Miller, Samuel H. (1862-1928)

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Samuel H. Miller, born 5 January 1862, died 28 February 1928, was a leader of the Walnut Creek, Ohio, Amish Mennonite Church in the early 20th century and remembered for serving a jail term as editor of the Sugarcreek, Ohio, Amish and Mennonite newspaper The Budget. He was the son of Moses D. Miller (25 May 1807-9 May 1886) and Barbara Hage (27 February 1823-12 August 1883), a Reformed Church family. On 10 December 1882 he married his first wife Margaret Ruefenacht (26 September 1864-6 February 1891), also of the Reformed faith; they had six children. On 24 September 1893 Miller married Malinda Mast (17 January 1866-1 September 1931), the youngest daughter of the Holmes County Amish Mennonite Minister Abraham Mast. He had another nine children from his second marriage. Miller joined the Amish Mennonite congregation and by 7 November 1897 was ordained to the ministry at Walnut Creek; he also became active in the Eastern Amish Mennonite Conference as an evangelist. Miller served on the first publication board the (Old) Mennonite Church which was formed in 1908.

Samuel (often called "S. H.") Miller was editor of The Budget from April 1912 to March 1920, during the difficult years of World War I. The Budget published letters from correspondents or scribes, many encouraging the Amish and Mennonites to be faithful to the church’s historic peace teachings. One letter by preacher Manasses Bontrager (15 May 1918, p. 3) discouraged readers from buying Liberty Bonds which the United States government had issued to help pay for the war effort. For this publication, a grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio, issued a five-count indictment against editor S. H. Miller which included charges that he had published a letter which "attempted to cause or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces of the United States." At his trial on 17 August 1918, Miller pled guilty to this one charge (the others were dropped); he was fined $500, asked to pay $145.93 for the court costs. Unable to pay, Miller spent several days in jail until a cousin paid the fine. Miller is buried in the Walnut Creek Mennonite Cemetery.


"Samuel H. Miller." SAGA (Swiss Anabaptist Genealogical Association) Genealogical Website. (accessed 19 March 2009).

Schlabach, Ervin. The Amish and Mennonites at Walnut Creek. Privately published by the author, 1981.

See also Ted Joseph, "United States vs. S. H. Miller: The Strange Case of a Mennonite Editor Convicted of Violating the 1917 Espionage Act." Mennonite Life (September 1975): 15.

Author(s) Levi Miller
Date Published March 2009

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MLA style

Miller, Levi. "Miller, Samuel H. (1862-1928)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2009. Web. 9 Jul 2020.,_Samuel_H._(1862-1928)&oldid=113525.

APA style

Miller, Levi. (March 2009). Miller, Samuel H. (1862-1928). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 July 2020, from,_Samuel_H._(1862-1928)&oldid=113525.

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