Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOSEPH S. MILAM, a pioneer of
the Pacific coast of 1852, is now an extensive stock man, fruit grower
and farmer residing ten miles east of Washtucna. Born in Greene county,
Indiana, September 5, 1835, he was the son of William and Elizabeth (Case)
Milam, the father a native of Kentucky and the mother of Indiana.
Until 1840 the parents settled in Indiana, then removed to Iowa, where
they spent the remainder of their lives. They reared a family of
four children: Francis A., Joseph S., Mary E. and George B.
When seventeen years of age the subject of
our sketch left school and home to cross the plains to California.
He drove a team throughout the entire journey, which consumed five months,
and stopped at Los Angeles and from that point he went to San Diego to
engage in coal mining. He met with a severe accident while thus engaged,
and upon his recovery he engaged in teaming. Later, he spent two
years driving team in Tulare county, then five years in Santa Cruz county.
In the latter mentioned county he was engaged in farming, but in the end
lost his property, whereupon he came to Walla Walla, Washington, in 1861.
Going from Walla Walla to Lewiston and Oro Fino, Idaho, he freighted among
the mining camps until 1867, traversing meanwhile the states of Washington,
Idaho and Montana. In 1868 he traded his freighting outfit for a
start in cattle, and located near Dayton, Washington. Here he also
engaged in farming for three years, when he traded his holding for property
near Pataha, Garfield county, where he farmed until 1885. He also
conducted an extensive stock business here, and for two years he was deputy
sheriff under R. P. Steen, then sheriff of the county. He came to
Adams county in 1885 and settled where he still lives. He has six
hundred and forty acres of land, upon which is an orchard of one thousand
bearing fruit trees, besides a considerable tract devoted to the raising
of wheat. He also owns a quarter-section of wheat land six miles
from Washtucna. Mr. Milam keeps a herd of three hundred head of horses
and one hundred head of cattle. He has his land all well improved,
and is one of the well-to-do men of his county.
In 1868, occurred the marriage of Joseph S.
Milam to Mary E. Ousley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ousley, natives,
respectively, of Tennessee and Kentucky. The parents of Mrs. Milam
settled in Garfield county in 1861, and in that county the father is now
living in his eighty-fifth year.
Mr. and Mrs. Milam have two children living,
Georgea and Kate, both living in Adams county.
Mr. Milam has always been an active working
Democrat, having cast his maiden vote for Buchanan and his second for Stephen
A. Douglas. For two years he was justice of the peace at Pomeroy,
and in 1888-89 he was deputy sheriff of his county. Since coming
to Adams county he has held the offices of county commissioner and member
of the house of representatives, having been elected to the latter office
in 1900. He also has served repeatedly as a member of his local school
He has always been a public spirited citizen
and a man to whom the business interests of his county have learned to
look for assistance in furthering any proposition that has for its purpose
the upbuilding and betterment of the community at large.