(03 May 1836 - 25 Mar 19191)
-As transcribed from the "COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF THE UPPER LAKES REGION"
by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, IL, 1905
pages 306 - 307
Peter Mills, Sr., now living in retirement at Shell Lake, Washburn
county, was born May 3, 1836, at Penn Yan, Yates Co., N. Y. His
parents, Peter and Mary (Mosher) Mills, were both natives of New York
State,and his grandfather, Thomas Mills, was a native of Ireland.
Peter Mills, father of Peter Mills, Sr., came to Wisconsin in 1848, and
was one of the first pioneers of Stevens Point,w here he was
extensively engaged in logging and in the timber business. He
died at Pine River, Wis., at the age of eighty-two. He was a
member of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Mary (Mosher) Mills died
when her son Peters was but three days old. Her father, Asa
Mosher, was a miller at Penn Yan. Her mother, Rachel (Brown)
Mosher, lived to be eighty-nine years old, and her maternal grandmother
lived to be over a hundred. The second husband of this long-lived
woman was a Mr. Ryder, who had been aide-de-camp to Gen. Putnam during
the Revolutionary war.
Peter Mills, Sr., was reared by his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Rachel
(Brown) Mosher, until he was twelve years old. He then went to
New York and engaged in boating on the Hudson river and Erie canal,
eventually becoming proprietor of a line of boats plying between
Buffalo and New York City. In 1879 he went to Clinton, Iowa,
where he was employed as a sealer and grader of lumber until 1882, when
he located at Shell Lake. There he became foreman of the Shell
Lake Lumber Co., and continued in the employ of the company until Dec.
31, 1892, when he resigned. He served two years — 1893 - 1894
— as sheriff of Washburn county, having been elected as an
independent candidate. He then went to Boulder, Colo., where he erected
a brick store building which he still owns. He has done
considerable business in Washburn county lands.
Mr. Mills married April 14, 1858, Eliza Randall, of Penn Yan, N. Y.,
who died July 20, 1863, at the age of twenty-six. She left one
child, which died in infancy. In March, 1865, Mr. Mills married
(second) Elizabeth Manley, also of Penn Yan, who died September, 1884,
aged thirty-nine. She was the mother of five children, as
follows: George, who was accidentally shot at Clinton, Iowa, in
August, 1879, and died at the age of fifteen; Ella C., who is the wife
of O. Wang, a prominent business man of Shell Lake; Chauncey, a music
teacher at Shell Lake; Lizzie, who is Mrs. C. E. Love, of Nevada; and
Peter, who is a telegraph operator at Itasca, Wisconsin.
Mr. Mills is a member of Shell Lake Lodge, No. 221, A. F. & A.
M. Politically he has almost without exception supported the
Republican party, but has never but once been a candidate for
office. During the Civil war he enlisted for 100 days' service in
the 58th N. Y. N. G., and was employed on detached duty, guarding cars
used in transporting troops and supplies between Elmira, N. Y., and the
headquarters of the Army of the Potomac in Virginia.
1 - Editorial Note - Peter Mills,
Sr. death date was derived from his death record, which is on file at
the Washburn Co. Register of Deeds Office in Death Vol. 7, page 219.
He is buried in the Shell Lake Memorial Cemetery.