that the Club had its share of famous speakers, including Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Howard Shaw, and of course, Miller’s cousin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
When the notorious Emmeline Pankhurst - radical suffrage advocate from England — came to speak before the Club in 1909, Miller personally bought tickets to ensure that the women at William Smith College might hear her.
The 1903 National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention noted that Miller, along with Susan B. Anthony, had been invited to address the Phyllis Wheatley Club, an African-American women’s club in New Orleans.
In 1907, when the NYSWSA again met in Geneva, delegates were once again invited to Lochland, where Miller hosted a memorial service for Mary S. Anthony. Miller also hosted a “Piazza Party” for regional suffragists every year, and she was often gratefully acknowledged for her financial support to the suffrage cause.
Miller’s financial generosity extended to the cause of education. Her money helped to establish schools for African-Americans, and she also gave substantial sums toward the establishment of William Smith College in her hometown of Geneva. There, the Miller House was named in her honor.
Miller was perhaps most fondly remembered by her contemporaries for carrying on the tradition — established by her father and mother in Peterboro — of providing a welcoming environment for reformers and philosophers. Known for her efficient household management, she published a popular book on the subject — In the Kitchen — in 1875.
In addition to entertaining suffragists and speakers who came to Geneva for their meetings, Miller’s home was a place of refuge for her cousin Elizabeth Cady Stanton throughout her life. Stanton would often spend weeks on end at Lochland with her family and friends. Towards the end of their lives, Stanton and Susan B. Anthony often spent summers at the estate.
Robert E Miller graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1861. He was a member of the Chenango County Homeopathic Medical Society and the New York State homeopathic Medical Society.
He was born in New Canaan, Conn. and August 27, 1837 and is the son of John B. and Abigail A. (Finch) Miller. The father was a native of New Canaan, Conn. Increase Miller, the grandfather, spent the greater part of his life in Westchester, where he was engaged in agriculture. His last days were passed at the home of his son, John B., where he quietly breathed his last.
In matters of religion he was inclined to be liberal, subscribing to none of the orthodox creeds and dogmas, but being perfectly willing to trust everything to an all wise Providence, resting contentedly in the belief that a loving Father would temper justice with mercy, in dealing with his children.
His family included the following children; Mary. Charlotte; Anar; Caroline; Betsey; Elsie A.; Ralsey; and John B., the father of our subject.
John B. Miller received a common school education and then engaged in the time honored occupation of husbandry. He left Connecticut about the year 1839, and came to Otsego County, this sate, purchasing a farm near Unadilla, where the remainder of his life was spent.
He was consider a very prosperous man, for the times and amassed quite a considerable property. He was a Whig of the Henry Clay type and was among the first to join the ranks of the Republican party, upon its formation.
Caleb Finch lived neighbors to the Millers in Connecticut, and the friendship existing between the two families was cemented by the union of John B. Miller with Abigail Finch. Four of the children born to the couple lived to become citizens of honor and usefulness, the others dying in early life. The surviving children are as follows: Robert E.; Addie E.; the wife of D.M. Ferry, whose name is familiar in almost every household in the United States, as the reliable Detroit, Mich., seedsman, they have four children, Edith, deceased; Blanche, Dexter M. Jr. and Addie; Dr. Christopher C., a resident of Detroit, Mich, married Ellen Stratton of Oxford, N.Y. and has two children J. Sherman and Raymond. Sherman R. Miller married Estella Flandreau of Brooklyn by whom he has six children: Sherman R. Jr; Addie; Mattie; Grace; Leroy; and Christine C. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were Presbyterians, and led upright Christian lives. He was called to his reward in 1868 at the age of sixty-two years, while his wife survived him almost 30 years entering the dreamless sleep in 1893, at the great age of eighty-four years.
Dr. Robert E. Miller received his primary education in the common schools and Gilbertsville Academy, in Otsego County, which was still further, supplemented by attendance at the Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio.
He left college in 1857, a sophomore, to read medicine with J. Ralsy White of Gilbertsville, later of New York City. He took a course of lectures in the Albany Medical College, and entered the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia from which he graduated in May 1861.
