Harry John Miller in Washington State


Harry John Miller


The Hoo-Hoo's were/are an organization of men and women involved in the lumber/timber industry. Its serious but has its tongue firmly planted in the cheek!! .  I do not recall the actual specifics of the founding of the org. but they can be found on the web if so desired.)

Our New Snark
"Harry John Miller, of Index, Wash., newly elected Snark of the Universe,[1910] is so well known throughout lumber and Hoo-Hoo circles as to make an extended sketch of him quite superflous.  He operates a big sawmill at Index, and writes poetry for diversion and to prevent the cares of business life from grinding him too hard.  Poetry tends to preserve one's mental equilibrium......
Brother Miller presents a fine instance of perfect balanc.& nbs He is a successful business man, besides being a poet and a scholar.

The story of Brother Miller's life is a record of ups and downs, with the ups at last predominating.  He could very appropriately quote and apply to himself that line of Defoes:  'No man hath tasted varying fortune more'.

Mr. Miller was born January 15, 1863, at Renfrew, Ontario, but the family shortly afterward removed to Warren, Pennsylvania.  His father was a lumberman.  In 1876 the Millers left Warren and went to Greenwood, Wis., the father of the present Snark there engaging in milling and logging until 1879, when, through a deplorable accident at the mill, he lost his life. Hard times followed for the family.  Harry John Miller was obliged to leave school and go to work, the death of his father having left him the sole support of a family  of five. For years he toiled cheerfully all day and studied at night. When the family had become self-supporting, young Miller went Wet and worked on a farm belonging to his uncle [MN, probably Honeywell relations]. No doubt this proved a mascot. Nearly all great men have come from farms. It was, therefore, lucky that young Miller went to a farm as otherwise he could not have come from it. On the farm he arose at 4 a.m. every day and went to follow the plough.  Despite the hard life, Mr. Miller's unusual intellect and studious habits enabled him to become in time a man of high literary attainments. He fitted himself for college by studying hard at night. In the fall of 1885 he went to Madison, Wis., and entered college. He remained there two years, when his funds ran low and he had to leave and look for a job. This he found at a drug store in Madison. About a year later he procured a better place with a sawmill firm, and in 1891 he went to Centralia, Wash., where he entered the employ of the Tower Lumber Company. In 1893 he branched out into a partnership-just before the great panic hit the country. In the spring of the following year this firm dissolved partnership, and Mr. Miller started selling lumber on commission.  In October, 1894, through the failure of a bank, he found himself reduced to a point where $10 represented his total assets. It was not the first time such a thing had happened to him, and so he was not greatly discouraged.  Soon thereafter he was again selling lumber on commission. In 1896 he has prospered sufficiently to make him feel that he could afford to get married to a very charming young lady of Chehalis, Wash., to whom he had been for some time engaged. [Miss Mabel Ingersoll - who later became one of the first women to represent  Snohomish County in the State House of Representatives in Olympia, WA.]

In February, 1897, Mr. Miller became associated with Jerry G. Startup, and they conducted a very successful wholesale business at Chehalis.  Later they bought a sawmill at Gate City, Wash., and another at Index, Wash. They also opened some retail yards in Esten Washington.  In 1908 they sold all their interests except timber at Index and Mr. Miller  moved there, building the present big plant, of which he still has charge and which is known as the H .J. Miller Lumber Company.

Brother Miller brings to the office of Snark a wide knowledge of matters pertaining to the Order's welfare. He has been a Hoo-Hoo for fifteen years and has been energetic and enthusiastic in promoting the Interest of the  Order. His sound business judgment and his thorough knowledge of men pre-eminently fit him for coping with the many problems which in his new position he will be called upon to handle."



Harry John Miller was the eldest son of Edward and Mary Honeywell Miller.  The Millers came to Greenwood in the late 1870's.

there were three Miller brothers who married three Honeywell sisters; Edward and Mary, Thomas and Olive and John Charles (Charley) and Bessie.  John and Catherine Halstead Honeywell had come down to Greenwood earlier, as her brother, Stephen Case Honeywell had arrived earlier. 


Edward died in the mill accident; Thomas died in OtterTail, MN and Charley died in Seattle WA in 1920. I am related through Charley and Bessie.





Pat Kay; Pictures courtesy of Mark Miller, great grandson of Harry John Miller;  granddaughter Catherine Miller.



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