87


"87", or the Miller House, is a stone house west of Baldwin City, Kansas and one of the last remnants of Prairie City, a town that existed between 1857 and 1883. It was built in 1860 on a gentle slope leading to Liberty Hill, the highest point in Douglas County. The name "87" was given by local teenagers. 87 is also the district number for the Prairie City School which served the area from 1858 until consolidating with Baldwin in 1960.

George Miller was born in either Marieville, Quebec, Canada or St. Lawrence County, New York, on December 28, 1932 to Ignace and Marie Desanges Meunier. George, a stonemason and farmer, came to the Kansas Territory in 1858 and originally settled in Lecompton. While in Lecompton, it is possible that he either learned or worked with famed Italian-born Lecompton stonemason Mark Migliario. After he moved his family to Prairie City (later Media, and finally, Baldwin City), he became the person who built most of the old stone buildings in Baldwin City. It is possible that George helped built Parmenter Hall in 1871 on Baker University campus. Most of the stone buildings that he may have built have since been razed. His last public work was the Rippy Gym in 1905 and it burned down in 1907. George was ill the last couple years of his life and died in 1909 at his house with his wife, three sons, and two daughters. He is buried in Prairie City Cemetery.


Margaret Miller was born in Maryland, possibly in Allegheny County, to Robert and Juliana (Glanville) Lowery in 1842. Juliana died in 1843 and Robert and Margaret came to Lecompton in 1857. George and Margaret married on February 22, 1859 in Lecompton. Their first child, Adele, was born in January 23, 1860. Margaret passed away in 1925 and is buried in Prairie City Cemetery.

Adele B., born January 23, 1860. She married Francis Xavier Jardon on December 5, 1883 with Reverend A.G. Sawin performing the service. They lived on a farm in Willow Springs Township, Douglas County. Adele passed away on April 8, 1889 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City. Francis Jardon remarried on April 15, 1893 to Virginia Elliott. He died in 1930.

Lucy, born August 13, 1861. Lucy was a teacher for the Oak Grove School in the 1880s. She was recorded living in her family's house on the 1895 Kansas Census but no information on her is known after that date.

George Xavier, born February 2, 1864. Named for his father, George X. died young on July 1, 1865 and is buried near the southwest corner of the house. He is one of only two Miller children buried under the name MEUNIER.

Julia D., born June 16, 1866. Like Lucy, Julia was a schoolteacher working for the Central School in Willow Springs prior to 1897 and then for the Prairie City School during the 1898-99 school year. Julia would never marry and lived in her childhood home her entire life. She would pass away in 1955 and is buried in Prairie City Cemetery with her parents.

Ignace, born April 2, 1871. Named for his paternal grandfather, Ignace also died young on, on his first birthday in 1872. Buried with his older brother, he is the other Miller child buried under the name MEUNIER.

Robert August, born September 17, 1874. Robert followed in his father's footsteps farming on the same land until his death in 1949. In 1903, Robert gave the Prairie City School land to open a new school which still stand today. Robert is buried next to Julia and his parents in Prairie City Cemetery.

Elmer, born July 7, 1878. Elmer was a dairy farmer and breeder who moved to Lincoln County, Oregon in the 1910s. He married Gertrude on December 1, 1917 and they had one son, Robert. Elmer died on March 5, 1964, Gertrude passed away in 1995. Both are buried in Eureka Cemetery in Newport, Oregon.

George, born May 28, 1881. Following in his father's footsteps as well, George bought his own land in the Prairie City area in the 1910s and started his own farm.

Fred, born May 28, 1888. Fred moved to Boise, Idaho where he married Margaret Johnson. Fred passed away on October 27, 1976 with Margaret following in 1997. Both of them are buried in Prairie City Cemetery near his parents.

The house currently sits abandoned on and is private property. Nearby is the Midland Railway and the ruins of the Prairie City Catholic Church.

The Miller house sits facing east toward Baldwin City and is a common National Folk style, or I-house. Three additions were built onto the house over the years: the front porch and columns and upstairs porch, an open porch that became enclosed around 1972, and a remodeled kitchen addition. The enclosed porch on the southwest side has collapsed in recent years.





Ruins of Prairie City Catholic Mission



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