The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Robert Aubrey Miller

    JACKSONVILLE LITERARY SOCIETY.--At a meeting of this society, held Friday, December 19th, the following officers were elected: President, W. J. Stanley; Vice-President, Frank Kasshafer; Secretary, Walter Jewell; Treasurer, Robt. A. Miller. The society is now permanently organized, and will meet at the district school house every Friday evening. It starts off with a good membership, composed of both sexes, and has a bright future before it. We wish it all success.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 27, 1873, page 4

    Robt. A. Miller, who has been attending the San Jose University for the past year, returned home Wednesday.
"Personal," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 25, 1875, page 3

    Honors are showering themselves upon our friend Robt. A. Miller, now at Salem. He has just been elected president of the Alka Literary Society and is first lieutenant of the military department of the Willamette University.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 15, 1878, page 3

    A sporting club has been formed at Salem, with W. F. Cornell as president and Robt. A. Miller as secretary.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 7, 1878, page 3

    Robt. A. Miller was one of the students that graduated from the Willamette University yesterday.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 14, 1878, page 3

    Robt. A. Miller, under the nom de plume of "zano," writes the following to the Portland Standard, published in the issue of Oct. 1st:
    About two years ago two young gentlemen, recently from the States (Missouri, in fact), arrived in Jacksonville late one evening. The next morning, ere the chanticleer had piped his matin notes, these two misguided youths might have been seen surreptitiously wending their way up Jackson Creek, armed with two large butcher knives and a flour sack. They had heard in their far-off home of the big "nuggets" found in this locality, heard how gold had been picked up in the streets after a heavy rain, and now, the long hoped-for spot was reached, the propitious fates had smiled upon them, and their bewitching, bewildering dreams were about to be realized. At this moment Aaron made a dive at a glittering object with an ejaculation of delight, while "Dick" hastily spread the mouth of the sack. They had struck it rich. Rich in mica. Nothing daunted, they resumed their search, dug in the sand, pierced into crevices, explored old tunnels and wandered about over the "gold-glutted ranges" until the day was far spent. And at last when hope had fled, slowly and solemnly wended their way back to town. "Youths to fortune and to fame unknown," they concluded to locate in Jacksonville, and soon made hosts of friends, [and] as they became better acquainted with the people and the mines the extremest ludicrousness of the first gold hunt began to dawn upon them, they told it, and immediately became the heroes of the hour. Reader, this is no fancy sketch. One of the parties moved recently to Portland and the other is still here. If you want to smile, just get them to tell you about their first "cleanup!"
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 8, 1881, page 4

    Robt. A. Miller, accompanied by Mr. [James Everett] Stuart, a Portland artist, arrived in town Saturday. The following Wednesday they left for Crater Lake, and will spend several weeks in visiting the curiosities and viewing the beautiful scenery in which southern and southeastern Oregon abound. Mr. S. will also do some sketching while here.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 18, 1882, page 3

    FOR LAKE COUNTY.--Peter Britt started for Crater Lake this week accompanied by Robt. Miller and Mr. Stuart of Portland. The latter is an artist and he proposes making some sketches of the scenery in Lake County while out.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 19, 1882, page 3

    P. Britt and family, Robt. A. Miller and Mr. Stuart returned from a trip to Crater Lake yesterday.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 15, 1882, page 3

    Peter Britt and son and Robt. A. Miller came in from Crater Lake this week. Mr. Stuart, the artist, is visiting Mt. Shasta.

"Personals," Ashland Tidings, September 15, 1882, page 3

    Robt. A. Miller and Mr. Stuart, who have been paying Southern Oregon a visit, returned to Portland this week.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 20, 1882, page 3

    Robt. A. Miller and Mr. Stuart, the artist, returned to Portland this week. The latter made some fine sketches while here.
"Local Items," 
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 21, 1882, page 3

Golden Nuggets.
    Robt. A. Miller publishes the following in the last number of the Hesperian:
    While everyone is going wild over the "prospects" of Coeur d'Alene, let me give you a few interesting bits of history that may serve to modify somewhat the present excitement. In Jacksonville, in Southern Oregon, after a hard rain it is no unusual thing to be able to pick up gold in the streets, and it is a fact known to every resident that the gravel bed upon which the town is situated is unusually rich. As an example, one party, a few winters since, by tunneling under his house "cleaned up" the neat sum of four thousand dollars. It is often said half in earnest, half in jest, that some of the old brick buildings made from the clay taken from Rich Gulch have more gold fused into the bricks than was ever inside the buildings. It is a fact, also, that there are numerous "diggins" in Southern Oregon that are immensely rich, but the scarcity of water, the lack of sufficient "dump" and many minor causes made it impossible to work the claims to advantage. The simple fact of the matter is that it would take more money to develop the claims than they are worth. As regards large specimens, it was no unusual thing to get $500 to $800 nuggets from Jackson Creek in an early day, and it is also a remarkable fact that those who found these nuggets are still hunting for more. They are not rich, those miners, but by long experience they are able by hard scratching to make a living. No, reader, I don't get the mining fever very easy, because I've lived in the mines and know that "all that glitters is not gold."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 2, 1884, page 2

    By a private letter received from our friend Robt. A. Miller, of Portland, we learn he has discontinued the publication of the Hesperian. Mr. Miller is a fine writer, and this change is a great loss to the literary community. His name has been mentioned here in connection with the new Democratic paper that is expected to be started soon, and we will be glad to welcome Robert to cotemporary journalism notwithstanding he represents the wrong party.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 7, 1884, page 2

    Robt. A. Miller and Raphael Morat are making large shipments of grapes to the Portland market, where they find a ready sale.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 18, 1886, page 3

    If we have the straight of it, Robert A. Miller of Jacksonville has been made president of the fruit growers association of Southern Oregon. This no doubt means that the organization will take on new life and vigor and become something more than a sort of haphazard advertising medium for tree peddlers. With such actual and practical, and experienced, growers of fruit and grapes as Stewart, Whitman, Miller, Galey and others, this association should be made one of the recognized interests of the state. It ought to be able to make rules and regulations for all growers in Southern Oregon, and so hedge this great interest, that dishonest men in the business or deal with it cannot get it at a disadvantage.
Southern Oregon Transcript, Medford, March 13, 1888, page 3

Mr. Miller Tells How the Growers Fared This Year--Influx of Californians.

