It is well to begin a story at the beginning, and as the tale of the Miller family is interesting in every part, even before the brothers themselves come on the scene, there is no reason for slighting the opening. They were born in Middletown, Conn.; their forbears had been born there for 250 years. There is the Miller pond, Miller’s farms, and the old mill itself to remind later generations of the stalwart Tom, first of his name to come to this country, who settled in Middletown on the promise from the town that if he did all ther milling they would give him $700. The town never kept its word.
The Millers eventually made a good living as farmers, which brings us to the four brothers in this story. Their mother had urged their father to “Get them out into the world to see what they can do,” and so he gave them each $700 (approximately $16,000 in today’s dollar) and sent them on their way.
50 years later, all four sons were millionaires. On the occasion of one son’s golden wedding anniversary, they reunited, and the New York Times Sunday Magazine wrote this profile. You can read how each one managed to turn their father’s gift into a full fledged business.
But the brothers had a sister, too. What happened to her?
Kate Miller, who became Mrs. Strickland, was the only girl in the family, and did not get $700 and sent out, but she made her fortune just the same. She was left a widow some twenty or twenty-five years ago. She took her husband’s life insurance and without asking anybody’s advice proceeded to make the shrewdest investments. She has big profits on some of her stock, and all her purchases prove that she has just the same business acumen that marks her brothers.
BY SEPARATE PATHS FOUR BROTHERS WIN MILLIONS: Starting with $700 Each, the Miller Boys of Connecticut Weave an Amazing Modern Fairy Tale of Finance. (PDF)
From August 21, 1910
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