The American Dream

“Ira Miller, son of Caleb and father of Winfred Scott Miller, was born in the town of Acton, Me., December 13, 1826, and died December 12, 1902. He was left motherless when a babe of six weeks and was twelve years old when his father died. He was reared by his uncle, Woodman Miller.

When sixteen years of age he started out to take care of himself and assisted farmers during the haying season, feeling sufficiently well paid when he received twenty-five cents for a day’s work. He then went to Lebanon, Me., where he worked for Millett Wentworth for seven months, thereby earning the sum of seven dollars, after which during the summers he again assisted farmers and attended school in the winter, in Acton, Me., where he afterward was employed by Simon Tuttle at a wage of ten dollars a month, which in his second season, was increased to thirteen dollars. He then learned the shoemaking trade at Milton Mills and then opened a shop and soon had a trade that made necessary the employment of six or eight men.

In 1855, he erected the first shoe factory ever built in Acton, Me., and embarked in shoe manufacturing on a large scale, having a shoe store in connection, later selling his factory and buying the Roberts’ grist mill. This he remodeled and made it the best plant of its kind in the county, operating it from 1859 until 1866. He then sold out and went into the hotel business, becoming proprietor of the Central House at Milton Mills, which he conducted until 1877. He then opened the largest general store at Milton Mills, putting in a heavy stock, including groceries, boots, shoes, oil, drugs, hardware, and farm implements, and this proved a very prosperous enterprise.” -excerpt from History of Strafford County, New Hampshire and Representative Citizens by John Scales, 1914