By Nolan Eller
Predominant Dates:1903, 1923-1927
Primary Creator: Miller, John F. G. (1877-1939)
Extent: 0.85 Cubic feet. More info below.
Arrangement: The papers are arranged into one series entitled the Intercollegiate Conference, the forerunner of the Big Ten conference. They are arranged further into three subseries entitled correspondence, newspaper clippings and articles, and reports, memorandums, and minutes.
Subjects: Purdue Boilermakers (Football team)--History, Purdue University--Alumni and alumnae, Purdue University--Students--Social life and customs--20th century, Railroad accidents--Indiana--Indianapolis
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 BS degree 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. During his football career his younger brother, Simeon V. B. Miller, and himself were involved in the 1903 Purdue train wreck. The wreck occurred outside of Indianapolis when the entire football team was on its way to play Indiana University. John F. G. Miller sustained minor injuries, but his younger brother was not as lucky. Simeon fractured both of his legs and was in serious condition after the crash. Both brothers were lucky to survive the crash that took the lives of 16 people including players, coaches, and fans. 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 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. He 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.
After graduating from Purdue, John accepted a position as the head football coach for Earlham College 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 he 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 the Lieutenant Governor of Indiana from 1905-1909.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.
Physical Access Note: The scrapbook is in fragile condition. A surrogate may be provided for viewing to preserve and protect the original.
MSA 21, Simeon V. B. Miller scrapbook
MSP 117, Collection of Purdue Train Wreck materials
Preferred Citation: MSA 277, John F. G. Miller papers, Karnes Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries