History and Genealogy
Born in 1878, in Rensselaer, Indiana, Miller earned his law Degree from Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) and served in both the Spanish-American War and World War I. During the 1920s, Watson became active in the American Legion.
In 1922, as the Legion’s National Vice-Commander, he aided the federal government in formulating a program to facilitate the care of disabled and wounded veterans. For the next eighteen years, Watson served as Director of the American Legion Rehabilitation Commission in Washington, D.C, where he lobbied for legislation that granted pensions to disabled veterans and funded the expansion of the nation’s hospital system.
Miller was appointed Assistant Administrator of the Federal Security Agency (FSA) in 1941 and became the Administrator of the FSA in 1945. He left that position in August of 1947 when he became the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. After serving as Commissioner for nearly three years, Miller retired from the federal service and accepted a position with the American Legion, an organization with which he maintained close ties throughout his life. Miller died on February 11, 1961.
Compiled from the following sources:
Watson B. Miller, “A Personal Message from Commissioner Miller,” INS Monthly Review, Vol. VII No. 12 (June 1950): 155; “Ugo Carusi Accepts New Post,” INS Monthly Review, Vol. V No. 3 (Sep 1947): 30; Who Was Who in America, Vol. IV (1961-1968): 663