Lee County Biography



Ward Miller got his start in baseball back in 1906 when he was signed by Rock Island, then of the Three I league. He once said he would have started two years earlier except for a foolish mistake. The kind youth is very prone to make. "Windy" was fooling with a shot put one day and nearly ruined his baseball career. It was to hamper him even so, as an outfielder. But Miller never got to don the Rock Island uniform. Before the season started, he was traded to Ft. Dodge Iowa of the Iowa State Class D league. In mid season he was swapped again, this time being sent to Waterloo of the same league.

In his first season of professional ball, on August 24 he was sold to St. Paul of the American Association. He was traded twice and sold one, in just one season.

In 1907 Windy was shipped to Madison in the Wisconsin State league. After a month and a half as a regular, a fever, similar to Malaria stuck him and he was inactive for the rest of the season.

With the start of the 1908 season, Miller found himself wearing the Warsaw uniform and he helped guide the league to the pennant. The only pennant winning league that Miller completed a season with.

The Chicago Cubs drafted Miller in 1909 and then asked waivers on him in order to send him to Milwaukee for seasoning. But Pittsburgh refused to pass on the waiver and took him. He played with the Pirates for a month and a half but then the fever knocked him out of action. Miller was examined by the Club physician and he later learned from Fred Clark, then the manager of the Pirates, that the doctor had diagnosed his troule as T.B. So in mid season he was swapped to the Reds. It was a bad break for Windy since the Pirates went on to win the Pennant and Miller got a smell of the roses.

In 1910 he was still with the Reds, then in 1911 they sent him to Montreal and by 1912 he was back with the Cubs. After a big decision, Miller jumped the Cubs in favor of the newly formed Federal League where he played with the St. Louis group. Two seasons later the Federal League was disbanded and Miller landed with the St. Louis Browns. In 1918 he dropped out for the last time. In 1919 and 1920 he played for Kansas City in the American Association.. then retired completely.

Ward Taylor "Windy" Miller was 25 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 14, 1909, with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He was outfielder who played for 8 years in the big leagues (1909-1910, 1912-1917), hitting .278 with 8 HR's. "Grump" concluded his MLB career as a Brown, hitting .266 in 146 games in 1916 and .207 in 43 games in 1917. - Grump Miller was 74 when he died in 1958. On May 28, 1909 he was traded by the Pirates to the Cincinnati Reds where he stayed through 1910. He was an outfielder with the Chicago Cubs in 1912 & 1913. 1914 finds him with the Terriors. February 10, 1916 purchased by the St. Louis Browns.

He played his first game 14 April 1909 with the Pirates and his last game 15 July 1917 with the Browns.

Ward Taylor Miller was born on Saturday, July 5, 1884, in Mount Carroll, Carroll County, Illinois, the son of Luther & Ella Miller. He attended Northern Illinois University.

Ward married Ella May Whipperman about 1904, probably in Dixon. She was the daughter of Frederick K. & Anna Christine (Bromm) Whipperman, born 23 April 1883 in Lee County and died 4 November 1975. They were the parents of three children; Joseph E., Joseph H. and Shirley who married Charles Roundy.

He died September 4, 1958 in Dixon, Lee County, IL and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery alongside his wife.

The 1900 Census finds this family living on Franklin Street in Mt. Carroll.

Leuther Miller 48 Aug 1857 PA GER PA
Ella Miller 42 Mar 1858 PA PA PA
Ada Miller 26 Jan 1874 IL
Charles Miller 21 Aug 1878 IL
Maud Miller 18 Feb 1882 IL Daughter
Ward Miller 15 Jul 1884 IL
Jessie 14 May 1886 IL Daughter
Harry Miller Apr 1889 IL
Francis Miller 02 Mar 1898 IL

By 1910 Ward is married to Ella May and they are living at 1120 Walnut Avenue in Dixon. They have two children - Joseph is 5 years old and Doris H. is 3. Living in another apartment, same building, are Ella's parents Frederick & Anna Whipperman with their son George, while on the other side of them at 1122 Walnut is Charlotte (Long) Whipperman Rapp, Ella's grandmother.

The family is still living on Walnut Street in 1920. Ward's occupation is Prifessional Ball Player They are listed with their three children, Joseph, Doris and Shirley.. Next door is Charlotte who is now 101 years of age with her daughter Elizabeth Whipperman.. Ella's parents, Frederick & Anna are now 60 years of age.

Ward and Ella are still in Dixon on the 1930 census but I couldn't read the street. The children are no longer with them, nor the parents. Ward is no the Warden of the Prison


Lee Co Bios

Illinois - "Our Way"