Izetta Jewel Brown Miller


Izetta Jewel Brown Miller
Izetta Jewell Brown Miller was born in New Jersey in 1883. After becoming a well-known stage actor, she married West Virginia Congressman William G. Brown in 1914. They lived on his farm in Preston County. After William’s death in 1916, Izetta turned the farm into a modern dairy farm and was hands-on in the operation of the business. At the same time her involvement with the suffrage movement increased as a member of the National Women’s Party. Izetta corresponded often with the West Virginia representatives in both the US Congress and the West Virginia state legislature, campaigning for the enfranchisement of women.

After the passage of the 19th amendment, Brown Miller was the first woman to run for the US Senate south of the Mason-Dixon line. She battled Matthew Neely in 1922 for the state Democratic Party nomination and lost by only 6,000 votes. She tried again in 1924, this time losing another close race to W.E. Chilton. A 1924 sample ballot displayed here shows the vote tally in the 9th precinct in Monongalia County for that election. Izetta Brown handily defeated Chilton in that precint.

In 1927 Izetta Brown married Hugh Miller, a dean of engineering at George Washington University. They moved to New York where Izetta stayed active in politics and public service. She died in California in 1978.