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Miller and duPont Families Papers

 Collection
Identifier: M173

Arthur S. Miller (b.1848) owned Miller Estates, a Denver, Colorado real estate business. His diaries span the years 1866-1912 with diaries from 1880-1900 covering his years in Denver. His son, Victor A. Miller was a Denver attorney who collected letters, books and memorabilia relating to the Civil War. He collected 83 letters written from 1862-1865 by Union soldier Joseph Edward Hodgekins to his family; 11 letters from Captain C. L. Fales to his sister Adelaide Fales Adams; a letter dated 1863 from General Johnston to General Sherman, a collection of Civil War signatures and an official report of the Battle of Shiloh. Marcella Miller Du Pont (1903-1985) includes correspondence with author H.L. Mencken and also correspondence relating to her summers spent in the Eastern United States. Du Pont endowed a study room in the Mary Reed Building on the University of Denver campus. The collection covers the years from 1862 to 1978.

Dates

  • 1862-1978
  • Majority of material found in 1862-1978

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English with some in Pitman shorthand.

Extent

7.25 Linear Feet (13 boxes)

Scope and Contents

The Miller and duPont Families Papers contains the materials of Arthur Miller and his children Victor A. Miller and Marcella Miller duPont. The collection covers the years from 1862 to 1978. The earliest material consists of 83 letters written by Joseph Edward ''Eddie'' Hodgekins, a Union soldier, to his family between the years 1862 and 1865. Victor Miller had a life long interest in the Civil War. At his death, his substantial library of books, letters, and other Civil War-related items was donated to the University of Denver. Besides the Hodgekins letters, there are 11 letters from Captain C.L. Fales to his sister Adelaide Fales Adams; a letter from General Johnston to General Sherman dated July 14, 1863 asking for a brief truce in order to bury the dead; a collection of signatures of people involved in the Civil War; an official report of the Battle of Shiloh; and other miscellaneous items. Arthur Miller’s diaries and rent books, the majority of which are written in shorthand, cover the years 1866 to 1912. These were saved by his son Roland and eventually were donated to the University of Denver by Arthur Miller and Marcella Miller duPont. The diaries begin when Arthur Miller was attending school in Michigan and continue as he taught school, traveled to New York to be a court reporter, lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he met and married his first wife, moved to Denver, and became a successful businessman. The collection includes the transcripts of the diaries from 1880 and 1881. Of particular interest in these years are Arthur Miller’s descriptions of his relationship with his wife and child as well as his opinion of the court cases he was handling and the events surrounding those cases. Marcella Miller duPont’s papers take up the chronology in 1932 with the first copies of letters from H.L. Mencken to Mrs. duPont. These letters marked the beginning of a decade and a half of correspondence. The collection also includes a nature journal created by M.M. duPont, Genevieve Kassler Brock, and Mary Frances Spaulding Brock when they were young. The most recent material includes a variety of personal papers relating to Marcella duPont’s social life including her summers spent in the East. This collection was at one time housed in the Marcella Miller duPont room in the Mary Reed Library at the University of Denver.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Scott Miller, a Colorado pioneer and Denver businessman, was born November 13, 1848 and spent his early years in Michigan. By 1869, he was teaching school in Bowne, Michigan. In 1873, he moved to Buffalo, New York where he worked as a court reporter. Eventually, he split his time between Buffalo and Fort Wayne, Indiana where he met and married Louise Lytle. The two lived in the boarding house that Louise Lytle’s mother owned. Together they had three children, Irene, Lawrence, and Roland. Lawrence died the day of his birth. In 1880, Arthur decided that Denver, Colorado would be a good up-and-coming place to establish himself and raise his family. So he moved himself and, a few months later, his family. Unfortunately, Louise Miller died when the children were still babies. Nevertheless, Arthur Miller quickly built up a thriving real estate business and became a leader in Denver. Around 1900, he married Emma Combs, a member of the Round Table Literary Club and the Colorado Chapter of The Daughters of the American Revolution. Together they had two children, Victor and Marcella. Arthur Miller was a member of the Royal Arcanum.

Marcella Miller duPont, born September 9, 1903, was the daughter of Emma Combs Miller and Arthur Scott Miller. She attended Wolcott School in Denver and Smith College in Northhampton, Massachusetts. She married Alfred Victor duPont in 1924. They lived for many years in Wilmington, Delaware and were divorced in 1948. Her poetry, published in Sonnets and Lyrics in 1950 and Poems: Folio Two in 1956, reflects the influence of Edna St. Vincent Milay and Emily Dickinson.

Marcella Miller duPont attended Wolcott School for Girls from which she graduated in 1920. In a letter to Jane Gould of the University of Denver, Marcella duPont reminisced about her youth in New York: ''Your mentioning Frank Case reminded me of pre-War New York days when his daughter, Maggie Harriman, introduced me to her group, which included Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, and a number of male New Yorker writers. As you can imagine, with these people there were conversational fireworks all the time that, by rights, should have touched off a major conflagration in the heart of New York City'' (from a letter to Jane Gould dated January 23, 1968).

In 1966, Marcella duPont wrote to the University of Denver about endowing a study room in the library to house her papers and her brother’s collection: ''In other words, what I visualize is a room where students or scholars could work in pleasant, comfortable surroundings…'' (from letter of June 8, 1966). On May 26, 1967, the room was dedicated in honor of her parents who, she said, ''contributed to what Denver is today and to what Colorado is today'' (May 26, 1967 at the dedication of the room). In numerous letters to University faculty, Marcella's enthusiastic devotion was always conspicuous. As she once wrote, ''remember that when I am far away, I am always thinking … of the Room'' (from a letter of June 22, 1967).

Marcella Miller duPont died September 17, 1985.

Victor A. Miller was born October 12, 1898 in Denver, Colorado to Emma and Arthur Miller. He was educated in Denver Public Schools and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale in 1919, though he took off a year to serve as a second lieutenant in World War II. He received his law degree from the University of Denver Law School in 1922 and was a longtime member of the American, Colorado, and Denver Bar Associations. In 1920, he married Helen Ludlow Bingham of Denver. Together they had three daughters, Caroline, Victoria, and Marcella. He married again on September 25, 1937 to Beatrice Anita Andrews. He opened a private law practice in 1922 and was successful to the point of being nominated Colorado Attorney General in 1930, a position which he did not accept. He and his half-brother Roland ran Miller Estates, founded by their father Arthur S. Miller. He was a receiver for the Rio Grande Southern Railroad from 1929 to 1938 and directed Kesto Corporation and other organizations. He pioneered light motor rail transportation and developed policies for maintaining narrow gauge lines in Colorado. A member of the Colorado Yale Association, he was also active in the American Legion and became Commander-Elect in 1928. He was also the founder and author of ''Reveille,'' a publication for the American Legion community.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series:; 1. Arthur Miller, 1866-1912.; 2. Victor Miller, 1861-1969.; 3. Marcella Miller duPont, 1932-1978.;

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Marcella Miller DuPont, 1966 and 1967.

Accruals

No further accruals expected.

Related Materials

Related materials from these families are housed at the Library of Congress in: Marcella Miller du Pont papers, 1861-1976.

Separated Materials

Published books from Victor Miller's collection (principally on the Civil War, but including earlier and later wars in which the United States was involved) were separated and cataloged in the University Libraries' collection. Shelflist cards for these books are on file in the Special Collections Reading Room.

General

There is a discrepancy between the spelling of duPont and Du Pont in this collection. The Library of Congress Archives has conducted extensive research on the Du Pont name and all authority records indicate that the spelling should be Du Pont. Marcella Miller Du Pont's LCNAF indicates that the spelling is Du Pont. The OCLC record #46642398 reflects the LCNAF use of the name. esm 6/2010. Also, this collection was originally numbered MS 23 in 2001 but was changed by Special Collections and Archives to MS M173 in 2007.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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