Esther Miller Dagenett
Born: 18 December 1869 Died: 24 November 1936
Esther Miller was the youngest child born to Akima Mihtohseenia (Chief Thomas Miller) and Waapikihkihkwa. Her mother died when she was about nine years old, after which her father married Almina White, of the Peoria Tribe. Esther was very intelligent, and was a member of the first graduating class of Carlisle Indian School in 1889. Furthering her education, she also graduated from Gem City Business College in 1891. Esther married Charles E. Dagenett in 1892. Esther was a teacher and matron in the service of the Department of Indian Affairs education system for thirty years, working in such places as Chilocco, Muskogee, Kiowa, and Seneca Indian Schools. Charles was a well-respected agent for the Office of Indian Affairs, and he and Esther both worked for many years in western states, including Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. She and Charles had one daughter, who died at birth. Eventually, they divorced and Esther moved back home to Miami to be with her family.
Esther’s allotment land was inherited by her niece and nephews, and passed through the family to Lewis Moore, who donated an acre of it to the Miami Tribe in 1975. In 1977-1978, the tribe used an Indian Action Team Grant through the Bureau of Indian Affairs to build the first tribally-owned building on this land, then called the Miami Tribal Longhouse. This building was not only a tool to train tribal members in construction, but also served as a place for Myaamia people to gather for social and formal activities. In 2008, the building was renamed the Ethel Miller Moore Cultural Education center in honor of Chief Lewis Moore’s mother, and on September 16, 2014, it was added to the Miami Nation Tribal Historic Properties Register.