Warner D. Miller Collection,[ca. 1930-1945].

Collection Number: 9180

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Warner D. Miller Collection, [ca. 1930-1945].
Collection Number:
9180
Creator:
Warner D, Miller
Quantity:
2 cubic ft.
Forms of Material:
Correspondence, Diaries, Photographs, Research Materials
Repository:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Notebooks, sketches, postcards, photographs, manuscripts, Indian vocabularies, poetry, newspaper clippings, and maps. Most pertaining to mid west and northern Great Plains Indians. There are many sketches of native plants, some of them appear to have been copied from botanical books, but others appear to be original drawings also sketches of land formations. Biographic and encyclopedic information on Indians and their customs. Notes regarding places of the west he visited, cowboys, how to tie knots on the range, Indian name origins, games. A focus on Indian legends, fables, and folklore. Maps and information on South and North Dakota.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Warner D. Miller was an amateur ethnographer, and artist. He also was a teacher on the Standing Rock, Cheyenne, and Rosebud Reservations in the first part of the twentieth century. Almost immediately, he began to record the stories he heard and events he witnessed. He was also an amateur artist, and often illustrated the legends he recounted.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Notebooks, sketches, postcards, photographs, manuscripts, Indian vocabularies, poetry, newspaper clippings, and maps. Most pertaining to mid west and northern Great Plains Indians. There are many sketches of native plants, some of them appear to have been copied from botanical books, but others appear to be original drawings also sketches of land formations. Biographic and encyclopedic information on Indians and their customs. Notes regarding places of the west he visited, cowboys, how to tie knots on the range, Indian name origins, games. A focus on Indian legends, fables, and folklore. Maps and information on South and North Dakota.
Also, CD containing digital photographs of the entire collection.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Miller, Warner D,
Biddle, Nicholas 1786-1844.
Catlin, George, 1796-1872.
Glass, Hugh, ca. 1780-ca. 1833.
Mouse, Tom White.
Habberstad, Helen M.
Huntington Free Library.
United States.Bureau of Indian Affairs.Standing Rock Agency.
Lewis and Clark Expedition

Subjects:
Indians of North America.
Indians of North America
Indians of North America
Indians of North America--Education.
Indians of North America
Indians of North America--Games.
Indians of North America--Jewelry.
Indians of North America--Languages.
Indian sign language.
Knots and splices.
Sun dance.
Dakota Indians.
Winnebago Indians.

Places:
Eagle Nest Butte.
Iowa River (Iowa)
Lac qui Parle River (Minn.)
Mde Iyedan.
Medicine Butte.
Mississippi River.
Pipestone Indian Reservation (Minn.)
Red Butte.
Standing Rock Indian Reservation (N.D. and S.D.)
Thunder Butte.
White River (S.D.)

