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State Library of Iowa

1888-1894, Mary H. Miller


1888-1894, Mary H. Miller



Mary H. MacGinnitie was born in Clarion County, Pennsylvania on July 24, 1842, the daughter of John P. and Marilla B. MacGinnitie. She came with her parents to Eddyville, Iowa in 1862 and taught in the public schools in Eddyville and Ottumwa. In 1867 she was married to Lieutenant Samuel Newell Miller, of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, who died March 27, 1872 leaving her to raise her three-year-old son, Frank . After the death of her husband she taught in the Des Moines public schools until May 1888, when she was appointed by Governor Larrabee to succeed Sara B. Maxwell as State Librarian. It was said that as State Librarian Mrs. Miller was “uniformly courteous and willing to do all in her power to make the use of its facilities as wide and general as possible.” Miller was elected the first President of the Iowa Library Association in 1891, holding the office for two terms. She was “kindly helpful to all who needed aid, and she had the true spirit of selflessness.” Her son, Frank, died May 25, 1896 and she died in Des Moines on March 28, 1904. “Well Known Woman Dies; Mary M. Miller, Former State Librarian, Passes Away at Age of 63,” The Register and Leader newspaper, Des Moines, IA, Tuesday, March 29, 1904, p.2. “Death of a Former Citizen, Mary H. Miller Passes Away at the Age of Sixty-Three,” Eddyville Tribune newspaper, Eddyville, IA, Friday, April 1, 1904, p.8 Hall, Willis L. Biographical Sketches of the Twenty-fifth General Assembly of Iowa, the State Officers and Iowa Members of Congress, Des Moines, Rowen Brothers: 1894:18-19. “Mary M. Miller.” Quarterly of the Iowa Library Commission, Oct. 1904: 63. Mary Miller photograph from Records of the Iowa Library Association, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa


State Librarians of Iowa 1837 - 2008 Compiled by Karon S. King Library Resource Technician State Library of Iowa 1112 East Grand Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50319 2008


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State Librarians of Iowa