    Robert A. Miller of Jacksonville, president of the Southern Oregon Fruit Growers' Association, is in the city on a visit. Speaking to an Oregonian reporter yesterday, he said that the fruit crop of Southern Oregon this year was, generally speaking, a complete success, and the prices realized were encouraging. He went on:
    "Most of the fruit has been purchased for California shipment, whence it will be shipped to the Hawaiian Islands and China. For the first time in the history of our portion of the state the codling moth has made its appearance the past season in the apples of a few orchards, principally old ones; otherwise the quality of the apples was good and we have nothing to complain of. Our apples have a great advantage over those grown in the valley, as they have a more perfect growth, and the fungus noticeable on the valley apples is not present on the fruit produced by us.
    "Everybody raised watermelons, it seemed, and carload after carload of them was shipped to Portland and elsewhere.
    "The grape crop was almost an entire failure for the first time, the vines having been killed last winter. Sap began running in the vines and then a severe frost came on, nipping them. We will make up for the loss next year.
    "Peaches, pears, plums and prunes were produced in abundance. Some good corn was also grown. Hundreds of California people are making their homes in the valley and are going into the fruit-raising business. Large farms are being cut up into forty- and fifty-acre tracts to accommodate the newcomers."
Oregonian, Portland, October 23, 1888, page 8

Editors Valley Record:
    In justice to one of your representatives, the coming statesman Robert A. Miller, of Jackson County, the friend of the people, I do beg leave to ask for space in your paper to return thanks to Mr. Miller for the able manner he acquitted himself in the House of Representatives in defending and upholding the people's rights and also the able manner in which he worked in behalf of the working class of Oregon in trying to enact a law to protect labor on public works. Mr. Miller done all in his power to have a law passed for the protection of contractors, subcontractors and laborers on public works, and when speaking in the House you could hear a pin drop; in fact he was the only one that could have control in commanding attention. His eloquence and ability was the general talk of both ladies and gentlemen irrespective of politics, and to my fellow working men of Jackson County, I do hope you will give to Robert A. Miller such a reception every time you meet him that would be a credit to the President of the United States. He deserves it. Keep your eye on him. No matter what office you may elect him to, he is Robert A. Miller, servant of the people. The Republican Party is responsible for the defeat of the labor bill. The opposition was headed by Joseph Simon, president of the Senate. The Portland delegation showed their ill will towards the working men from the beginning of the session to the very last minute, and look upon the working class with contempt. If there are any Republican working men in Jackson County I hope this session of the legislature will cure him from such a rotten disease of corruption. This Joseph Simon is going to be the Republican candidate for governor. Look out for him as being the enemy of the people and especially of the working class; and furthermore I hope no working man will condemn no corporation or newspaper as being the cause of the defeat of the labor bill. In the Senate it was the prejudice of the Portland Senators against the working class. They proclaimed themselves the enemies of labor by their actions. Gov. Pennoyer is a true and staunch friend of labor and has watched carefully every bill that come to him for his signature, and he was anxious to see the labor bill pass so that Oregon would fall in line with all of the other states in protecting labor, and when the governor was informed of the defeat of the labor bill he was surprised as he could not see anything in the labor bill that any honest man could object to. No matter what any man or set of men may say about the governor, fellow working men, he is our true and staunch friend. And to you, Robert A. Miller, the working men and women of Oregon return our sincere thanks for your noble effort in trying to enact a law to protect our interests, and we do hope the day will come when we will be able to reciprocate to you for your noble efforts in protecting our interests. May God bless Robert A. Miller, of Jackson County, the incorruptible. I remain,
Yours respectfully,
    M. H. O'CONNOR.
Salem, Or., Feb. 24th, 1889.
Valley Record, Ashland, February 28, 1889, page 2

    Best exhibit of wine grapes, R. A. Miller, 1st, $5. Best exhibit of grapes, J. H. Stewart, 1st, $1. Best exhibit Mission grapes, R. Morat, 1st, $1. Muscat grapes, Dr. E. P. Geary, 1st, $1. Improved Mission and White Sweetwater, John Miller, 1st on each, $1. Flame Tokay and Black Hamburg, W. C. Winston, Douglas County, 1st on each, $1.
"Premiums Awarded [at the District Fair]," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 3, 1889, page 3

    Col. R. A. Miller, who has charge of J. N. T. Miller's vineyard, reports sixteen acres in vines; yield this year 22 tons, from which were made 800 gallons wine, the balance shipped to Portland market; there are twenty-five varieties of grapes growing in this vineyard, the most being the "Miller Mission" and "White Sweetwater," estimated at less than one-half the yield of 1887.
"Grape Growing in Jackson County," Ashland Tidings, December 20, 1889, page 1

    Colonel Robert A. Miller, the nominee for Congress, is of the old pioneer stock of Oregon, his people coming to this state in 1845 and settling, one branch in Lane County and the other in Multnomah. General John F. Miller, who was the Democratic nominee for governor in the early '60s, is an uncle, and Hon. John Myers, who made the race for Congress in 1884, is a relative. Hon. J. N. T. Miller, the father of Colonel Miller, served several terms in the legislature and held other important positions. Colonel Miller was born in Lane County in 1854, but Jackson County has been his home since early boyhood. After graduating at the Willamette University at Salem in 1878, he accepted a position on the Daily Statesman as city editor until failing health caused him to give up the position. In 1889 he began the study of law with his cousin, Judge R. E. Bybee, in Portland. In 1883 he took a position on the Polaris, and afterwards purchasing the plant established the Hesperian, running this paper nearly a year during the depression following the Villard crash. During the legislative session of 1885 he served as senate reporter for the Oregonian. The subsequent session he served as a member of the house from Jackson County and was re-elected in 1888. Colonel Miller, though working with a hopeless minority during the last session, proved himself to be an able parliamentarian and tactician, making a record to which he owes his present nomination.
    He was admitted to the bar of this state in 1888. At the present time Colonel Miller is president of the Southern Oregon Fruit Growers' Association, and secretary of the Southern Oregon District Fair Association, and as such he has recently given into the hands of State Printer Baker "The Resources of Southern Oregon," in manuscript, a contemplated publication containing statistical and descriptive information concerning Southern Oregon. Among other distinctions, Colonel Miller is grand patron of the grand chapter O.E.S. In the last presidential campaign he assisted in the canvass of the state.--[Oregonian
Valley Record, Ashland, May 1, 1890, page 2

    Col. R. A. Miller, Charles Nickell, of the Times, and Gen. T. G. Reames were chosen to represent Jacksonville at the Democratic ingathering of souls in Portland on the 8th of January.
"Jacksonville Items," Medford Mail, January 7, 1892, page 2

    Col. R. A. Miller and Charles Nickell are in Portland, whither they went to attend the Democratic love feast on the 8th of January. As they are perhaps the most discordant elements of the "good old party" in this part of the state, it looks as though the "lion and the lamb might lie down together and Barney Goldsmith lead them out."
    Col. Robert A. Miller returned from Portland Tuesday morning. He seems to have passed safely through the crucial experience of the Tammany organization, and will probably be willing to again become a sacrificial offering for his party.
"Jacksonville Items," Medford Mail, January 14, 1892, page 2

    Col. Robt. A. Miller returned home on Monday, but left for Portland the following day. He will assume his duties as register of the Oregon City land office at once.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 21, 1893, page 3

    It is announced that Col. Robt. A. Miller and Mrs. Sarelia Grubbe of Salem will soon enter the holy bonds of matrimony. Joy and prosperity be with them.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 18, 1893, page 3

    A Salem dispatch of the 11th inst. gives the information that Col. Robert A. Miller, register of the Oregon City land office, and Mrs. Sarelia G. Grubbe, late superintendent of the Salem schools, were married that morning at the home of the bride's parents at Waldo hills. The contracting parties have a host of friends and acquaintances throughout the state, all of whom join the Times in wishing them a happy and prosperous journey upon the matrimonial seas.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 15, 1893, page 3

    David Bloomer vs. George E. Bloomer; the plaintiff appeared by his attorney, R. A. Miller. It was ordered and decreed that the said defendant, George E. Bloomer, shall, upon the entry of this decree, transfer to the plaintiff, David Bloomer, by good and sufficient deed of conveyance, the legal title so received from said Amelia Darling and John H. Darling, by such aforesaid, and in default of which this decree shall stand as a monument of title in lieu thereof.
"Circuit Court," Oregon City Enterprise, November 22, 1895, page 8

