Monday, June 30, 2008

Daniel Long Miller

D.L. Miller (1841-1921) was a writer, editor, and counselor. Born and raised in Maryland, he would move to Illinois as a young man. The 1870s found D.L. Miller prospering in the butter, eggs, and grocery business in Polo, Illinois. In 1879 he became part owner, secretary, and business manager of Mt. Morris College. He served as president of the school, 1881-83. In 1882 he joined Joseph Amick in publishing Brethren at Work which became The Gospel Messenger in 1883. He served as office (managing) editor from 1885-1891 and editor-in-chief from 1891 until his death in 1921.

D.L.'s boyhood was in the main a normal one, characterized by some of the pranks and mischief common to boyhood. There was one such incident which he never forgot. He, with four of his school companions, caught a frog and prepared it for the frying pan. This was done is a none-too- humane way. The incident being reported to the teacher he placed the boys on a slab seat in front of him. Taking his knife from his pocket, he proceeded to sharpen it on a whetstone, at the same time telling the boys of the suffering which the frog had experienced. Each boy was assured in his own mind that he, like the frog, was going to lose a leg or two. Each had been asked to roll his trouser legs above his knees, presumably to make the operation more convenient and successful. D.L. later said, "There was weeping and mourning in concert. When the exhibition was over and we escaped with our legs, we were a happy lot. I learned a lesson which I never forgot. Teachers used the rod in those days freely, but the rod never gave me a lesson as did the teacher with his knife and whetstone."

Sources: The Brethren Encyclopedia
Sidelights on Brethren History
, Freeman Ankrum