6. David A Miller

David A., the tenth and youngest child of Jacob and Anna Maria, was born on July 31, 1859.
He married Agnes Dietz, daughter of Jacob Dietz and Sarah Laucks, on May 14, 1885 at St. John’s
Reformed Church in Red Lion. Like his two older brothers and father, he would play an important role in the early development of Red Lion. Most of the following information on David’s life comes from the biographical sketch of him in the book titled the “History of York County, Volume II” written by George Prowell in 1907 and his obituaries from the local newspapers.

David Miller & Agnes Dietz Miller

David lived at home on the Miller farmstead until he was 18 years old and attended the Miller
school like the rest of his siblings. He then left home and found employment in the tanning and
currying business of J. Klump in Marietta, Pennsylvania. After two years there, he then went west and spent time in Canton, Ohio as a journeyman and then to Michigan working in lumber yards. From Michigan, he went to Lincoln, Nebraska where he worked for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad in laying tracks to Denver, Colorado. After grading the road from Georgetown, Colorado to Deadwood, David spent the next two years traveling the western half of the country taking any employment he could get and eventually made his way down the Pacific Coast to Mexico.

After his journey to the west coast, David returned home and went into the general merchandise business with his older brothers William H. and Jacob A. in 1884. Like his brother William, he didn’t stay in this line of work long and by 1885 he had opened the first bakery in Red Lion. We know this because of a letter that David wrote to his new bride on July 10, 1885 that was written on letterhead for his bakery. He operated the bakery for approximately four years, when he then went into the cigar business.

In the previously mentioned letter he wrote to his wife in 1885, it mentions the building of their
house. On May 29, 1885, David’s older brother William sold him a lot of land along E. Broadway
where he built his home. After working in the cigar industry, David decided to open a general store sometime around 1897 in part of his home. At the time, the address of the general store was 68 E Broadway, Red Lion, PA. It is interesting to note that he opened this business after his brother Jacob’s general store was sold as part of their father’s estate.

For approximately a decade he operated the general store and lived at this location, but by 1907 he longer was operating the general store and living there. His nephew, Thomas C. Miller, son of William H., was now operating the general store and living in the residence. From all family accounts, David and Thomas C. were very close. This is probably due to the fact that Thomas’s father passed away when he was only 12 years old and David was appointed as his guardian. They were neighbors and David probably filled the role of a father figure for young Thomas.

While we know his nephew had taken over the business and residence, the property wasn’t officially deeded over to him until April 1, 1913. After David moved out of the general store, he was living at what was then listed as 231 N Main St., later re-numbered to 121 N Main St. In conjunction with his nephew taking over the general store, David purchased a potato farm known as Locust Spring farm on April 8, 1907 in Lower Windsor Township.

Like his father and brother Jacob A., David was also very influential and important to the
development of Red Lion. Below is a list of contributions David made to the development of many institutions and places within the borough of Red Lion:

  • He was one of the organizers of the Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Red Lion
    in 1903 and served as one of the directors.
  • Assisted in organizing the Red Lion Water Company in 1893 where he served as on the
    initial board of directors and was the first secretary of the company.
  • One of the original members of the Red Lion Grange in 1919, where he was the first
    treasurer of the organization and later held other offices as well.
  • Served as treasurer for the Building Committee for the new brick St. John’s Reformed
    Church that was built in 1905 and dedicated in 1906.
  • Was one of the original directors on the board for the Red Lion Opera House
    Association.

David and his wife only had 1 child, an infant son named Luther who died shortly after his
birth. David passed away on January 31, 1947 at his home in Red Lion and his wife Agnes passed away on March 5, 1950. Both of them are interred in the mausoleum at the Red Lion Cemetery.

David A Miller born July 31, 1859 in Windsor Twp, York County, PA, died January 31, 1947 in Red Lion, York County, PA and buried at Red Lion Cemetery in Red Lion, York County, PA.  He married Agnes Dietz on May 14, 1885 at St John’s Reformed Church in Red Lion, York County, PA, daughter of Jacob Dietz and Sarah Laucks.  She was born December 22, 1861 in York County, PA, died March 5, 1950 in Red Lion, York County, PA and buried at Red Lion Cemetery in Red Lion, York County, PA

David A Miller

David Miller letter to his wife Agnes. Lettehead and date of letter confirms time when he operated a bakery in Red Lion

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