Biography of Rev. Samuel W. Miller
Indiana County, PA Biographies


REV. SAMUEL W. MILLER, D. D. was born on May 3d 1835, in Washington county, Pennsylvania. He is the third of nine sons, born to Samuel and Mary A. (Calkins) Miller. His ancestry was German, and the founder of the family in this country, was William Miller, a German Lutheran of education, who came to America between 1730 and 1740, to avoid Roman Catholic persecution. He settled in Philadelphia, and was a teacher of languages.

His paternal grandfather was born in Chester county, Pa., and his father in Berkeley county, Va., and in 1803, in the third year of his father's age, the family joined the army of Western pioneers and settled in Washington county, Pa., where his grandfather died at a great age, and in communion with the First Presbyterian church of Washington, Pa.

His mother was the youngest daughter of Vincent Calkins, a presbyterian Irishman, who was also a pioneer in the same county. He obtained a good common school education in Allegheny county, Pa., whither his parents had moved in his early childhood. His academic training was received at Hickory, Washington county, Pa., the place of his birth, and at Wilkinsburg, Allegheny county. He entered the freshman class in Jefferson college in 1856, and graduated in 1860, with the highest honors of his college literary society.

In the fall of 1860, he took charge of an academy at Huntersville, the county seat of Pocahontas county, Va., which he conducted with great success and satisfaction to his patrons, until Virginia passed the Act of Secession, in the spring of 1861, when only by the good will and aid of a few influential friends, he was enabled to avoid conscription, and amidst constant difficulty and peril, escaped over the Cheat mountains, to the loyal soil of his native State.

By the sudden death of his father, and the consequent care of a large farm, he was detained at home; but during the same time he entered and prosecuted his studies in the Western Theological seminary at Allegheny, Pa., where he graduated in 1864. He was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Ohio, in the First Presbyterian church Pittsburgh, Pa., in October, 1863.

Ever since, without the interval of a single Sabbath he has sustained the relation of pastor, to the following churches, in succession; viz: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1865-68; Wooster, Ohio, 1868-74; Mansfield, Ohio, 1874-80; Saltsburg, Pa., 1880 until the present time. In 1880, from the University of Wooster, he received the degree of doctor of divinity.

Of his present charge the late Rev. Dr. S. J. Wilson, professor in the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, Pa. justly remarked, "It is the most important country or village charge in western Pa." This church has a membership of nearly 500, and stands in the centre of the thriving town of Saltsburg, which is situated where the waters of the Conemaugh and Loyalhanua meet, and form the beautiful Kiskiminetas. The people of the town and vicinity are of the most substantial character, the great majority of them descendants of the early pioneers. They have always been deeply interested in educational enterprises."

For many years the church has owned and sustained an academy from which a large number have gone forth, who have attained to positions of eminence and usefulness. Saltsburg is also the seat of the exceptionally prosperous "Kiskiminetas Springs school for Boys," an institution eminently worthy of its wide reputation and overflowing patronage. Dr. Miller takes great pleasure in the feeling, that he had a little hand in securing the location of this school under the very shadow of his own church.

On September 5th 1865, he married Salina Ledley Crawford, daughter of Robert Crawford, Esq., of Steubenville, Ohio. He and his good wife with their two sons, Robert Crawford, and Samuel Wilson, thoroughly enjoy life at their beautiful place on High street which overlooks the valley. Few pastors of any denomination are more favored in the way of a home than he of the Saltsburg Presbyterian church. His biographical motto and caution is,-

"Praise me not too much,
Nor blame me, for thou speakest to the Greeks,
Who know me."



From:
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891

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