Charles R. Miller

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This article is about a lawyer and politician from early twentieth century Delaware. For other people, see Charles Miller.
Charles R. Miller
Miller 2989417695 76253e1e15 o.jpg
54th Governor of Delaware
In office
January 21, 1913 – January 16, 1917
Lieutenant Colen Ferguson
Preceded by Simeon S. Pennewill
Succeeded by John G. Townsend, Jr.
Member of the Delaware Senate
In office
January 6, 1911 - January 7, 1913
Personal details
Born Charles Robert Miller
(1857-09-30)September 30, 1857
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Died September 18, 1927(1927-09-18) (aged 69)
Berlin, New Jersey
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Abigail Morgan Woodnutt
Residence Wilmington, Delaware
Alma mater Swarthmore College University of Pennsylvania
Profession lawyer
Religion Episcopalian

Charles Robert Miller (September 30, 1857 – September 18, 1927) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He was a member of the Republican Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Governor of Delaware.

Life and career[edit]

Miller was born on September 30, 1857 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of Margaretta (Black) and Robert Miller. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1879 and the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1881. He had married Abigail Morgan Woodnutt in 1874 and they had three children, Thomas W., Clement W., and Mrs. Forest Willard. Charles and family were members of the Episcopal Church. Shortly afterwards he came to Delaware as a lawyer for the Wilmington Malleable Iron Company. Miller served one term in the Delaware State Senate, during the 1911/1912 session. After he left state office he practiced law in Wilmington and was President of the Wilmington Farmer's Bank.

Governor of Delaware[edit]

Miller was elected Governor of Delaware in 1912 by defeating Thomas M. Monaghan, the Democratic Party candidate. 1912 was a Democratic sweep, except for Miller's narrow victory, perhaps attributed to the fact that Monaghan, his opponent, was a Roman Catholic.

During his term ferry service was initiated between New Castle, Delaware and Penns Grove, New Jersey and the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal was built. Women were also first admitted to Delaware College. The major event, however, was the outbreak of World War I in Europe and the effect in Delaware of the rapid expansion of demand for gunpowder. At the war’s commencement, Miller and his wife were on a German passenger ship, and after an exciting chase up the English Channel, he and others persuaded the German captain to give up his ship to his British pursuers.

Death and legacy[edit]

Miller died while visiting a friend at Berlin, New Jersey and is buried in the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery at Wilmington. His son, Thomas W. Miller, was the U.S. Representative from Delaware during the last two years of his term. His grandson, Clement W. Miller, was a U.S. Representative from California from 1959 until 1962.

Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
Year Assembly Senate Majority President
pro tempore
House Majority Speaker
1913–1914 97th Republican George W. Marshall Republican Chauncey P. Holcomb
1915–1916 98th Republican John M. Walker Republican Charles H. Grantland


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the Delaware General Assembly take office the second Tuesday of January. State Senators have a four-year term. The Governor takes office the third Tuesday of January and has a four-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
State Senator Legislature Dover January 6, 1911 January 6, 1913
Governor Executive Dover January 21, 1913 January 16, 1917
Delaware General Assembly service
Dates Assembly Chamber Majority Governor Committees District
1911–1912 96th State Senate Democratic Simeon S. Pennewill New Castle 1st
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1912 Governor Charles R. Miller Republican 22,745 47% Thomas M. Monaghan
George B. Hynson


  • Carter, Richard B. (2001). Clearing New Ground, The Life of John G. Townsend, Jr. Wilmington, Delaware: The Delaware Heritage Press. ISBN 0-924117-20-6. 
  • Hoffecker, Carol E. (2004). Democracy in Delaware. Wilmington, Delaware: Cedar Tree Books. ISBN 1-892142-23-6. 
  • Martin, Roger A. (1984). History of Delaware Through its Governors. Wilmington, Delaware: McClafferty Press. 
  • Martin, Roger A. (1995). Memoirs of the Senate. Newark, Delaware: Roger A. Martin. 
  • Sobel, Robert; J. Racino (1988). Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States 1789-1978. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-930466-00-4. 


External links[edit]

Places with more information[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Simeon S. Pennewill
Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by
John G. Townsend, Jr.