He located in Oxford the following May and began the practice of his profession, winning the confidence of the people by the care and skill displayed in his methods of treatment and the great number of cures he effected.
He was untiring in his efforts to become what he is now,—a skillful and efficient physician. He is very popular throughout the community, and his practice is all that could be desired, large and lucrative.
He is a member of the Chenango County Homeopathic Medical Society; the New York State homeopathic Medical Society; and the Medical Institute of homeopathy. He keeps well abreast the times in regard to the happenings in the medical world of science, and has done a great deal to advance the cause of the homeopathic school in this part of the state.
Dr. Miller was united in the bonds of wedlock in 1865, with Miss Roxcie M. Westover, a daughter of Orlin and Betsey Westover of Oxford. She is a most estimable woman and an exemplary wife. They have no children of their own, and have taken into their hearts and home an adopted daughter, Emma L. who is a pleasant, well informed young lady and an accomplished musician, now devoting her time to the study of classical music.
Mr. Miller is a stalwart Republican and particularly well posted on political questions, but has never been an aspirant to office, feeling that the position of a party office holder offers but little inducement to a man, who wishes to become of real service to humanity.
The collection includes the papers of homeopathic physician Zachary T. Miller and those of his daughter and granddaughter, the artists Louise Miller Boyer and Helen King Boyer.
Among its many significant correspondences are a group of letters by Pennsylvania politician Nathaniel B. Boileau, 1823- 1828; over 130 substantive Civil War letters by Dr. Miller to his family, 1862-1864; more than 250 informative letters from concert pianist Julie Rivé-King; and a particularly remarkable series by Louise Boyer in which she describes her career as a pioneer screenwriter at Metro in New York in 1918.
Other correspondents include John A. Brashear, John Taylor Arms, and Elbert Hubbard. The collection also includes more than 1,000 family photographs, most dating from the end of the nineteenth century. Original artwork and prints by Boyer family members are described under Visual and Performing Arts. Gift of Helen King Boyer ca. 1823-1940
Zachariah T. Miller (1847-1913), who was attached to the 61st Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment under General Carl Schurz during the American Civil War and later practiced homeopathic medicine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; his daughter Louise Miller Boyer (1890-1976), a noted artist and pioneer screenwriter at Metro Pictures Corporation in the New York City film industry in 1918; his granddaughter Helen King Boyer (b. 1919), another renowned artist; and other family members.
Of particular note, the collection contains more than 130 substantive Civil War letters from Z. T. Miller to his family, over 250 letters from concert pianist Julie Rive-King (1854-1937), and the diaries of Helen King Boyer…
More than 1000 photographs in the collection provide extensive visual documentation of this distinguished family’s history. The Helen King Boyer Collection is preserved in 16 archival boxes (24.0 linear feet).
The portion of the Helen King Boyer Collection relating to Z. T. Miller thoroughly chronicles his Civil War experiences and his postwar medical career.
Miller’s 130 letters to his family, dated 1862 to 1864, trace his unit, the 61st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as it moves from training in Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio, to the Virginia theater of war in places such as Moorefield, Fairfax Court House, Centreville, and Stafford Court House; and then to the Atlanta campaign.
Moreover, his diaries offer additional details to his already thorough letters. The letters and diaries are preserved in original, transcript, and photocopy forms. Fascinating information about Carl Schurz is available among these documents. A unique item is a rare published regimental newspaper, “The Sixty-First Ohio” (Vol. 1 No. 1), edited by the members of the 61st Ohio and dated Moorefield, Virginia, 14 June 1862.
Later, Z. T. Miller went on to become a homeopathic physician, and the collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, speeches, and printed material on the medical phase of his career. Many photographs of Miller, including some from his Civil War days, are preserved.
Documents pertaining to Louise Miller Boyer are also found in the Boyer Collection. Louise’s letters to her husband in 1918 discuss her experiences as a screenwriter for Metro Pictures Corporation. In addition, Louise’s correspondence with Dorothy Arms, John Taylor Arms, and John A. Brashear, among others, is retained.
Manuscripts by Louise and photographs of her are plentiful. Files on Louise’s husband, Ernest W. Boyer (1885-1949), are also of part of the family papers. Of interest are his letters to his wife, articles, drawings, and photographs. Ernest’s photographs from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and the Panama-Pacific Exposition are especially noteworthy.
