The Port Angeles Evening News

January 11th, 1934


A long adventurous career ended Wednesday when death claimed Chris Miller, 93 year old Civil War veteran, freight train driver in the early days of Colorado and Washington state and Sequim pioneer. Death was due to the infirmities of old age.


The late Mr. Miller's history reads like a romance. Born at Ridgeville, IN March 9th, 1841, he enlisted in the Union forces of the Civil War in 1861. He was wounded 5 times in the first 6 months he was in the Army. The last would, a severe one in the shoulder, was received in the same battle in which he had two brothers killed and he was invalided out of the army.


Immediately after the war, Mr. Miller married Elizabeth Bading in Indiana and 2 children, Mrs. Annie Hinds, Seattle and a son Herman, now deceased, wee born to the couple. Mrs. miller died and Mr. Miller took his 2 children who were infants and drove a mule team from Indiana to Canyon City Colorado and engaged in freighting between that town and Leadville, during the great gold rush days that made that camp on of the liveliest ever known.


In the early 80's that Mr. Miller came to Washington Territory and built a sawmill at Auburn. He was married to Miss Wright in Auburn, April 4th, 1887 and lived there 5 years, where 2 children, Mrs. Austin Smith of Sequim and Frank Miller, now deceased were born.


From Auburn, Mr. Miller moved to Sequim in 1892 and settled on what is now known as the Ray Cays Ranch were he started a sawmill and operated that mill for 3 years, then he moved to the Hardgrove Ranch where 2 more children, Mrs. Olive Farrar, Seattle and George Miller of Colorado, were born.


After living on the Hardgrove Ranch for several years, Mr. Miller operated a sawmill on the Evanson place until the death of his second wife, Dec. 1918, when he moved to Sequim to make his home with his daughter, Mrs. Austin Smith and he was married again on August 9th, 1924 to Mrs. Matilda Brown of Sequim who survives him.


Mr. Miller has the distinction of having owned the first automobile in Sequim. He drove that first car up until a few years ago when he bought a coupe and he operated that vehicle up until a few months before his death.


Mr. Miller, who at the time of his death, was on of the few survivors of the Civil War in this county, had one of the most interesting careers of any of our citizens. He had spanned the continent, was wounded in the Civil War, saw stirring days of the Colorado gold rush and was a pioneer of this state and of Clallam County. The sturdy old man kept his vitality almost to the last and although old, was amount the firs to accept the changes of modern civilization. His mind was keen and he had many stories to tell of pioneer days.


Years ago, Mr. Miller make arrangements for his burial which is to be b military one at Port Townsend next Sunday at 2 pm. He was a member of the G.A.R. and on the Masonic Order, Surviving relatives are the widow, Mrs. Chis Miller, Sequim, a daughter, Mrs. Austin Smith, Sequim 2 other daughters, Mrs. Annie Hinds and Mrs. Olive Farrar of Seattle and a son, George Miller of Colorado.