Iva Miller was born on August 24, 1893 in northern Oklahoma. Her Native American blood came from her mother, who was from North Carolina and ½ Cherokee. Miller attended the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School near Ponca City, Oklahoma before attending the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The forms allowing Iva to attend the Carlisle Indian School were signed by Grace Gray-Morris, who was likely an older sister or aunt, as Iva’s mother had passed away before her enrollment. Miller was a student at the Carlisle Indian School from 1909-1912, where she would eventually meet her first husband, and fellow student, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe was an Olympic gold medalist, as well as a professional baseball and football player. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest athletes to have ever lived. The two were married in Carlisle in 1913, and had four children together. Miller and Thorpe bought a home in Yale, Oklahoma- now called the “Jim Thorpe House”, and lived there until 1923. Iva divorced Thorpe in 1925, and then married H.G. Davies. Much of her life after her first marriage is undocumented, as she was out of the public eye after separating from Thorpe. Miller passed away in 1980.


Miller pictured, far right.

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