Queer Places:
Brown University, 13 Brown St, Providence, RI 02906
130 Main St, South Kingstown, RI 02879

William Davis Miller (November 5, 1887 - July 7, 1959) was a member of the Horace Walpole Society, elected in 1932, honorary member in 1955.

He was born in Providence on November 5, 1887. He was the son of Elizabeth LeMoine Davis and Augustus Samuel Miller, who was the mayor of Providence between 1902 and 1905.

In his professional life, Miller was an historian, a naval officer, and a corporate vice president. Many of his interests seemed patterned after those of his ancestors. As a youth he attended local schools, including Hope High School. He graduated from Brown University in 1909 and attended Harvard Law School. During World War One, Miller enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was commissioned an ensign in 1918 and remained on active duty until 1919. Between the two World Wars he held the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Volunteer Naval Reserve. He returned to active duty in the Navy during the second World War, serving two and a half years in naval communications at Norfolk, Virginia. He was later stationed at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Navy Yard with the rank of commander.

Miller was president of the Rhode Island Historical Society from 1932 to1934, and president of the Providence Public Library from 1929 to 1941. He published several books, pamphlets, and articles on Rhode Island and naval history, including a pamphlet on the furniture collection of naval surgeon Thomas Mawney Potter and studies of early South County silversmiths and landholders. He was involved as an officer and president of Providence Athenaeum and was a trustee of Kingston Free Library. He had memberships in numerous other academic, historical, and naval societies and libraries in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and England. Miller was a resident of Wakefield, Rhode Island. He died in Massachusetts in July, 1959.

Some of Miller's publications, many of which were published through the Rhode Island Historical Society, are: The Capture of HMS Syren (1923); The Removal of County Seat from Tower Hill to Little Rest, 1752 (1926); Thomas Mount (1927); The Silversmiths of Little Rest (1928); Thomas Mount and the Flash language (1929); Samuel and Gideon Casey, Silversmiths (1929); The Samuel Sewall School Land and the Kingston Academy (1930); Some Ancient Roads in the Pettaquamscutt Purchase (1931); Correspondence of Esek Hopkins, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Navy (1933); The Narragansett Planters (1934); An Early Rhode Island Collector: Thomas Mawney Potter (1935); Ancient Paths to Pequot (1936); Volumes from bookshelves of old South County (1938?); Early Houses in the King's Province in the Narragansett Countr (1941); Narragansett (1941).


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