John N. Miller

John N. Miller was born on December 7, 1851 in Stoddard County on land not far from where the future town of Dexter sprang up in 1873. Known as, “Bud,” the young Miller was one of the first to build a commercial building at the intersection of Walnut and Stoddard streets. He built a fine two story brick structure to house his mercantile supply calling the firm, J. N. Miller. Shortly thereafter he added F. M. Ladd as a partner, and then A. H. Carter was added and the mercantile became Miller, Ladd, and Carter, until finally it was Miller, Carter and Company (Ladd opened his own mercantile down the road). Eventually the firm added Sam Ulen to the roster and expanded their business to include another large building that faced south on the corner of Stoddard and Walnut streets, diagonally across from the original Miller-Carter Mercantile Company building (the Bunny Patch building today). This new firm handled mostly hardware items and was known as Miller, Ulen, and Carter Hardware. John Miller soon amassed a considerable amount of land from the profits made from his business ventures. He purchased two thousand acres south of town and owned a considerable amount of livestock. He married Mary A. Sitton in 1874 and the couple had six children. At the time of his death his estate was valued at nearly $20 million dollars in 2023 money.

Article Written by: Paul Arnold

Photos Provided by: Paul Arnold