WATSON J. MILLER, SHELTON: President and General Manager Derby Silver Company.
Watson J. Miller was born in Middletown, Conn., November 23, 1849. His early education was acquired in the public
schools, including the Middletown high school and Chase's institute of that city. This was supplemented by a business
course at a commercial college in New Haven, from Which he went into business in Middletown, in March, 1868, engaging
in the manufacture of silver plated ware. He remained there until 1873, when he removed to New York, where he continued
in the same branch of business for six years. From New York he went to Shelton, Conn., in 1878, and when the Derby
Silver Company was reorganized, Mr. Miller was made its secretary and treasurer, and general manager, having been
already on the board of directors. Ten years later he was elected president of the company, still being continued
in the general management, both which positions he continues to occupy at the present time. He is also president
of the South End Land Company, and of the Shelton Loan and Savings Institution, and is largely interested in real
estate in the borough of Shelton. He is recognized as one of the ablest business men in the Naugatuck valley; is
thoroughly public spirited, a wise and discreet counsellor, and actively interested in the welfare and progress
of the community of which he is so important a factor.
Mr. Miller was married October 13, 1874, to Miss Susie J. Waite, only daughter of Alonzo Waite; Esq., of Chicopee,
Mass. He is an attendant at the Protestant Episcopal church, but not a member; and cheerfully aids in the material
support of all religious organizations and charities. He is also a member of several mutual benefit societies.
He was one of the first promoters of the enterprise which resulted in the organization of the Shelton board of
trade, of which he is now a member and director. He has always kept out of politics, though often urged to become
the candidate of his party for both borough and town offices, preferring to devote his attention to business and
accomplish what he could for the benefit of his townsmen in the capacity of a private citizen, rather thane as
a public office holder.
Mr. Miller is a practical philanthropist. He has helped many of the workingmen of his borough to build houses of
their own, and to sate something for a rainy day. He is strongly in favor of the savings system among laboring
men, and was second in the state to get a special charter for a savings and loan institution to furnish aid to
workingmen and mechanics in providing homes for their families. He also favors the cooperative principle in business,
to the extent of admitting as stockholders in his own company those who have been faithful as workmen and have
accumulated something for investment, even though the amount be small. It is a settled principle with him to promote
those who are deserving, and give every man a chance to rise in the world. As a consequence, the Derby Silver Company
is a prosperous institution, the management is popular, and Mr. Miller has the satisfaction of seeing. his faithful
workmen share in the general prosperity.
Illustrated Popular Biography
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891
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