    A PIONEER OF 1845.--One of Oregon's oldest pioneers died at his home in Jacksonville, Tuesday, the 18th, in the person of Colonel J. N. T. Miller, aged 74 years. Col. Miller was a native of Hardin County, Kentucky, where he was born in the year 1826. He came to Oregon among the earliest immigrants in 1845, and settled in Jackson County, where he has since resided, in 1853. In that year he was married to Miss Elizabeth Ann Awbrey, the union being blest with eight children, five of whom have preceded the father to the beyond. Besides his wife Col. Miller leaves three children, Col. Robert A. Miller, of Oregon City; Mrs. Anna Beach, of San Francisco, and W. L. Miller, of Jacksonville; and two brothers, General John F. Miller of Salem, and Emmett Miller of the state of Nevada, to mourn his loss.--Tidings. Col. Miller is a relative of F. J. Miller of this city.
Albany Democrat, September 28, 1900, page 1

    Mr. Miller comes from one of the well-known pioneer and political families of Oregon, his people coming to this state in 1845 and first settling in Multnomah and Clackamas counties. He was born in Lane County, Oregon, in 1854. His parents moved to Jacksonville, Oregon, when he was six weeks old, and his early life was spent on his father's donation land claim adjoining that then-famous mining town. He learned the bridle paths of Jackson and Klamath counties while assisting in his father's stock interests. He graduated at the Willamette University in 1878 and supplemented this with a Chautauqua diploma in 1900. He was admitted to the bar in 1887 and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1893, and was admitted to practice before the Land Department at Washington, in 1897. Mr. Miller was elected to the legislature from Jackson County in 1886 and was re-elected in 1888. His course in the legislature gave him the Democratic nomination for Congress in 1890 by acclamation. He was one of the nominees of his party for presidential elector in 1892, and was appointed Register of the Oregon City Land Office in 1893 and served four years. Col. Miller gets his military title from having served for six years as aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor Pennoyer. He has been for the past two years chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee of Clackamas County and at the last convention received the unanimous endorsement of the convention for Congress. He was nominated in the state convention of 1900 for Congress but declined and placed in nomination Hon. Bernard Daly, of Lake County, who received the nomination. Col. Miller has a state reputation and stands well in the counsels of his party.
    Aside from Mr. Miller's political work he spent some years in the newspaper field of Oregon, being engaged as a writer or reporter for the Salem Mercury, the Daily Standard, the Oregonian, the News, and the Polaris, and during the year 1883-4 he was editor and proprietor of the Hesperian, published at Portland, Oregon, He left the newspaper work for more congenial pursuits.
    Mr. Miller, after four years' residence in Portland, Oregon, returned to Southern Oregon in 1884 and took charge of his father's fruit and farming interests and demonstrated that both could be made to pay. He helped to build up the Southern Oregon State Board of Agriculture and was secretary for two years during its most prosperous period. He was president of the Southern Oregon Fruit Growers' Association and gave much attention to the material development of that portion of the state.
    Col. Miller, since coming to Clackamas County, was president of the Willamette Valley Chautauqua Association for four years and took an active interest in upbuilding that institution. He is now president of the Men's Club of the First Congregational Church, of Oregon City.
    Col. Miller, since retiring as Register of the Oregon City Land Office, in 1897, has devoted his time to building up a law practice which now extends over two states. He is winning both fame and fortune in his chosen profession.
Oregon City Courier-Herald, Oregon City, January 3, 1902, page 29

He Is One of the Best-Known Citizens of Clackamas County.
    It is generally understood that Colonel Robert A. Miller, one of the most prominent lawyers of Oregon City, will make the race for the Democratic nomination for Congressman from the First Oregon District to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Representative Tongue.
    Col. Miller has been prominent in the politics of Oregon for twenty years, having made a race for Congress before Oregon had two Congressional districts. He is a fine stumper, a good lawyer and an excellent citizen, and if he gets the Democratic nomination the two thousand Republican majority in the district will likely be wiped out. The Courier wishes him success in his political aspirations.
Oregon City Courier, Oregon City, February 27, 1903, page 1

Colonel Miller at Frogpond.
    Colonel Robert A. Miller, who is known throughout the state as the Chesterfield of Oregon Democracy, will address the voters of Tualatin precinct next Saturday night at Frogpond school house. Tualatin precinct is the voting place of the Hon. Thomas Turner, one of the stalwarts of Clackamas County. The Colonel is an entertaining speaker and will no doubt have a large and attentive audience. He will tell the people that in the beginning the Lord created Heaven and Earth and a little later created the Democratic Party. And then, like the locusts came upon Egypt, there came the Republican Party. All of this, and much more, will the Colonel say, and he expects to bring the people of Tualatin to the standard of Reames, the Democratic candidate for Congress.
Clackamas County Record, Oregon City, May 7, 1903, page 1

    Robert A. Miller spent Sunday with Mrs. Miller in Salem. Mrs. Miller has been quite ill at the capital city, where she went for a visit.
"Personal Mention," Oregon City Enterprise, June 12, 1903, page 3

    SALEM, Or., June 20.--(Special.)--Mrs. Sarelia Griffith Miller, wife of Hon. Robert A. Miller of Oregon City, died at the Salem Hospital about midnight last night. The immediate cause of her death was the shock of a surgical operation.
    The deceased was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Griffith, and was born at the farm home in the Waldo Hills on February 28, 1859. She was educated in the public schools and at Willamette University, graduating from the latter institution in 1877 with the degree of bachelor of science. The following year she was married to Quincy A. Grubbe, of this city, who died about 1885. For several years she served as a principal in the Salem public schools, and here her work was so highly satisfactory that she was chosen city Superintendent of Schools. This position she held until 1893. In the latter year she was married to Hon. Robert A. Miller, who survives her. Since 1893 her home has been in Oregon City.
    Mrs. Miller was widely known in Oregon as a close student and a leader in educational work. She pursued the studies of the Chautauqua course for several years, and was once a director in the state organization. She made a very exhaustive study of Shakespeare's works, and has delighted many Oregon audiences by her excellent interpretation of that author.
    Mrs. Miller was honored by being elected the first president of the state organization of Native Daughters of Oregon, in which order she has always taken a very active interest. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, at Oregon City, and of the Portland Woman's Club.
    Besides her husband, father and mother, Mrs. Miller left four children and three brothers: Mrs. George A. Peebles, Weston; Mrs. A. W. Giesy, Mrs. L. H. McMahan, Miss Jennie Griffith, Dr. L. F. Griffith, Dr. J. C. Griffith and Carl Griffith, all of Salem.
    The funeral will be conducted at 11 o'clock a.m. tomorrow (Sunday) from the First M.E. church in this city, Dean W. C. Hawley, of Willamette University, having charge of the services. Burial will be had in the cemetery near the Griffith home in the Waldo Hills.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, June 21, 1903, page 4

