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Charles Hiram Miller Correspondence
1978-713  
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Description
Letters from Charles Hiram Miller to Emma Bailey Day, Emma Houghton, and from George Houghton to Charles Hiram Miller.
Background
According to Hall's History of San Jose, George Houghton leased the San Jose Institute and Commercial College in 1868; it originally opened in July 1862 with 125 scholars under Professor Gates. In a letter to the President of San Jose State University, dated March 10, 1954, the donor, Ada Holding Miller, details what she knows about the authors: "I am writing this at the request of my husband, Dr. Albert H. Miller. His father, Charles Hiram Miller, and his aunt, Mrs. Emma Houghton, and her husband, Mr. George Houghton, taught at what was then San Jose Institute, as the enclosed circular will prove. This was in the year 1869. Charles Miller eventually returned to Maine, his native state, with the intention of returning to California, but married Emma Bailey Day of Lewiston, Maine, and took over the business of the firm of Nealley and Miller, Wholesale and Retail Grocers. In 1884, Charles Miller and his wife went to California. We have a hand written account of their interesting trip. Charles Miller wrote some of his adventures of 1869 in a copybook. He wrote -- 'went to California in the year of 1869. Had home at San Jose Institute, fifty miles from San Francisco. The southern part at that time was of no importance. No railroad conveniences.' Charles Miller died in 1912, in Maine. His wife also passed on and of the four children, my husband is the only survivor..." In her following letter, dated March 24, 1954, Mrs. Miller encloses the letters with more information: "There are letters from Charles Hiram Miller to Emma Bailey Day, written from California, several from George Houghton to Charles, also written from California, and which you will find interesting and informative. The Houghtons had children, William and Chase I believe and then somehow or other Roscoe Houghton who may have been the brother of George, a man of considerable wealth who lived either in Bakersfield or Merced. At any rate, as soon as people read the article, you will surely begin to get letters on the subject. I do not know whether or not there are now any Houghtons living in California, but I believe there must be. You will be amused at the stilted letters of courtship, characteristic of the times. Charles taught at the Institute two years or more. The Houghtons lived there in California for 20 years. Mrs. Houghton (Emma Miller) left after her husband George passed on and returned to Lewiston, Maine, where she lived with my husband's family at 6 Frye St. until she died. ...[Charles Miller] was a sweet and upstanding man who entered the grocery business wholesale and retail which was given to him by his wife's father, Heircy Day on condition that he live in Maine and leave California. He would not listen to his daughter's going to far off California, so this is how we come into the picture."
Extent
.25 linear feet (5 folders, 37 letters)
Restrictions
Collection is in the public domain. Please contact History San Jose Research Library & Archives for publication or reproduction information.
Availability
Open to the public for research by appointment. Collection has been scanned and is available to view online.