Guide to the Papers of Gus Miller, 1906-1967

\

Digital Research Library, University Library System

Summary Information

Title
Gus Miller Papers and Photographs
Creator
Gus Miller
Collection Number
MFF#130
Collection [inclusive]
1906-1967
Extent
.2.85 cubic feet (7 folders and 1 oversize folder)
The material in this collection is in English.
Abstract
Gustave "Gus" Miller, also known as the Oakland neighborhood's No. 1 Citizen, established himself as a public institution through his landmark news stand and position of chief usher for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team from 1909 to 1947. The collection includes correspondence from guests responding to invitations to Miller's birthday parties and photographs of Miller's store and ushers at Forbes Field.
Sponsor Note
This finding aid has been encoded as a part of the Historic Pittsburgh project a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Funding for this portion of the project has been donated by the Hillman Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Gus Miller Papers and Photographs, 1906-1967, MFF# 130, Detre Library & Archives, Sen. John Heinz History Center

Return to Table of Contents »


Biographical Sketch of Gus Miller

Gustave "Gus" Miller, also known as the Oakland neighborhood's No. 1 Citizen, established himself as a public institution through his landmark news stand and position of chief usher for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team from 1909 to 1947. He opened "Miller's Wonder Store," in 1907 at the corner of Forbes and Oakland Avenues in the Pittsburgh neighborhood and worked there until one week before his death at age 86 in June of 1967. The store has been described as a cluttered novelty shop and news stand. Mr. Miller began his career in the newspaper retail business at the turn of the century as a newsboy, winning many prizes for his selling exploits. Perhaps his greatest selling achievement occurred on October 24, 1906 when in one day he sold 1200 individual newspapers. In addition to his retail business, Mr. Miller served as usher at the nearby Forbes Field from the time of its inception until 1947. He continued as a Pirate's promoter selling tickets to games from his store. For his efforts, he was awarded the prestigious honor of throwing out the first pitch at the first home game of the Pirate's 1964 season. His notoriety in local circles turned his birthday parties, which coincided with St. Patrick's Day, into civic events. These parties were highly attended, with guest lists extending well over three hundred. Many of those invited were from outside Western Pennsylvania including governors from different states, major sports figures and national politicians.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Content Notes

The Gus Miller Papers and Photographs include correspondence from guests responding to invitations to Miller's birthday parties. These letters are primarily responses from the myriad of invitees from 1962 to 1967. The list includes people from the Pittsburgh Pirates front office and players, Pittsburgh government officials and prominent business men, representatives from the University of Pittsburgh (Edward Litchfield), and national government officials (various senators, governors, and presidents). There are also miscellaneous newspapers clippings documenting various activities and business transactions of Mr. Miller. Significant letters include one from Pirate general manager Joe L. Brown, January 1964 asking Mr. Miller to throw out the first ball of the 1964 season.

The photographs (housed under the catalog number MFQ 130) include images of Miller's store at Oakland and Forbes Avenues from 1911-1960, Miller’s family, portraits of Miller and his brothers from c. 1915, scenes of Mr. Miller at various public functions (throwing out the first pitch, dedicating new buildings) and views of his birthday parties. The oversized photographs consist of thee panoramic group shots of ushers at Forbes Field from the 1925 World Series, the 1926 season, and an event honoring Bill Regan in 1931.

Return to Table of Contents »


Arrangement

The Gus Miller Papers are housed in three archival folders and are arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

Digital Research Library, University Library System  Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Summer, 2001

Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
library@hswp.org

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Acquisition Information

These materials were received in one accession in 1987.

Acc# 87.43. Gift of Robert Carroll.

Acc# 2017.0191. Gift of Robert Carroll.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Stephen Doell on June 17, 1994. Additions to the collection (acc.2017.0191) processed by Matthew Strauss on December 29, 2017.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Doug MacGregor on June 14, 2001.

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Miller's Wonder Store -- Pittsburgh (Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates

Geographic Name(s)

  • Oakland (Pittsburgh, Pa.) -- Commerce

Personal Name(s)

  • Miller, Gus

Subject(s)

  • Business enterprises -- Allegheny Co. -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Baseball -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Newsstands -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Novelty Stores -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

Return to Table of Contents »