Lewis & Selma Miller

Dr. Lewis Miller was born in Washington Court House, Ohio, in 1876. A graduate of Northwestern University, he practiced dentistry in Lincoln, Neb., where he partnered with his brother operating local movie theaters. Dr. Miller and his wife, Selma, moved to Wichita in 1909, building the Princess Theater and the Palace, eventually opening the Miller Theatre in 1922. The Miller was considered to be the showcase of theaters, the “finest west of Chicago,” and was host to live stage shows that included Will Rogers and Charlie Chaplin.

Dr. and Mrs. Miller were devoted patrons of the arts, giving anonymous assistance to art students and programs. An artist herself, Mrs. Miller served on the board of directors of the Wichita Art Association from 1938-1961.

She was quoted as saying, “It is not what you have in worldly goods, but how you use it that counts most.”

Following Dr. Miller’s death in 1969, Wichita State University dedicated the Lewis and Selma Miller Concert Hall in the Duerksen Fine Arts Center in honor of their contribution of both time and means to community art and theater development. Upon Mrs. Miller’s passing in 1972, the Lewis and Selma Miller fund was established through their estate to ensure the development and furtherance of the WSU College of Fine Arts and the Ulrich Museum.