Notable People of Collingwood

Collingwood Notables Database

Rees Miller


Corn and hay merchant

Personal Photo 1
Personal Photo 2
Rees and Eliza Miller

Rees Miller established his hay and corn store on the corner of Wellington and Gipps Street as early as 1861; his eldest son William Rees Miller eventually went into partnership with him, and continued the business after his father’s death.

Miller became a well-known figure in Collingwood as a long-serving member of several lodges. He was initiated into the Ancient Order of Foresters, Court Perseverance No. 2727, on 17 March 1868; he became District Treasurer of the A.O.F., and was also a member of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows, Britannia Lodge. An Oddfellows Lodge in Richmond was named after him.

If we need any reminder of the very localised nature of life in the mid-nineteenth century, Miller’s choice of a marriage partner would serve. Eliza was the daughter of Eli Perry, a contractor from Somerset who lived just opposite the hay store. Eliza died in 1908, by which date the couple were living with their married daughter in Canterbury.

Corn and hay merchants were as indispensible as petrol stations in earlier times, and Miller apparently ran a successful business, although perhaps little of the money was spent on the premises, since a 1934 photo taken just before demolition shows wooden buildings not much more substantial than the 1860s building. Miller did however accumulate other property and at his death his real estate was valued at £3,737 and personal property at  £4,513.

While maintaining both the Collingwood business and his lodge connections, Miller moved out of Collingwood in the 1870s, first to Elsternwick and later Surrey Hills. His son William however continued to live at 2 Gipps Street, a two-storey brick house immediately behind the corn store, before moving to Northcote in later life.

Work Photo 1

Hay and Corn Store c.1870

House Photo 1

2 Gipps Street Collingwood

Life Summary

Birth DateBirth Place
26 March 1838Westminster St John the Evangelist, London
Spouse NameDate of MarriageChildren
Eliza Jane Perry7 June 1859, St Mark's Anglican, FitzroyFive sons and five daughters born from 1860 -1878; seven survived childhood.
Home Addresses
Home StreetHome CityStatus of Building
2 Gipps StreetCollingwoodDemolished
Work Addresses
Work StreetWork CityStatus of Building
Wellington Street n cnr Gipps StreetCollingwoodDemolished
St Paul's Congregational, North FitzroyAncient Order of Foresters; Grand United Order of Oddfellows
Death DateDeath PlaceCemetery
21 October 1916CanterburyBoroondara

The Argus
Family information and additional photos courtesy of descendants, accessible on

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