D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

 Herbert D. Miles Collection



"Herbert D. Miles in home at 'Breezemont' with wife and two daughters," Herbert D. Miles Collection, Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC Asheville

Title Herbert D. Miles Collection
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/mss/miles_herbert/default_miles_herbert.htm
Creator Herbert de la Haye [Delahaye] Miles
Alt. Creator Marjorie Miles Chipman
Alt. Creator Bruce Johnson
Description A scrapbook containing a collection of letters, clippings, booklets, personal dairy, and photographs from the Miles family related to the life and times of Herbert D. Miles, a financier and businessman who moved to Asheville in 1912 from Chicago.  A second scrapbook assembled by Bruce Johnson and given to Scott Reviere, traces the history of "Breezemont" the home built by Miles and designed by Richard Sharp Smith. It contains original photographs, newspaper clippings, letters of correspondence with family, and magazine articles about "Breezemont,"  the home located in the Albemarle Park area of North Asheville.

In addition to his personal estate, "Breezemont," Herbert D. Miles purchased the Battery Park Hill building (constructed in 1901) in downtown Asheville, which later became known as the Miles Building. He also purchased land on Haywood Avenue and constructed the Vanderbilt Hotel. Part of his real estate holdings related to that construction were later sold to the city for the construction of the Asheville Civic Center. Miles came to Asheville to retire, but contributed extensively to the public welfare of Asheville until his death in 1958 at the age of 91.

Publisher Special Collections, D.H. Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina  Asheville 28804
Contributor Scott Riviere
Date Date of object: 1912-1958  Date of digital file: 2007-09-02
Type collection ; image ; text ;
Format Virtual
Source M2007.09.01  D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, Manuscript Collections
Language English
Relation Contains Oakhurst: The Asheville Schoool for Girls, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC Asheville ;
Coverage 1912 - 2005  ;  Asheville, NC
Rights No restrictions;  Copyright: Retained by the authors of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor Scott Riviere, Breezemont, Asheville, NC.
Acquisition 2007-08-28
Citation Preferred citation: , Herbert D. Miles Collection, Special Collections, D.H. Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina Asheville.
Processed by Special Collections staff, 2007 HW
Last update 2015-07-06
Biography Herbert de la Haye Miles was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 13, 1866 and spent his early years in Canada. His father was a partner with P. D. Armour in the well-known meat-packing company headquartered in Chicago. Illinois. Miles, often known as "H.D.," came to Asheville from his home in Kenilworth, IL, some fifteen miles north of Chicago.  Miiles, like his father, was an official of the Armour Company. He retired from the company in 1910 and reloacted to Asheville in 1912 with this wife who was seeking treatment for tuberculosis. During these early years, he and his family rented McDowell House on Victoria Road (1913).  A man who was young in spirit and appearance, even in his later years, Miles was an important force in the development of Asheville and his civic mindedness resulted in many architectural structures and changes that moved Asheville forward in the years between 1912 and 1958. 

In 1923 he and his partner, Julian A. Woodcock, Sr. built the George Vanderbilt Hotel and managed its operation. He also purchased a well-known building, known as the Battery Park Hill building, from the Coxe estate in 1919. He remodeled the structure, giving it the name it now holds on its facade, the "Miles Bldg." Pritchard Park, another well-known site in Asheville was also the result of Miles' interest in beautifying the city.  He helped to  purchase the site of the park after the old post-office was torn down and the lot was vacant. He deeded property adjoining the George Vanderbilt Hotel to the city to assist the city in the construction of a City Auditorium. Part of the current Auditorium now sits on part of what used to be Miles' property.  

Miles enjoyed poetry, literature, golf, travel, and the local Civitan Club. At one time he was the oldest member of the club. He always found time for poetry and produced two books of poetry, one in 1948 and the other in 1955, just three years before he died. His poem, "Asheville, Queen of the Land of the Sky," won the Asheville Citizen poetry award. Examples of his work are included in the Scrapbook of Herbert D. Miles donated by his daughter Marjorie Miles Chipman.

He attended both the Asheville Central Methodist Church and All Souls Episcopal Church, and worked actively for the interests of both. He for several years headed the "Associated Charities" of Asheville. When MIles died in 1958 at the age of 91, his funeral services were held in the Central Methodist Church. He was also an active member of the Mayflower Society and served as the State Governor of the organization in the 1940's.

His married Delia Hulburd Gallup, daughter of a prominent lawyer in Chicago. She died in January of 1942. They had four children: Edward Gallup, Marjorie, Eleanor V. Miles, and Holbert H. Miles. There were six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. (From autobiographical notes found in the Scrapbook of Herbert D. Miles. )

Context See the collected material contained in the Scrapbook assembled by Bruce Johnson for Scott Riviere, current owner of Breezemont, Asheville, NC.
Series 1. Scrapbook of Herbert D. Miles, 1933 (donated by Marjorie Miles Chipman)
  2. Scrapbook assembled by Bruce Johnson for Scott Riviere
  3. Oakhurst (Asheville School for Girls) catalog
  4. Books:

Selected Poems by Herbert Delahaye Miles
Look Up O World by Herbert Delahaye Miles


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