Sunday, September 22, 2019

Raup Wilson Miller (1904-1993)

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 14, 1953.

    A native of Clinton County, Pennsylvania, Raup Wilson Miller spent his formative years in his native state before journeying westward to California. Following brief residencies in Wyoming and Oregon, Miller attended college in California before embarking on a two-decade-long career as an insurance broker. A two-term member of the California State Assembly from Palo Alto, Miller later served as a district governor for the Optimist Club organization and published a book of poetry late in life. The son of Frank Ball (1879-1961) and Carrie R. Miller (born 1888), Raup Wilson Miller was born in Lamar, Pennsylvania on September 13, 1904.
  A student in schools near Salona, Pennsylvania, Miller also worked for his father (a painter and paperhanger) during the summer months. Deciding to attend college in California, Miller worked his way towards his goal, being employed by a railroad in Wyoming and a paper mill in Oregon. After reaching California in the mid-1920s, Miller enrolled at the University of California at Berkley, where he would meet his future wife Florence (born 1908). The couple married ca. 1926 and were wed for 67 years. Their lengthy union would see the birth of one daughter, Nicki Ann.
  Following his marriage, Miller and his wife put their studies on hold due to limited finances, with Miller taking work as a house painter. He continued along this route until he entered into the insurance business as an underwriter and company representative. Miller later elected to go into business for himself in 1934, operating an insurance office in Palo Alto with his wife. This business continued until the couple retired in 1954. 
   In 1942 Miller announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the California State Assembly from the 28th district. He would go on to win that year's primary and in the general election defeated Democrat Roy W. Sturtevant by a vote of 7,776 to 6,907. During the 1943-45 session Miller sat on the committees on Agriculture, Finance and Insurance, Labor and Capital, Military Affairs, Public Health, Universities and Colleges, and in November 1944 won a second term in the assembly, being unopposed in that year's election.  A member of the U.S. Coast Guard during his legislative service, the 1945-47 term saw Miller introduce a "fair employment practices bill" in 1946 aimed to deter anti-racial sentiment in the hiring of African-Americans, Chinese, Filipino, and other minority groups. Despite being endorsed by California governor and future U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren, Raup Miller saw the bill shot down in a meeting of the assembly ways and means committee, which killed the bill 10 votes to 6. 

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 17, 1953.

   Miller retired from the legislature at the close of his second term and would continue his political career at the local level, serving on the Palo Alto city council from 1949-50. An active club-man in Santa Clara County, Miller was a Masonic lodge member in Palo Alto and for two terms in the 1950s served as a district governor for the Optimist International, a volunteer service organization devoted to community improvement, youth development, and service projects. Following retirement from the insurance business, Miller and his wife removed to El Dorado County, where Miller took on the post of manager for the El Dorado Savings and Loan Association, located in Placerville. 
   Late in his life, Raup Miller and his wife returned to college studies, and despite being over sixty years of age, he graduated from Humboldt State University in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. Following this achievement, the couple undertook a lengthy trip through the United States, Europe, and Mexico, and for two years studied in France. A lifelong poet, Miller saw his first poem published while he was still in high school, and through his life continued writing. In 1989, Miller's wife and niece published these poems in book form, under the title "Musings and Meditations". He and wife later resided in Ukiah, California, where Miller died on March 17, 1993, aged 88. He was survived by his wife and daughter, and a burial location for him remains unknown at this time.

From the Ukiah Daily Standard, March 21, 1993.

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