William Miller JrWilliam Miller Jr was the youngest brother of John Miller of Thistle Ha’. He came to Canada in 1838 at four years of age with his parents, Helen (Farrish) and William Miller Sr, and his older brothers. Growing up at Atha farm, the family called him “Atha Willie”. Willie possessed an extraordinary talent for selecting and managing pure-bred livestock, and was general manager at several leading American livestock farms (see William Miller Jr/Atha in Pages sidebar). He was also a good writer, contributing numerous letters and feature articles for leading livestock papers such as the The Breeder’s Gazette. In one of the Gazette articles he recalls his arrival in Canada.

Photo: Oil portrait of William Miller Jr, Saddle and Sirloin Club (International Livestock Hall of Fame) Portrait Gallery, Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, Louisville.
Source: William Miller Jr, “Live Stock on the Atlantic.” excerpt,
The Breeder’s Gazette, Dec. 19, 1894, p. 408.

My first experience on the water was along with farm stock. In the summer of 1838 my father left his native Annandale for Canada with my mother and family, my oldest brother John having gone some four years before. With us went ten Leicester sheep, four white swine and two dogs. At Liverpool we were loaded on the barque Mogul for New York – the sheep on the deck in the long boat, swine in a pen, dogs and children at large, but they could go into what by courtesy they called the second cabin. The ship was slow, the winds light and it took forty-nine days to make New York. Thence we took a steamboat to Albany; then through the Erie Canal to Rochester (which took a week), then across Lake Ontario by boat to Toronto, where friends met us and took us in wagons through the woods and into the woods in Pickering – some twenty-eight miles – near what is now Brougham, Ont., where my father and brother John hewed out for us a comfortable home and gathered around them fine cattle, horses, sheep and swine, gaining for themselves in those early days a name among the leading breeders of the land. Brave hearts and strong arms like these made Ontario what she is today – deservedly the pride of the New World for sturdy independence, real intelligence and successful agriculture.