Walter E. Miles

Page 484-485 - Walter E. Miles, president of Walter E. Miles Coal Company, 1230 Taylor avenue, and a nationally known American musical composer, is a native of Grand Rapids, born here on May 10, 1885. His father, Walter B. Miles and mother Carrie (Osborne) Miles, were both natives of Cleveland, Ohio, the father being born there in 1849 and the mother in 1856. They had been married in Cleveland but came to Grand Rapids in the seventies. The family were all noted musicians. The father, Walter B. Miles, was for a number of years superintendent of Chase Brothers Piano Factory and was always interested in music. The religious affiliation of himself and wife was with the Baptist church. The father died in 1913 at sixty-four years, but the mother is still living at the age of sixty-nine. Besides Walter E., their second child, there were two other children in the family, Edith the eldest and Robert the youngest. Walter E. secured his education in the public schools of Grand Rapids and was graduated from its Central high school. Coming from such a family of musicians, his training began at an early age and was later augmented by advanced study. In his early twenties he wrote "Sparklets," and owing to its distinctively characteristic style, it was eagerly accepted by the public and has become firmly rooted as a standard in every corner of the globe. Mr. Miles reputation as a composer has been advanced by "The Fountain," a companion piece to "Sparklets" and among his other compositions are, "Valse Danseuse," "Sweet Forget-Me-Nots," "Tulips," Cupids Frolic," "Dainty Daffodils," "Butterfly Dance," "Dancing Leaves," and "June Breezes." Mr. Miles has devoted some time to the practical and business side of music, having been engaged for a number of years in the piano business and at one time was a traveling salesman for a Chicago house. In 1922 he assisted in the organization of the Walter E. Miles Coal Company, of which company he was then made and is now president. David H. Brown of the Century Furniture Company is vice-president; George F. Norcross, attorney, is secretary, and L. S. Baker is treasurer of that company. Mr. Miles is a thirty-second degree Mason and Shriner and also is a member of the B. P. O. E., Kiwanis Club and Christian Science church. He was united in matrimony on March 15, 1914, with Miss Lila E. Gill at Milwaukee and they have two children, Billie, born December 2, 1916, and June, born July 4, 1919. Mr. Miles has always been a keen lover of nature, spending considerable time in the woods of northern Michigan, and in this environment it is only natural that many of his musical compositions reflect nature in her brightest and happiest moods.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 5 May 2004