Grave of 1st North Dakota Gov Marked in NY

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Miller Grave - North Dakota First GovernorThe only mausoleum in Green Hills Cemetery in Dryden Village, Tompkins County, the resting place of the first governor of the state of North Dakota John Miller, has been restored and marked.

In 1989, during the centennial of North Dakota’s statehood, the Cemetery applied to the North Dakota Centennial Commission for funds (about $1,000) to restore the mausoleum. The Cemetery received a certificate with a gold seal from the Commission recognizing the project, but no money. The work was not done.

Recently, Ray and Rita Harris, who have charge of Green Hills, were contacted by a funeral director from North Dakota who said people there were now interested in contributing funds for the restoration. The work was completed in the last few months. The mausoleum was cleaned, a window replaced (it had been shot out), the bronze door hinges were repaired, and a plaque was cast and installed.

On October 31, 2014, there was an article about this written by the funeral director for a North Dakota’s Pierce County Tribune. You can read that here.

More about “Honest John Miller” can be found in this 1908 New York Times obituary.

Photo provided. Hat tip to Michael Lane and Carol Kammen for forwarding us this story. 

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