Colonel Robert Miller, Who Formerly Resided in Jacksonville,
Tells of Conditions in Portland Gives Words of Encouragement.
    Colonel Robert A. Miller arrived in Jacksonville Monday to spend a week with his mother Mrs. J. N. T. Miller and his sister Mrs. E. S. Beach. Colonel Miller is now located in Portland, where he has offices in the Commercial Block, where he will be glad to meet his Southern Oregon friends. He had a fine law practice in Oregon City, much of which he still retains and to which he is adding a profitable clientele among the business men of Portland, and in land law business, his long experience in the U.S. land office at Oregon City giving him a thorough knowledge of that branch of law.
    Colonel Miller was born [sic] and raised in Jacksonville, and he has considerable property interests in this vicinity, a part of which is 160 acres of mineral land which adjoins the Opp tract on which is located the Opp mine where a 20-stamp mill is now being erected. One object of the Colonel's trip to Jacksonville is to investigate mining conditions here with a view of developing his property, which contains several fine ledges that give promise of proving to be rich in mineral wealth. He has every faith in Southern Oregon as the coming great mining district of the Pacific Coast and is confident that the time is near at hand when there will be hundreds of quartz mills at work on the ledges that contain millions of tons of ore rich in gold and other metals. Colonel Miller states that there is a greater interest in Portland than was ever known before in Southern Oregon mines and that capital can be readily had for any good-showing property, this mining district now being looked upon as one of the safest for investment on the Pacific Coast.
Jacksonville Sentinel, September 30, 1904, page 1

    Residence, 670 Johnson Street; office, 333 Worcester Building, Portland. Born near Eugene, Oregon. Son of James Napper Tandy and Elizabeth Ann (Awbrey) Miller. Married to Sarelia W. Grubbe, September 11, 1893. Attended Jacksonville public schools, and from 1874 to 1875 the University of Pacific, at San Jose, California. Graduated from Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. Received diploma from New York Chautauqua August 15, 1900. Admitted to Oregon State Bar at Salem, Oregon, March 7, 1887; to Supreme Court of United States, May 10, 1893; to United States District Court of Oregon, and United States Circuit Court of Oregon, November 23, 1904. Admitted to all bureaus of Interior Department, at Washington, D.C., December 15, 1897. Aide-de-camp to  Governor Pennoyer six years, as lieutenant colonel. Representative from Jackson County in legislatures of 1887-89. Candidate for Congress in 1890, and for Presidential elector in 1892. Register United States Land Office, Oregon City, Oregon, 1893-97. Mason. Democrat.
History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon, 1910, page 188

    MILLER, ROBERT A.--Attorney at Law, 333 Worcester Bldg., Portland, Ore. Born Lane County, Ore., October 22, 1854; son of James Napper Tandy and Elizabeth Ann Awbrey Miller. Educated Jacksonville public school. Willamette University. Admitted to Oregon State Bar 1887; Supreme Court of United States, 1893; United States Circuit Court of Oregon, 1904. For some time Register United States Land Office, Oregon City. Representative of Jackson County to Oregon Legislature, 1887-1889; Aide-de-Camp to Governor Pennoyer for six years. Admitted to all bureaus of Department of Interior, Washington, D.C., 1897. Club: Commercial. Societies: A.F.&A.M. (32nd degree), Scottish Rite, National Geographical Society. Address: 670 Johnson Street, Portland. Ore.

Who's Who in the Northwest,
vol. 1, Western Press Association 1911

Colonel Robert A. Miller Upholds Right of Women to Vote
and Judge Corliss Opposes.

    The women who don't want to vote and the women who do each heard their sentiments voiced by their chosen champions at the Lincoln High School last night, when Colonel Robert A. Miller, for the Oregon Equal Suffrage League, and Judge Guy C. H. Corliss, for the State Association Opposed to Equal Suffrage, met in debate. Retainers of both sides of the question were out in force, and the auditorium was nearly filled. The audience was generous in applause, and both speakers, as they concluded their arguments, were given prolonged salvos of appreciation.
    Judge Corliss maintained that while woman may have a right to vote from a moral standpoint, the granting of equal suffrage would not tend to simplify the solution of present political problems, but would add that much to her duties without benefitting her or the body politic in the least.
    "Suffrage is not a question of right at all," said tbe speaker. "It is a question of expediency alone. It is a question of whether the granting of the ballot will or will not facilitate the business of government." Throughout his address Judge Corliss maintained that equal suffrage would involve rather than simplify governmental matters.
    Arguing that woman is entitled to the ballot not only as a moral, but as a political and economic right, Colonel Miller made an impassioned plea for the adoption of the equal suffrage amendment in Oregon.
    "Women want no privileges that men do not possess," he declared. "It is simply a matter of justice. Whether women want to vote or not, and my opponent declares that they don't, is beside the question. I believe that they do want to vote, but they should have the right to vote whether they want to use it or not, the same as men."
    Colonel Miller ridiculed the idea that the possession of the privilege of the ballot will tend to mar the spiritual nature of woman. He declared that women will not be soiled by plunging into the pool of politics, and maintained that the feminine opponents of equal suffrage, by their activity in the present campaign, had either refuted their own logic or else had already suffered the taint that they asserted would ensue in case tbe amendment carried.
    Colonel C. E. S. Wood argued for the election of Woodrow Wilson.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 26, 1912, page 4

    Colonel Robert A. Miller, Democratic candidate for governor, who has been spending several days here, is a Jackson County pioneer. He was born in Lane County, Oregon, on October 22, 1854. That same year he went with his parents to Jacksonville, Or., where he was raised on a farm adjoining the town of Jacksonville. His father, J. N. T. Miller, was a stockman as well as a farmer. Raised in a mining camp, he rode the range with the cowboys in Jackson and Klamath counties for many years and learned the crude lessons of the frontiersman at first hand. He watched the development of the state in its primitive condition and took part in that development. He quit the public schools to attend the Willamette University at Salem, Or., where he graduated in the class of 1878. He spent five months in a surveying party in Klamath County just prior to the Modoc War, and rode the range in that county for a number of years.
    He was city editor of the Daily Statesman at Salem, Or., in the year 1880. From there he removed to Portland, Or., where he studied law, and then engaged in the newspaper business. During the years 1883-4 he was editor and proprietor of The Hesperian, a weekly high-class literary paper. He returned to Jacksonville, Or., and in 1886 was the nominee of his party for state representative in the state legislature and was elected by one of the largest majorities of anyone running for this position in that county. In 1888 he was re-elected, and was nominated for Congress by acclamation in 1890 and was nominated as one of the presidential electors in 1892. In 1893 he was appointed register of the Oregon City land office, serving four years. He obtained his title of "Colonel" by being placed on the staff of Governor Pennoyer as a reward for his service in making the governor the nominee of his party.
    While engaged in many campaigns in Jackson and Clackamas counties in many state and national campaigns, and although a militant and aggressive fighter for the cause of Democracy, yet he has always been able to retain the respect, esteem and friendship of his political opponent.
    The last time Senator Chamberlain ran for governor, Robert A. Miller was a candidate for attorney general. He has been before the public for nearly forty years, and helped as president of the Southern Oregon Fruitgrowers' Association and secretary of the Southern Oregon board of agriculture to build up the intersts of the Rogue River Valley. He has taken part in the development of Oregon along all of its best lines of activity.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 27, 1914, page 2

    I went to school with Robert A. Miller, now of Portland. J. N. T. Miller was his father, and general John F. Miller was his uncle.
Jennie Ross Reames, "The Oregon Country in Early Days," Oregon Daily Journal, Portland, August 12, 1915, page 6  The beginning of the interview is on the Ross page.