Helen King Boyer’s correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, art work, and photographs are also found in the Boyer Collection.
Many other significant individuals count themselves among the Boyer family. Accordingly, the papers contain a wealth of documents by and about Julie Rive-King, including correspondence, photographs, and sheet music. A series of letters to and from Nathaniel B. Boileau is included. Furthermore, some items relate to Louise Klein Miller.
As a whole, the Helen King Boyer Collection provides scholars of American history and American art with an impressive documentary and visual record of the lives and achievements of several notable figures.
The Georgetown University Fine Prints Collection and the Georgetown University Art Collection, both of which are also housed in the Georgetown University Library Special Collections Division, contain many prints and visual art materials created by or related to Helen King Boyer, Louise Miller Boyer, Ernest W. Boyer, and other Boyer relatives.
Z. T. Miller (1847-1913) entered the Union army at age 15 as a musician early in the American Civil War.
Becoming attached to the 61st Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, he participated in training at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio; in the Virginia theater of war in places such as Moorefield, Fairfax Court House, Stafford Court, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville; in the march towards Gettysburg; and in the Atlanta campaign.
For a time during the war, Miller was a clerk for General Carl Schurz.
After the war, Miller became a telegraph operator, working in Dayton, Ohio and then Cleveland, Ohio. In 1873, he married Katherine (Kate) King. Embarking upon a medical career, Miller received homeopathic medical training in the New York Medical College and the Philadelphia Medical College.
He worked for more than 30 years as a homeopathic physician in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was part of the faculty of the school of applied design at Carnegie Institute of Technology.
Artist and designer Louise Rive-King Miller Boyer (1890-1976), was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 30, 1890, the daughter of Z. T. Miller and Katherine (King) Miller. Painting as early as age seven, she eventually received a Bachelor of Arts from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1913.
On January 22, 1914, she married architect Ernest Wilson Boyer, with whom she had two children: Boeing engineer Taylor Miller Boyer and artist Helen King Boyer. In 1918, Louise worked as a screenwriter for Metro Pictures Corporation in New York City.
She became a free lance designer and graphic artist. Her work was preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Carnegie Institute, the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, and the Library of Congress, among other places. She was a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists and the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and served as a trustee for the Charles and Martin Leisser Fund.
Louise M. Boyer died on December 6, 1976, at age 86. Architect Ernest W. Boyer (1885-1949) was a native of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. He became associated with the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the Pittsburgh Board of Education.
He planned and designed many buildings in the region of Pittsburgh, including the South Hills Country Club and his former home in Brentwood. In addition, he designed some structures in other parts of the country. Of note, Boyer designed the Pennsylvania Building at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1914. He was for a long time secretary of the Pittsburgh Architectural Club and member of the American Institute of Architects. Ernest W. Boyer died at age 64 in 1949.
American concert pianist, teacher, and composer, Julie Rive-King (1854-1937) was born on October 30, 1854, in Cincinnati, Ohio. After receiving primary instruction from her mother, she studied with William Mason in New York and then with Reinecke in Leipzig.
For a time she studied with Franz Liszt. At her American debut on April 24, 1875, she performed Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic. A prolific musician, she gave some 4000 concerts and taught piano at Bush Conservatory in Chicago from 1905 to 1936. She married Frank King of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1876.
Her piano pieces include “Impromptu,” “Polonaise Heroique,” and “Bubbling Springs.” Julie Rive-King died on July 24, 1937.
Artist and designer Helen King Boyer (b. 1919), daughter of Ernest W. Boyer and Louise Rive-King (Miller) Boyer was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was educated privately in fine arts and crafts.
From 1943 to 1945, she worked for the advertising-art department of the Pittsburgh “Sun-Telegraph.” From 1949 to 1954, she was a free lance designer. For decades thereafter she designed home patterns, toys, and art, and her works are represented in many permanent collections, including the Pennell Fund, the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Georgetown University Fine Prints Collection, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City.
She has been a member of numerous art organizations and the recipient of many art prizes.