“Loyal Sons” Visits Hometowns of Two ‘Horsemen’

In the week between Notre Dame home victories over Purdue (Sept. 27) and Stanford (Oct. 4), two towns in Ohio helped celebrate their connection to one of the greatest teams in college football history….the 1924 Fighting Irish of Four Horsemen fame.

Harry Stuhldreher was barely 140 pounds when he played halfback for Massillon Washington High School as a senior in 1919. Across the state in Defiance, Ohio, Don Miller played for Defiance High School alongside his brother Jerry, considered by many to be the more talented running back of the two.

Against all odds, Stuhldreher became the quarterback and field general of the Notre Dame teams of 1922, 1923 and 1924. Behind him at one halfback was Don Miller. Together, they formed half of The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.

Last week, both of their high schools held ceremonies in which they received a specially-inscribed copy of the new book, “Loyal Sons: The Story of The Four Horsemen and Notre Dame Football’s 1924 Champions.” The books were presented by author Jim Lefebvre to school principals Mike Babics of Massillon Washington and Bob Morton of Defiance High School.

In Massillon, Lefebvre read from “Loyal Sons” and spoke to the Sept. 30 luncheon of the Massillon Touchdown Club, a long-time group of Massillon football boosters. In Defiance on Oct. 2, a “Loyal Sons” book signing at Kissners Restaurant and a reading and signing at the Defiance Public Library brought out dozens of Defiance residents proud of their connection to this famous team, and eager to read the whole story.

Since Lefebvre’s visit to Defiance in the summer of 2007 to do research for the book, the street behind the football field where Don Miller and his four older brothers played high school football has been renamed “Don Miller Drive.” Further efforts to commemorate this family, which includes Harry “Red” Miller, one of Notre Dame’s first All-American football players, are now underway.

Great Day Press, publisher of “Loyal Sons,” is grateful to Rick Small of ClearChannel of Defiance for his efforts to introduce the book to the Defiance area.