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John Miller
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Birth: 1886
Tuolumne County
California, USA
Death: Mar. 20, 1910
Tuolumne County
California, USA

Age 24

Union Democrat
March 26,1910

Suicide in Columbia

Attempts Murder and then Sends Pistol Ball through His Own Head

John Miller killed himself Sunday morning at the home of Mrs. Dora Kress in Columbia.

At the inquest held by Coroner Burden Monday it developed that Miller who had returned recently from Applegate, Placer County, had been drinking heavily on the night before and was without doubt temporarily insane when he committed the deed which ended his life.

There were but three witnesses to the tragedy, Mrs. Kress and her two sons, Lawrence and Albert.

Miller came to the Kress home where he had been staying after a night of drinking and carousal, and attempted to pull her out of bed. Lawrence and Albert came in response to her call from adjoining rooms and Miller, after lighting a lamp, went to his room. He returned in a few moments with a revolver which he had taken from a bureau drawer. This he flourished about, and when Lawrence and Albert interfered he knocked the latter down. Seeing that Miller was crazy the boys called to their mother to run and she had started through the kitchen in her endeavor to get away when Miller, who had followed her, snapped the revolver at her. It failed to explode and Mrs. Kress ran screaming into the yard. She had gone but a short distance when she heard two shots fired, both of which Miller had fired at himself. There were marks on his face of the powder burns of the first shot, but no evidence of the direction of the bullet. The second shot struck him squarely in the center of the forehead, killing him instantly, the bullet passing entirely through the head, held only by the skin on the back.

The shooting took place shortly after 2 o'clock in the morning and immediately one of the boys went for some of the neighbors who came and saw Miller lying on the floor where he had fallen.

The jury empanelled by Coroner Burden found that Miller had come to his death by his own hand in the manner above described. The jury was composed of the following: A.T. Ogdon, J. B. Conlin, W.H. McFrancis, J. F. Griggsby, L. A. Engelke, Jr., Frederick Page and J. W. Pitts.

The funeral took place Tuesday afternoon and the body was interred in the cemetery at Columbia. The deceased was 24 years of age and was a native of this county. His wife had been granted a divorce some time ago and this is said to have been one of the causes of his heavy drinking. He was a son of the late Leander Miller and Mrs. Fannie Griepenstroh, who resides at Brown's Flat.

Note: John's father was still alive in 1910. When John was a baby, Leander Miller took four children with him to Seattle, Washington where he was a dairyman. The children he took to Washington were Laura, Marietta (Maria), Frank Leander and Carrie.

It is unknown where John was living in 1900, when he was 14 years old. He was not living with his mother and step-father, Henry Griepenstroh.

John's half siblings were Fannie, Dora and Clarence Griepenstroh.

John was the grandson of Uriah Miller who is also buried in Columbia.
Family links: 
  Leander Miller (1841 - 1924)
  Fannie Monroe Griepenstroh (1852 - 1935)
  George T Miller (1886 - 1907)*
  John Miller (1886 - 1910)
*Calculated relationship
Columbia Public Cemetery
Tuolumne County
California, USA
Created by: P. L. Mohr
Record added: Feb 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65952667
John Miller
Added by: Marlene McCluskey
John Miller
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Macomber
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Great story. I did not know this story until posted by you. You linked it to my submission of Henry and Fannie Griepenstroh. Do you know if he has a grave marker?
- Bart Gripenstraw
 Added: Jul. 27, 2014

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