About Charles R. Miller, Governor
Charles Robert Miller (September 30, 1857 – September 18, 1927) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He was a member of the Republican Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Governor of Delaware.
He was born on September 30, 1857 in West Chester, Pennsylvania to Robert Miller and Margaretta Black. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1879 and the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1881. He had married Abigail Morgan Woodnutt in 1874 and they had three children, Thomas W., Clement W., and Mrs. Forest Willard. Charles and family were members of the Episcopal Church. Shortly afterwards he came to Delaware as a lawyer for the Wilmington Malleable Iron Company. Miller served one term in the Delaware State Senate, during the 1911/1912 session. After he left state office he practiced law in Wilmington and was President of the Wilmington Farmer's Bank.
Governor of Delaware
Miller was elected Governor of Delaware in 1912 by defeating Thomas M. Monaghan, the Democratic Party candidate. 1912 was a Democratic sweep, except for Miller's narrow victory, perhaps attributed to the fact that Monaghan, his opponent, was a Roman Catholic.
During his term ferry service was initiated between New Castle, Delaware and Penns Grove, New Jersey and the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal was built. Women were also first admitted to Delaware College. The major event, however, was the outbreak of World War I in Europe and the effect in Delaware of the rapid expansion of demand for gunpowder. At the war’s commencement, Miller and his wife were on a German passenger ship, and after an exciting chase up the English Channel, he and others persuaded the German captain to give up his ship to his British pursuers.
Death and legacy
Miller died while visiting a friend at Berlin, New Jersey and is buried in the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery at Wilmington. His son, Thomas W. Miller, was the U.S. Representative from Delaware during the last two years of his term. His grandson, Clement W. Miller, was a U.S. Representative from California from 1959 until 1962.