Editor's note: This is the 195th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - In his "Cabell County Annals and Families," respected local historian George S. Wallace described George Frederick Miller Jr. (1848-1910) as "easily the most constructive businessman of his generation." The description was a fitting one.
Miller's father, George F. Miller Sr., was born in Germany in 1816, immigrated to this country and ultimately settled in Barboursville. He was a tanner by trade and later became a merchant. He was elected Cabell County sheriff in 1876 and served four years.
His son, George Jr., entered business at an early age and rose rapidly. In 1884, he was elected executive vice president of the newly organized First National Bank. Later he partnered with Charles Lloyd Ritter in creation of the Frederick Hotel. Opened in 1906, the grand hotel then the largest in West Virginia - was named in his honor. He had extensive real estate interests and worked with J.L. Caldwell to develop the Huntington, Kenova Land Co.
When Miller set about building a new home on the northwest corner of 6th Avenue and 11th Street, he hired architect James B. Stewart to prepare a design for it. One of Huntington's best known architects of the day, Stewart designed the First Presbyterian Church (1895), was supervising architect for construction of the Cabell County Courthouse (1896-1901) and later would partner with Edwin Alger in designing Huntington's Carnegie Library and the Frederick Hotel.
Miller approved Stewart's charming Queen Anne design for the new home. Built in 1897 and enlarged in 1900, the house stood on the busy corner for more than 60 years before it was demolished in 1959.
Today, the site is a parking lot. Only the former Miller carriage house survives. Located across from Trinity Episcopal Church, it housed the Bunch Realty Co. for a number of years.
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