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From a September 1897 supplement to the North Vernon Plain Dealer

Contractor, Builder, and Dealer in Building Material
    Of various industries located in North Vernon and contributing to the city's prosperity and vitality, none is more conspicuous or important than that of whose head stands John B. Miller, the contractor, builder and lumber merchant. Situated almost in the center of the town, within full view of the thousands of travelers who pass through North Vernon Daily on the trains of the railroads, the buildings owned by Mr. Miller are in themselves a landmark of prosperity and a signpost to the enterprise of their owner.
    John B. Miller was born in Germany in the year 1848, but became a resident of the United States three years later, when, with his parents, he emigrated from the old world to the new. His first home was in Cincinnati, where he lived for four years, moving then to Decatur county, Indiana, where his father operated a farm. The young man worked upon his father's farm up to the age of seventeen, when having a natural aptitude for the builders trade, he commenced business in a small way as a contractor. For four years he was thus engaged, at the end of which time he, together with his father and brother, went to Indianapolis and opened a general merchandise and flour and feed business, uinder the name of Miller Bros. Although severely tried by the panic of 1873, the firm weathered that period of serious financial disaster, but eventually sold the business and exchanged the property for the North Vernon plant, coming here in 1876. In 1881 Mr. Miller bought his brothers interest in the business, thus becoming sole owner. It is almost superflous to speak of Mr. Miller's successes in North Vernon, as they are known to everyone in this part of the state. But to persons at a distance, particularly such as may think of locating or building in the growing city of North Vernon, a few facts relating to this firm will prove of interest and importance. The points emphasized in connection with this industry are as follows: It is the largest of its kind in this part of the state, carrying a stock unexcelled for variety and quality by any competing concern and embracing flooring, siding, ceiling, door and window frames, lath, shingle, hair, plaster, lime, cement, steel and putty, oil, paints and a thousand and one other things connected with the building trades. Mr. Miller is one of the best known and most reliable contractors in any of the sourthern counties of Indiana. He has built many fine business blocks and residences in this city and county, and the counties adjoining. The recently erected spire to St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church of the city is a specimen of his work, and has attracted much admiration.     John B. Miller has always been a prominent figure in municipal affairs, and has thoroughly identified himself with the welfare of North Vernon. For fourteen years he served in the city council, where his voice was always raised in favor of needed city improvements. He was chairman of the finance committee, and of the waterworks committee, on the latter of which he did yeoman's service in getting a first class waterworks system for North Vernon. Mr. Miller is one of the largest taxpayers in the city. He is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, an enterprising citizen and one of the town's most progressive business men. He resides in a neat home of his own at the corner of Fifth and Kelly streets.

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