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Margaret Funk Miller

First Lady
January 11, 1864 - January 8, 1866

Born: September 9, 1816
in Carroll, Pennsylvania

Died: June 22, 1879
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Married 1839 to Stephen Miller

 

Biography
Margaret Funk was born in 1816 in Pennsylvania, the daugther of a prominent Harrisburg area citizen and legislator, Christian Funk. Margaret married Stephen Miller in Harrisburg in 1839, and gave birth to three sons as well as a daughter who died in infancy. Stephen Miller suffered from poor health throughout his life and 1858 he moved his family to Minnesota for the healthful climate, promoted by his old friend Alexander Ramsey.

The Millers settled in St. Cloud where Stephen established a mercantile business. The business eventually failed, but he was quickly recognized by the Republican Party for his oratorical skills. He traveled the state on behalf of Republican candidates in 1859 and in 1860 was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago. Mrs. Miller remained in St. Cloud with her youngest son during this time.

In 1861 Stephen and the Millers' two older sons enlisted to serve in the Civil War. Stephen achieved some success as a soldier, rising to the rank of Colonel. The Millers' eldest son, Wesley, was killed in action at Gettysburg. Stephen Miller's military leadership and Republican Party activism was rewarded with his election as governor in 1863.

Following his term as governor Stephen Miller was a U.S. congressman, presidental elector, lay preacher, and railroad field agent. In 1878 Stephen received a small government pension with which he established a home in Worthington. Minnesota. Margaret Miller returned to Pennsylvania in 1879 and passed away shortly thereafter.