Memorable Manitobans: Archibald L. McMillan (1846-1885)
Born in 1846, he lived at Chatham, Ontario before moving to Guelph, where he served on the police force for about six years. He later moved to Winnipeg where he was a police officer for several months. In July 1882, he was appointed the first Chief Constable for the City of Brandon. He was an active member of the Odd Fellows and Masons, as well as a fan of guns and horse racing.
He served until his death on 16 December 1885, when he accidentally shot himself in the abdomen with a rifle in Mayor James Allan Smart’s hardware store. Despite having three doctors rush to his aid, he succumbed to his injury after discussing his arrangements with his wife and son, Stanley. Two days later, he was laid to rest and flags in the city were flown at half mast. There was a line “three-quarters of a mile long” led by a band, Masonic and Odd Fellow associates, city aldermen, fire brigade officials, and the hearse with mourners following on foot and in carriages.
After his death, his racing horse “Daisy” was given to a Mr. Maltby and a 1903 edition of the Brandon Sun describes her career as: “Back in the early ‘Eighties, Chief McMillan was very fond of his handsome roadster ‘Daisy’. After his death she passed into the possession of a Mr. Maltby who set the pace for gentlemen’s drivers. With advancing years, she was used as a family driver and highly valued by William Ferguson. While driving down Louise Avenue yesterday evening, the old mare dropped dead in the harness ... a resident ever since the city was established.”
Originally buried in the Brandon Cemetery, he was relocated to the Woodlawn Memorial Park at Guelph, Ontario in 1886.
“Chief McMillan dead,” Brandon Sun, 17 December 1885, page 1.
We thank Sandy Jasper for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Alyssa Wowchuk.
Page revised: 17 February 2022