John Miller

John Miller
John Miller
1935 - 1943
"The man who beat Veale" was born in Chicago but moved with his family to California before his first birthday. Prior to public service Miller was a vintner. At the age of 28 he entered the governmental arena as a deputy collector of Internal Revenue for Contra Costa, as well as serving the State of California in income tax matters. At the age of 37 Miller was appointed the Postmaster of Richmond.

At this time, Contra Costa County was known for its large agricultural farms and ranches. The County consisted of 780 square miles, with 760 miles of first-class paved roads and a population of 125,000 residents. There were nine incorporated cities and 29 unincorporated communities.

During his tenure as Sheriff, Miller had the first law enforcement teletypewriter in the county, and inaugurated the use of one, then two-way radio. He instituted modern criminal procedures, fingerprinting, and developed a series of plans to save lives on the waterways of the County.

Miller was noted for his trick shooting, practicing a policy of scaring crooks away from the County so they would not work here, thus lightening the load of apprehension. He never wore a pistol during the eight years he was sheriff because, as he said, "I didn't have to."

After his stint as Sheriff, Miller was appointed Civilian Defense Coordinator for the duration of World War II. Upon "retirement" in his fifties, he took the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Posse around the world.

Miller rode at the statehood dedication in Alaska, led the Honolulu parade in the beautiful Punchbowl Crater, and rode in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, presidential inaugurations, Rose Bowl parades and many more. In 1954 he entered the travel bureau business on Main Street in Martinez, and in 1960 was drafted by the people of Martinez to serve on the city council.