Late Mrs. B. A. Miller of Revolutionary Stock.
Life Mostly Spent in Oregon, in Whose Early History Deceased
Had Important Share--Two Children Survive.

    Mrs. R. A. Miller, age 86, pioneer of 1868 [sic], who died at the home of her son, Colonel Robert A. Miller, in this city, February 18, came from Revolutionary stock. Interment was in the family burial plot on the original donation land claim of the Miller family at Jacksonville, Or.
    Mrs. Miller, whose maiden name was Betsy Ann Awbrey, was born in Ray County, Mo., December 7, 1823, and was one of 11 children, only two of whom, Marshall Clay Awbrey, of Tumalo, Or., and Milton T. Awbrey, of Eugene, Or., survive her. Her ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, while her father, Thomas N. Awbrey, and her two surviving brothers served during the Mexican War. Another brother, Thomas Awbrey, was severely wounded while leading a charge against the Indians at the battle of Hungry Hill, in Southern Oregon.
    The family moved from Missouri to Iowa in the early '40s, settling in Polk County at Whig Ridge, so named because of the earnest advocacy of the Whig Party by her father. In 1850 the family started across the plains to Oregon. In the fall of that year their party crossed the Cascade Mountains over the Barlow route and passed the first winter in Oregon at the Holcomb settlement near Oregon City. In the following year the family moved to Lane County and settled near Eugene.
Sauvies Island Once Home.
    Returning from the Indian wars of 1852-53 [sic], J. N. T. Miller, son of Robert Miller, who crossed the plains to Oregon from Iowa in 1845 and settled on Sauvies Island, married the subject of this sketch, whom he first met while the Awbrey family was living in Clackamas County the first year following their arrival in Oregon. After living for a year on a claim on Sauvies Island Mr. and Mrs. Miller returned to Southern Oregon in 1854 and settled on a donation land claim at Jacksonville, where they lived during the Indian wars, the mining excitements and the more peaceful periods of stockraising and agricultural development.
    Mr. Miller was elected to the Legislature as State Representative and later as State Senator and during the Modoc War was commissioned Commissary General and fought in the battles of that period. The early ministers of Southern Oregon found the Miller home a favorite stopping place. It was there the barn-raisings, the quilting bees and the family gatherings were held, and pioneer hospitality was bountifully dispensed.
Mrs. Miller Lodge Worker.
    Mrs. Miller was a member of the Southern Oregon Pioneer Association and acted as chairman of the entertainment committee for many years. She was a charter member of the Jacksonville Grange. She was twice matron of Adarel Chapter No. 3, O.E.S., of Jacksonville, and was the third worthy grand matron of the state organization. During her term of office Martha Washington and Myrtle chapters, O.E.S., of Portland, and Barzillai chapter of Albany were instituted. Mrs. Miller was one of the members of the grand chapter, O.E.S., of Oregon, when it was organized at Roseburg in 1889. She inherited the gift of speech from her father, and it fell to her lot to make many addresses in the years devoted to lodge work.
    The frontier schools of Missouri and Iowa afforded little opportunity for education, yet, despite this handicap, she spoke well and wrote some poems of merit. The ambition of her life was to do literary work.
    Of her eight children, four dying in infancy, Colonel Robert A. Miller, a graduate of Willamette University, of this city, and Anna M. Beach, a graduate of St. Mary's Academy, of Jacksonville, survive her. Will L. Miller, a graduate of Ann Arbor, Mich., law school, died in 1901. To her children she gave the boon of an education of which she herself was deprived by pioneer conditions.
    It was 89 years ago that Joseph L. Meek, a distant relative, first set foot on Oregon soil; 84 years ago that Phillip Edwards, a nephew of Mrs. Miller's father, came to Oregon, and it was the letters of this young lawyer that decided the family to come West; 73 years ago her husband came to Oregon and 68 years ago she arrived. Out of the work of these pioneer people and her relatives and friends and herself has come the history of a great state.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, February 24, 1918, page 17

By Fred Lockley
    Colonel Robert A. Miller of Portland is playing a lone hand in politics. Not being the political editor, I am going carefully to forget all he told me about the history of the Democratic Party in Oregon, as well as what he told me about the treason, stratagems and spoils of the political leaders of whom he does not approve.
    Instead I will tell something about the genial and eloquent colonel himself. "Ask any old-timer about the Miller clan and you can get our tribal history at first hand," said Colonel Miller. "Scores and hundreds of Oregon pioneers in the late forties and early fifties, while on their way between Vancouver and Oregon City by canoe, have stopped overnight at my father's place at the head of Sauvies Island. My father, Colonel J. N. T. Miller, came to Oregon in 1845 in Captain Sol Tetherow's emigrant train. My father's father, Robert Miller, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, and came with his parents to Kentucky when he was 3 years old. My father was born in Harding County, Kentucky. My mother, Betsy Ann Awbrey, was born in Missouri and came to Oregon in 1850. Sauvies Island was colonized by the Miller clan, the Millers, Bybees, McIntires, Charltons and Menzies all being relatives of ours.
    "My father and mother were married in 1853 and took up a place near Spores Ferry in Lane County. Shortly before my arrival, my mother went to her mother's home, so I was born on the farm of my grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. T. J. Awbrey, on October 22, 1854.
    "Most Americans can get an idea of the making of an American by tracing out the various racial types that go into the melting pot to produce a new breed of men. Take my own case. The father of my father's father was Irish, while his mother was Scotch. One of his mother's parents was English, the other Welch. One of my mother's parents was English, the other half French and half German, so, you see, in my veins I have the mingled blood of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and Germany." Colonel Miller's Irish ancestry has handed down to him the gift of gab and blarney, while his British stock has made him firm in his convictions, to quote his friends, or stubborn as a mule, to quote what he calls "the bunch of political outlaws" opposed to him. Just after his birth his parents moved to Jacksonville, where they secured a donation land claim. Five adjoining claims bordering on the immediate vicinity of Jacksonville were owned by members of the Miller clan.
    "Bill Hanley, the king of Harney County, and I were reared on adjoining farms. William F. Herren and his brother, who is in the insurance business here in Portland, were also playmates of mine," said Colonel Miller. "Sometimes a very small incident will change the whole current of a man's life. When I was a young man I was secretary of the Jacksonville grange, while William F. Herren was secretary of the Ashland grange. He had attended the Methodist South college at Corvallis, now the O.A.C., while I had attended the Willamette University. Will Herren and I made a solemn compact to be friends and partners for life. Will was trying to earn money to continue his education at college. He was a book agent. He walked all over Southern Oregon ringing doorbells and knocking at doors while selling a Grange book entitled "The Ground Swell," a book showing how the farmers, toilers and producers could unite to oppose the aggression of capital. Will was a hard worker and a successful book agent. He had pull enough to get me a job with the same publishing house. I became agent for an illustrated book to put on the center table entitled "The Polar and Tropical Worlds." Will's book sold at $2.50, mine at $5 to $6, depending on the quality of the binding. We sent for some small hand presses and a few fonts of type to have a sideline to pay our traveling expenses.
    "Judge P. P. Prim of Southern Oregon advised Will to go to a college in Tennessee where they gave a diploma to practice law for a one-year course of study. So that fall Will pulled out for Cumberland College, I think it was called, while I went to Salem to the Willamette University. That little talk with Judge Prim broke up our association and changed the current of Will's life. When Will's year at college was up he went to San Francisco and got a place as a law clerk with Stewart & Van Cleve. Later he married Van Cleve's daughter. Now he is, and has been for many years, the chief legal adviser of the Southern Pacific railroad.
    "I went to the Willamette University in Salem in 1870 but had to stop on account of an epidemic of smallpox. I returned next year. Then I dropped out for a year or so to work with surveying parties in Klamath and Lake counties. In the fall of 1874 I went to the Willamette University once more and stayed for four years, graduating in 1878."
Oregon Journal, Portland, August 23, 1920, page 6