Form and Genre Terms:
Maps.
Paintings.
Photographs.
Postcards.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Cite As:
Warner D. Miller Collection, #9180. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
The Warner D. Miller papers offer a great opportunity to learn about the Native Americans living on the Standing Rock and Rosebud Reservations in the Great Plains during the first half of the twentieth century. Miller was a teacher on the Standing Rock, Cheyenne, and Rosebud Reservations in the first part of the twentieth century. Almost immediately, he began to record the stories he heard and events he witnessed. He was also an amateur artist, and often illustrated the legends he recounted.
Information gleaned from the collection indicates that Warner D. Miller was born around 1890 in Maywood, Illinois. When he enlisted in the Army in 1918, he was living in Ida Grove, Iowa. He identifies himself as a telephone linesman and farmer at that time. Sometime after a 1919 honorable discharge from military service, he moved to South Dakota. He was teaching on the Standing Rock Reservation in 1927.
Miller was an amateur ethnographer, and artist. Some of the journals and papers in this collection recount the stories told to him by his students and other Native residents of the area. Sketches or drawings accompany many of the stories, some by his students, others by him. In an era when most ethnographers failed to identify their informants, Miller gave credit to his. Not only did he record their names, but also the town and/or reservation where they lived.
Miller's interest in Native Americans was not limited to South Dakota. His papers include several maps, many copied from published works, from all over the Midwest. In one case, he maps the location of an Indian village in Ida Grove, Iowa. According to Miller, it was abandoned in the 1850s.
"Knots of the Range," written by Miller, calling himself "Plainsman", was published as a series for juveniles in 1945 in The Christian Science Monitor. As the name implies, the articles offered instructions on how to make Western knots of every conceivable kind and use, knowledge he had obtained from the cowboys and Indians of the Great Plains. This file is quite extensive and contains sketches, drawings and copies of the final articles published. While much of the material in Miller's collection looks as if it were prepared for publication, "Knots" is the only actual publication the library has located.
Another interesting aspect of this collection is Miller's obvious fascination with the geography of the area. He has countless sketches of land formations. Of Medicine Butte, South Dakota, he writes: "Standing on the high flat at Oacoma scanning, Meriwether Lewis saw far to the northwest what appeared to be a long range of hills extending for some distance across the plains. What he really beheld were the lofty points of Medicine Butte."
Miller's fondness for the flora and fauna of the area is also evident in his papers. There are many sketches of native plants, some of them appear to have been copied from botanical books, but others appear to be original drawings. Because of the eclectic nature of these papers, to find every individual mentioned or legend recounted, his notes must be examined in depth.

