From Signpost in a Slough

Stories of Millet

About the Author, Jean Scott

Jean Harvey Scott was born five miles southwest of Millet. Millet and District has been home to her for all of her days. She received her education at Hillside School, the Millet High School, the Edmonton Normal School, and the University of Alberta. Upon graduation from Normal School she taught in the Sparling School east of Millet for two years and in Millet for 25 years.

The late Jean was a charter member of the Millet and District Historical Society and she was the editor of Tales and Trails of Millet, the History Book published by the Society in 1977. For two years she wrote bi-weekly articles about early Millet in a column called "Museum Memo" in the 'Millet Pipestone Flyer' newspaper


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Table of Contents

Introduction 5
Millet's Early Years 6
The Calgary Edmonton Trail 7
Fishing at Pigeon Lake 8
The Millet Post Office 9
Porter Wright's Family 11
The Millet Hotel 13
Millet's First Overseer 15
Jack West's Merchantile Store Lot II Block 2 16
Lot 9 Block 2 18
A letter from Beth Mc Naughton 20
The IOOF Hall 22
Barney Koenen 24
Millet School 26
The Pillen Family 28
Millet's Railway Stations 29
Lot 10 Block III 30
The Nebraska Club 32
Millet Livery Barns 33
The Millet Telephone Office 35
Early Millet Restaurants 37
Millet Blacksmiths 40
Early Millet Doctors 42
Millet's First Business Block 43
Farm Machinery Agencies in Millet 45
The Millet Creamery garden 48
The Old Bank Building 50
Millet Rebekah Lodges 52
Vic's Garage 54
Millet Barbers 56
Millet Library 57
Pinyon's Hall 59
Millet Shoemakers 61
Millet Community Hall 63

Millet History

The Canadian Pacific Railway from Calgary to Edmonton was completed in 1891. At that time Ben Slaughter, a fur trader and buyer,  had a store where Millet is now located. Sir William Van Horne, president of the Pacific Railway Company, asked Father Lacome to give names of all the stations between Lacombe and Edmonton. Father Lacombe submitted a list, which was approved by the Lieutenant Governor of the North West Territories. In honor of August Millet, a fur buyer who sold furs to Ben Slaughter and was a canoe man for Father Lacombe, on June 17, 1903, Millet was proclaimed a Village by an Order-in-Council. By 1908, Millet's first councilors were elected.

The firstpost office was established in 1896 on April 1st and Ben Slaughter was the first postmaster. In 1903 Ben Meter and Jack West built stores in Millet the same year Millet became a Village. Jim Blades was the first overseer. P.J. Mullen settles in the Millet area in 1899. He was an entrepreneur who attracted many settlers to the area by extensive advertising of the possibilities for success here. New businesses were established and thrived. By 1915, the Board of Trade had fifty members from Millet and area. The one-room school built on the east side of the tracks in 1901 was destoyed by fire and in 1902 was replaced by a two-room school, then by a four-room school in 1930 to accommodate grades one to twelve.

In October 1927, a disastrous fire destroyed many of the buildings along the east side of Railway Street, but the businessmen rebuilt across the street.

In 1950, the Board of Trade built a Community Hall, which the Board gave to the Village and is still being used today. In 1953, Borthwestern Utilities brought natural gas to the Village.

In the mid-seventies housing development started in Millet and was followed by influx of new residents. Acreage developments surrounding Millet took place as well. In 1981, the Griffiths-Scott School was built; between it and the Millet School, students from grades one to nine from Millet and the area were accommodated.

On September 1, 1983, Millet was declared a Town and on October 17, 1983, a General Election was held with the change to Town status. Six Councilors and a Mayor were elected. As the town continues to become a home to more people, its business community is steadily becoming revitalized. It can be proud of its excellent facilities, with the future looking very promising.


Millet History provided by Jean Scott, Millet and District Historical Society