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VIProfile: Ebby Miller




At 92, Edward Elam Miller II, known to all as “Ebby”, of Murfreesboro still enjoys an honest day’s work. Though diagnosed with cancer in 2010, many days Ebby continues to make his way to his office on the Murfreesboro Square, inside Miller Loughry & Beach, an insurance
company which he founded under the name Miller Insurance in 1948.

Though he’s seen many mergers within the company over the years (he sold it, and it became Miller and Loughry, in the 1990s), one thing remains the same: Ebby Miller loves coming to work. “Most days, I come in, read the paper cover to cover and drink some coffee they still give me my own office,” he said, in his witty demeanor as he sat in that very office, surrounded by decades of mementos, certificates of achievement and photos of him and his family that hang on the walls. “Occasionally I meet with old clients; we have some who’ve been with us for 40 or 50 years.” Ebby has a great outlook on life, and says he feels lucky to be able to do what he does.

“My favorite part is socializing with the other employees, and then just loafing,” he joked.
In addition to working in the insurance business, Ebby raised a family and has three children; daughters Marimae White of Murfreesboro and Connie Wilson of Osceola, Arkansas and
son, Eddie Miller, also of Murfreesboro, as well as several grandchildren. Ebby married Betty Miller in 1978 and over the years they have enjoyed traveling domestically and abroad, supporting Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and spending
time cheering on their grandchildren and great-grandchildren in their sports and activities. Ebby is also a life-long member of First Baptist Church, having been a dedicated member since 1938.

Ebby has seen many changes in the insurance industry over the years, but the biggest change came in the 1940s and ‘50s, when Murfreesboro experienced an influx of commercial businesses. At that point, he said most of the big insurance written was for commercial policies.

“Succeeding in this business is all about how personal you are,” he said, adding that demonstrating patience in one’s profession is also important. “You have to be able to paint a clear picture and make sure your clients know what they are buying.”

Ebby, who was born in a house on the property that currently serves as the post office on Church Street, has indeed lived a full life, having served his country until being discharged in 1945. He also worked as a farmer for a few years before embarking in the insurance world. He says he has no regrets.

“I wouldn’t have done anything any differently,” he said. “Once I really got into this (insurance) I really liked it.” Speaking about his vision for Murfreesboro’s future, Ebby said things are looking bright. “I’m in favor of growth,” he said.

“My children and grandchildren will all be looking for careers in this town, so I want it to grow. Some people are afraid of growth but I’m not … In 10 years from now we’ll probably be needing and seeing a few more intersections to handle all the growth.”

A true believer in playing his part in serving the community, a long list of organizations have received Ebby’s support over the years. Starting with the Rutherford County Hospital where he served on the board for many years and The Christy-Houston Foundation, which he was a founding board member. He’s also served on the following boards and local groups, many times in a position of leadership: Middle Tennessee Medical Center, the Rutherford County Red Cross, Dispensary of Hope, the Evergreen Cemetery and the Murfreesboro
Housing Authority. He continues to be a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Rutherford
County Sportsman Club and is the member in longest standing of the Stones River County Club.

“To be honest, I didn’t volunteer for many of them,” he laughed, explaining he was often asked to serve and happily obliged. What is he most proud of, looking back over a prized career and life in the town he loves?

“I’m proud of the work I did on the boards,” he said. “I am most proud of making a living and raising three kids; sending them to college. I’m proud of that.”

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