Biography of Hon. Clarence J. Miles
Adams County, NE Biographies





HON. CLARENCE J. MILES.
The consensus of public opinion establishes the Hon. Clarence J. Miles as one of the prominent business men of Hastings, Nebraska, where he is actively engaged in the grain trade. Moreover, it is uniformly said that no man in Hastings has more friends than he. A native of Illinois, Mr. Miles was born in Jersevville, Jersey county, on the 25th of May, 1866, and is a son of George S. and Martha (DeWolf) Miles. The father, a native of Westminster, Massachusetts, was there reared and educated, pursuing an academic course. He took up the profession of dentistry and for a time engaged in active practice in Alton, Illinois, while later he removed to Jerseyville, and in the year 1889 became a resident of Beatrice, Nebraska, where he continued to follow his profession until his death, which occurred in 1893 when he was sixty two years of age. In politics he was an active republican and was for many years chairman of the county central committee in Illinois. Fraternally he was connected with the Masons and with the Odd Fellows. All through his life he manifested those sterling traits which won for him leadership and which gained for him the high and enduring regard of those with whom he was associated. His wife was born in Alton, Illinois, and was reared and educated in Jerseyville, also studying for a time in Chicago. She survived her husband and died in 1909 at the age of seventy one years, passing away in the faith of the Presbyterian church, of which she was a consistent member.

Clarence J. Miles, the third in order of birth of six children, spent his boyhood days in his native city, where he attended the public and high schools. When nineteen years of age he became assistant cashier of the Farmers Bank in Solomon City, Kansas, having previously had experience in banking in the capacity of bookkeeper in a bank at Jerseyville. After leaving Kansas he went to Pasadena, California, accepting a position in the First National Bank of that city, but after a short time he resigned and returned to Kansas, where he became cashier of the Citizens Bank in the town of Liberal. At the end of the year he was transferred by the owners of that bank to Chicago to take charge of their office in that city. They were extensively engaged in construction work there and Mr. Miles remained with them for about a year. He was afterward with Kilpatrick Brothers & large railway contractors at Beatrice, Nebraska, for ten years, and in 1899 established business in Hastings as a grain and coal dealer. At one time he owned five elevators in the state and he has conducted an extensive grain business, his enterprise proving. an important one in the various communities where he has operated, as it has furnished a market to grain raisers. He was also for several years president of the McCanaughey Grain Company, operating ten elevators in Nebraska, and at the same time he was operating his own chain of five elevators. At the present time he is the owner of three elevators, one at Giltner, another at Brining and a third at Eustis, Nebraska. He is also owner of the electric light plant at the last named place, is president of the Grand Island Gas Company at Grand Island, Nebraska, and is a director of the First National Bank of Hastings. He is likewise a heavy stockholder in the Beatrice Creamery and in numerous commercial and industrial enterprises of Hastings. He is thus connected with various corporations and along legitimate lines of business has won substantial success, steadily working his way upward. He possesses tireless energy, keen perception and a genius for devising the right thing at the right time, joined to everyday common sense. His plans have been well formulated and carefully executed and his perseverance and determination have carried him steadily forward.

In 1884 Mr. Miles was married to Miss Flori D. Cory, who was born in Jerseyville, Illinois, where they were reared and educated. They were schoolmates in youth and the friendship of childhood ripened into love which found its consummation in marriage. Theirs was a beautiful home life, which was terminated, however, by death on the 18th of October, 1915, when Mrs. Miles passed to the home beyond. Her many splendid traits of character, her kindliness of spirit, her sympathy and her goodwill to all won her the high esteem and love of those with whom she came in contact and her death was the occasion of deep regret wherever she was known.

Mr. Miles is well known in Masonic circles, belonging to Hastings Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; to Mount Herman Commandery, and to Sesostris Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Lincoln. He also has membership with the United Workmen and the Elks at Hastings and with the United Commercial Travelers, in which organization he has filled all the local, state and national offices. In 1905 he was elected supreme councillor of the Commercial Travelers of the United States at the convention in Columbus and so served until 1906. He is a recognized leader in the ranks of the republican party, his opinions carrying weight in its councils. In 1906 he ran second for the nomination for governor in the state convention and many of his friends are urging him to again become a candidate for the position. Five times he has been elected mayor of Hastings, twice without opposition, serving in all for eleven years. Nearly all of the asphalt paving in the city was put down between the years 1902 and 1913 during his administration. His direction of municipal affairs was businesslike and progressive. He opposed the useless retrenchment that hampers progress and was equally strong in his opposition to unwise expenditure, and his efforts constituted a potent force toward the upbuilding of the city and the establishment of those interests which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. He is a man of fine personal appearance and the physical is but the indication of the spirit within. He is entirely free from ostentation, nor is there about him the least shadow of mock modesty. He his a man who correctly judges life's contacts and experiences and in every relation works along the lines of progress and improvement for the individual and for the community.

From:
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, 1916


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