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 0
Collection overview and printed guide
Box 1 Folder 1
American Indian Sign Language
Box 1 Folder 2
Battle Hill, by W. D. Miller
Box 1 Folder 3
The Battle on the Ta' H Do Hu, by W. D. Miller
Manuscript with photographs.
Box 1 Folder 4
Beading instructions
Box 1 Folder 5
Biddle accounts
Box 1 Folder 6
The Boundary Line by Warner Miller
Box 1 Folder 7-10
Biographical Notes
Box 1 Folder 7
Misc. Biographical Notes
Box 1 Folder 8
Vocabulary, Sketches, stories and their Indian sources-misc. biographical notes and historical notes
Box 1 Folder 9
Teaching in the Indian Country, by W.D. Miller (Standing Rock Reservation, Bullhead, SD)
Box 1 Folder 10
Teaching in the Indian Country
Box 1 Folder 11
Catlin on Turning the Toes In. A page from history showing the injustice of war. Winnebago Calendar. An Indians Interpretation of the Twenty-third Psalm.
Box 1 Folder 12
Cattle
Box 1 Folder 13
A copy of a sketch by Mrs. Tom White Mouse (Mary Medicine Bear) Wood, South Dakota
1943
Box 1 Folder 14-19
Drawings and Sketches
Box 1 Folder 14
Drawing by Andrew Jacob, Ida Grove, IA.
1938
Also some notes by perhaps by Jacob.
Box 1 Folder 15
Misc. Notes and Sketches
10 pages.
Box 1 Folder 16
Drawing by Nelson Stranger Horse
Box 1 Folder 17
Notes, Sketches and Maps
23 pages.
Box 1 Folder 18
Drawings of leaves
Box 1 Folder 19
Sketches by Miller
Box 1 Folder 20-23
Mississippi River shore lines in South Dakota-following Lewis and Clarks notes and maps and adding maps and notes of his own
Box 1 Folder 24-26
Historic notes regarding the present city of Ida Grove, Iowa, by W.D. Miller
Includes map of Early Sioux Village
Box 1 Folder 27
Journals with Notes, Sketches, Maps, Vocabulary, etc., by W.D. Miller
16 journals.
Box 1 Folder 28
Indian Calendars
Box 1 Folder 29
An Indian Marble Game
Box 1 Folder 30
Indian Names Origin
Box 1 Folder 31-35
Knots of the Range newspaper article by Miller
1945
Includes sketches and studies of knots (used for livestock and horses) to be used in newspaper articles.
Box 1 Folder 36-42
Indian Legends
Includes drawings and sketches incorporated with the legends.
Box 1 Folder 36
The Spirit of Turtle Head Knoll
41 pages.
Box 1 Folder 37
The Legend of Red Butte
Box 1 Folder 38
Legend of Rattlesnake Butte
13 pages.
Box 1 Folder 38
Legend of Thunder Butte
5 pages.
Box 1 Folder 38
Legend of Medicine Butte
8 pages.
Box 1 Folder 39
Indian legends and historical stories by Warner D. Miller with illustrations by the author
1934-1935
Box 1 Folder 40
Personal notes, legends, sketches, glossary of Indian tribes and misc. notes.
Box 1 Folder 41
Legend of the Red Pipestone Quarry.
Box 1 Folder 42
Legend of the Red Pipestone Quarry by Wa ya ru ge and Chief Red Thunder.
Box 2 Folder 1
Legends Duplicates
Box 2 Folder 2
Legends ledger with misc. notes and sketches by W.D. Miller
Box 2 Folder 3
Legends
Box 2 Folder 4
Notes regarding Indian legends by W.D. Miller
Box 2 Folder 5
The story of Mde Iyedan and how Lac Quil Parle received its name by W. D. Miller
Box 2 Folder 6
Legends of Eagle Nest Butte, Hidden Timber
Box 2 Folder 7
Stories about: Buffalo Cliff ; Hugh Glass
Box 2 Folder 8
How a little Coyote showed his friendship, Dakota (Ogalala) told by Chief of the Oglala Sioux, American Horse, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.
Box 2 Folder 9
The Legend of Thunder Butte by Zintkala win Bird Woman (Mrs. Belle Pretty Boy), Rosebud Reservation, Norris, South Dakota.
Box 2 Folder 10
Indian legends by various people.
Box 2 Folder 11
Indian fables by W.D. Miller.
Box 2 Folder 12
Fables from various Indian tribes.
Box 2 Folder 13
A letter containing Indian history of Sioux and Winnebagos, from Leo C. Conn
Box 2 Folder 14
Letter from Mildred Brave Crow. Sketches from John Winter and Lowell Spotted Elk (all Indian students of W. D. Miller.)
Box 2 Folder 15
Maps of some of South Dakotas rivers and islands.
Box 2 Folder 16
Iowa map
Box 2 Folder 17
Misc. notes, maps, etc.
Box 2 Folder 18
Sketches, notes and maps from South Dakota
Box 2 Folder 19
Tracing the course of the Iowa River: Ockeyedan-The Lookout of Iowa: The Farmer who had his Ups and Downs
Box 2 Folder 20
Maps.
Box 2 Folder 21
Misc. notes
116 pages.
Box 2 Folder 22
Misc. papers.
Box 2 Folder 23
Misc. notes, maps, drawings
Box 2 Folder 24
Misc. notes and newspaper articles.
Box 2 Folder 25
Newspaper articles regarding Wood and So. White River Ancient Villages.
Box 2 Folder 26
North Dakota map
Box 2 Folder 27
Notes (includes name origin of Rosebud Reservation.) Explanation of various species of snakes.
Box 2 Folder 28
Owotanna
Box 2 Folder 29
Photographs and postcards
Box 2 Folder 30
Poetry by W. D. Miller
Box 2 Folder 31
Relics from the Dakota Diamond Jubilee, Yankton, South Dakota
June 7-13, 1936
Box 2 Folder 32
Selected Quotations, and misc. notes
Box 2 Folder 33
A short sketch of the White River Country of S. Dakota by W. D. Miller
Box 2 Folder 34
Storm Lake
Box 2 Folder 35
The Sun Dance by Tom White Mouse, Wood, South Dakota: How to make a Sun Dial
Box 2 Folder 36
Tourist Information regarding U.S. Highway 16 in South Dakota
Box 2 Folder 37
A true likeness of War Eagle
Box 2 Folder 38
Where an Indian Trail once crossed the Maple River by W. D. Miller
Box 2 Folder 39
Woods, South Dakota
Box 2 Folder 40-42
Indian Vocabularies (and their sources) from many important tribes of the U.S. and Canada by Plainsman
Box 2 Folder 43
2 CD's containing digital photos of entire collection (CD-2017 & 2018)