Miller, Neville (1894-1977) Papers, 1912-1975 (bulk 1933-1937)

Held by The Filson Historical Society 

Creator:  Miller, Neville, 1894-1977 

Title:  Papers, 1912-1975 (bulk 1933-1937) 

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department. 

Size of Collection:  2 cubic feet 

Location Number:  Mss. A M649a 

Scope and Content Note 

Neville Miller’s papers include correspondence, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous papers. Most of the letters are from friends, business partners, and Louisville citizens congratulating him on his leadership as mayor during the 1937 flood. Miller directed evacuations and relief efforts as well as nation-wide calls for help over the radio. Most scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings related to his term as mayor, city politics, as well as local and national political news. Another collection of newspaper clippings illustrates the chronology of Miller’s career between 1937 and 1952. 

One scrapbook is dedicated to his years at Louisville Male High School where he graduated in 1912, his college years at Princeton where he graduated in 1916, and his early career as lawyer. This scrapbook includes class lists, grade reports, personal lists, and inspirational texts with hand-written comments. 

Other papers include Miller’s diplomas, certificates, and awards, as well as miscellaneous materials such as newsletters and programs. 

Separation note 

Photographs of Miller were transferred to the Filson’s photo collection. 

Biographical Note 

Neville Miller (1894-1977) was the son of Shackelford Miller, Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and his wife Mary. He attended Louisville Male High School before he earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton in 1916 and his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1920. After graduation, Miller practiced law in Louisville together with his father and brother. In 1924, he was elected president of the Kentucky Bar Association. Having dedicated much time to teaching law during this period, Miller became the first dean of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 1930. 

In 1933, he won the mayoral election and became the first Democratic mayor of Louisville in 15 years. During his mayoral term, he led the city through the Depression by revising financial politics. The greatest challenge of his career as mayor came with the 1937 Ohio River flood that devastated large parts of Louisville. 

After his term ended in 1937, Miller served as the assistant president at Princeton University before he became the president of the National Association of Broadcasters in 1938 where he helped mobilize the radio industry for the war effort. After six years, he left his post to join the UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) as the deputy chief of Balkans mission. 

In 1945, Miller opened a private law practice in Washington D.C. specializing in communications until he retired in 1974. Miller was married to Katherine Castleman Wilson of Summit, New Jersey in 1924. The couple had four daughters: Barbara, Gale, Katherine, and Mary. 

Folder List 


Box 1 

Folder 1: Correspondence 1935-1972 

Folder 2: Business Papers: Report on Downtown Progress, May 1967 

Folder 3: Licenses, awards, diplomas, 1916-1966 

Folder 4: Poetry, speeches, reports, 1937-1975 

Folder 5: Newspaper clippings, 1937-1971 

Folder 6: Miscellaneous, 1927-1972 

Folder 7: Portrait drawing 

Folder 8: Scrapbook: Mayoral campaign, 1933 

Folder 9: Scrapbook: High school, university, early career, 1912-1920s 

Folder 10: Scrapbook: Mayoral term, 1933-1937 

Folder 11: Loose scrapbook pages relating to Shackelford Miller, n.d. 


Box 2 

Folder 12: Scrapbook: Newspaper clippings on city politics, local and national politics, 1933-1935 

Folder 13: Scrapbook: Newspaper clippings on city politics, local and national politics, 1935-1936 

Folder 14: Scrapbook: Newspaper clippings on city politics, local and national politics, 1936-1937 

Folder 15: Scrapbook: Newspaper clippings on mayoral term, 1933-1937 


Subject Headings 

Floods – Kentucky – Louisville – 20th century. 

Lawyers – Kentucky – Louisville – History – 20th century. 

Mayors – Kentucky – Louisville. 

Municipal government – Kentucky – Louisville. 


Students – United States.