November 29, 1887
The twelfth governor of Arkansas, William Read Miller, died. The Batesville (Independence County) native was the first Arkansas governor born in Arkansas, and, as governor, Miller acted to preserve civil rights for African Americans and to advance the cause of public education. Granted an honorary degree in 1880 by Arkansas Industrial University—now the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County)—which was apparently the first granted to an Arkansas governor, he was known to have been outside the state only four times and then only for short periods. Despite the length of his service, no collection of Miller papers exists, and he rarely corresponded with other politicians on the leading issues in his four decades of service.