Johnny Miller

History of the 1925 World Champion Bronc Rider

March 17, 1904 - March 19, 1978


Born in Archer County on March 17, 1904, Miller participated in his first saddle bronc contest at age 13 in Antelope, Texas, and won $50. His career as a saddle bronc rider began at Archer City’s first rodeo in 1923. At the age of 20, in 1925, he was named World Champion Bronc Rider at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He participated in bronc riding contests at Fort Worth Fat Stock Show, at Cheyenne's (Wymoming) Frontier Days, at Calgary (Alberta, Canada) Stampede, and ultimately won his title at Madison Square Garden.


Miller was once injured during a show at Madison Square Garden, where the horse reared and fell backwards onto him. He was hospitalized and remained unconscious for several days, with chest and other internal injuries. He clearly had the riding bug, “Riding gets into your blood, and you always want to get the feel of the bronc under you. Maybe this time you’ll ride him.”

He competed professionally for 11 years before retiring and moving back to Archer County to take care of his family's ranch north of Archer City. His name is engraved on the Roosevelt Trophy, in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Photographs