Updated: Sep 5, 2021
Judge Amos Miller, an attorney of Hillsboro and former county judge, whose influence has been a forceful element in the educational and moral development of his community, was born in Carroll County. Ohio. January 25, 1845. He is a son of Joseph W. and Isabel (McClintock) Miller, the former of German lineage and the latter of Scotch-Irish descent. The father was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and became a farmer, following that pursuit for many years. His political allegiance was given the Democracy and he was a member of the Lutheran church. His wife, who was born in Harrison County, Ohio, is now living in Raymond, Illinois, with her daughter. Mrs. B. F. Culp, at the age of eighty-nine years. She is a faithful Christian, holding membership in the Lutheran church. Her father, Thomas McClintock, was born in Ireland, while her mother, who in her maidenhood was Miss Fisher, was born in Germany. Joseph W. and Isabel (McClintock) Miller, were the parents of seven children, six sons and a daughter, but two of the sons died in infancy. The sister is Mrs. B. F. Culp, of Raymond, whose husband is a banker and leading business man there The sons are: Martin, who is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church in Fresno county, California: Eli, the cashier of the First National Bank, of Litchfield; John, who is serving as sheriff of Montgomery county; and Amos.
Judge Miller spent his early boyhood days in Ohio, and in the spring of 1862 accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, the family home being established upon the farm east of Nokomis. His preliminary education was acquired in the district schools, and he afterward spent two years in what was then known as the Illinois State University, a school under the general synod of the English Lutheran church. He afterward worked for three summers at the carpenter's trade and in the winter season engaged in teaching school. On the 1st of August, 1866, he arrived in Hillsboro and after locating here he pursued the study of mathematics, astronomy and literature under the direction of L. F. M. Easterday. He secured a position in the county clerk's office as deputy under W. D. Shirley, filling that position most acceptably for seven and a half years, and while thus engaged he also took up the study of law at the suggestion and under the direction of Judge Edward Lane. When he had read for some time he was admitted to the bar in 1869, but he continued in the clerk's office until 1874. In the spring of that year he formed a partnership with his father-in-law, the late Judge E. Y. Rice, for the practice of his profession at Hillsboro and this relation was continued until the death of Judge Rice in 1883. In the meantime Joel K. McDavid had become a student in the office and later a partner in the firm, and the business relation between Judge Miller and Mr. McDavid was continued until 1886, when the former was elected to the county bench, filling that position for one term. His decisions were fair and impartial, being characterized by a comprehensive understanding of the law and correct application of its principles to the point in litigation. Upon his retirement from the bench he resumed the private practice of law, winning and retaining for himself a notable position as a member of the Montgomery county bar.
Judge Miller has long been a recognized leader in public thought and action in Hillsboro, and his efforts have contributed in tangible way to the substantial] development of the county along many lines. For fifteen years he has been a member of the school board, and is now its president. In 1874 he was elected city attorney of Hillsboro, and in 1876 he was elected states attorney, and was re-elected the following term. After a lapse of several years he was again elected to that office in 1884, and he left the impress of his individuality upon the legislation enacted during these two terms, for be upheld strenuously every measure which he believed would benefit the commonwealth and strongly opposed every act that he believed would prove detrimental to the community. In the fall of 1903 he was appointed the Democratic member of the board of voting machine commissioners by Governor Yates.
In September, 1871, Judge Miller was married to Miss Mary R. Rice, a daughter of Edward Y. and Susan (Allen) Rice. Mrs. Miller was born in Hillsboro in 1850, is a graduate of the Sacred Heart Convent of St. Louis, and has become the mother of two children, Isa and Rice. The elder, a graduate of the Hillsboro high school and also of Hosmer Hall, in St. Louis. Missouri, is now the wife of Harry O. Pinkerton, a traveling salesman of Marshalltown, Iowa, now of Gillespie, Illinois.
Rice, after graduating from the high school of Hillsboro, spent three years in Cornell College and was graduated from the law department with the class of 1899. He then formed a partnership with his father, which continued until the fall of 1901, when he took charge of the business of the Hillsboro Coal Company as its secretary and treasurer. He married Winnifred Wool, of Hillsboro, and they have one child, Rice Wool Miller.
Judge and Mrs. Miller are prominent members and active workers in the Lutheran church, of which he is serving as elder, and with the exception of a period of two years he has continuously served as superintendent of its Sunday school since 1868. He has several times been a delegate from the central Illinois synod to the general synod, and was appointed a member of the board of education in the church and assisted in the selection and location of Midland College at Atchison, Kansas, which institution is now in a flourishing condition, he stands for all that is honorable in man's relations with his fellow men, as the advocate of higher education and as the exponent of a progressive citizenship, and his course as a lawyer as well as in private life has drawn to him the admiration and respect of his fellow men.