John Miller

 
 
October 6, 2020

Although Jacksonville’s City Administrative Offices are now housed in New City Hall (Jackson County’s historic 1883 Courthouse), for almost 40 years they were “temporarily” housed at 110 E. Main Street in what was once one of several elaborate “Queen Anne” style homes built in Jacksonville during the late 1800s.   The Queen Anne structures represented a movement away from earlier modest architectural styles to houses celebrating financial success. 

In 1883, John Miller had purchased the entire block, consisting at the time of 2 wood frame buildings and a dense thicket of trees, later referred to as an “orchard.”  However, it was almost 10 years later that the Queen Anne home was constructed at the corner of 3rd and E. Main using house plans published in one of architect George F. Barber’s pattern books. 

“Gunsmith” Miller, born in Bavaria, was one of Jacksonville’s many German-speaking settlers, arriving in Oregon in 1860.  Miller was probably the town’s most successful gunsmith.  For at least 20 years his Hunters’ Emporium on California Street specialized in guns, and later hardware and cutlery.  Given that the house was built around the time of Miller’s death, it may have been constructed by his son, John F. Miller, rather than “Gunsmith” Miller.  John F. continued to operate his father’s hardware store well into the 20th Century and also served as Jacksonville Postmaster from 1898 to 1913.  The Miller family occupied the home into the 1930s.

In early 1944, a fire destroyed the top floors of the house.  The owner at the time, Harold Lind, remodeled the surviving first floor into the current L-shaped structure. 


John Miller