A HISTORY OF MILLER DIVERSIFIED
A century ago, five brothers decided to form a business. For more than 100 years, we have overcome challenge after challenge. We've weathered depressions, recessions, wars, unrest, and most recently, a pandemic. Our family business has found a way to thrive across the span of decades. We wanted to tell the stories of the amazing people who made this anniversary possible, from our humble beginnings to the company you see today.
Henry Miller and his five sons Henry, Louie, Charlie, Frank, and Herman, had been operating a greenhouse for about a decade. Miller Farm & Greenhouse, the company that would eventually be renamed Miller Diversified, was incorporated in April of 1920.
During this era, the company managed to survive the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world. Many of the brothers retired during this time, leaving the company in the charge of the youngest of the brothers, Herman.
Herman became gravely ill and was unable to continue managing the greenhouse. His son Norman Miller was graduating high school around this time and Norm began managing the company’s affairs in his father’s stead alongside his cousin.
The rising expense of maintaining the greenhouses during the long Ohio winters became a burden. Southern farms trucking vegetables north created new competition for the company, and Norm realized it was becoming time for a pivot.
Norm made the courageous decision to sell the greenhouse and evolve the business to focus on real estate development. As part of his plans for growth, he founded a construction company, with the idea that he could contribute to a surge of growth in the Toledo area.
With changes to skilled nursing care and assisted living on the horizon as a result of the Medicare Act, the Millers met a rising demand for nursing homes. Norm took pride in these projects, and even designed one nursing home with an attached greenhouse where seniors and preschoolers could gather and garden together.
Current President Kurt Miller and Vice President Jerry Miller joined the company during this time, working alongside their father Norm. Kurt and Jerry were proud to join the company as the third generation of Millers.
The recession forced many Toledo area businesses to close their doors. Kurt and Jerry pivoted and refocused their energy on construction and real estate brokerage, a decision that allowed them to survive the recession, and even thrive afterward.
Miller Diversified is both proud and deeply grateful to celebrate 100 years in business. It is a milestone we could never have reached without the hard work, sacrifice, and passion of those who came before us. The future is bright, and we look forward to what the next century will bring.