Washburn Co. WIGenWeb

People Histories

Peter Mills,Sr.
 (03 May 1836 - 25 Mar 19191)


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.


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