Clell Miller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Clell Miller
Born (1850-01-09)January 9, 1850 or (1849-12-15)December 15, 1849
Kearney, Missouri
Died September 7, 1876(1876-09-07) (aged 26)
Northfield, Minnesota
Cause of death Killed by townspeople while taking part in a robbery[1]
Resting place Northfield or Kearney[2]
Nationality American
Other names Cleland D. Miller
Clenand Miller
McClelland Miller
Criminal charge Accused of guerilla warfare, gang crimes, murder[3]
Criminal penalty Gratiot Street Prison (October 1864 - April 1865)
Allegiance Bloody Bill Anderson (1864)
Pinkerton Detective Agency (1871-1876)

Clell Miller (1849 or 1850 - September 7, 1876) (also known as Cleland D. Miller or Clenand Miller or McClelland Miller) was an outlaw with the James-Younger Gang who was killed during the gang's robbery at Northfield, Minnesota.[1]

Miller was born on either January 9, 1850 (the date on his tombstone) or December 15, 1849 in Kearney, Missouri. His younger brother Edward T. Miller also joined the gang and was allegedly killed by Jesse James in 1881.[1]

Guerilla career[edit]

At the age of just 14, Clell Miller joined Bloody Bill Anderson's guerrillas during the American Civil War. He was captured during the skirmish in which Anderson was killed on October 26, 1864. This was Miller's first and only war time combat, and he was lucky not to have been executed by his captors. However, because of his youth he was sent to St. Louis, Missouri at the Gratiot Street Prison.[1]

His father obtained his release in April 1865, perjuring himself by saying the family had always been Union supporters. Miller was described as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, with dark reddish auburn hair.[1]

Outlaw career[edit]

The following James gang events were allegedly attributed to Miller:[3]

  • June 3, 1871 - Ocobock Brothers' Bank at Corydon, Iowa. The Pinkerton Detective Agency was hired to pursue the gang and Miller was captured in July by a detective Westphal. He posted bail and was later acquitted after a long list of witnesses testified he was elsewhere at the time of the robbery. He was represented by attorney John McClanahan of Corydon, Iowa. A deposition from the trial is owned by the McClanahan family. Clell denied being in the James gang, but said later that he 'might as well join them because his reputation had been ruined by the trial'.
  • April 29, 1872 - Bank of Columbia at Columbia, Kentucky. Cashier R. A. C. Martin was killed and bystander James Garrett wounded.
  • May 27, 1873 - Ste. Genevieve Savings Bank at Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.
  • January 15, 1874 - Stagecoach at Hot Springs, Arkansas.
  • January 31, 1874 - Train at Gad's Hill, Missouri.
  • February 1874 - Craig and Son General Store of Bentonville, Arkansas;.
  • April/May 1874 - Stagecoach at Austin, Texas.
  • December 8, 1874 - Kansas Pacific Railroad at Muncie, Kansas.
  • April 12, 1875 - The killing of Daniel Askew, a neighbor in Kearney who was allegedly helping the Pinkertons.
  • Late April 1875 - The killing of a Pinkerton agent Jack Ladd.
  • July 7, 1876 - Missouri Pacific Railroad robbery at Otterville, Missouri.


On September 7, 1876 Miller was shot and killed by townspeople in the robbery attempt on the First National Bank of Northfield, along with outlaw Bill Chadwell and bank cashier Joseph Lee Heywood and citizen Nicholas Gustavson. Wounded in the fight were Frank James, Charlie Pitts (later killed), Cole Younger, Jim Younger, Bob Younger and Northfield citizen Alonzo E. Bunker.

Miller's body was photographed and then buried in Northfield. However, his father claimed the body and Miller was buried at Muddy Fork Cemetery in Kearney.[2]

Cultural depictions[edit]

Television and film depictions of Clell Miller include:


  1. ^ a b c d e D. H. Rule. "James-Younger Gang: Outlaws". Civil War St. Louis. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  2. ^ a b "Clell Miller (1849 - 1876)". Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  3. ^ a b Nick McCarty. "A Timeline of Events in the History of the James-Younger Gang". Archived from the original on September 6, 2005. Retrieved 2011-03-16.