Prominent Writer, Civic Leader
Raised in a strictly Protestant family, Miller espoused Christian values of temperance, morality, and service in everything she did. During her time as editor of The Little Corporal, the literary tales in its pages related scenes of “all that is good and true,” as the magazine’s motto promised. The stories Miller contributed to the magazine earned her national renown as an author, and she went on to publish full-length books both in the United States and abroad, including The Bear’s Den (1878), The Parish of Fair Haven (1876), and The Royal Road to Fortune (1870).
Miller’s contributions to important women’s movements simultaneously grew alongside her career as a writer. Along with others like Frances Willard, she founded the Ladies’ College at Evanston in 1870 (incorporated into Northwestern University in 1873), and later served as dean of women at Northwestern from 1891 to 1898 and again in 1900 on an interim basis. She received an honorary doctorate in literature from the university in 1909. Her commitment to equal education for women stemmed from her work within the Methodist Church. Over many years, Miller cultivated experience in organizing her fellow Christian sisters in support of various women’s rights issues.