By Fred Lockley
    "How old would you guess I am?" asked Colonel Robert A. Miller of me a day or so ago. "I doubt if I could tell within 10 years," I answered. "Most people guess my age as 45, for I do not look older than that," said Colonel Miller. "As a matter of fact, though, I will be 66 on the twenty-second of next October. I am the last link of the chain. I have no chick nor child to carry on the family name. A man fails to pay his debt to those who brought him into the world if he leaves the world without posterity. He is a slacker if he refuses to assume the responsibilities of fatherhood. Some of these days I am going to take time to write a book. I guess I will have to, for the Portland papers are all in a conspiracy to drown me in the thunders of silence. You will have to get a magnifying glass if you ever see my name in any of the Portland papers. I don't mind talking to you, and I can be perfectly reckless in my statements, for I know you will not be allowed to mention my name in the Journal, and the same thing holds true of all the other Portland papers.
    "What have I done? Paddled my own canoe. They claim I don't know what teamwork is, and that if I don't like the slate I get out my tomahawk and go on the warpath. Talking of the warpath, I was in the Klamath country just before the breaking out of the Modoc War, with a surveying party, and it was touch and go as to whether we would get out alive. Just after I graduated from Willamette University in 1878 I was offered a position as superintendent of schools at Linkville, now Klamath Falls. I decided to take up law, so I turned it down and devoted myself to Blackstone. In 1880, being in need of some ready cash, I helped drive a band of range horses from Klamath Falls to Salem. When the horses were disposed of, General W. H. Odell, who owned the Salem Statesman at that time, offered me a job as city editor. I remember I wrote up all the industries of Salem, and as a result, they landed 187 new subscribers, which was considered a remarkable accomplishment in those days.
    "I finally decided to go to Portland, where I landed with just six bits in my pocket. I went into the law office of Judge Robert E. Bybee as a collection clerk. He was the justice of the peace of Morrison precinct. I made over $800 the first year. I also did some writing on the side. During my years at college I had made pocket money writing personals for Tony Noltner's paper [probably the Democratic Standard], so I was familiar with that end of the work. In 1882 I went to Crater Lake with J. E. Stuart, the artist. [Several photos of the trip survive at the Southern Oregon Historical Society.] On my way back to Portland I stopped at Salem, where I ran across Dr. W. H. Byrd, who advised me to get vaccinated, as there was an epidemic of smallpox. The vaccination took and it settled in my eyes. They became so inflamed I could not read, so I had to give up reading law. I went to work on a literary weekly here in Portland called Polaris. I was paid $25 a week, my title being society editor. Wallace Struble and a man named McIntosh were the proprietors. Win Chapman had loaned them money, and when they failed he took it over. He retained me at $100 a month, and finally in an unguarded moment I bought it, signing notes for the purchase price. The Villard boom broke shortly after I took it over, so Chapman let me turn it back and gave me my note.
    "I went back to the farm at Jacksonville, where I worked for several years. I was admitted to the bar in 1887. I was secretary of the district fair at Central Point for two years. I served in the legislature in 1887 and 1889, and in 1890 I ran against Binger Hermann for Congress, but came out second best. I was appointed register of the land office at Oregon City, where I served four years. I served for seven years as president of the Gladstone Chautauqua. In 1893 I was married to Sarelia Griffith Grubbe. My wife died in 1903, and in 1915 I was married to Daisy Daniels Allen of Albany.
    "Someday I want you to get in touch with me and write the story that has never yet been written about the production of gold here in Oregon. I lived in Jacksonville when a boy, and I have often talked with C. C. Beekman, the pioneer banker. He and others have told me that he bought over his counter in Jacksonville over $28,000,000 worth of gold dust between 1857 and 1887. From 1862 to 1873 there were several thousand Chinamen working the old claims around Jacksonville. They shipped their dust to California or to China, so Oregon received no credit for this gold production. Much of the gold washed out prior to 1857 was shipped by express to San Francisco or carried away in the pokes and belts of the miners. I believe it is conservative to say that the mines of Southern Oregon have produced over $100,000,000 of gold, and I also believe that there is lots of gold there, as well as other minerals yet to be discovered. Someday look up the gold output of Oregon and you will have a story that will open the eyes of our own citizens."

Oregon Journal, Portland, August 24, 1920, page 8

    The will of Marshall C. Awbrey, probably the last survivor of the Mexican War in the state of Oregon, was filed at Roseburg last week. The sum of $500 was bequeathed to Colonel Robert A. Miller, prominent Democratic leader of this state, the rest of the estate being left to a nephew. Awbrey died at the soldiers' home in Roseburg a few days ago on his ninety-second birthday.--Portland Journal.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 2, 1921, page 2

    Robert A. Miller of Portland, Democratic candidate for Congress in the Third District, has been active in Democratic state politics for years. He has served as receiver of the land office, Portland district, and has been a Democratic candidate for different offices during past campaigns. He is a native son of the state and is now and has been a practicing attorney of Portland for many years.

"Candidates and Platforms," Oregon Journal, Portland, May 15, 1922, page 8

Gold Rush Days Related by Col. Miller;
Indians Are Remembered


    "Gold was discovered in Jackson County in 1851 and 1852, about two years before I arrived in Jacksonville," smiled Colonel Robert A. Miller, former Jacksonville resident and old pioneer, now of Portland, who is in the city for a few days on business.
    "I was six weeks old when I came to live in Jacksonville, then a flourishing mining town. I lived there from 1854 to 1893, consequently the old place holds a warm spot in my memory.
    "I believe that approximately $120,000,000 in gold was taken out from the mines in the valley in the early days," continued Mr. Miller. "It is impossible to know the amount of gold mined by the Chinese miners and taken to China. Chinese miners were plentiful, therefore $120,000,000 is a conservative estimate."
    When asked his opinion of the courthouse removal, Mr. Miller stated that he did not care to be quoted on that subject. "Remember, I lived in Jacksonville 37 years and as a young lad hunted quail over the lands now occupied by Medford.
    "In the early '70s I received a thrill I shall never forget. I had heard that Chief John of the Siskiyous and his family were in town from the reservation. One day I was walking down the street of Jacksonville, when I recognized Chief John, a king in appearance if there ever was one, rounding the corner. [John died in 1864. He is not known to have ever visited Jacksonville--certainly not after 1855.]
    "He was tall and of massive build. That Indian weighed 300 pounds if he weighed an ounce. He had a large, well-shaped head, and there were brains in that head. He was white underneath his bronze skin.
    "It happened in front of the old Beekman store [sic]. A drunken man staggered out of the saloon on the corner and jostled Chief John, who was coming along the street, with his kingly stride, and attending strictly to his own affairs.
    "The chief drew his bow and arrow, pointed it at the heart of the drunken man, who was supremely unconscious of his danger. It made quite a picture, that old chief standing there registering anger.
    "When he saw that the man who had so rudely jostled him was suffering from 'firewater,' he lowered his weapon with an 'Umph, white man drunk' and strode down the street, never losing the kingly stride.
    "Another little incident that I never forget also happened in the early '70s. Queen Mary and a dozen squaws were coming through the pasture of my father's old farm. A group of bows, including myself, were watching them.
    "A young lad with us made some sort of demonstration that she construed as contempt. Queen Mary drew a huge bowie knife from her bosom and gave a war whoop that still rings in my ears.
    "It had a very sobering effect on us. I can see that old queen yet, and the scene is as vividly etched on my mind as if it had happened yesterday."
Medford Daily News, July 8, 1927, page 1

