23 November 2008

Willis H. Miller -- we have lost a champion of history and genealogy

The worlds of genealogy, history and newspapers have lost a great friend. Willis H. Miller of Hudson, Wisconsin, passed away last Sunday. His obituary reads like an autobiography and I am sure Willis worked on his own obituary over the years.

I met this amazing man many years ago and the minute someone mentions his name I immediately think "newspaper index." The newspaper that is synonymous with his name, the Hudson Star-Observer, carried this about the index, "He was instrumental in establishing, at the office of the Star-Observer, the Hudson Area Biographical Index, a comprehensive listing of names and information on some 200,000 Hudsonites, both living and dead. The index has caught the attention of historians, researchers and genealogists from throughout the nation over the years." The index is virtually a history of the area and does include some Minnesotans.

A celebration of his life takes place this coming week on what would have been his 90th birthday.

His obituary is in the Sunday, November 23rd issue of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and in many other newspapers in Wisconsin and Minnesota. This is the obituary that all of us should have -- but alas, the cost of publishing these is prohibitive.

No comments: