Leo Henry Miller was born on October 3, 1895 in Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa. When he was born, his parents, Charles and Philomena Bixenman Miller already had two daughters, almost four year old Anna and just turned two year old Crescence. His parents were married on April 14, 1891, in Wien, Chariton County, Missouri, and almost immediately moved to Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa, where all of their children were born. After Leo, his parents had two more children, Carl in 1897 and Cecelia in 1903. They lived at 1915 Johnson Street.
|Charles and Philomena Miller's children in about 1900|
L-R: Leo, Anna, Carl, Crescence. Cecelia is not pictured.
|1900 US Federal Census|
|1910 US Federal Census|
|1920 US Federal Census|
|The Charles and Philomena Miller family, ca 1910. Leo is in the back right.|
|Leo on the bottom step with a railroad crew.|
The story is that Leo, when he wasn't working, hung out in downtown Fort Madison, apparently standing at a corner, just wasting time. Every day at the same time a young lady would walk by on her way to work. Leo wasn't much of a talker but would always smile and say "Hello". One day the young lady said the telephone company where she worked was having a benefit and all employees were asked to sell tickets. She asked if he would buy one. He said he would but only if she went with him. What a sale! That was the beginning of their courtship. Her name was Julia Doran. She was the daughter of Tom Doran and Mary Ann Kelly.
Leo's sister Crescence married William Deverman in New York on November 8, 1918, and moved to Denver, Colorado. His father Charles passed away on October 20, 1923. His sister moved to Mazenod, Saskatchewan, Canada and married Benedict Seeman in 1925 and his sister Cecelia married Lloyd Bowen in 1925.
Leo and Julia were married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fort Madison on June 17, 1925. They lived in the home of Julia's father. Her mother had died in 1922. Their first child, Thomas Patrick, was born on October 10, 1926, followed by Leo Henry II on November 18, 1927.
|1930 US Federal Census|
A little more than a year later, on June 16, 1929, Julia gave birth to another son, John Anthony Miller, my father. Daughter Cecelia arrived December 18, 1930 and finally their youngest son Norman Eugene, was born on October 19, 1932.
|Leo and Julia's children L-R: John, Cecelia, Norman, Leo II|
|1925 Phone Book|
When Julia's father passed away in 1936, the house was left to Julia's sister Mamie, but Leo and Julia remained living there. Mamie never married. She and Leo's family continued living in the same home.
|The Doran and eventually Miller family home in Fort Madison, Iowa|
|1940 US Federal Census|
|Leo with Julia's brothers|
|Leo and Julia Miller - 40th Anniversary|
The week of August 20, 1975, Leo's son John and John's wife and children were in the area visiting. They left for home on August 24. On August 26, Leo passed away. He left behind four grown children and their families, including sixteen grandchildren. He was buried in the extended family plot in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Fort Madison.