"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 Marieville, Quebec, Canada 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. Margaret Miller was born in Maryland to Robert and Juliana (Glanville) Lowery in 1842. George and Margaret married on February 22, 1859. Their first child, Adele, was born in January 23, 1860. George died in 1909, Margaret in 1925 and both are buried in nearby Prairie City Cemetery.
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.
The house currently sits abandoned on and is private property. Nearby is the Midland Railway and the ruins of the Prairie City Catholic Church.
|Ruins of Prairie City Catholic Mission|