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Finding Aid for the Rudolph Charles and Byrdie Miller Photograph Album Collection

Rudolph Charles and Byrdie Miller Collection

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Finding Aid for the Rudolph Charles and Byrdie Miller Photograph Album Collection, circa 1909-1973

Profile Description

Creation: 2012 August 29. Encoded in Exchanger XML Editor by Tyrrell Historical Library staff.

Descriptive Summary

Repository:Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont Public Libraries, 695 Pearl St, Beaumont, TX 77701
Creator:Miller, Rudolph Charles, 1873-1973; Miller, Byrd Blanche Goodman, 1883-1974
Title:Rudolph Charles and Byrdie Miller Collection
Extent:2 boxes, approximately 1 cubic foot.
Creator Abstract:R.C. Miller was an important businessman in Beaumont, Texas, and an active community member. He was a founding partner of the Kirk-Miller-Josey Feed Co., president of the Tyrrell Rice Milling Company, president of the Beaumont Realty Company, president of the Beaumont Hotel Company, which built the Hotel Beaumont, and vice president of the Fannin Street Realty Company.
Content Abstract:This collection primarily contains photographs from the Millers' personal photo albums, featuring photos of friends and family, and vacation photos. It also includes a few items of correspondence and personal keepsakes.
Language:Materials are in English.

Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into 22 folders in two boxes.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains photographs from the Millers' personal photograph albums. These pictures depict their family and friends in various locations, including on cruise vacations in the Mediterranean, at the beach, in San Antonio, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in Navasota, in Honolulu, and at home in Beaumont. The pictures span a long period of time, from approximately 1909 to 1973, and reveal a fascinating portrait of life in southeast Texas in the twentieth century. The collection also holds holiday season greeting cards from Oscar Eldridges, the Stern family, the Goodman family, and the Hagan family, in addition to personal correspondence between family members. This correspondence includes a set of letters from Bert Miller to his parents, sent while he was at summer camp in Wisconsin in 1920, and a letter from Charles Chinski to R. C. Miller, sent while he was overseas in the army during World War I. The collection also has an invitation to the wedding of R. C. Miller and Byrd Goodman, and a rice bag from the Tyrrell Rice Milling Company.

Biographical Note

Rudolph Charles Miller was born in Navasota, Texas, in 1873, to Charles Miller and Jeannie, or Jennie, Rabi. He had three sisters, Emma, Isabelle, and Clara Miller Chinski. After graduating high school, he attended horology courses at a school in Indiana, and at the Peoria Horological Institue in Peoria, Illinois. Around 1891, he returned to Texas, and worked for a watch repair and jewelry store in Houston. In 1892, he went back to Navasota and started his own jewelry and watch business, which he ran for about eight years. He left the business in 1900, moved to El Paso, and entered a partnership with Boone Kirk, establishing a grain wholesale and retail business. The Kirk-Miller Feed Company rapidly grew, and in 1903, J. E. Josey became an associate, with the company sometimes being known as either the Josey-Miller Company, or the Kirk-Miller-Josey Feed Company. Additionally, Miller was the president of the Tyrrell Rice Milling Company and the Beaumont Realty Company, and vice-president of the Fannin Street Realty Company. He also served as president of the Beaumont Hotel Company, which built the Hotel Beaumont, before retiring from it in 1922. He continued to serve as president for the Beaumont Realty Company until at least 1961.

Miller actively participated in the Beaumont community as a member of the Beaumont Country Club, the Beaumont Masonic Lodge No. 286, the Beaumont Rotary Club, and Temple Emmanuel.

Miller married Byrd Blanche Goodman (1883-1974), known as Byrdie, on January 11, 1905, in Navasota. Byrdie, one of twelve children, nine of whom survived infancy and early childhood, was the daughter of B. and Ernestina Goodman. Ernestina, born circa November 1845, immigrated to the United States from Prussia in 1866. B. Goodman was born around 1840 in Prussia, and worked as a dry goods merchant in the U.S. He passed away sometime between 1889 and 1900. R. C. and Byrdie had one son, Bert C. Miller, who was born in 1909. Bert attended Harvard Military School in Los Angeles (today known as the Harvard-Westlake School) from 1924-1925, before returning to Beaumont and graduating from Beaumont High School in 1927. He remained in Beaumont, and served as the director of several firms, including the Beaumont Realty Company, the Tyrrell Rice Milling Company, the J. M. Properties Company, and the Fannin Street Realty Company. He died in 1952 at the age of 43. R. C. Miller died in 1973 at the age of 100. Byrdie Miller died in 1974 at the age of 91. All three are buried at Hebrew Rest Cemetery.

Clara Miller Chinski, R. C. Miller's sister, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1872. In 1891, she married Clarence C. Chinski, who was the proprietor of the Southeast Texas Produce Company. Clara served as director of the Beamount Red Cross chapter, and as president of the American Legion auxiliary. She and Clarence had one son, Charles C. Chinski, (born circa 1892), who later lived in New York City, and one daughter, Reba Chinski (born January 20, 1902). In January 1920, Clara, Charles, Reba, and Clara's mother and sister were all living together in Beaumont. Just a few months later, Reba died at age 18, on April 25, 1920. She is buried at Hebrew Rest Cemetery. Clara died in 1951, at age 79.

Index Terms

Chinski, Clara Miller, 1872-1951
Goodman, Ernestina, 1845-1925
Miller, Bert C., 1909-1952
Miller, Byrd Blanche Goodman, 1883-1974
Miller, Isabelle, 1877-1975
Miller, Rudolph Charles, 1873-1973
Beaumont Hotel Company (Beaumont, Tex.)
Beaumont Realty Company (Beaumont, Tex.)
Fannin Street Realty Company (Beaumont, Tex.)
J. M. Properties Company (Beaumont, Tex.)
Kirk-Miller Feed Company (Beaumont, Tex.)
Tyrrell Rice Milling Company (Beaumont, Tex.)
Birthday parties
Ocean travel
Photography of families
Beaumont (Tex.)
Navasota (Tex.)
Greeting cards
Photograph albums


Access Restrictions

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The Tyrrell Historical Library does not hold copyright for most of its collections. The researcher must secure permission to publish. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Tyrrell Historical Library. The researcher assumes full responsibility for complying with copyright, literary property rights, and libel laws.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Item, Folder, Box, Rudolph Charles and Byrdie Miller Photograph Album Collection, circa 1909-1973, AC-543, Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Dropped off at the R. C. Miller Library in Beaumont, Texas, in 2011, and then transferred to the Tyrrell Historical Library..

Processing Information

Processed by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2011.

Finding aid revised and encoded by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2012 August.

Related Material

AC-061, Rudolph C. Miller Papers, Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont, Texas

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