Henry County, IAGenWeb
Last summer we were among a group at the home of Mrs. Edgar Lines for a get-together evening of some of our older people, and some of their children and even grandchildren. Among them was Mr. Paul Miller, his charming wife and their two children. We have known Paul since his birth and followed his footsteps with unusual interest, for his father was A.W. Miller, a classmate and friend of this writer from 1887, when we met on the college campus, to the day of his death in 1938 at his home here, and who served our city and county in many official positions.
Paul was the only child of the Millers born in Mt. Pleasant, passed through our public school, then to Wesleyan, graduating with the class of 1923, and then out into the world. We knew that he was connected with the Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co. in some official position. So that evening at Mr. Lines' we asked Paul to sketch his life from graduation to date. And Paul confessed that from the very first of his thinking of his future, banking was his choice.
His first chance at banking was acquaintance with a minor official in the Continental, but his friend discouraged him and urged him to try something else. This Paul did. Took on a little more post graduate work, taught for a brief period. But that was not his path. In 1927 Paul again told his friend who had discouraged banking but who had now risen to a more important post, that if Paul was determined to make banking his life work he would see what could be done. Paul started on his career in the banking world as an assistant cashier, about the first step on the ladder to the goal he hoped to reach. We asked many questions. Finally, Paul's narrative, not giving much indication as to how far he had gotten up the ladder in his 20 years into the Continental we asked Mrs. Miller as to what position in the bank. She modestly replied that he was one of the second vice presidents of the bank.
That floored us. Of course we knew that Paul had climbed quite a distance up from errand runner for his superiors but we were not prepared for the facts of his banking career. There we had conversed for half an hour on his work and not a hint that he was going high. But the real jolt came a few days ago in a letter to us from Miles Babb, enclosing a clipping from a Chicago newspaper, concerning a recent annual meeting for the directors of Paul's bank and a list of seven promotions, and of the four men who were promoted from second vice-president to first vice-president, was Paul E. Miller, our own Paul Miller. The Continental bank is the largest and most powerful in the nation outside of the New York banks. And the third largest in the nation including New York banks. And A.W. Miller's son Paul E. Miller, has proven himself good enough to be selected by a bunch of hard headed directors to the post of first vice-president of one of the four largest financial institutions in the United States.
-- “Bystander’s Notes“ by Charles S. Rogers, Publisher-Editor of The Free Press [weekly newspaper published in Mt. Pleasant, IA] February 16, 1949 p. 2