Miller Family Papers

Manuscript Collection: MsC-66

Miller Family Papers, 1882-1977. 2.5 linear feet.


Earl A. Miller

Earl A. Miller was born February 21, 1903, in Black Hawk County. He was the son of Henry and Anna Behrens Miller. He attended Cedar Falls public schools. He received his bachelor's degree from the Iowa State Teachers College in 1925 and his master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1931. He married Vera Mae Hood on August 7, 1929. Mr. and Mrs. Miller had two children, a son John and a daughter Marianne.

Earl Miller taught in schools in Independence and Dubuque, Iowa, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, for nine years before returning to farm in Black Hawk County. He served in the House of Representatives of the Iowa General Assembly for four terms (1949-1957). He was best known for his distinguished work in matters relating to public education in Iowa, especially school district consolidation. Mr. Miller was a member of the University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association Board of Directors and served as vice president of the University of Northern Iowa Foundation. He received an Alumni Service Award as well as the Phi Delta Kappa Service Key in 1956.

Earl Miller died April 5, 1968.


In the fall of 2006, John Miller, son of Earl A. Miller, contacted Archivist Gerald Peterson to see if the University Archives would be interested in papers relating to his father's papers. Subsequently, in June 2007, John Miller brought several boxes of material to the University Archives. This material relates to Earl Miller; Earl Miller's aunt, Alvena Louise Miller; and Miller family farming operations.

The collection consists of scrapbooks, files relating to farm operations, certificates, newsclippings, and legal documents relating to land ownership in the Miller family. These legal documents, including deeds, wills, mortgages, and other agreements, offer an interesting look at the way that Iowa farmland passed from generation to generation from original patent grants down through the 1930s. The collection is also a good source of information on the wave of school district consolidation that took place in Iowa in the early and middle 1950s. This was a matter that raised significant controversy and debate in the state. As head of the Committee on Schools, Earl Miller was a recognized legislative leader in the consolidation movement of that era.

Container Inventory

Box 1

  • Biographical information about Earl Miller and his family
  • "People on the Farm" booklet series from the United States Department of Agriculture, including the issue on corn and hog farming from 1977 that features John Miller and his family
  • Earl Miller--teaching contracts and certificates
  • Earl Miller--Iowa State Teachers College Commencement booklets, 1924 and 1925
  • Earl Miller--Master of Arts diploma and thesis, University of Iowa, 1931
  • Earl Miller--correspondence, talks, awards, and articles
  • Earl Miller--election expenses, 1948 and 1950 campaigns
  • Earl Miller--Iowa State Education Association contract, 1959
  • Earl Miller--correspondence relating to the University of Northern Iowa
  • Earl Miller--documents relating to the Council of State Governments regional conference, Mackinac, Michigan, 1955

Box 2

  • Documents relating to land ownership
  • Deeds to Ella Behrens from her father, William Behrens
  • William Behrens--deeds and other land ownership documents
  • Settlement of Behrens estate, 1933-1934
  • Ella Behrens estate, 1933
  • Farm lease agreements
  • Alvena Miller--country school work
  • Alvena Miller--high school programs
  • Rural school examinations, 1915
  • Alvena Miller--teaching certificate and school credentials
  • Alvena Miller--insurance records
  • Anna Miller--furniture receipts
  • Anna Miller--will, 1945
  • Farm conservation plan, 1949
  • Cedar Falls Record, March 30-31, 1942

Boxes 3-5

Included in Box 5 are the following:

  • Scrapbooks of newsclippings, correspondence, and other material relating to Earl and Vera Miller; most of the material relates to Earl Miller's service in the Iowa General Assembly
  • Earl Miller--perfect attendance certificate, Black Hawk Township, School No. 7, 1910
  • Vera Mae Hood--Bachelor of Arts diploma, Iowa State University, 1927
  • Earl Miller--Bachelor of Arts diploma, Iowa State Teachers College, 1925

Papers processed by Gerald L. Peterson, Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist; finding aid prepared by Gerald L. Peterson, June 2007.

Last modified: June 12, 2007 (GP)

Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913