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A Bunch of Bull

Jul 3, 2019


The most prominent feature in downtown Miller is a pair of bull sculptures — a Hereford and an Angus — mounted several feet above street-level at the town's central four-way stop.

If you're passing through, you might wonder: what's their story?  

"The bulls were put up to recognize ranching efforts in Hand County, where we raised mostly Hereford and Angus cattle," says Tammy Caffee, the Executive Director of On Hand Development Corporation — a non-profit dedicated to expanding economic opportunity in the Miller area — and lifetime Miller resident.

In the late 1950s, a group of local cattlemen — including brothers Ted and Clayton Jennings, who won many honors for their Angus breeds, as well as Paul Robinson and Art Magness — got together and raised a monument to every beef eater's favorite Scottish import. Not to be outdone, a local Hereford rancher placed a monument to his own breed across the street. Except for one brief hiatus, the bulls have stood at their stations ever since.   

"There was a short period of time when they were taken down," Caffee says. “People were very upset about that. [The bulls] are our icons here in Miller. The reason they're important to us is because the ranching industry was important to us. Over the years now, many ranchers have turned to just farming. But the bulls are very dear to us."

Michael Zimny is the social media engagement specialist for South Dakota Public Broadcasting in Vermillion. He blogs for SDPB and contributes arts columns to the South Dakota Magazine website.


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