Miller, Gerrit S. (Gerrit Smith), 1869-1956

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Gerrit Smith Miller, Jr., (1869-1956) was born in Peterboro, New York, on December 6, 1869, and grew up on a large estate in central New York. In this relatively isolated setting and through the influence of his great uncle, an ornithologist, Miller developed an early interest in natural history. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1894, Miller joined the Biological Survey in the Department of Agriculture and worked under Clinton Hart Merriam. In 1898 he joined the United States National Museum as Assistant Curator of Mammals and in 1909 became Curator of that Division. He continued in that position until 1940 when he retired and remained as an Associate in biology at the Smithsonian Institution until his death on February 24, 1956.

Smithsonian Institution Archives Field Book Project: Person : Description : rid_475_pid_EACP472

Gerrit Smith Miller (1845-1937) was a New York politician and dairy farmer. His father was Charles D. Miller (1818-1896); through his mother Elizabeth Smith (1822-1911) he was the grandson of New York reformer, philanthropist and abolitionist Gerrit Smith.

Gerrit Smith Miller was one of the early importers of Holsteins from Holland (following the example of a neighbor, Winthrop W. Chenery) and maintained the oldest purebred Holstein herd in the United States from 1869 to 1937. Many of the 1.8 million animals registered in the Holstein-Freisian book today descend from Miller's Kriemhild herd. He was also one of the first to approach dairy farming scientifically, keep daily year-round records of milk production in his effort to increase yields. Miller was also a member of the New York State legislature, and was involved with the George Junior Republic, a boys' school founded by American philanthropist William Reuben George in 1909.

He and his wife, Susan Hunt Dixwell, had three sons: Gerrit Smith Jr. (1869- ?), Basil Dixwell (1873- ?) and William Fitzhugh (1878-1890).

A genealogy of the Smith family is available here (if online) or at the end of this finding aid (if in hard copy).

From the guide to the Gerrit Smith Miller Papers, 1869-1913, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1841-1935. Correspondence of Oliver W. Holmes, 1891-1931. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
referencedIn Handwriting samples of naturalists and others, ca. 1800-1970 (inclusive) Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIh, 1892-1896 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Miller, Gerrit Smith, 1869-. [Collected reprints] Cornell University Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1668-1983, Bulk, 1750-1850, 1668-1983 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn William R. George family papers, 1750-1989. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn George family. William R. George family papers, 1750-1989. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Miller, Gerrit S. (Gerrit Smith), 1869-1956. [Collected papers on zoology, chiefly concerning bats and other mammals.] University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Allen, J. A. (Joel Asaph), 1838-1921. Correspondence, 1870-1919 (bulk 1899-1902). American Museum of Natural History
creatorOf Audubon, John James, 1785-1851. Three letters regarding Audubon's painting, American ruffed grouse 1931. Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn British Museum (Natural History). Dept. of Zoology. Register sheets of the Gerrit S. Miller collection of North American birds, 1906-1908. Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
creatorOf Robinson, Wirt, b. 1864. Letters. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Gerrit Smith Miller Papers, 1869-1913 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873 person
associatedWith Allen, J. A. (Joel Asaph), 1838-1921. person
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Audubon, John James, 1785-1851. person
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820 person
associatedWith British Museum (Natural History). Dept. of Zoology. corporateBody
associatedWith Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839 person
associatedWith Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899 person
associatedWith Cuvier, Georges, Baron, 1769-1832 person
associatedWith Darlington, William, 1782-1863 person
associatedWith Dixwell family. family
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A., (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Everett, Edward, 1794-1865 person
associatedWith Fitch, John person
associatedWith Fitzhugh family. family
associatedWith Genth, F. A., (Frederick Augustus), 1820-1893 person
associatedWith George family. family
associatedWith George family. family
associatedWith Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872 person
associatedWith Harding, Warren G. person
associatedWith Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1841-1935. person
associatedWith Miller, Elizabeth Smith, 1822-1911 person
associatedWith Miller family. family
associatedWith National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Division of Mammals. corporateBody
associatedWith Newcomb, Simon person
associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 person
associatedWith Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
associatedWith Robinson, Wirt, b. 1864. person
associatedWith Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813 person
associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Seybert, Adam, 1773-1825 person
associatedWith Smith family. family
associatedWith Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874 person
associatedWith Smith, Greene, 1841-1880 person
associatedWith Smith, Peter, 1768-1837 person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Stevens, Henry person
associatedWith Sully, Thomas, 1783-1872 person
associatedWith Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824 person
associatedWith Waterton, Charles, 1782-1865 person
associatedWith Wayne, Anthony person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
New York State
Zoology
Dairy farmers--New York (State)
Politics, government and public administration
Dairy farming--New York (State)
Legislators--New York (State)
Mammals
Bats
Occupation
Dairy farmers
Legislators
Function

Person

Birth 1869-12-06

Death 1956-02-24

Americans

English

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