Archives West Finding Aid
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John F. Miller Papers, 1889-1938
- Miller, John Franklin, 1862-1936
- John F. Miller Papers
- 1889-1938 (inclusive)18891938
- 1.47 cubic ft. (4 boxes)
- Collection Number
- 1267 (Accession No. 1267-001)
- Papers of a Republican Congressman from Seattle, 1917-1931.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
- Access Restrictions
Access restricted; contact the repository for details.
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
John Franklin Miller (1862-1936) served as a member of Congress from Seattle from 1917 to 1931. Born on a farm near South Bend, Indiana, he attended various universities, including West Point, Michigan, and Valparaiso. He graduated from the law department of Valparaiso in 1887 and was admitted to the bar that year. In 1888 he moved to Seattle, where he practiced law. Miller was the first prosecuting attorney of King County after statehood, serving from 1890 to 1894, and as deputy prosecuting attorney from 1905 to 1908.
In 1908 he ran for and was elected mayor of Seattle. Vice had become a major issue in the campaign; the incumbent William Hickman Moore, a Democrat, was seen as not having done enough to clean up corruption. Elected by five hundred votes, Miller also found it very hard to rid the city of houses of protitution. He served only one term, during which the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was held in Seattle.
In 1916 Miller ran for Congress on the basis of military preparedness. He advocated the development of the Puget Sound navy yard, envisioning it as the naval base for the North Pacific. While in Congress he secured funding for the industrial development of the Puget Sound area around Seattle. As a member of the House Naval Affairs Committee, he championed a dispersed base on Puget Sound which would include the navy yard at Bremerton, the Sand Point Naval Air Station, and the expansion of the Keyport torpedo base in Kitsap County. In 1919, as part of a Congressional delegation, he visited U.S. forces in France and Germany.
Defeated for election in 1930 largely due to his support for enforcement of Prohibition, Miller tried for a comeback in 1932. Although he defeated his successor, the lackluster Ralph Horr, in the primary, he was a victim of the Democratic landslide in 1932, losing to Marion Zioncheck. He resumed the practice of law and died in Seattle in 1936.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
Almost all of Miller's papers are from his public career, especially from his service in Congress. Much of the correspondence and part of the legislation series documents Miller's bill to create a Division of Venereal Disease in the U.S. Public Health Service in 1918. Miller's speeches, largely political, date mainly from late in his career. The largest series consists of diaries, which begin in 1900 but which then skip to 1917 and continue throughout Miller's life. Diaries from his term as mayor of Seattle are not part of this collection. A small subgroup has been created for his wife, Mary Miller's incoming letters and several programs.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
The creator's literary rights were not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The papers were donated by Miller's daughter, Leah Miller McKay (Mrs. William O. McKay), who also donated her own diaries and photographs on October 7 and 8, 1969.
Processed ca. 1969 and reprocessed in 2004.
Approximately fifty photographs, consisting of snapshots of political events and of family portraits, together with campaign posters and drawings of the U.S. Marine Hospital in Seattle, were relocated to the photograph collections in the division in 1983. Additional snapshots, dated 1924, mainly of Valley Forge Park, were relocated to the photograph collections in April 2004.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
John F. Miller Public and Personal Papers, 1889-1936Return to Top
Seattle Dept. of Sanitation and Health
Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson
U.S. Council of National Defense
Bills and reports
Financial and Legal Papers
|1930, 1932, n.d.|
|1909, 1910, 1930, n.d.|
Miscellany: List and Writing
Mary Miller Personal PapersReturn to Top
|1909, 1938, n.d.|
John F. Miller DiariesReturn to Top
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Legislators--United States--Archives
- Sexually transmitted diseases--Prevention
- Sexually transmitted diseases--United States
- Miller, John Franklin, 1862-1936--Archives
- United States. Council of National Defense. Subcommittee for Civilian Cooperation in Combating Venereal Diseases
- Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government
- United States--Politics and government
Form or Genre Terms
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)