Thomas Woodnutt Miller Papers

Identifier: NC441

Scope and Contents

The Thomas Woodnutt Miller Papers primarily contain correspondence from 1900-1972. Many letters are from prominent national and state figures.

The remainder of the collection is devoted to personal papers, photographs and diaries as well as material collected by Colonel Miller during his service and involvement in a number of organizations. Material on Nevada State Parks and the American Legion predominate. There are also boxes of newspaper clippings.


  • 1890-1977


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Biographical Note

Thomas Woodnutt Miller was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 26, 1886, to Charles R. Miller and Abigail Woodnutt Miller. He was educated in private schools in the East and graduated from Yale University in 1908.

A lifelong Republican, Thomas Miller became involved in politics early in life. He was appointed Secretary of State for Delaware in 1913 during his father's term as governor. The following year he was elected to the 64th U.S. Congress as representative from the state of Delaware and served until 1917.

A champion of military preparedness during his term in Congress, Miller enlisted in the infantry during World War I and was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. At the close of the war, Miller was a founder and incorporator of the American Legion, an organization in which he actively participated for over fifty years. In 1968, he was honored with the title of Past National Commander.

Thomas Miller made his first trip to Nevada in 1902, accompanying his father who took part in the establishment of mining and railroads in Tonopah. He became a permanent resident of the state in 1934 and immediately took an active part in state and civic affairs. He is best known as the founder of the Nevada State Park System and was the first chairman of the Nevada State Park Commission in 1935. Although he never ran for political office in Nevada, he was deeply involved in state politics and was an intimate of some of Nevada's most prominent politicians.

During his residency in Nevada, he served on a number of boards and commissions including the Nevada State Council of Defense, the Sierra Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Reno Recreation and Park Commission. He remained active in the Nevada State Park System and was chairman of the State Park Advisory Commission at the time of his death.

Thomas Woodnutt Miller died in Reno, Nevada, on May 5, 1973.


30 Linear Feet (32 boxes, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



Thomas Woodnut Miller was a republican and native of Delaware. He was appointed Secretary of State for Delaware, 1913-1914, U.S. Representative from Delaware, 1914-1917, served in World War I as lieutenant colonel, and helped establish the American Legion. He moved to Nevada 1934 and became active in state and civic affairs and the Republican Party. He also served as the First chair of Nevada State Park Commission and served on many other boards and commissions. Primarily correspondence and diaries relating to all aspects of Miller's career and interests. Includes letters from many state and national leaders.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Correspondence; 2) Diaries; 3) Personal; 4) Family; 5) Politics; 6) Mining; 7) Organizations; 8) Nevada State Parks; 9) American Legion; 10) Civil Defense; 11) Photographs; 12) Newspaper Clippings; 13) Family Photo Albums; 14) Newspaper Clippings Albums; 15) Oversize Items; 16) Memorabilia

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Thomas Woodnutt Miller in 1972.

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to Special Collections photo archives as collection UNRS-P1997-51.

Guide to the Thomas Woodnutt Miller Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)