Lewis B. Miller papers, 1881-1948 (inclusive), 1896-1933 (bulk).
Collection Scope and Content Summary
The papers document Miller's writing career and personal pursuits. They are divided into business and professional materials and personal materials. The bulk of the collection consists of materials related to Miller's writings, including manuscripts, publications, illustrations, promotional material, and correspondence with fans and publishers. The manuscripts are mostly handwritten and kept in notebooks. These are brittle and difficult to handle, but legible. Materials related to Miller's writings are a highlight of the collection. A small portion of the papers documents Miller's business activities. Legal documents and correspondence with lawyers generally involve land transactions.
The personal materials document Miller's education, family, and personal interests. They include material from Miller's time at Add-Ran College, correspondence of a personal nature, photographs, and materials related to Miller's interests in politics, religion, and charitable causes.
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
Lewis Bennett Miller (1861-1933) was a prolific author of Western adventure novels. Miller was born in Cooke County, Texas, and spent the early years of his life on the Texas frontier. After a brief period of living in Missouri, the Miller family returned to Texas and made their permanent home on a farm in Erath County. Lewis left farm life for University study, attending Add-Ran College (later Texas Christian University) when it was in Thorp Spring. After receiving a degree in Latin and Greek, Miller taught at Add-Ran College until 1884. After leaving the College, he taught in Texas public schools and did editorial work for local newspapers. He moved to Iowa and worked for a railroad company from 1888 to 1892 and continued to do editorial work for newspapers. Miller moved to Ohio to work for The National Stockman and Farmer periodical and began publishing his short stories as serials. After a year in Ohio, Lewis moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to devote his time to writing. A few editions of a St. Louis newspaper he edited, The People, are included in the papers.After living in St. Louis for many years and publishing several novels, Lewis returned to the family farm in Texas. He worked on the farm, cared for his aging parents, and continued to write and publish stories. He wrote until his death in 1933.
During his life, Miller published some twenty novels and a number of short stories about pioneer life in the American southwest. Many of the stories are auto-biographical, fictionalizing the childhood experiences of his group of friends at Fort Blocker, Texas. His father's life as a pioneer and gold miner also set the backdrop for Miller's adventure novels. Miller's major publications include The White River Raft (1910), A Crooked Trail (1911), Saddles and Lariats (1912), Fort Blocker Boys (1917), The Branded Oak (1918), Pike's Peak or Bust (1922), and Big Smoke Mountain (ca. 1929).
8.5 Linear feet
Language of Materials
The papers document Miller's writing career and personal pursuits. The bulk of the collection consists of materials related to Miller's writings, including manuscripts, publications, illustrations, promotional material, and correspondence with fans and publishers. The personal papers document Miller's education, family, and personal interests and include material from Miller's time at Add-Ran College, correspondence, photographs, and materials related to Miller's interests in politics, religion, and charitable causes.
Arranged in two series: Series I. Business and Professional Materials, 1884-1935. Series II. Personal Materials, 1881-1948.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Guide to the Lewis B. Miller Papers
- Compiled by Jensen Branscombe
- April 2009
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script