    Horace V. Grubbe, now a resident of Waitsburg, Wash., crossed the plains to Oregon with his parents 78 years ago. In speaking of his early experiences here, he said:
    "The incidents occurring on the plains are indelibly impressed upon my mind. I was born in Missouri and we started from my native state for the Willamette Valley in the spring of 1850. Father took up a place just opposite the upper end of Sauvies Island, near the present town of Linnton. My mother died on this place in the fall of 1851. Father sized up Portland, but did not think it had enough back country to ever make much of a town, so we moved, in the spring of 1852, and settled in what my sister named Garden Valley, at the junction of the North and South Umpqua rivers, about six miles west of the little village of Wilbur.
    "In the fall of 1855 my father, Thompson Grubbe, took my sister, who was older than I, and myself to Jacksonville to live at the home of our cousins, Colonel and Mrs. J. N. T. Miller. My sister was 7 years old. We rode on horseback from our claim to Jacksonville. I rode behind my sister. Two other men went with us, my father and both of the men being well armed, on account of the Indian troubles in Southern Oregon at that time. We stopped one night at the Niday ranch. Mr. Niday was later killed by the Indians. We crossed the Rogue River some miles above the present site of Grants Pass. We followed the south side of the Rogue River to the Schieffelin settlement, and from there we followed along the base of the foothills to Jacksonville. The people were becoming alarmed for fear the Indians would rise. My cousin put in a double wall, filling in between the boards with dirt. He made portholes in the wall to fire through in case of attack.
    "In the spring of 1856 my father, with these same two men who had come with us to Jacksonville, came to take us home. He stopped at Fort Lane to ask the officer if he could secure an escort through the danger zone when he came back two days later with us children. Fort Lane was located on the north side of the river above Grants Pass and was garrisoned by volunteers. When we passed Fort Lane on our way back to our ranch the officer in charge told father that a wagon train with an armed escort had just started north and that if we hurried up we could overtake them. We overtook this wagon train, but found that it consisted of one wagon and driver, and two soldiers as an escort, but that didn't seem to be much of a protection, so we rode on ahead and later overtook a pack train, with which we traveled some distance. When we approached Cow Creek we found an Indian lying dead beside the road. A little farther on we came to where two wagons loaded with flour had been held up by the Indians and the flour scattered and the wagons partially destroyed.
    "My older brother was one of the volunteers and took part in the battle of Hungry Hill. At the close of the Rogue River Indian war the Rogue River and Umpqua Indians were taken to the Grand Ronde Reservation, west of Corvallis, where some of these Indians still live."

Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, November 26, 1928, page 6

Col. Miller at Crater Lake

    Col. Robert A. Miller of Portland, who is spending the summer in Ashland, made a trip to Crater Lake Sunday with J. H. Hardy. This is the first time Col. Miller has been to the lake in 48 years. His father was a surveyor and in 1870, when his father was surveying Klamath Lake country, he held one end of the chain. It was in this same year that he made his first trip to the lake, and he was influential in naming it.--Ashland Tidings.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 14, 1930, page 2

Former Resident Recalls Days When Jacksonville Was Booming, Gold Dust Plentiful and Champagne Popular
(By Ernest Rostel)
    Back to the days when Southern Oregon was young, when Jacksonville was in its heyday and miners were washing for the elusive yellow metal in the hills, and then on through the years to the present, the memory of Colonel Robert A. Miller loves to wander, stopping here and there along "memory lane" where bright incidents of vanished years are lingering still. Colonel Miller came to Jacksonville in 1854, left in 1893 for Oregon City, and has been a resident of Portland for some time.
    He is in Medford this week with Mrs. Miller for a short visit, and yesterday while renewing friendship of long standing with Fred Colvig at his drug store was in a reminiscent mood and told of happenings of days gone by, including anecdotes of old-timers at rest in the moss-grown graves in the peaceful Jacksonville cemetery.
    The colonel is gifted with a remarkable memory and found no trouble in going back to the interesting and laughable incidents of long ago.
    There's the story that he nearly published in The Hesperian, a paper he edited at Portland some time ago, and then did not when prevailed upon to refrain. It involved a group of young lawyers on an inebriated celebration in Jacksonville in the '50s, and at the time he planned to publish it, would have resulted in a sensation, he said. The young attorneys later ascended the ladder of success and were well known in public life. One became the governor of Oregon, and it was he, principally, who  prevailed upon him to desist, adding that it would be a much better story to wait until death had overtaken their worldly labors.
Story Told for First Time.
    Now the group of celebrators have passed on beyond, and the Colonel told the story. The young lawyers had been trying cases in court and were tired with the routine of the day. When the evening sun was low, they procured two cases of champagne and took themselves off to a room for a few quiet drinks that led on to more. When the champagne was gone, they had lost much of the control of their senses, and not one found his way home.
    There was a big packing crate near the room, and the first of the attorneys to leave on his attempt for home stumbled into the crate so that he was imprisoned until morning, when passersby released him. The young attorney that was destined to be governor managed to make only a fair start for home. The bed of another refused to stand still, and he spent the night underneath the springs. The others failed to fare as well, and it resulted in "some talk" for the old-timers.
    A good share of them found their way later to Portland. One was high in church activities when the colonel was about to write the story years ago. Another was in Congress. In his plea to keep the story silenced, the governor traced the success of each so well that nothing more was ever said until yesterday.
Build a Jail for Bill.
    Colonel Miller chuckled as he spoke of that party and then went on to tell of Bill Smith--perchance any other name would do--and the special prison that was built for him on Jacksonville's main street. Some revelers had been drinking and Bill Smith was with them. Stories had been told until early morning, and something new and original was sought.
    "Bill Smith is pretty drunk," someone said. "He ought to be in jail. Let's build one for him."
    It was a great suggestion for the revelers. They found a supply of stones and other material and built four walls around him of such strength that Smith could not make his escape. When townspeople made their appearance at the beginning of the business day, the hapless prisoner was still held. It developed into a joke, relished by the entire town, and Smith was held for much of the forenoon, helpless victim of the eyes of the curious. Mothers pointed him out to children as what would happen if they took up the liquor habit when they grew up. The impromptu prison was located in front of the present site of the old Table Rock Saloon, [now] closed and deserted for many years.
Gold in Them Thar Hills.
    Speaking of gold, Colonel Miller declared that he knew that a government estimate placed the amount of gold taken out of the county during the gold mining days up to 10 years ago was 120 millions of dollars. He knew personally of many big strikes made in the hills above Jacksonville, where patient prospectors are still at work, hoping that sometime strikes would come to them like they did to the miners before them.
    Red-shirted miners did much to enliven the city, the metropolis of Southern Oregon, and the colonel remembers them well. Mining days ceased and the railroad failed to come to Jacksonville, and the distinction of being the leading city was lost to Medford.
    Colonel Miller was the first secretary of the county fairs that used to be held in a pine grove west of Central Point. The first year he cleared $800 over expenses, when a loss was generally expected. He made the first day of the fair a big one and then the people kept coming, he explained. The next year, he made the first day a free day, through the cooperation of a county fruitgrowers' association of which he was the head. It was an extra day and attracted over 2000 people.
    He was also active in politics and was elected twice to the legislature from Jackson County and later was registrar [sic] at the United States land office at Oregon City. For the past three weeks he had been visiting in Ashland and is in Medford en route to Portland, where he is still following the practice of law at the age of 76 years.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 22, 1930, page B4

