Northwestern professor retires, publishes book

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Northwestern professor retires, publishes book

Dr. Sharon Hill

Dr. Sharon Hill

Dr. Sharon Hill, professor of English, retired from Northwestern Oklahoma State University following the 2014 spring semester after 43 years of teaching.

Hill came to Northwestern in August 1997 after teaching at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas.  Since then she has earned her doctorate in curriculum in construction from Kansas State University.            

As Hill enters into retirement, a book she has written, titled “The Amazing Story of the 101 Ranch: The Largest Ranch in America”, has been published and a copy resides in the Library of Congress.

Hill said her book is about the story of George Washington Miller and his three sons, Joseph Carson Miller, Zachary Taylor Miller and George Lee Miller, and how they developed the 101 Ranch into one of the greatest ranches in America during the early 1900’s. It follows George Washington Miller from Crab Orchard, Ky., to Bliss, Okla., where at the height of the Ranch they owned more than 110,000 acres of farmland.

“They were true visionaries in the ranching business,” Hill said. “They created a self-sustaining city complete with their own phone system, monetary system, electrical and water systems, clothing line, cider mill, oil refinery, cannery, dairy, etc. The book discusses all the modern conveniences they used for the time like milking machines, refrigerated trucks, air conditioning, and follows their story from the beginning to the fall of the Ranch.”

Hill has been researching for her book since 1999, and a year ago February, she started the writing process.  In November 2013 her book was submitted for editing, and in the spring of 2014, it was published.

“Growing up in Arkansas City, Kan., I had always heard about the 101 Ranch, but I had no idea what a truly great place it was until I began researching it. The Millers had such vision in how to make the Ranch self-sustaining and profitable. When they saw a need on the Ranch, they simply built what was needed, like a packing plant to process the meat from their cattle.

“My great uncle worked as a cowboy on the 101 Ranch and died in his early 20s because he caught pneumonia working cattle in the rain. I wanted to write this book to honor him and all the people who had made the 101 Ranch the great place it once was. I just wish my mother was still alive so she could read the book because she was the person who first got me interested in researching the 101 Ranch. For me, writing about the 101 Ranch was not work because learning about what the Millers accomplished in building one of the greatest ranches in America was fascinating.”

Publisher for “The Amazing Story of the 101 Ranch: The Largest Ranch in America” is Edwin Mellen Press. Copies of the book may be purchased at