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The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912 : With notice of antecedent explorations

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In Jan of 2006, Cindy Cole, who is descendant from George and Alice Miller told me about the 1912 book by Joseph Gaston, "The Centennial History of  Oregon". She sent me copies of two biographies. I have transcribed them here.

George Washington Miller

Gaston, Joseph.  "The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912."  Vol. 3.
Chicago, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912. p. 1004, 1007.
Includes a 1880 photograph of George and Alice with one year old daughter Emma - most likely taken in North Carolina.

     George Washington Miller, who owns and operates a fine ranch of eighty-five acres four miles west of Beaverton, located in Washington county twenty-two years ago. He was born in North Carolina in 1859, and is a son of Wesley and Minerva (Deal) Miller, also natives of North Carolina, while the grandparents on both lines were from Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were married in their native state and there the father engaged in farming until the breaking out of the Civil war, when he enlisted and went to the front, where he was killed. The mother survived him for many years, her death occurring in 1907 at the age of seventy-four years. Four children were born to this worthy couple, our subject being the third in order of birth. The others are as follows: Martha, the wife of Adolph Punch of North Carolina; Andrew, who is living in Hillsboro, Oregon; and Sarah, the youngest member of the family, who married Alonzo Williams of North Carolina.

     As he was only a small lad when his father died, George Washington Miller was reared by his mother, with whom he remained until he was eighteen years of age, obtaining his education in the common schools. While mastering the common branches of English learning he was also becoming familiar with the practical methods of cultivating the fields and caring for the crops and when he left home was well qualified to engage in agricultural pursuits. In 1878 he engaged in farming for his own account and for eleven years thereafter followed the vocation in North Carolina. In 1889, with his wife and family, he came west, locating in this county where for eight years he worked as a farm hand. At the end of that time he rented the place he now owns and after operating it for four years had accumulated sufficient means to purchase it, acquiring the title in 1901. He now owns eighty-five acres of improved land, sixty of which is under high cultivation. Mr. Miller has met with gratifying success in the operation of his ranch but his returns have only been commensurate with energy expended and the intelligence manifested in the direction of his efforts. He is a strong believer in intensive rather than extensive farming and he gives his personal supervision to every detail connected with the cultivation of his land. He is a man of progressive ideas and is constantly striving to improve the standard of his products, realizing that quality is more essential for success in agriculture than quantity.

     On the 6th of January, 1877, Mr. Miller was married to Miss Alice Smith, whose birth occurred in North Carolina on the 26th of September, 1858. Mrs. Miller is a daughter of Daniel and Eliza (Goens) Smith, both whom were natives of North Carolina, but of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction, the grandparents having moved from the Keystone state to North Carolina. The father is now deceased, having passed away in 1863, but the mother, who has attained the venerable age of seventy-eight, has been making her home in Oregon with Mrs. Miller since 1891. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born three children of whom Mrs. Miller is the eldest. Lulu, the youngest daughter, died at the age of twenty-one, and Laura, the other member of the family, is the widow of Fielding Baker of North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are the parents of six daughters and four sons: Emma, who was born on the 23rd of February, 1879, the wife of George Taylor, of Portland Oregon; Dora L., born September 18, 1882, now Mrs. Alois Gassner, of Reedville, Oregon; Laura, whose birth occurred on 9th of May, 1885, the wife of William Guy* of Portland; Mary R. born on the 18th of November, 1887, now Mrs. Herbert Ulry, of Hillsboro, Oregon; Georgie A., born on July 23, 1890, the wife of Alfred Minell**, of this county; Jakey, who died in infancy; Thomas A., born on the 7th of May 1895; Edward H., born on the 27th of August, 1896; John W., born in March, 1898; and Martha A., whose birth occurred in February, 1905. The four last named are all at home. Mr. Miller, fully appreciating the value of a well trained mind in the pursuit of any vocation, has given his children the advantages of a business education.

