Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Esquare Bartlett Miller (1828-1896)

                                               From the Evening Post Annual, published 1895.

   We continue our stay in Connecticut and travel from Waterbury (the home of Luzerne Ithiel Munson) to the city of Killingly, home to one Esquare Bartlett Miller, a peculiarly named member of the Connecticut State House of Representatives. A carpenter by trade, Miller also dabbled in construction and contracting, and was elected to two terms in his state's legislature, dying in office in March of 1896.
   Born in Killingly on August 15, 1828, Esquare Bartlett Miller was the son of Welcome and Elsie Bartlett Miller. The origins of his unusual first name "Esquare" are unknown, and as a youth attended the "common schools of Killingly". He would engage in farming after leaving school and married in 1846 to Sarah Harriett Warren, with whom he would have a total of six children: Daniel W. (died in infancy), Chauncy, Esquare J., Henry J., Everett E. and Fred L. 
   Miller worked at farming with his father until his early twenties, when he made the acquaintance of William Burgess, who would employ him as a carpenter. For several years he was employed by both Burgess and others until "going into business for himself." In the early 1860s Miller became employed by the S. & H. Sayles wool manufacturing company. His time here saw him become a master mechanic and superintendent of construction, and in 1866 removed to Dayville, Connecticut to take on a similar job under the employ of  Ezekiel Webster. Sometime later Miller would become a Master Mechanic and Superintendent for the Mechanicsville Co., located in Mechanicsville, Connecticut.
   In 1868 Esquare B. Miller made his first foray into public life in Connecticut, being elected as a selectman for the city of Killingly. He would serve a total of twelve years on this board, and for several years was also clerk of the board. The Evening Post Annual of 1895 (where the above picture of Miller was featured) notes that he continued as a contractor during his time as selectman, and that:
"Many private houses in various sections of the town were erected by him, as well as many more pretentious buildings, among them being the church and schoolhouse, the mill, No. 3, (250 X 50 ft., 4 stories) and the Store Building, all at Williamsville."
  In addition to his business and time as selectman, Esquare Miller also served as a justice of the peace and town constable, as well as being a distinguished Mason, belonging to the Putnam Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons #15 in Danielsonville, Connecticut. In November 1894 Miller was elected to represent Killingly in the Connecticut General Assembly, winning the election with a "majority of 319." Miller would win a second term in November 1895 with 594 votes and died during this term on March 11, 1896 at age 67. He had been preceded in death by his wife Sarah in 1887 and both were interred at the Westfield Cemetery in Danielson, Connecticut.

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