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Our History

MILLER DIVERSIFIED: 100 Years & Counting

A century ago, five brothers decided to form a business. In this last century, we’ve weathered depressions, recessions, wars, unrest, and most recently, a pandemic. Our family business has found a way to thrive across the span of decades regardless of the challenges we faced. We wanted to tell the stories of the amazing people who made our 100th anniversary possible, from our humble beginnings rooted in farming to the company you see today focusing on commercial construction and real estate. Don’t miss our video story, as told by Nancy Miller (wife of second generation owner Norm Miller) as well as Kurt Miller and Jerry Miller, the third generation owners of Miller Diversified.


Henry Miller and his five sons Henry, Louie, Charlie, Frank, and Herman, had been operating a greenhouse for about a decade. Miller Farm & Greenhouse, the company that would eventually be renamed Miller Diversified, was incorporated in April of 1920.

About The Photo: The Miller brothers are pictured here with a delivery truck full of cucumbers. Herman Miller, who would eventually be the manager of the greenhouse, sits on the far right.

1920s & 1930s:

During this era, the company managed to survive the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world. Many of the brothers retired during this time, leaving the company in the charge of the youngest of the brothers, Herman.

About The Photo: Herman Miller (center) is pictured here with a team of Polish immigrants, employed to help with the harvest in the summer and fall months.


Herman became gravely ill and was unable to continue managing the greenhouse. His son Norman Miller was graduating high school around this time and Norm began managing the company’s affairs in his father’s stead alongside his cousin.

About The Photo: As the Miller brothers got older, many retired, leaving Herman (far right) in charge of the greenhouse operations. When he was too ill to manage the greenhouse, the responsibility fell to his son, Norman.


The rising expense of maintaining the greenhouses during the long Ohio winters became a burden. Southern farms trucking vegetables north created new competition for the company, and Norm realized it was becoming time for a pivot.

About The Photo: This photograph shows a lettuce delivery truck in front of the Miller homestead, which was located near the greenhouse on the corner of Dorr St. and Secor Ave. in Toledo.


Norm made the courageous decision to sell the greenhouse and evolve the business to focus on real estate development. As part of his plans for growth, he founded a construction company, with the idea that he could contribute to a surge of growth in the Toledo area.

About The Photo: By the time Norm sold the business, Miller had plenty of experience in building after constructing eight acres of greenhouse. In the cold winter months, they were heated by burning one train car full of coal per night. The greenhouse was situated near the train tracks, but the rising costs of operations became a great burden.


With changes to skilled nursing care and assisted living on the horizon as a result of the Medicare Act, the Millers met a rising demand for nursing homes. Norm took pride in these projects, and even designed one nursing home with an attached greenhouse where seniors and preschoolers could gather and garden together.

About The Photo: Norm Miller was the primary operator of the company from 1943 up through the 1990s. 


Current President Kurt Miller and Vice President Jerry Miller joined the company as the third generation of Millers, working alongside their father Norm to continue growing the business in real estate, development and construction.

About The Photo: Norm Miller inherited the company from his father. Kurt Miller joined the company in 1988 and still serves as CEO, and Jerry Miller joined in 1988 and serves as Vice President.

Second and Third Generation Owners of Miller Diversified


The recession forced many Toledo area businesses to close their doors. Kurt and Jerry pivoted and shifted their full focus and energies on construction and real estate brokerage, a decision that allowed them to survive the recession, and even thrive afterward.

About The Photo: The Briarfield building, which is now a part of the Miller Investment Fund, served as the office at the time of the financial crisis.

2020 & Beyond:

Miller Diversified celebrates 100 years in business. It is a milestone we could never have reached without the hard work, sacrifice, and passion of those who came before us. Despite the economic challenges we faced during our anniversary year, we remain a steady stable force in the midwest, with expertise in construction, brokerage, property management, and development, along with an investment fund.

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