Dreams Do Last A Life­time - Jack Miller’s Dream is 100!

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Sub­mit­ted

Jack Miller was born in On­tario and came West with his brother Mel to stake land in the Hand Hills in 1901.

Over the next 4 months The Drumheller Mail will be fea­tur­ing the up­com­ing Hand Hills Lake Stam­pede in a se­ries of ar­ti­cles both sub­mit­ted by the Stam­pede Com­mit­tee and writ­ten

by our re­porters to cel­e­brate their 100th year.

Jack was an avid hockey player and his hockey trav­el­ling had him play­ing with the Ed­mon­ton Hockey Team as de­picted in a photo from 1908 (below). While play­ing with Ed­mon­ton, the Ren­frew Mil­lion­aires were on the quest for qual­ity play­ers to play on their team. They ap­proached Jack “Hay “Miller, the out­stand­ing player from the West and of­fered him what was an un­prece­dented deal. If Hay would play with them in a game against Mon­treal, the Mil­lion­aires would pro­vide an all ex­pense paid trip for the whole Ed­mon­ton Hockey Team to see the game in Mon­treal and Hay Miller would be given $1,000.00. Jack “Hay” Miller turned down the deal be­cause he was a man of in­tegrity and had com­mit­ments to his team. Hay did even­tu­ally play with the Ren­frew Mil­lion­aires.

Dur­ing his time in Ed­mon­ton Jack mar­ried Gertrude Tids­bury. They had four chil­dren. Jack Jr., Wil­lene, Muriel and Mar­jorie. When Jack Jr. came along the hockey player turned Rancher!

Jack’s for­ward in­tegrity car­ried into his ranch­ing life­style and for many years he was the main man be­hind the Hand Hills Lake Stam­pede. He was the one that in­sti­gated the event with the Lone Butte Red Cross and was the Arena Di­rec­tor from 1917 un­til 1943. Jack was one of the Pres­i­dents of the Hand Hills Lake Club and held that po­si­tion from 1928- 1931. Jack died sud­denly in 1943 and he is buried in the Hanna Cem- etery.

The only thing that is left on the Ranch that is from the by­gone days is the orig­i­nal Miller House. The Miller Ranch was pur­chased by Dick Cos­grave and is still in the Cos­grave Fam­ily to­day. Great Grand­son Colt Cos­grave re­sides on the orig­i­nal homestead. Through­out the years the Miller house has been ren­o­vated and used to house hired men. It stood empty for over 15 years but in the Fall of 2015 Colt and his girl­friend Charleigh Profit fixed up that same house for their hired men.

Could Jack ever have thought that what he started back in 1917 would con­tinue and be­come one of the big­gest, long­est stand­ing tra­di­tions in the Hand Hills?

Did he ever imag­ine that songs and po­ems would be writ­ten about the Stam­pede that he started?

This year we will be cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of this Stam­pede Tra­di­tion. We tip our hats to Jack Miller, his fam­ily and all the pi­o­neers of the area. For with­out them, their in­tegrity and for­ward think­ing, we would not be cel­e­brat­ing 100 years.

To rec­og­nize and go back to our roots we have asked the de­scen­dants of Jack Miller to of­fi­cially open the 100th Stam­pede. This honor had been given to the im­me­di­ate fam­ily in the past but it is now the next gen­er­a­tion of Millers’, the Grand­chil­dren and Great Grand­chil­dren, which will be do­ing the hon­ors.

Also in go­ing back to our roots the com­mit­tee will be mak­ing a do­na­tion to the Cana­dian Red Cross just as was done at the first Stam­pede.

Come cel­e­brate with us on June 3, 4 and 5. The week­end is go­ing to be jam packed with Rodeo, Wag­ons, Dances, Pa­rade, Fire­works, Mu­sic, Trade Shows, Great Food at the con­ces­sion and our fa­mous Pies.

On top of ev­ery­one’s list will be the re­u­nions of fam­ily, friends and neigh­bors. Come to the Hills and re­live the past, en­joy the present and look to the fu­ture of the Hand Hills Lake Stam­pede.

See you in the Hills!

Ed­mon­ton Hockey Team, 1908

J. Miller

The Miller Ranch

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Miller and Willine out­side the Miller ranch house in 1917. Mrs. Miller is hold­ing “the money bag” con­tain­ing $3,200 - pro­ceeds from the day’s Stam­pede.

Jack Miller

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