Barry Miller (politician)

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Barry Miller, Texas Lieutenant Governor 1925 - 1931

Barry Miller (December 25, 1864 – June 20, 1933) was a Texas state legislator and Lieutenant Governor from 1925 to 1931 serving under Governors Miriam A. Ferguson and Dan Moody.

Early life[edit]

Miller was born on December 25, 1864, in Barnwell, South Carolina, the son of Dr. Thomas Johnson Miller and Rachel Barry.[1] After his father, a physician educated at the Medical College of Philadelphia and a medical officer in the Carolina Dragoons, was killed in the American Civil War, Miller left for Washington, D.C. As a young boy, Miller worked there as a printer's devil for the Washington Post, and later worked as a page in the United States Senate, meeting many national leaders of the era. Eventually, Miller traveled west to Dallas, where he studied law in the firm of Robertson & Coke. Miller met Minerva Hortense Miller, daughter of prominent early Dallasite William Brown Miller, at Dallas' inaugural debutante ball, the Idlewild Ball in 1883. Barry Miller married Minnie Miller (no relation) in 1885, eventually residing at his wife's family home, now called Millermore.

Political career[edit]

Miller was a lawyer and was elected as a Democratic Texas state Senator in 1899 representing Dallas County. He served four terms and was chosen President Pro Tempore of the Senate in the Twenty-seventh Legislature.

Miller served as campaign manager for U.S. Senator Charles A. Culberson, and was elected to the Texas Senate in 1898 to support Culberson's candidacy. As a State Senator in 1901, Miller authored and sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, which made the bluebonnet the Texas State flower. He did so as a gesture of respect to the wife of longtime Texas lawyer, Sawnie Robertson, in whose firm Miller read law when he first came to Texas. Mrs. Robertson had always remarked that the bluebonnet was her favorite flower. In 1911, he was appointed a Judge of the Criminal District Court in Dallas County and Miller was reelected in 1915. In 1916, Miller was elected to a vacant State Representative seat in Dallas as a Democrat. Miller was a vocal opponent of the Ku Klux Klan.[2] He was also an early opponent of women's suffrage in Texas, one of the most vocal at the time.[3] However, he changed his mind when the Dallas Equal Suffrage Association (DESA) provided over 10,000 signatures from Dallas women supporting suffrage.[4] He even became the chair of the woman suffrage caucus.[4]

Defeated for reelection in 1922, Miller ran for Lieutenant Governor along with other Anti-Klan candidates, Miriam A. Ferguson for Governor and Dan Moody for Attorney General in 1924 and the ticket was overwhelmingly elected in the Democratic Party primary run-off. Miller was reelected as Lieutenant Governor in 1926 and 1928, and to date, is one of only three men to ever be elected to three terms as Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

In 1930, Miller was unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Texas, losing the Democratic nomination in a very crowded field to Houston oilman Ross Sterling.

Miller died on June 20, 1933 at Millermore in Dallas County, and is buried in the Miller family cemetery in Dallas.


Texas Senate
Preceded by
O. P. Bowser
Texas State Senator
from District 6 (Dallas)

1899 - 1903
Succeeded by
W. C. McKamy
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dwight Lewelling
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 44 (Dallas)

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Whitfield Davidson
Lieutenant Governor of Texas
Succeeded by
Edgar E. Witt


  1. ^ A. L. Weinberger, "MILLER, BARRY," Handbook of Texas Online ([1]), accessed May 14, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  2. ^ Ken Anderson, Konvicted: How Dan Moody '14 Destroyed the Klan in Texas. The Alcalde Austin, University of Texas.
  3. ^ Enstam, Elizabeth York (2001). "A Question to Be 'Settled Right': The Dallas Campaign for Woman Suffrage, 1913-1919". Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas. 13 (2): 34. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b Enstam, Elizabeth York (2001). "A Question to Be 'Settled Right': The Dallas Campaign for Woman Suffrage, 1913–1919". Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas. 13 (2): 35. Retrieved 22 May 2016.