Walter Miller was the only son of Frank and Mathilda McMiller Miller. He was born on November 19, 1881, on a farm in Dunn County. In the late 1800’s his father moved to Stanley and built a lovely …
Walter Miller was the only son of Frank and Mathilda McMiller Miller. He was born on November 19, 1881, on a farm in Dunn County. In the late 1800’s his father moved to Stanley and built a lovely Victorian House on South Garfield Street. As a young person growing up in Dunn County, Walter attended a rural school and later the Eau Claire Business College. In 1900, he came to Stanley and joined his father and brother- in-law, A. A. Meyer in the business that was located in the large building constructed in 1905 and today is 219 S. Broadway. Currently, Grace Community Bible Church occupies the property. Miller-Meyer Implement Company sold farm implements, the then popular DeLaval Cream Separator, pumps, gas engines, cutters and sleighs.
On October 26, 1904, near the age of 23, Walter married Bessie Kelley of Elmwood. In 1913 they built what became known as the Miller House at 300 S. Broadway. The stucco home that is located just south of today’s Forward COLLECTION
From Page 1
Bank, or on the SW corner of Oak and Broadway Streets.
In 1922, Walter sold his interest in the implement business and reorganized and managed the Stanley Baggage Company until 1925, when he became a partner of J. P. Thornton operating the Ford Garage (located across the street from the depot and was blown apart by the tornado on December 15, 2021).
At the Great Wall Street Crash (1932), both the Citizens State Bank and the Farmers and Merchants State Bank closed their doors. The State Deputy Bank Commissioner appointed Mr. Milller to reorganize the Farmers and Merchants State Bank. The reorganized bank opened its door on February 1, 1932, with Mr. Miller as its president and chairman of the Board of Directors. Under his leadership the bank was successful in paying off, almost in full, all creditors. He was still working at the bank when he had a heart attack and died on September 15, 1945. His wife Bessie followed him in death on March 13, 1953.
Walter Miller was also a community servant as he was on the Stanley Board of Education for 19 years, served as City Clerk for many years, was president of the Stanley Chamber of Commerce and was president of the Chippewa Valley Bankers Association. He was also a member of the Masons and the Stanley United Methodist Church.
The Millers had three children: Donald, born in 1909, Lucille, born in 1914, and Marion, born in 1916.
It was Walter’s son Donald who is reported to have found many of the arrowheads, when as a young man, he was hired to plow farm fields for area farmers. It is known that on farms in the Town of Worden many arrowheads were found by others. The story was told that years ago the collection was augmented by farmers who found arrowheads when they plowed their fields and would bring them into the bank and gift them to Mr. Miller. The Miller home had display cases that were built into the wall that separated the dining room from the living room. The cases were full of what today is this collection. As a kid, Dave Jankoski reported that he was fascinated by the contents of the cases, especially a tomahawk with feathers!
How did the collection get back to Stanley? In the early 1950’s, Don Miller, the donor, and his sister Mary came from Denver, Colorado to spend summers with their grandmother, who lived three doors east of Jankoski’s childhood home at 121 W. Oak Street. It was during those years that he became friends with the Miller’s grandchildren, spending summer playing in the big Miller residence, spending time at the Wolf River, and a great deal of time at Chapman Park attending Mrs. Mary Alice Davies craft programs and swimming.
Jankoski became reconnected with the Millers when Lucille Miller moved to the Homeplace in Stanley. In a conversation with her niece Mary it was suggested that maybe some day the arrowhead collection could be gifted to the museum. She carried that suggested to her brother who had the collection and the rest is history. The arrowheads have returned to the area of most of their origin.
On October 22, 2021, the arrowhead collection arrived in Stanley thanks to Dean Tinjum who went to Denver, Colorado and transported them back to Stanley. The donor still has one more panel of Indian artifacts that will also come to the museum some day. The beautiful arrowheads will be on display beginning with the 2022 opening of the museum the weekend of June 4 and 5, 2022.
The arrowhead collection will be on display at the opening of the Stanley Area Historical Society museum the weekend of June 4 – 5, 2022, after the snow melts. Photo by Joseph Back.