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Henry Turner Miller. Early in 1889, before the original opening of Oklahoma Territory, Henry T. Miller, now a well known business man of Oklahoma City, had brought in a pioneer printing and newspaper plant from his former home in Kansas and had established it at Purcell, Indian Territory. There he began the publication of The Territorial Topic, which had the distinction of being the third newspaper ever printed in the old Chickasaw Nation.
That was the beginning of Mr. Miller’s influential career as an Oklahoma journalist and citizen. The Territorial Topic espoused and was an ardent supporter of the interests of the intermarried disfranchised citizens of the Chickasaw Nation, and for this fact, and also because it was an excellent medium of news, the paper attained a wide and influential circulation. By its championship of the cause of intermarried citizens, it became a power for the development of the old Chickasaw country. Mr. Miller quickly took his place as an individual factor in the life of the nation, attending all the Indian and political conventions, and in a few years he took up and argued valiantly for the cause of single statehood.
While his first location was at Purcell, he is also a real Oklahoma eighty-niner, having made the run at the opening on April 22d from Purcell and securing a claim adjoining the Townsite of Norman. In 1894 he removed his newspaper plant from Purcell to Norman and it was subsequently merged with The Democrat under the name Democrat-Topic. His original claim has since been platted and is now a part of the Town of Norman.
In 1890, while still a resident of Purcell, Mr. Miller issued the call for the first meeting of newspaper men of the Oklahoma and Indian territories, and as a result of this call the First Territorial Joint Press Association was organized April 30, 1890. Mr. Miller was chosen president, and that honor is not least among the gratifying distinctions he has gained during his residence in Oklahoma. He was also secretary of the first commercial club ever organized in the old Indian Territory, the organization being effected at Purcell. Since 1900, when he located in Oklahoma City, Mr. Miller has given his time and attention to the real estate and insurance business.
Henry Turner Miller was born December 17, 1800, on a farm in Howard County, Missouri, and belongs to a family of fine old pioneer stock in that section of Central Missouri. His parents were John and Mildred Elizabeth (Boulware) Miller. His father was born in Virginia in 1813, and the grandparents were natives of the same state. In 1831, at the age of eighteen, he went out to Missouri, then a frontier state, and took charge of the plantation of his uncle, John Miller, in Howard County. This uncle gained distinction as governor of Missouri from 1826 to 1832. Mr. Miller ’s father continued a resident of Howard County where he prospered as a farmer and breeder of blooded stock until his death on April 2, 1870. Prior to the war he had owned a large number of slaves, and conducted a real plantation in the Missouri River Valley. He was an ardent southern sympathizer, and in many ways took an active part in public affairs. He was married in 1842 to Miss Mildred Elizabeth Boulware, daughter of William Boulware, a native of Virginia. She was born in 1827 and died in 1872. The Oklahoma newspaper man was the youngest of their eight children, five sons and three daughters. The others are briefly mentioned as follows: Ernest, who was born in 1844 and died in 1848; William Lindsey, who was born April 21, 1846, was under General Shelby and in General Price’s Confederate army during the war and is now a farmer in Cass County, Missouri; Downing, who was born in 1848, died in 1907; Rose Catherine, born in 1850 and died in 1910; Junietta, born in 1852 and died in 1914; Jackson, who died in infancy; Fannie Emily, who was born in 1857 and is the widow of J. W. Woolery of Kansas City, Missouri.
Henry Turner Miller spent his early youth on his father ’s largo farm in Howard County, Missouri, and as was the custom of the old and well-to-do families of that section, a private tutor was engaged for the instruction of the children of the household. He also attended a very noted institution of education in that state, Pritchett’s Institute at Glasgow, Missouri. When twenty years of age, Mr. Miller began the study of telegraphy, and from 1880 to 1884 was in active service in charge of different stations along the Missouri Pacific Railway in Missouri and in Kansas.
It was in 1885 that he entered the newspaper field as the founder and publisher of the Bee at East Lynne, Missouri. He edited and owned this paper for two years, and in 1887 he removed the plant to the new Town of Stockton, Kansas, where he established the Rooks County Democrat. After conducting this paper a year or so he removed the same plant to Purcell, and began his influential connection with affairs in old Indian Territory and Oklahoma.
On August 17, 1893, Mr. Miller married Miss Frances Electa Graham. She was born November 24, 1864, at Bancroft, Missouri, the oldest daughter of Robert M. and Marilis (Froman) Graham, both of whom were pioneer Missourians. Her father was the first democratic sheriff of Livingston County, Missouri, after the reconstruction period following the war. The Grahams deserve special mention for their pioneer settlement in Old Indian Territory, and it was in 1883 that the father brought his family to the Indian country. He continued to follow his business as a farmer and cattle man until his death at Norman in 1909. Mrs. Graham died in 1907. A brief record of their seven children, three sons and four daughters, is as follows: Isaac, now a merchant at Noble, Oklahoma; George F., a farmer in McClain County; Mollie, wife of E. B. Johnson, a well known banker of Norman; Callie M., a teacher in the United States Indian service; Harriet, who is also a teacher in the same service; Robert, who was burned to death in a prairie fire in 1884; and Mrs. Miller.
To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Miller have been born six children, four sons and two daughters, namely: Robert Lee, who was born July 2, 1894, Richard Bland born May 11, 1896; Mildred Elizabeth Boulware, born July 26," 1898; Frances Emily, born July 18, 1900; Henry Turner, Jr., born June 9, 1903; and June Pleasant, born September 2, 1905.