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Ethel Miles

Ethel Miles
Ethel Miles

Eminent Homemaker

County: Gregory

Mrs. Ethel Miles, 70, Burke, South Dakota, who believes in living “by deeds, not years,” was honored in 1972 as Eminent Homemaker by the Board of Regents and South Dakota State University.

Mrs. Miles has led the Mirabilia 4-H Club for 32 years. Several of her 14 grandchildren either were or are now involved in 4-H Club work and she is looking forward to her great grandchild becoming a 4-H member in a few more years.

Mrs. Miles is one of the persons responsible for initiating the drive for the Achievement Day Buildings at Gregory. She was honored for meritorious service as an outstanding 4-H leader in Gregory County in 1970.

A good education is highly prized by Mrs. Miles who taught rural schools in the Newcastle, Nebraska, and Burke, South Dakota, areas in the early 1920’s. Three out of her four children have earned college degrees. Mrs. Weldon J. (Audrey) Harris, wife of a machine shop operator, lives in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Mrs. E.E. (Wilodyne) Bruce, Eau Clair, Wisconsin, and Mrs. Lloyd (Wilva) Whitley, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, are Wayne State (Nebraska) University graduates. Son, Russell, a pharmacist at Boulder, Colorado, received his degree from Colorado State University.

Her husband, William E. Miles, a 1904 Gregory County homesteader who died in 1958, built one of the first dams in the county before there were any federal cost-sharing programs. The dam was used until about six years ago, when she replaced it with another dam and planted it with grass. Last year Mrs. Miles added two more dams, planted trees and established over a mile of grassed waterways. In 1968 she received a third place certificate in the Gregory County Conservation District Soil and Moisture Contest, awarded by the Greater South Dakota Association.

The Eminent Homemaker is a 21-year of the Pleasant Hour Extension Club, was vice chairman of the Gregory County Republicans from 1964 to 1970 and was president of the Burke Women’s Club in1965. She’s held the offices of chairman, vice chairman and reporter more than once in the Gregory County 4-H Leaders’ Association and attended every State 4-H Leader’s Association Conference since 1959. Mrs. Miles went with the first group of leaders from South Dakota to the 4-H Leaders’ Forum in Washington D.C., in1961. She was chosen Gregory County Homemaker of the Year by the Sioux City Journal in 1958.