James Vester Miller


James Vester Miller was born April 21, 1858 in Rutherforton, N.C. He came to Asheville as a young man, with practically no formal training but with a firm understanding of what he wanted to do in life, and how he would do it.

J. V. Miller worked for some of the best contractors in Asheville, before starting his own company which was Miller and Sons Construction Co. The company earned a real name for itself. The company was given credit for having the best brick masons in the city.

The Miller Construction Company specialized in the building of churches and commercial buildings. Most of the buildings and churches built by the company are still being used today and are in very good condition. Some of the buildings on Patton Ave. and College Streets were built by the Miller Co. especially those that were at one time owned by the Tench Coxe family and the Millard family.

The churches the Millers built speak for themselves and their builder. These churches are Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Hopkins Chapel, St. Matthias Episcopal Church, and a number of smaller churches and business buildings. Two of the business buildings deserve special mention. These buildings are the fire and police departments and the post office building on Otis Street. These two buildings are visited by hundreds of people every day.

J. V. Miller served his community and its people well. He was very active in civic and political affairs of the city of Asheville. J. V. will always be remembered as one of Asheville's great leaders.

James Vester Miller

Born a Slave

Date of birth --- April 21, 1858

Place of birth --- Rutherforton, N.C.

Date of death --- April 6, 1940

Buried --- Violet Hill Cemetery, Emma Station, N.C. (West Asheville Area)

Formal schooling --- very little, if any

Contractor, Builder, Mason in Asheville, N.C.

Builder of many churches, public buildings, private homes

Builder of St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Asheville, N.C.

Father of 6 children


"Out Home"
Emma Station, N.C.

Residence of James Vester Miller Family

Built this new home - 1895-96

All brick

Rented it to Hendricks family until 1901

12-14 rooms

Family and 6 children moved in Feb. 1901

Residence of James Vester Miller and wife Violet Agnes (Betty) Miller until their deaths

This home - the center of family life - and -
hospitality abounded - for all - including the community of  Asheville.