     Fraternally Mr. Miller is a member of the Modern Woodman of America, belonging to Reedville Camp, No. 8193, while in politics he is a democrat. Public affairs have never engaged his attention to any marked extent his energies always having been devoted to the development of his personal affairs. Mr. Miller is one of the industrious and enterprising ranchmen of Washington county, where he is regarded as a most desirable citizen and is held in high esteem by all who know him.
Mark's notes:
* William and Laura Dye (Guy is incorrect) appear in the 1920 census in Portland.
** Meinel

Alois Gassner

Gaston, Joseph.  "The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912."  Vol. 2.
Chicago, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912. p. 864, 867

      Alois Gassner, Jr., who since June, 1909 has been successfully engaged in business as a merchant of Reedville, now conducts his establishment in partnership with a brother, X.A. Gassner. His birth occurred in Portland, on the 11th of January, 1877, his parents being Alois and Justina (Lampert) Gassner, both of whom are natives of Austria. In 1873, they crossed the Atlantic to the United States, settling in Illinois, where they remained for one year. On the expiration of that period they made their way to Portland, Oregon, there continuing to reside until 1885, which year witnessed their arrival in Washington county. From that time to the present, covering more than a quarter of a century, they have made their home near Beaverton, being numbered among the substantial and esteemed residents of the community. Their children are five in number, namely: X.A., who conducts a general mercantile establishment at Reedville in partnership with his brother Alois; Alois, Jr. of this review; Carolina, the wife of William Taylor, of Washington county, Oregon; Julius who is still under the parental roof; and Justina who is the wife of Ernest Livermore, and resides near Beaverton, Oregon.

     Alois Gassner, Jr., was a young man of twenty-three years when he established a home of his own and embarked in business as a dairyman of Washington county, conducting an enterprise of that character for five years. At the end of that time he sold out and went to Seaside, Oregon, where he made his home for one year. Subsequently he returned to Washington county and in June, 1909, became associated with his brother-in-law in the conduct of a mercantile store at Reedville. Eight months later the latter disposed of his interest to X.A. Gassner*, a brother of our subject, who was since remained an active partner in the business. The two brothers have built up an extensive stock of goods at reasonable prices and putting forth earnest effort to please their patrons. Alois Gassner owns an interest in the store property and also has a fine residence in Reedville. His property holdings likewise include a tract comprising three-fourths of an acre on East Fortieth street within the corporation limits of Portland, section 12, on the Clinton Kelly donation land claim. He carries a policy amounting to two thousand dollars in the Kansas City Life Insurance Company.

     On the 17th of October, 1900, Mr. Gassner was united in marriage to Miss Dora Miller, who was born in Newton, North Carolina, in September, 1882, her parents being George W. and Alice (Smith) Miller, natives of that state. In 1892 they left North Carolina and came to Oregon, settling at Hillsboro, where they remained until 1898. In that year Mr. Miller purchased a farm on what is known as Cooper Mountain, whereon he has resided to the present time. To him and his wife have been born nine children, as follows: Mrs. Gassner; Mrs. Emma Taylor of Lents, Oregon; Mrs. Laura Dye, whose husband is a printer of Portland; Mrs. Mary Ulrich, living in Hillsboro, Oregon; George E., who is a resident of Washington county; and Thomas Edward, Wesley and Alice, all at home. Mr. and Mrs. Gassner have had three children, namely: Hilda M., who natal day was December 28, 1901; Leola L., who died at the age of two years; and Ethel J., whose birth occurred on the 28th of February, 1907.

     In his political views Mr. Gassner is a republican, but not strictly partisan, casting his ballot for the men and measures that he believes will best conserve the general welfare. Fraternally he is identified with the Catholic Order of Foresters and also the Modern Woodmen of America, belonging to Silverleaf Camp, No. 8193, at Reedville. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Roman Catholic church, of which his wife is also a communicant. He has always remained within the borders of his native state and in business circles has won a gratifying measure of prosperity.
Mark's Notes:
* X.A Gassner is Xavier Anton Gassner

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