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Joseph Wright Miller

© 2001-Present by: Jan Roll Holland

Joseph Wright Miller is front row-last one on the right. Can you identify any other's?
If so, please send Jan an e-mail.
Joseph was my great grandfather. He was born 15 June 1858 near Sedalia, Clinton Co., IN and married Rachel Angeline Taylor of IN (1859-1885) in Frankfort in1878. Two ch: Mary Edith and Elver Oscar. After Rachels death he married ca 1888 Matilda Virginia (Rutledge) Morrison (1864-1959)(she had son Ed). Joseph died 5 March 1934 in OK City, OK and is buried there at Sunny Lane Cemetery.
Joseph W. Miller was one of Oklahoma City's first police officers, who risked his life frequently in bandit clashes in the colorful 90's. He died Joe Miller, a bosom companion of Charles F. Colcord, the city's first chief of police. Mr. Miller drifted into Oklahoma City from Illinois shortly after the run of 1889, and late in the fall of that same year joined the police force. Joe served under Mr. Colcord for several years; first as a policeman and then as a deputy sheriff, he was made jailer of the new federal prison at Guthrie where he frequently had charge of as many as 300 prisoners at a time and was aided in caring for the jail by his wife Mattie. During Cleveland's administration he served as a U.S. deputy marshal under Colcord at Perry, OK where he remained until 1900 when he returned to Oklahoma city and purchased a farm.
In the 12 years he was engaged in upholding the law and order of his day, he accompanied Mr. Colcord on hundreds of raids in which early day criminals were captured.
Mr. Colcord paid a tribute to him as "The finest man I ever knew" He said he did not remember whether Miller had ever been compelled to kill a man during the time he served as an officer, but declared, " he was the best man who ever worked under me."
"He was honest, courageous and a hard worker and never hesitated to plunge into a task, no matter how hard it was." "Joe Miller was one of the "hardest" talkers I ever heard, but in reality, he was kind-hearted, considerate and a friend to many. He was a diamond in the rough."
Joe died at the age of 76 at his farm home in the 1200 block SE 15th-St. where he had been engaged in farming and truck gardening on the property which later was in the center of the city oil field

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