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Miller, John F. G. (John Fisher Garr), 1877-1939



  • Existence: March 23, 1877 - December 9, 1939

Biographical Information

John Fisher Garr Miller, "Long John" to the Purdue community, was born on March 23, 1877, to Rev. and Mrs. John Free Miller of Nineveh, Indiana. John graduated from Purdue University in 1903 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering.

He achieved a very illustrious college career and was hailed as one of the most decorated athletes in Purdue history. He played varsity football all four years at Purdue and was captain of the team his junior year. His younger brother, Simeon V. B. Miller, was also a member of the Purdue football team and was involved in the 1903 Purdue train wreck, receiving serious injuries that required months of recovery.

Miller also played varsity basketball all four years. An article in the Purdue Alumnus described Miller as one of the first "skyscraper" centers in Indiana basketball. He played first base for the baseball team all four years of his Purdue career. He was also a track and field star, setting records in shot put, hammer throw, and discus, and he won the All-Around Indoor Championship in Athletics his junior year. During his Purdue athletic career he won 9 "P"s. Apart from his decorated athletic career John was equally successful in academic endeavors. Miller was a Wilbur Scholar of Tau Beta Pi, editor-in-chief of the 1903 Debris, class officer for two years, and a member of the Irving Literary Society. He was a member of Phi delta Theta fraternity along with his father and younger brother.

While still a senior, Miller accepted the position of head football coach for Earlham College to begin with the fall 1903 season and led them to a 1903 Indiana Athletic Collegiate Conference football championship. That same year he also accepted a position as a special machinist apprentice for the Chicago and Eastern Illinois railroad. In 1905 he was offered a sales position at the American Blower Company in Detroit. By 1917 Miller had risen to become the vice-president, director, and treasurer. In 1933 he was named vice-president of the B. F. Sturtevant Company.

At the time of his death in 1939 Miller was the director and past president of the Employers Association of Detroit, the past president of the National Association of Fan Manufacturers, a member of the Advisory Board of the Purdue Research Foundation, Chairman of the General Alumni Committee on Athletics, and was a member of the Editorial Board of the Purdue Alumnus.

John F. G. Miller is also the younger brother of Hugh Thomas Miller, Lieutenant Governor of Indiana from 1905 to 1909.


1903 Purdue University Debris Yearbook, pg. 205.

The Purdue Alumnus, Vol. 27 No.3, December, 1939, pg. 16.

The Purdue Engineer, Vol. 33 No. 5, January, 1939, pgs. 103-104, 122.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

John F. G. Miller papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 277
Scope and Contents The John F. G. Miller papers document the collegiate and post collegiate career of John F. G. Miller. The collection includes a scrapbook from 1899-1904, a chemistry notebook, and correspondence, memoranda, newspaper clippings, and a final report related to football in the Intercollegiate Conference.
Dates: 1899 - 1936; Majority of material found within 1903, 1923-1927