Memorable Manitobans: James Andrews Miller (1839-1886)
Lawyer, judge, MLA (1883-1884).
Born at Galt, Ontario on 29 July 1839, second son of John Miller, he received his early education at Galt, Simcoe and Toronto, and in 1859 graduated from Trinity College, Toronto, with honours in classics and mathematics. He received his legal training at St. Catharines and was called to the Upper Canada Bar in 1863. A Conservative, he was an unsuccessful candidate for Lincoln in the House of Commons at a by-election in April 1877.
In October 1880, he was made a Queen’s Counsel in Manitoba and, a few days later, was appointed one of the judges of the Court of Queen’s Bench. He resigned the position on 31 December 1882 and was a Conservative candidate for the Rockwood constituency in the 1883 provincial general election, having been promised by John Norquay to be appointed Attorney-General if he won. When he lost, he joined a Winnipeg law firm in February 1883. Norquay convinced him to run a second time, in a by-election for the Rat Portage constituency on 21 September 1883. In advance of the election, he was appointed Attorney-General in early September 1883 and held the position until 10 December 1884 when he resigned. With the adoption of the Torrens system of land transfer in Manitoba, he accepted the position of Registrar-General and filled this position until his death.
On 8 June 1865, he married Henrietta Ramsay (?-?) of St. Catharines, Ontario. They had no children. He was President of the Winnipeg Cricket Club at the time of his death.
He died at Winnipeg on 1 November 1886, a few days after falling on stairs, and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery. He is commemorated by Miller Road in Winnipeg.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Ex-judge Miller,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 November 1886, page 4.
“The late Mr. Miller,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 November 1886, page 4.
A Political Manual of the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories by J. P. Robertson, Winnipeg: Call Printing Company, 1887.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Gerald Friesen.
Page revised: 14 May 2022