Victor J. Miller
Miller grew up in Joplin and attended the University of Missouri. He graduated from Washington University law school, and began practicing law in St. Louis. In 1921, Governor Arthur M. Hyde appointed Miller President of the St. Louis Police Board. When he took office, the force included only six African-American officers—Negro specials—who were not allowed to wear uniforms. In his first year in office, hired fifteen African Americans and, like other officers, required them to wear uniforms. He served in that position until 1923. In 1924, Miller was a Republican candidate for Governor of Missouri. He was defeated by Sam Aaron Baker, but carried St. Louis in the race.
After his strong performance in St. Louis during the 1924 Governor's election, Miller ran for Mayor of the City in 1925, and was elected at the age of 36. He was re-elected in 1929. Several major public works projects approved by voters in a 1923 bond issue were completed during Miller's administration, including the construction of the Civil Courts Building. One of these public works projects, an $8,000,000 street lighting initiative led to charges of graft and corruption in city government. An investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found that the lighting contractor, A.M Ryckoff of Chicago, had overcharged the city by more than $150,000. Ryckoff and two city employees were indicted, but Ryckoff died before the matter came to trial, and charges were dropped against the city employees.
At the conclusion of his term as Mayor, Miller left St. Louis. He went to New York, then later to Kentucky, finally settling in Kansas City. He died in Kansas City on January 6, 1955 and was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Joplin, Missouri.
- Much of the original content for this article was based on the brief biographies of St. Louis Mayors found at the St. Louis Public Library's website, http://exhibits.slpl.lib.mo.us/mayors/mayors3.asp. The information about black police officers comes from police commissioners' annual reports and the St. Louis Argus of August 26, 1921, page 1.
- "Miller Takes Oath as St. Louis Mayor". Daily Capital News. April 22, 1925. p. 4.
- "Dickmann Takes Office". Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune. April 18, 1933. p. 1.
|Mayor of St. Louis
1925 – 1933
Bernard F. Dickmann