Information Provided by Captain Sebastian E. "Bas" Millers, Great Great Great Great Granddaughter Stephanie McGuire.
His parents were David and Sarah E. (Fouts) Miller, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter a Virginian by birth. They had ten children, five still surviving, three sons and two daughters.
The subject of our sketch was the third child, and was raised in Ohio, and when grown, became a steamboat engineer on the Mississippi river, where he remained until 1852, when he crossed the plains to Oregon. On his arrival at Oregon City, he accepted the position of engineer on the Canemah, one of the first little steamers that plied on the Willamette river. After seven years constant service as an engineer, he was given command of the boats which ran between Oregon city and Corvallis, the distance being later extended to include Portland and Astoria. One of these boats was the Willamette. By long years of experience on the rivers of the Northwest, the Captain became one of the best informed, most fearless and reliable steamboat men in Oregon. This was exemplified in the daring feat which he performed with the steamer Shoshone, which he brought from Boise City down the Snake river, jumping, with her, all the falls, and landing her safely at Portland. The same year, he brought two steamers down from Thompson river to Pondrey lake, on which trip he jumped several hazardous falls, and brought them through in safety. The boats were built at a cost of probably near $100,000 each, and were perfectly useless where they were, but could be very advantageously used if brought down. Accordingly, he was offered $5 a day for his time, if he would try bringing them down, and he was to have $1,000 for the Shoshone and a proportionate amount for the others, if he were successful in the undertaking. He had the courage to undertake the
perilous enterprise, and the ability to succeed.
The Captain was married in February, 1853 to Miss Sarah Elizabeth Power, a native of Virginia and a daughter of Josiah Power, an honored early settler of Ohio. they had two children, Clara and Melissa Jane. the former died of Scarlet fever in her third year. the latter is now the wife of Mr.George Bolton, and resides in East Portland.
The Captain has been a Republican in politics, and takes a deep interest in the welfare of his State and the country.
He and his worthy wife, who has been his faithful companion for thirty-nine years, erected their home in Canemah twenty-five years ago. This is on a slight elevation, which commands a good view of the river and surrounding country. The house is surrounded with a fine orchard, which produces abundance of the finest fruit. Although, they have a most charming retreat from the cares of life, in which to spend their declining years, all of which has been provided by the uninterrupted toil and economy of their younger days. Both the Captain and his wife are robust and apparently enjoying the best of health, while they both overflow with good humor. their uprightness of character and uniform kindness have gained for them the universal esteem of their fellow-men, while the tribunals of their own consciences acquit them of any unkind motive or evil intention.