Meet John Miller and Joseph Wardle

Even the well documented lives of history’s most important people, we never learn everything there is to know. Did JFK have a habit of picking his nose and wiping it on the office desk? Was Frederick Douglass inordinately afraid of crickets? Did George and Martha share an inside joke about Thomas Jefferson’s body odor?

These are the well documented lives. From the great teeming masses, come brief snippets, voices shouting from the past “here I am” before sinking once more into obscurity. One of our missions here at Forgotten Stories is to introduce you to these heretofore nameless folks, who lived, laughed and loved. And so, in what we hope shall be a regular column, we introduce you to two of them:

Meet John Miller of Chicago. For a few months in 1919 and 1920, Miller was a busy fellow. The Government had ruled that all advertisements for liquor, which included signs saying “Bar” and “Saloon” must come down. That was Miller’s job. He’d chip away at the iron signs until nothing was left to inform the passing pedestrian that demon rum had once been served inside.
Here we have Joseph Wardle, who made his living stopping by the White House after a reception by the President,

and taking away the discarded flowers. After he pressed them, he sold them to Washington D.C. tourists as a souvenir of their visit. Joe’s career lasted him through twelve Presidential Administrations, from Grant to Harding

 

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