Although he never lived in North Omaha, his name is all over one neighborhood. With many roles in old Omaha it should be no surprise that this insane man was honored with permanent namesakes. This is a biography of Dr. George Miller.
North Omaha’s eponymous Miller Park, as well as the neighborhood and school, was named after George Lorin Miller (1830–1920). Dr. Miller was the founder of the Omaha World-Herald. He was also a pioneer physician, editor, politician, and land owner. A constant promoter of the city he helped establish, he was involved in pushing the Union Pacific Railroad through Omaha in the 1860s, and in making the 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition happen.
The oldest son of Omaha’s second mayor, George Miller went to a medical school in New York City and practice there before moving to Omaha in 1854. He was the first doctor in Omaha City. Elected to the Nebraska Territory Legislature in 1856, Miller served four terms. After moving away from 1860 to 1864, he decided to leave the medical profession and joined the U.S. Army in the Civil War.
In 1864, he came back to Omaha and ran for Congress but lost. After founding the Omaha Daily Herald in 1865, Miller was in a constant battle with another local paper called the Omaha Evening World until 1889, when he sold his paper to his competitor. The paper became known as the Omaha World-Herald.
In the 1880s, he bought a large tract of land in North Omaha made of cornfields and dugout houses in an area called “Gophertown.” By 1891, he flattened those homes, laying out streets, planting trees, and selling lots in an area that became called the Miller Park neighborhood. It was named for the Miller Park, which Dr. Miller sold to the city for use as a public park. It was during this era that he served as the first president of the City of Omaha Board of Park Commissioners.
In 1900, he was locked up for being insane. However, he was eventually released and reassumed his political and business activities.
Miller died in Omaha in 1920.
Long lauded for being a perpetually enthusiastic Omaha promoter, there were several parks nominated to be named after Dr. Miller as soon as 1890. The Miller Park was named for him in 1893. The neighborhood to the south was named Miller Park School was named for him in 1912, and the neighborhood surrounding it took on the name afterwards.
- Miller Park Neighborhood, North 30th and Fort Street
- Miller Park, North 30th and Kansas Street
- Miller Park School, North 28th and Ellison Avenue
- George Miller Parkway, 180th Street
You Might Like…
- History of the Miller Park Neighborhood
- History of Miller Park
- History of the Intersection of 24th and Fort
- History of the Miller Park Duplex Historical District
Great article. I’m sure that in my childhood we covered every single inch of Miller Park!
As a Blessed Sacrament School kid we had to traverse the park to walk to school (in 2 feet of snow 😉 )
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Ditto! Great piece on Dr. Miller. I too was a Blessed Sacrament kid through all 8 grades (from the 1952/1953 through the 1960/1961 school years) who walked from home at 25th and Ida through Miller Park, snow or no snow.
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I remember Jim Sobota as a schoolmate. Your brother?