Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Visitors, Scholars
Arthur M. Miller, Cliff Dwelling Excavator 1923
Arthur McQuiston Miller (1861-1929)


Indian Cliff at entrance to PMSS. [kingman_021a.jpg]

TAGS: Arthur M. Miller Visitor, Dr. Arthur M. Miller, Arthur McQuiston Miller, Professor Miller, Indian Cliff Dwelling, excavations, archaeology, rock shelters, Dr. William D. Funkhouser, Victor K. Dodge, University of Kentucky

ARTHUR M. MILLER Visitor, Cliff Dwelling Excavator 1923

Arthur M. Miller, 1917. [pmss_a_m_miller_1917.jpg]

Arthur M. Miller was neither an archaeologist nor an anthropologist, but a geology professor at the University of Kentucky in the 1920s who had a keen interest in the archaeological aspects of early Native American rock shelters. He and two others, from dissimilar occupations but sharing an interest in Indian burial and dwelling sites, came to Pine Mountain Settlement School on April 24, 1923, to take control of an archaeological excavation of a site on the School’s property.

Known as the Indian Cliff Dwelling, the site was a rock overhang located near the School’s entrance. When a student discovered ancient bones of human skeletons, Miss Katherine Pettit, the School’s co-founder and co-director, sent for Dr. William D. Funkhouser at the University of Kentucky, having heard his recent talk to the Women’s Club of Lexington advocating for responsible and careful archaeological exploration. Funkhouser, a professor of zoology, agreed to do a proper excavation of the site along with his colleague, Dr. Miller and Victor K. Dodge, a businessman.

While in the Pine Mountain area, Professor Miller examined a number of rockhouses nearby in order to “determine what they might offer in the way of fields for archaeological investigation,” according to an unidentified news report of the work of the three university professors. The article adds that Miller also looked at what he described as a “cave sink in the Mississippian limestone, where it had been pushed up by faulting so as to form a steep bluff on the western face of Pine Mountain about three miles southwest of the school.”

The three scientists not only spent time unearthing four complete skeletons, other bones and assorted artifacts but also interacted with the School’s students and staff. According to an article reporting on the excavation in the Lexington Herald, May 6, 1923, the party was impressed by the School’s students, mission and accomplishments. “While at the Pine Mountain school Professors Miller and Funkhouser delivered talks to the students, the former on the mode of formation of Pine mountain and on meteorites and the latter on birds, snakes, and Egypt.”

Dr. Funkhouser described his work at Pine Mountain in a short summary found in the important work, Ancient Life in Kentucky: A Brief Presentation of the Paleontological Succession in Kentucky Coupled with a Systematic Outline of the Archaeology of the Commonwealth, co-edited with William S. Webb in 1928 and considered a seminal work on Kentucky archaeology.

ARTHUR M. MILLER Visitor: Background

Arthur McQuiston Miller was born on August 6, 1861, in Eaton, Ohio. He was the son of Robert and Margaret Ann (McQuiston) Miller.

In the early 1880s, Dr. Arthur M. Miller first attended College of Wooster, then transferred to Princeton University from which he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1884 and a Master of Arts degree in 1887. After Princeton, he worked as a professor at Wilson College, then studied abroad for a year at the University of Munich.

Dr. Miller joined the faculty at Kentucky State College (now the University of Kentucky) in 1892 as a professor of geology and zoology. By 1907, he was the head of the geological, zoological, and entomological departments at Kentucky and from 1908 to 1917 he served as the school’s first dean of arts and sciences. He retired from Kentucky State College in 1925 and retired to Asheville, North Carolina.


Dr. Arthur McQuiston Miller died in Palatka, Florida, On October 28, 1929, at the age of 68. He is interred at Mound Hill Union Cemetery in Eaton, Ohio, the town in which he was born.

In 1940, the National Science building was renamed Miller Hall in honor of Dr. Arthur M. Miller, head of the geology department and former dean of the College of Art and Sciences.

See Also:
INDIAN CLIFF Ancient Relics Discovered By Mountain Girl (Newspaper Article)

INDIAN Cliff Dwelling

NOTES of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, November 1926

VICTOR K. DODGE Visitor – Biography

– Biography

Title Arthur M. Miller
Alt. Title Dr. Arthur M. Miller ; Arthur McQuiston Miller ;
Professor Miller ; A. M. Miller ;
Creator Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
Alt. Creator Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt
Subject Keyword Arthur M. Miller ; Dr. Arthur M. Miller ; Arthur McQuiston
Miller ; Professor Miller ; Indian Cliff Dwelling ; excavations ;
archaeology ; rock shelters ; Dr. William D. Funkhouser ;
Victor K. Dodge ; University of Kentucky ;
Subject LCSH Miller, Arthur McQuiston — 1861-1929.
Pine Mountain (Ky.) Settlement School — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Indians of North America — Kentucky — Antiquities.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Date 2019-08-02 aae
Publisher Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
Contributor n/a; or specify
Type Collections ; text ; image ;
Format Original and copies of documents and correspondence in
file folders in filing cabinet.
Source Series 09: Biography – VIsitors, Scholars
Language English
Relation Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School
Collections, Series 09: Biography – VIsitors, Scholars.
1861 – 1929
Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Lexington, KY ;
Eaton, OH ; Wooster, OH ; Princeton, NJ ; Chambersburg,
PA ; Munich, Germany ; Asheville, NC ; Palatka, FL ;
Rights Any display, publication or public use must credit
the Pine Mountain Settlement School.
Copyright retained by the creators of certain items
in the collection or their descendants, as stipulated
by United States copyright law.
Donor n/a
Description Core documents, correspondence, writings and
administrative papers created by or addressed to
Arthur M. Miller ; clippings, photographs, publications,
illustrations by or about Arthur M. Miller.
Acquisition n/d
Citation “[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series
Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement
School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain
Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
Processed By Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;
Last Updated 2023-07-08 aae ;
Bibliography [NOTE: Dr. Arthur M. Miller produced many publications.
The following selections are a few of which pertain to Kentucky.]

Miller, Arthur M. Q. Evidence of Former Connection between the
Eastern and Western Coal Fields Across Central Kentucky.
Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified,
1908. Print.

Miller, Arthur M. Q. The Geology of Kentucky: A Classified Compend
of State Reports and Other Publications, with Critical Comment
Based on Original Investigations. Frankfort: Dept. of geology
and forestry, 1919. Print.

Miller, Arthur M. Q. Geology of the Georgetown Quadrangle.
Frankfort, Ky: publisher not identified, 1913. Print.

Miller, Arthur M. Q. The Lead and Zinc Bearing Rocks of
Central Kentucky: With Notes on the Mineral Veins. Louisville:
Printed by the G.G. Fetter Co, 1905. Print.

Miller, Arthur M. Q. Table of Geological Formations for
Kentucky. Lexington, Ky: University Book Store, 1917. Print.
Sources Sources
“A.M. Miller.” Wikipedia.
(Concerning background for A. M. Miller;
accessed 2019-08-02.) Internet resource.

INDIAN CLIFF DWELLING ; Series 09: Biography. Pine
Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine
Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
Internet resource.

The Kentucky Kernel, September 20, 1940, p. 1
(concerning renaming of National Science Building).
Publisher: Student Body of the University of Kentucky.
(Accessed 2019-08-02.) Internet resource.