Item consists of a poem titled It Beats the Devil, compiled by the Mount Vernon Local of the United Farmers of Alberta at Three Hills, Alberta, and thought to be written by UFA member William Arthur Milan.
W. Arthur (Art) Milan was a member of the Mt. Vernon U.F.A. credited with compiling the poem, It Beats The Devil. While there is no proof that Arthur penned this poem, its meter, style, vocabulary and perspective are manifested in his collective work. It Beats The Devil depicts a turning point in Alberta's political history, ushering in the U.F.A. as the provincial government 1921- 1935. Part 1 of It Beats The Devil was recited by Three Hills resident, N.F. McKinley, at the U.F.A. 1923 Annual Conference. At that time, print copies of the poem could be purchased though the U.F.A. central office for 25 cents (information provided by the Milan family).
U.F.A. Mount Vernon Local
Milan, W. Arthur
Mt. Vernon U.F.A.
Two print copies of the poem were included in W. Arthur Milan's personal collection. The second copy, with edits by W. Arthur Milan, has been kept with the collection of W. Arthur Milan works at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Edmonton.
The fonds consists of the Society's newsletter for 1944 and 1947-1951.
In March 1944 a group of five UFA Co-op employees began publishing a monthly staff newsletter, provisionally titled You Name It?? By 1946 the newsletter was titled UFA Sco-ops, and it was the official organ of the U.F.A. Staff Co-op Society. Doug Thornton of the Educational Department of UFA Co-op served as its editor during most of its history. The Society organized social and recreational activities and produced the newsletter. In 1949 the Society's name was changed to U.F.A. Co-op Staff Society and the newsletter's title was changed to Sco-ops. In 1951 the Society disbanded and the newsletter ceased publication. A later staff social and recreational association known as ECHO (Employees of the Co-op Head Office) existed from the 1970s onward.
The newsletters had been collected by Doug Thornton.
Fonds consists of an original copy of the poem titled It Beats the Devil, and a digital compilation titled Rambles of a Rube of Arthur William Milan’s written works.
William Arthur (Art) Milan (1882-1947) was born December 5, 1882, at Hancock Minnesota. Art homesteaded in the Mt Vernon / Ghost Pine Creek area of Alberta, and married Laura McGhee on January 29, 1913. He was well known in his community as a poet and musician. In 1923 W. Arthur Milan was a member of the Mt. Vernon UFA local 858, credited with composing the poem, It Beats The Devil.
(See Rambles of a Rube for a more complete biography. Additional information provided by the donor Laura Smith, granddaughter of William Arthur Milan).
Following the death of W. Arthur Milan in 1947, James Wyatt Milan, his eldest son inherited a collection of his father's writing. The poem, It Beats The Devil was found among W. Arthur Milan's collection of writing. In 1959, the folder of Arthur's papers was given to James's eldest daughter, Laura E. Milan [Smith]. In 1921-22 [2021-2022?] Laura with the assistance of her cousin, Gerald Roden, digitalized the collection titled Rambles Of A Rube. This digital PDF file, along with an original copy of It Beats the Devil was donated to the UFHS archives in March 2022.
W. Arthur Milan / [UFA Mount Vernon Local?]
Collection of works by W. Arthur Milan is located at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Edmonton.