BENJAMIN MEEK MILLER was born in Oak Hill in Wilcox County, Alabama, on March 13, 1864. He attended schools in Oak Hill and Camden, and graduated from Erskine College, South Carolina, in 1884. In 1884 Miller became principal of Lower Peachtree Academy, leaving in 1887 to study law at the University of Alabama. He was admitted to the bar in 1888, and started a law practice in Camden, Alabama. Miller entered politics serving on the Democratic Executive Committee from 1901 to 1902. He was a judge of the Alabama circuit court from 1904 to 1921, and served on the Alabama supreme court as associate justice from 1921 to 1928. Miller was elected Alabama’s governor on November 4, 1930, and was sworn into office on January 19, 1931. During his term, the nation was in the middle of the Great Depression, and Miller inherited a struggling economy—Alabama’s state debt was huge, revenues were at an all-time low, and schools were on the brink of closing. A law that allowed Alabama to collect an income tax, and a state inheritance tax were passed. A budget control act was adopted, and state employees salaries were cut in an effort to alleviate the growing debt. Also during his tenure, the Tennessee Valley Authority was created, the State Planning Commission was appointed, and three dams and three steam power plants were built. He left office on January 14, 1935, returning to his law practice in Camden. Miller died on February 6, 1944, and he is buried at the Camden Cemetery, Camden, Alabama.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.