Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Stalking Officer Miller

Just before the Fourth of July, Gossips became fascinated with a policeman who started his law enforcement career more than a century ago, on March 3, 1914: Officer Frank E. Miller. A hundred years ago, in the days preceding Independence Day, Officer Miller was mentioned almost daily for arrests made on his regular beat, which was the part of Hudson nearest the river--along Front Street, around the docks, and at the train station. 

While Gossips was piecing together and retelling Officer Miller's story from newspaper accounts, a reader turned to census records and reported in a comment some pretty surprising information about Officer Miller. Frank E. Miller appears in the U.S. census records for 1920, 1930, and 1940. In each decade, his residence is 931 Columbia Street, and his occupation is listed as "policeman." 

What's surprising though is that in 1920 his age is listed as 47, in 1930 as 57, and in 1940 as 66. (His birthday must have been right around the time they did the decennial census.) Gossips had imagined that he was a young man when he joined the force and distinguished himself by arresting drunks and drifters, intervening in domestic squabbles, foiling attempted burglaries, and pursuing stolen cars, but in 1914, he would have already been 40.  And when he retired in 1944, after serving for thirty years on the Hudson police force, he was 71. 

931 Columbia Street, Officer Miller's home

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