Former Jacksonville Pair Add Own Reminiscence
to Narrative of Early Days
    "It was with pleasure that myself and wife read the pioneer article in the Oregonian, 'The First Oregon Gold Camp'" [printed in the magazine section of December 7, 1930, page 2] wrote Horace V. Grubbe of Waitsburg, Wash., to that newspaper, and then continues as follows:
    "My wife grew up there, and I lived there for a short time. It was almost a letter from home. Mr.  Burroughs has written a very graphic description of those old times. As a child I spent the winter of 1855-1856 there at Col. J. N. T. Miller's. I remember the excitement of the Rogue River Indian war. And as my wife lived there from early childhood she recognized the pictures of several men given, Gin Lin and others. We remember the old Franco-American Hotel, run by Madam Jennie DeRoboam.
    "How I remember that about the middle of April, 1865, 1, with other recruit members of Company A, first Oregon cavalry, then stationed at old Camp Baker, went to old Jacksonville with the boys of Company I, first Oregon infantry, to a reception given them by the madam, at which time she presented them with a large silk flag, the emblem of her adopted country.
    "How well, with what regal grace and queenly bearing, she marched down the street with Captain Sprague, commander of the company, that glorious flag floating over them. Reaching the stand, she, with a few words, presented it to the boys in blue. Kindly pardon my personal reminiscence, but as I marched that day I had little thought that there was a little flaxen-haired girl standing on the curb who ten years later I would lead to the altar as my wife, she who has walked with me for 55 years as companion, but her eyes were then on her father as a member of Company I.
    "In reading over the Burroughs article the picture is renewed. Many scenes, many incidents are recalled. I see the early miner with pick and shovel in hard pack on his back or leading his burro, loaded with his equipment, going out into the gulches, in some places stopping to sink down a prospect hole. Others working their primitive rocker or washers or washing the soil with the old-fashioned gold pan, sometimes being well paid by obtaining possession of bright golden nuggets.
    "Then this primitive method was later displaced by the hydraulic method by mining companies. That I have seen in my later years where I have observed the work done at the Ankeny and Ennis mine at Sterling. Now I realize that, after all the hardships and privations of the pioneers of the old mining days old, Jacksonville and the Rogue River Valley are coming to the fore.
    "Though my wife and I are now far from the scenes of our childhood and former days, yet we like to read of them as pictured by Mr. Burroughs and given us by the Oregonian."
Medford Mail Tribune, December 27, 1930, page 8  Printed in the Oregonian December 23, 1930, page 6.

The Rogue River.
(By Col. Robert A. Miller, Portland, Oregon)

The River Rogue, as its name will imply,
Is stigma unsought, though you reason why.
And yet, as it meanders untamed to the sea
It is freighted with legends bold and free
Of a pioneer age and a vanishing race;
But the spirits wander leaving no trace.
The River Rogue, for all must agree,
Has many a mood on its way to the sea;
For the stars look down as it steals away
Into the night, but it laughs with the day,
In a meadow far, and then through the hills,
A vagrant, wandering wherever it wills.
The River Rogue, like a jeweled bride
Races afar on a turbulent tide.
And lists to the call of the sensuous sea,
Where the tides go down, and the rivers a-lee;
And mystery is there, like a tale that is told;
And the legends grow gray, and are old.
The River Rogue, though tongued with pride,
Is embowered with beauty on every side
And it has the right, as a river may
To sing its praise in its own made way;
And to wander forever with a spirit free,
To mingle its song with the song of the sea.
"Ye Poet's Corner," Medford Mail Tribune, September 21, 1933, page 6

    SALEM, March 16.--(AP)--Robert A. Miller, Portland, filed today for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator for the term beginning November 8, 1938, and ending January 3, 1939.
    The two-month term will begin general election day at the end of the term of U.S. Senator A. E. Reames, appointed to succeed Senator Steiwer.
    The six-year term will begin at the end of the short term. A senator elected for the short term will draw $833 monthly salary, but will not have to go to Washington unless a special session is called.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 17, 1938, page 5

    Colonel Robert A. Miller, former newspaper man and the first grand patron of the Order of the Eastern Star of Oregon, was born in Lane County, October 22, 1854. He was taken by his parents to Jacksonville when he was still a toddler. He attended public school at Jacksonville and later entered Willamette University, graduating in 1878. He was a newspaper man from 1880 to 1884. He was admitted to the bar in 1889. He was register of the Oregon City land office four years. He served two years in the Oregon legislature and for seven years was president of the Willamette Valley Chautauqua Association, and has served as president of the Oregon Pioneer Association. He is the son of J. N. T. Miller, who crossed the plains to Oregon in 1845. His mother, whose maiden name was Betsy Ann Awbrey, was born at Pleasant Grove, Ray [sic] County, Missouri, and crossed the plains to Oregon in 1850.
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, August 19, 1938, page 6

    Portland, July 30.--(AP)--Mrs. Daisy E. Miller, 69, member of a pioneer Oregon family, died here yesterday.
    She is survived by the widower, Col. Robert A. Miller, well-known in Democratic Party activities. Mrs. Miller was a native of Halsey, but lived for many years at Albany.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 30, 1940, page 1

Robert A. Miller, Former Legislator, Dies at 87
    FOREST GROVE, Oct. 9--(AP)--Death claimed Robert A. Miller, 87, at the Masonic home here yesterday.
    The former state legislator and government land office register is survived only by a nephew at Jacksonville, where he made his boyhood home after leaving his native Lane County.
    He was graduated from Willamette University and for a time was connected with the Salem Statesman. He then entered law and politics. In 1938 he was an unsuccessful candidate for a two-month unexpired term in the United States Senate.
Evening Herald, Klamath Falls, October 9, 1941, page 6

    After the death of Col. Robert A. Miller of Portland I bought part of his library and a large collection of watercolor paintings. Among his books was the Miller family Bible with a wealth of data about the marriages, births and deaths of the family. There were also a number of printed funeral cards and notices of children who had died in Jacksonville when that now tranquil community was a bustling mining own.
"Fred Lockley's Impressions," Oregon Journal, Portland, September 5, 1948, page 33  Lockley's columns record his donating material to the Oregon Historial Society--as well as burning some of his collection.

Last revised February 18, 2024