Dayton C. Miller, His Life, Work, and Contributions | Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection Home
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CHAPTER 9

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

The accomplishments in science and organology that Miller attained are extraordinary in their scope and depth. Equally extraordinary was his humane relationship with his family and friends. Respondents to this writer all remember Miller for his warmth, kindness, generosity, understanding and humility.

As you have noted in the archives in the Library of Congress in Washington, Dr. Miller and I had an extended correspondence on many matters, chiefly on the flute and flute-playing. However, their is much on personal matters covering many subjects, which should give you a definite clue to his charming personality, his patience, his deep sympathy, his understanding, his frankness and his humility. 92
When visiting Dr. and Mrs. Miller in Cleveland, Ohio, he had most of his flutes in sectional book cases, it being Mrs. Miller's task to keep cups of water in each section for moisture to prevent cracking or checking of the wood instruments, although this failed at times. 93

Philip Bate, the organologist and writer, said in a letter dated December 14, 1970:

Although I met him only twice and corresponded for only a few years, he was one for whom I conceived a great affection as well as admiration. My principle memories are of his great generosity with both his information and his photos of which he sent me many examples. He also sent me delightfully autographed copies of three of his books. 94

Miller's sister-in-law, Mrs. Mildred W. Miller of Oakland, California, wrote to the writer the following memories:

The Millers were a very close knit family and Dayton put two nieces and a nephew thru college. Never talked about his work nor himself when visiting the family in California. He as like a big brother to them all, yes including my husband Dewey (Dayton's brother)....He said he always felt at a disadvantage on a lecture platform on account of his small stature. He was at home on any level of life saying one can always learn. He was meticulous to a degree. Loved motion pictures, and attended often always with his eye on the photography and the acting. Edith, his wife, always sewed a lining in one certain pocket of his suit jacket, as he never failed to have his favorite chocolates with him and chocolates do melt in summer weather. There is nothing more I can think of to mention but his beautiful character, his love of life and his extraordinary energy, always saying there were not enough hours in the day for him. 95

His nephew, Dr. Kenneth Dayton Miller, a faculty member of the Florida State University, wrote to the writer a letter which said, in part:

One fact that perhaps should be mentioned in your study, was his strong sense of family loyalty. For example, although he and I never knew each other well - we lived 2,000 miles apart and saw each other only infrequently - it was his sense of obligation to assume the costs of my education that provided me with an opportunity which I might not have had otherwise....This generosity was apparently rather typical of him. He was a very kind and thoughtful person, and he coupled this attribute with a deep sense of family obligation. The only other point that stands out in my memory is his appearance. I'm sure you are aware of his formality; of his precise, conservative, neatness. He was a small man physically, but his overall effect was most impressive. He looked like the prototype "model" for an internationl diplomat, a chariman of the board, or a bank executive. I can't recall ever seeing him when he was not impeccalby dressed, freshly shaved (his moustache was always perfectly trimmed), and rather formally "in charge." He was the family elder, and he knew it. 96

The two nieces that Miller assisted with their college education were Mrs. Marjorie Metcalf Miller Flashman (d. 1960), and Mrs. Frances Hanover. Mrs. Hanover, now living in Oakland, California, has been most kind in sending to the writer memories of her late uncle.

When my sister visited my uncle Dayton and aunt Edith, she went to a dinner which Albert Einstein attended. My sister's daughter has the menu which he autographed. When Marjorie and I were children, uncle Dayton frequently took us to the movies. Attending motion picture shows was one of his favorite form of recreation. He would be shocked by the movies today. When my sister was in college she took a physics course. Uncle Dayton was here at the time she was studying for her final. He coached her for that last test - a very patient teacher. Of course she passed. 97

Dr. Miller's sister and three brothers all spent their adult lives in California. Harriet Miller Smith (1871-1963) married a Dr. Dudley Smith. Alanson Pomeroy Miller (1873-1934) married Sarah Frances Metcalf, and had two children, Frances Vienna Miller Hanover and Marjorie Metcalf Miller Flashman. Alanson Pomeroy Miller had worked for the Prudential Life Insurance Company. Harlan D. Miller (1880-1926) was chief engineer for the bridges of the state of California from 1924 to 1926. Dewey Harold Miller (1883-1947) was one of the few World War pilots of World War I. Later, he worked for the Associated Oil Company as a sales manager. 98

See Caption Below
A Family Gathering

The photograph on page 80 is a family gathering in Oakland, California, at the home of Alanson Pomeroy Miller. Pictured in the photograph are, front row from left to right, Mrs. Edith Easton Miller, Mrs. Marjorie Miller Flashman holding her daughter Phyllis Frances Flashman, Mrs. Harriet Miller Smith, and Mrs. Frances Miller Hanover.

Standing from left to right are, Dr. Dayton C. Miller, Mrs. Mildred Weston Miller, Mrs. Nell Stone Miller, Mr. Victor Flashman holding his daughter Nancy Flashman, Dr. Kenneth Dayton Miller, Mr. Charles Wilber Miller, and Mr. Alanson Pomeroy Miller.

It was the writers experience to note that of all the correspondence found in the Library of Congress not one letter was addressed to Miller on a first name basis. All respondents addressed him as Dr., Professor, or Dear Sir, even though many correspondants had had many years of letter writing with him.

See Caption Below

Dr. and Mrs. Miller

The photograph on page 82 how Miller and Mrs. Miller standing on the steps in front of the Case Physics Building in Cleveland. This picture was taken in June, 1938, by Mrs. Hanover during a vacation with the Millers.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapters 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
Abstract of Master's Report | List Of Figures | Appendix | Footnotes | Bibliography

Dayton C. Miller, His Life, Work, and Contributions | Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection Home