Early Presbyterianism in Texas
EARLY PRESBYTERIANISM IN TEXAS AS SEEN BY
REV. JAMES WESTON MILLER, D. D.
ROBERT FINNEY MILLER, M. D.
Mly father, the Rev. Dr. James Weston Miller, came to Texas
in December, 1844, as a missionary of the Presbyterian church to
the First Presbyterian Church of Houston. He arrived at Hous-
ton on the steamer Captain Wood, having come by boat down
the Ohio from Steubenville, and down the Mississippi to New
Orleans, then by water to Galveston and Harrisburg. He was
born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, on French Creek, near Mill
Village, November 15, 1815, the eldest of nine children of Jere-
miah and Elizabeth Weston Miller, and was christened James
Weston for his maternal grandfather, Esquire James Weston, a
descendant of the Westons of Duxbury and Plymouth, Massa-
chusetts. James Weston Miller's family were: pioneers in north-
western Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Stephen Miller, came
early to Erie County and settled at Waterford.
James Weston Miller began his education in the old log school
houses of Erie County, and studied night after night by the blaze
of a pine knot. He later entered Waterford Academy, six miles
away, and walked the distance to and fro for some years. In
1835 he finished the academy course and won a scholarship which
gave him two years free at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Penn-
sylvania. At the end of his sophomore year he was out of funds,
so returned to Waterford Academy as principal during 1837-38.
Returning to Jefferson in 1838 he graduated in 1840. There
were forty-two graduates that year, and he took first honors and
the valedictory September 14, 1840. For the next year he was
assistant to Rev. Dr. Mathew Brown, President of Jefferson Col-
lege. In the fall of 1841 he accepted the principalship of the
Grove Academy at Steubenville, Ohio, for a year, and here began
the lifelong friendship with Dr. C. C. Beatty, President of the
Steubenville Female Seminary. Dr. Beatty was one of the great-
est Presbyterian divines of his day. After a year at the Grove
Academy, Miller entered the theological seminary at Allegheny,
Pennsylvania, to prepare for the ministry. Here he graduated in
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/. Accessed July 31, 2014.