This house was constructed some time between 1845 and 1849 for Henry Miller, a civic leader and merchant who was prominent in the early swamp land reclamation movement in Southeast Missouri and was also involved in the creation and promotion of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad Company in the 1850s. Known architecturally as an “I-House,” it is believed to be the oldest in Stoddard County and one of the oldest houses in Southeast Missouri. The interior of the house retains much of its original material, with the exception of minor repairs. The house was used as a residence continually from the time it was constructed until about 1979 and has been vacant ever since. The house has since fallen into general disrepair from neglect, some siding is missing, and the porch collapsed and was removed. A $200,000.00 grant was received several years ago to restore the house, but after one of the contractors failed to produce, the grant was forfeited. Student volunteers from the Historic Preservation Association at Southeast Missouri State University have been working to stabilize the Miller House. It is hoped that Missouri’s Most Endangered List will bring added recognition to this historic place, that the building can be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and that it will be able to once again garner economic favor through a broader system of support.
Update: Student volunteers from the Historic Preservation Association at Southeast Missouri State University were responsible for getting the Miller House listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and have been working to stabilize the Miller House, but the building is still in need of total renovation. Formerly in private hands, the property has now been deeded to the Stoddard County Development Foundation (SCDF), a federally tax exempt organization, so that any funds donated to the house’s renovation will be recognized as donations. It is hoped that Missouri’s List of Places Peril will bring added donors to the SCDF. To donate, or for more information, call the SCDF’s Sue Tippen at (573)568-4400.