Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Two generations of Millers have been active and helpful participants in the general development of the city of Santa Cruz, William Edward Miller, a widely known contractor of varied experience and substantial accomplishment who is continuing to carry on his business at Santa Cruz, being a worthy successor to his father, the late William Miller, widely known in his generation as a street contractor, who did much for the upbuilding of the city.

The late William Miller came to this country when sixteen years of age, making the passage in a sailing vessel which belonged to his uncle. He arrived in California in 1851 and for a time made his headquarters at the stage station of Searsville, presently going into San Mateo county and in 1858 became a resident of Santa Cruz, where the remainder of his life was spent-one of the useful and substantial citizens of that city. In 1865 he took out his naturalization papers and was ever after a stanch American. After his arrival in Santa Cruz he gradually worked up to a prominent position as a contractor, with particular reference to street work, and as a contractor in the employ of the city did the initial work in paving the down town streets and was for several terms city street superintendent. He also carried on an extensive business as a woods contractor, a buyer of standing timber, and in his day was widely known hereabout. He died at his home in Santa Cruz, December 23, 1913, respected by all who knew him. William Miller married Christine Stubbe, a member of one of the pioneer families of California, and is survived by two sons, the subject of this biographical narrative having a brother, Prof. Hugo H. Miller, born in 1883, who was graduated from the California State University and who has for some years been engaged in educational service in the Philippines, a school man of note and an author of books on educational topics that have attained wide recognition in scholastic circles.

William E. Miller, son of William and Christine (Stubbe) Miller, was born at No. 26 Church street, Santa Cruz, in the year 1871, and has been a resident of this city all his life with the exception of a period spent in government service in the Hawaiian islands. His local schooling was supplemented by a course in the Chestnutwood's Business College and he early became associated with his father in the latter's contracting business, under this direction becoming an experienced general contractor, with particular reference to street and highway paving. For a time he had charge of the quarry work at Aromas and then, during the period of the provisional government in Hawaii, was in charge of certain important government works in the islands, continuing thus engaged until some time after annexation. Upon his return to Santa Cruz he again became associated with his father's activities in the contracting line and since his father's death in 1913 has carried on the business alone, one of the best known general contractors in this section of the state.

Mr. Miller married Miss Maud Fay Cole, also a member of one of the old families of California, and they have an adopted daughter, Helen. Mrs. Miller is a daughter of Edward W. Cole, a native of Illinois, who in the early '80s came to California and settled in San Luis Obispo. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are republicans. Mr. Miller is a member of the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, is affiliated with the local parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West and is also a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and of the Foresters of America.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.