Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
PHILIP MILLER, the most prominent
and extensive farmer and fruit grower in the vicinity of Wenatchee, Chelan
county, is, also, one of the oldest pioneers in that productive locality.
He is a German by birth, the date of his nativity being February 28, 1835.
His father, Jacob Miller, a German miner,
died in 1870, followed four years after by his mother, Katherine (Bastean)
Miller. At the age of nineteen, in 1854, our subject came to the
United States, and for several years he led a life of vicissitude and adventure.
He at first located in Pennsylvania and followed the trade of a carpenter,
subsequently going to Minnesota. At the opening of the Civil War,
he was in Missouri, and he promptly enlisted in Company C, Third regiment
of the Home Guards of that state, and served with distinction until mustered
out in 1864. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Fort Donelson
and many other serious engagements and skirmishes. He received one
slight flesh wound.
Removing to Montana in 1865 he worked at his
trade and prospected for mineral. During the seven years of his mining
career he was quite successful in Confederate Gulch, where he panned out
five thousand dollars the first year. It was in 1872 that he came
to Washington, locating at first near Ellensburg, where for two or three
years he engaged in stock-raising. He then came to his present home,
where he has four hundred and sixty acres, forty acres of which are devoted
to grapes and other varieties of fruit, and two hundred acres to alfalfa.
In 1901 he disposed of his stock, with the exception of twelve horses and
his attention is now entirely given to fruit and hay. At the time
the railroad first came through his vicinity he was offered forty-five
thousand dollars for his property. He annually disposes of from five
to six thousand boxes of fruit and one thousand tons of hay. He lives
in a fine cottage surrounded on all sides by a broad veranda, and magnificently
shaded by a luxuriant grove. The fruit-packing house is thirty by
fifty feet in size, and his hens are sheltered in a structure that cost
four hundred dollars. He controls the most extensive ranch in the
valley and it is one of the sights frequently sought out by visiting strangers.
Mrs. Miller was, formerly, Miss Lena Ruhl
and was united to her husband at Spokane in the fall of 1892. She
is a native of Germany, both of her parents being dead. She has one
brother in Germany, and one sister, Lizzie, wife of John Rupp, of Wenatchee.
She is the mother of one son, Emil H., residing at home. Mr. Miller
has two brothers living, Joseph, at Wenatchee, and Peter, at Malaga, Washington.
Both of them are well known stock raisers.
Mr. Miller is a member of the Roman Catholic
church. His wife is a Lutheran. Politically he is a Republican,
although not a partisan, and seldom very active in politics. He is
a man of excellent business ability, popular with all, and highly respected
in the community.