Who was the man whose name adorns not only our town library, but also the indoor/outdoor recreation complex?
Philip S. Miller started his humble beginnings in Peoria, Illinois in 1895. Shortly thereafter, his father, a butcher by trade, moved the family to Denver to open his own meat market. Following in his father’s footsteps, Philip worked as a butcher for several years and helped expand his family’s business with the assistance of some business partners. Eventually they were able to open shops in both Kiowa and Castle Rock.
After a falling out with his partners, he consolidated the markets into one and moved with his new wife, ‘Jerry’ Stewart, to the ‘big town’ of Castle Rock. There, he operated his butcher shop, and later changed the name to the ‘Castle Rock Meat Market.’ Wanting a change, they sold the market to enter into the coal and feed business. This was short-lived, and the Millers bought back the meat business, but sold it again as they entered The Great Depression.
Miller was an active member of the town’s original Board of Trustees. During this time, he was instrumental in implementing a sewer system and municipal electricity system for the residents of Castle Rock. He later retired from politics, but used his connections with investors to help open the town’s first bank: The Bank of Douglas County. Shortly after, the Millers decided to purchase a ranch for cattle, and also an insurance business. Today, our town can thank the success of both of these businesses for their legacy and continued generosity.
It is hard to measure their numerous philanthropic generosities for Castle Rock. Not only did the Miller’s bank greatly help the community by providing loans for local businesses, they also went on to donate the water rights of 204 acres of their ranch, a gift that provides nearly 100 million gallons of water for the town. And through their living trust, their continued support can be seen for the Town of Castle Rock, the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo, and the Douglas County Library System for years to come.
So next time you hear or see the name Philip S. Miller, think a note of ‘thanks’ for the Miller’s contributions to helping make the Town of Castle Rock the awesome place we live.
I am so excited for the opening of the new complex. I’m see much information about the grand opening that occurred on Oct 25, however cannot find information about normal operation hrs and cost. Am I missing something? Thank you. Becky
Something else you should know about Phil. When we were kids we would ride our bikes in the bank parking lot. On hot days he would bring us lemon aid cold days we got to go in to the office for coco. When one of us was first off our training wheels, he was right there to give support. When we fell he was right there to pick us up and get us going again.
My mom would go down for business and Phil gave us snacks and soda pop (mostly to keep us busy I suppose). He was always in a suit but it never stopped him from getting on the floor or helping fix our flat tire. When there was someplace he didn’t think we should go he told us he saw a badger there that morning .
One of the neatest things was our two quarters. One was to take to Bobs food store and get candy or what ever, the other was to take to the bank for savings. Jerry gave us a deposit slip and everything that was just an old log book with our names and a line for each quarter. When we had enough we got a malt at the Castle Cafe and got to play the jukebox.
He liked to smile and be part of our lives. He was the voice of encouragement, occasional lecturer, financial adviser, and our friend.
Sitting here remembering him and that era is both happy and sad. Good memories but I still to this day miss him and allot others like him that graced Castle Rock with now forgotten wisdom. Bob Longworth, Ben Saunders, Bill Hier, Hi Pew, Bill Seidensticker, William Doepke, Joe Winkler, Bob Richardson.. All good men who didn’t just say they loved there community they really did and they showed it. That why when Phil left this world he gave back to it so much. That’s who and how he was.
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