MsC 408

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1849 -- 1903
(Bulk Dates: 1862 -- 1865)
50 items

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet: February 1998

Acquisition Note: The papers of James Miller were donated to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1981 by Mrs. Margaret M. Claussen.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

James Miller (1824 -- 1894) was born in Scotland. He immigrated to the United States by way of Canada. In September of 1851, he became a U.S. citizen. He was living in Pennsylvania and working as a master mechanic at that time. He later moved to Illinois and farmed near Channahon in Wills County. Miller helped raise Company G (Mechanics Fusiliers), 56th Illinois Volunteers. Because of a technicality, it was mustered out in January 1862. Miller then went to Cairo, Illinois and enlisted as a fireman in the Western Gunboat Flotilla of the Navy. On March 1, 1862, he was promoted to Chief Engineer. Discharged from the military in September 1865, Miller returned to Illinois and went to work as an engineer at the Joliet State Prison. In charge of all machinery, he served as chief engineer for twenty-five years. While there, he was responsible for the invention of certain improvements in feed water heaters and purifiers for boilers. He later invented an important part for blast furnaces.

Scope and Contents

The papers of James Miller consist of fifty items covering the years 1849 to 1903 and concerning his Civil War service and later inventions. Most of the documents pertain to Miller’s tour of duty in the U.S. Navy on the Mississippi River from 1862 to 1865. Included are such items as benefit claims and military service records. Some of these documents were signed by Gideon Welles, David D. Porter, and William D. Porter. Finally, there are materials relating to his mechanical inventions and a copy of his marriage certificate.

Box 1

Documents pertaining to Miller's tour of duty in the U.S. Navy and later benefit claims, 1862 -- 1879, including documents signed by Gideon Welles, David D. Porter, and William D. Porter. (32 items)

Military service records and claims, 1849 -- 1903. Xerox copies from the National Archives, including a copy of Miller's certificate of marriage. (11 items)

Miller Heater and Purifier Company, 1888. (8 items)

return to inventory
Go to top of page
Return to Inventory
of Page