#319 Malcolm Tanner Millar

 

(The following newspaper clips are taken from our archive files.) 

 

Founder of Millarville, Malcolm Millar Passes in Calgary at Age of 76 

Pioneer Homesteader And Rancher Member Of Mounties in ‘80 

 

KEPT OPEN HOME 

Almost the last of the Old Country ranchers who established their homes on the Western rangelands in the early ‘80’s, Malcolm Tanner Millar of Millarville died this morning in a local hotel in which he was accustomed to stay during his visits to town from his ranch.

 He was 76 years old, death followed a brief illness, although he had been in failing health for some time.  About three weeks ago he returned from a trip to Virginia, where he had gone to visit a brother, who succumbed during his stay. 

Caught by the romance and glamour of the West in its pioneer ranching days, and by the adventurous life held out to its recruits by the Northwest Mounted Police, Malcolm Millar left his home in Scotland as a young man to join the famous force.  He was born in Inchrye Abbey, Perth, coming to the Northwest Territories in 1880, when he was stationed at historic Fort Walsh. 

The son of Dr. and Mrs. Millar, Malcolm Millar was apprenticed by his father to the tea trade, and destined for the tea plantations of Ceylon.  He came west instead, however, another brother going out to Australia where he still resides.  A third brother, Harry, settled in Virginia where he died recently, and two others, both deceased, were partners in a well known brokerage firm in London, England, where they were members of the Stock Exchange. 

Always keenly interested in outdoor pursuits, Mr. Millar was the moving spirit of the Millarville race meets which continue to attract hundreds to the lovely valley each Dominion Day. 

 

Served Through Rebellion 

 

Constable Millar left the Force in 1887 after serving through the rebellion of ’85, and like many other men of similar racial origin and upbringing took up a homestead, selecting as his future home the beautiful and fertile valley south and west of Priddis. 

Here a village was established which today bears his name – a name that will live in the Millarville district as long as memories of the early West remain. 

Malcolm Millar had a host of friends here and in the district in which he lived for so many years. 

Shortly after taking up his homestead he married Helen Alice Shaw, daughter of Mrs. Shaw of Midnapore, and a sister of Mrs. R.C. Thomas of this city, and their home soon became a favorite rendezvous for their pioneer neighbors. 

Maintained “Open House” 

 

It was always “open house” at the Millars’, and hundreds of Western men and women have enjoyed its bountiful hospitality throughout the years.  Treasures from Mr. Millar’s home in Scotland adorned his Western home and no more genial or entertaining host ever welcomed guests to his table. 

His fund of stories of the early days was apparently inexhaustible, and at the annual round-ups of the Southern Alberta Pioneers and Old-Timers’ Association he was always a prominent figure.  He was  leading figure, too, in the Ranchmen’s Club of which he was one of the charter members. 

His wife and two daughter, Mrs. Leslie V. Douglas of Finnegan, and Mrs. T. MacMillan of Kew, were at his bedside at his death.  He is also survived by a nephew, Francis Sinclair Smith, of Millarville, two grand-daughters and three grandsons. 

The funeral will take place in Christ Church at Millarville, where he was accustomed to worship, on Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock, when Rev. J.H. Oriel of Okotoks, will read the service.  Internment will take place in the Millarville cemetery with Jacques funeral home of Calgary in charge of arrangements. 

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MALCOLM MILLAR   Well known pioneer rancher of the Millarville district, who came to the Northwest from England in 1880 as a North West Mounted Police recruit, and was stationed at Fort Walsh, serving in the rebellion of 1885. 

At the expiration of his term of enlistment he homesteaded in the district which now bears his name, and where he has since conducted farming and ranching operations. 

Mrs. Millar is the daughter of Mrs. S.W. Shaw of the Midnapore district, and a sister of Mrs. R.C. Thomas, Calgary, and Mrs. Frank Gough, Okotoks. 

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An ever-expanding Calgary creeps out to the southwest towards one of the most beautiful foothills settings in our part of the land, Millarville.  Until 1886 it felt no human feet but those of the Indians but on April 7, 1892 it was felt a sufficient number of settlers had moved into the area to warrant the establishment of a post office.  It was set up in the ranch house of Malcolm Millar and the pioneer rancher was named the district’s first postmaster. 

Geographically, Millarville is at the east side of a series of north-south ridges and valleys, steps down from the Rockies.  Immediately to the west is Frenchman’s Valley where Count de la Salle lived for a number of years.  West again is Fisher Valley christened for Joseph Fisher who ranched there and on whose property Rancher’s Hall was erected where it became the social centre of the area after about 1895.  The Morley Trail Valley is the one down which came the Stoney Indians who were the first to discover how it opened into Waite Valley near the little settlement of Kew, a valley named after another first rancher, Joe Waite.