Visitors Guide to the
Miller House Museum
318 N. Fifth Street
Keokuk, Iowa

Street Parking Interpretive Exhibits Iowa Historical Site Gift Shop


Samuel Freeman Miller (1816-1890) was born Kentucky, and grew up on a farm. He earned a medical degree from Transylvania University in 1838. and practiced medicine for ten years. During that time he taught himself law, was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1847, abandoning his medical practice. Miller became more interested in politics after he became an attorney. As member of the Whig Party, Miller was opposed to slavery, a position that caused him difficulty because of the increase of pro-slavery sentiments in Kentucky. In 1850, he moved to Iowa, which was more tolerant of his antislavery views. He established a law practice in Keokuk and became a prominent member of the Republican Party and a supporter of Abraham Lincoln's presidential campaign in 1860. Lincoln appointed Miller to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1962 where he served until his death in 1890.

In 1859 Miller built a three–story, 12–room brick home at 318 North 5th Street at a cost of $13,000. Miller and his family lived in the home only two years before departing for Washington. In 1965 the Lee County Historical Society bought the property and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Today it serves as a museum and is filled with period artifacts, Native American items, and a nineteenth century dental office.

Highlights include the Grand Hallway with portraits of Chief Keokuk and Miller, and a lithograph of the City of Keokuk in 1857. A lawyer’s study furnished with a revolving bookcase honors Miller, his partners, and local judges who served in Keokuk’s Federal Courtroom.
  A display of turn of the 20th century medical instruments is featured in a dental office. Also featured are a variety of exhibits of period artifacts including Native American items such as Chief Keokuk’s musket.

Visiting the Miller House Museum
     Visiting Hours
The museum is open Memorial Day through Labor Day
          1 pm to 4 pm, Friday through Sunday

Location: The Miller House Museum is located in the downtown area of Keokuk three blocks northeast of Main Street (US-61, US-136.)

Learn more about the Keokuk area.

Chief Keokuk Statue
Keokuk, Iowa
Quincy Museum,
Quincy, Illinois
John Wood Mansion
Quincy, Illinois
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail

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