1879: Milliken Home 720 W. Main St.

photo credit: Todd Bigley

See Milliken House TODAY

The McKean Democrat
February 27, 1919
W.J. Milliken Died Saturday

Well-Known Attorney, Former District Attorney and Former County Superintendent Goes to His Accounting.

William J. Milliken, well known Attorney, dean of the McKean County bar, former district attorney of McKean County, and former County Superintendent of schools, died at 1:30 Saturday morning in Bradford hospital whither he was removed Wednesday evening from his apartments. No. 394 East Main Street, suffering from apoplexy.

Deceased who was 76 years old had suffered a similar attack twice during the past year and on each occasion rallied well, but he never regained consciousness after the recent attack and passed away peacefully in sleep, as he would have wished.

With the death of Mr. Milliken there passes from life’s stage one who had in all respects qualified for the appellation, “a gentleman of the old school.”

He was a profound student of every topic which affected the life and happiness of the human race; he was the personification of old-time chivalrous courtesy; in all his relations he was actuated by unquestioned integrity and in presenting his views on matters of moment in his earlier years he had an extended reputation for oratory—in fact he was called by the late Judge Arthur G. Olmstead of Potter County, the “Valero of McKean County.”

His knowledge covered nearly every field of human activity and his investigations were exhaustive. His professional education was concededly of unusual erudition; economics received from international law and diplomacy and even food fabrics and other essentials of mundane necessity or comfort were included in his store of knowledge.

He became interested many years ago in evolution and his reading of the subject included the works of all reputed authorities on the subject from whom he sought to obtain a scientific solution of the problems of the cosmos. His published criticisms of the books, however, disclosed the failure of the authors to convince him and so late as Sunday, February 16, he was heard to make an orthodox expression of religious belief.
With all his vast store of learning which in on case was superficial, he was by nature a simple soul, delighting in associating democratically with whoever chanced to be his neighbor, rejoicing in their good fortunes, sympathizing with their sorrows, and generally participating in the usual neighborly amenities.

He was the last member of his immediate family but scores who will cherish the memory of his kindly character and genuinely friendly interest he ever displayed for those about him will mourn him.

Born at a period in the nations history and reared in pioneer settlements which combined to inspire self-reliance and with the added incentive of being early orphaned by the death of his father, he applied himself with the strictest industry to mastering the problems of life without, however, obscuring the sunny side of existence. Self trained to concentrate on matters of importance at hand, he possessed the happy faculty of turning instantly to lighter themes for mental relaxation and giving them for the time equally undivided attention.

Becoming at an early age a “printer’s devil,” he pursued the avocation through its mechanical branches until he became a well-qualified journeyman printer while still a lad when he enlarged his investigations until he occupied an editorial chair with unusual credit and later became a much sough contributor to several of the leading national periodicals of the period.

His experience in the larger field developed the desire to pursue the practice of law and his reading was indulged in with the same spirit. In the meantime he acquired a thorough literary education at Alfred University from which he graduated and rounded out his professional education at Dickerson seminary in Carlisle, Pa.

Almost immediately after his admission to the bar, in 1866, his scholastic attainments resulted in his (appointment) as County Superintendent of Schools in which he served for eight years while his professional brilliancy secured his election as district attorney.


photo credit: Ross Porter Collection

The Milliken House has been recently carefully restored by Michael and Roxanne Page.