Shelby's Fabulous 5: Jerry Miller

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Historic site builder

By Lisa King

History means a lot to Jerry Miller, so much so that he dedicated three years to a project he thought was one of the most worthwhile historic projects he has ever been involved in – the Skirmish near Simpsonville Memorial.

“It was so neat to be involved in a project related to history, which I absolutely love. It was like a mystery unraveling,” he said of all the research and work that went into completing the memorial.

That project, begun in 2008 by the Shelby County Historical Society, involved erecting memorials on each of the 22 members of E Company of the 5th U.S. Colored Calvary who were killed at that site on Jan. 25, 1865, by a band of Confederate guerillas.

Miller, a Louisville Metro Councilman, lives in Eastwood, but he grew up in that area and attended school in Shelby County.

He said that having the chance to work with historical society volunteers such as Uley Washburn, Juanita White, Robert Bell and many others was invaluable to him.

“There were so many people from all walks of life that I would never have met otherwise, and I’ll always treasure their friendship,” he said.

The three years they spent working on the memorial were challenging, yet very rewarding, Miller said. And the group was honored recently by the Kentucky Historical Society as volunteer group of the year.

“Looking back, we had a variety of obstacles to overcome, things like all the research that needed to be done and getting grants in place,” he said. “But it was all worth it. It was such a good feeling when we were out there working, and people would see the markers and actually stop and get out and ask us about what we were doing. It was just incredible.”