Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen
R. Wesley Miller, of the firm of Briggs & Miller, manufacturers of
all kinds of building supplies, and dealers in all kinds of
dressed and undressed lumber, shingles, lath, etc., also builders
and contractors, and dealers in general produce, butter, hides
and wool, at No. 258 Main Street, Oneonta, has been identified
with the business interests of the city for the past twenty-eight
years. The firm, however, was not established until July 1888,
but has been very successful in business. Mr. Briggs is a
practical carpenter and joiner, and is the contractor for the
firm. Mr. Miller is the principal business man and buyer, andis
shrewd and active. He has always been a dealer in produce and a
commission merchant, and was formerly of the firm of Vosburgh &
Miller, which firm was in existence for a period of five years.
He has long been known as a practical and progressive business
man, and as one devoted to the general interests of the community
in which he dwells. While he has always been decidedly a
Republican in politics, yet he has never sought office of any kind. Mr. Miller was born in Oneonta, March 26, 1846, and was educated in
the city schools and at Whitetown Seminary, beginning active
business when nineteen years old. His father, David Marvin
Miller, was born in Oneonta, in 1818, and lived his entire life
there, dying in 1886. He was for some years a farmer, and
afterward for about forty years was in the commission business.
He was successful, and was well known and highly esteemed. He
lived to see many changes take place in the way of doing business
as well as in the manner of living. At one time during his
career as a business man everything was carried overland to Fort
Plain on the New York Central Railroad, a distance of fifty
miles, the same teams bringing back supplies of various kinds.
The round trip was made in three days, and two trips were made
every week. Henry Miller, father of David Marvin Miller, was a
very early settler of Oneonta, locating before there were either
railroads of canals, when the country was very wild and sparsely
settled. He was a farmer, and lived and died at this place, well
known as a good man and citizen. His wife was Rachel Marvin, and
like her husband, she lied to a good old age. David Marvin
Miller was a Major in the militia during the days of general
training. He was married in this county to Miss Sallie Bowen,
who was born and reared in the town of Laurens, was of a good
family, and died in Oneonta in 1890, when about seventy years
old. She and her husband were two of the sixteen who organized
the first Freewill Baptist Church of Oneonta, and they remained
supporters and leading members of that church till the day of
their death. Mr. Miller was Sabbath School superintendent for
many years. R. Wesley Miler is the second child and eldest son of a family of
four, three sons and one daughter. The two brothers, Orson A.
and Frank D., live in Oneonta, the former being a machinist and
the latter a hop dealer, of the firm of Smith Bros. & Miller.
The subject of this sketch was married in the town of Edmeston,
Otsego County, to Miss Julia D. DeLancey, who was born, reared
and married in the same town, but was educated in the Ladies’
Seminary at Utica, NY. Mrs. Miller is an educated, intelligent
and accomplished woman. She is a daughter of Oliver and Clarissa
(Boyd) DeLancey, the latter of whom is now deceased, dying at the
old home in Edmeston, when advanced in years. Mr. DeLancey is
now living with his daughter, Mrs. Miller, and is eighty-five
years old, hale and hearty for that age. He has three sisters
living, one eighty-nine, one eighty-seven and one eighty-two, and
all well and active for women of their years. Mr. DeLancey was
always a farmer, and he and his wife were early settlers in
Otsego County. They were members of the Episcopal Church. Mrs.
Miller is the younger of two daughters, her sister, now deceased,
having been the wife of E. M. Vosburgh, who is living in Oneonta,
and is a dealer in hops. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have no children.
They are members of the Freewill Baptist Church.