HENRY C. MILLS
There are few of the pioneers of 1850 left to tell the tale of the early development and progress of this section of California; but Henry C. Mills is one whose memory can picture forth the experiences of that frontier epoch. For almost half a century he has resided in Nevada County and therefore needs no introduction to the readers of this volume, to whom his personal biography, however, will prove a matter of interest. Mr. Mills is a native of the Buckeye state, his birth having occurred in Portage County, Ohio, July 21, 1828. His father, Uriel Mills, was born in Connecticut and was a representative of one of the old and influential families of that commonwealth. He was a lawyer by profession and was also a practical farmer, meeting with success in those widely different callings in life. He married Miss Mary Etta Streator, who was also descended from one of the old New England families. She died in 1841, the year following the removal of the family from Ohio to Marion County, Illinois. The father’s death occurred in 1886.
In the prairie state Henry C. Mills was reared to manhood, becoming familiar with the work of the farm. In 1850 he sought a home in California, attracted by the discovery of gold on the Pacific slope, and made a location in Grass Valley, where he was actively engaged in mining for three years. On the expiration of that period he removed to Nevada City, where for six years he was engaged in the dairy business, after which he established a feed and livery stable, carrying on business along that line for about forty years. His barns are located at the corner of Pine and Spring streets and he now has a liberal patronage. He is also the owner of one hundred and ten acres of land, located about four miles west of the city. Of this six acres are planted to fruit, principally pear trees of the Bartlett variety. His business interests bring to him a good income that has classed him among the substantial citizens of his adopted county. He has now passed the Psalmist’s span of three-score years and ten, yet displays an activity in business affairs that would do credit to a man of much younger years.
On the 1st of July, 1856, occurred the marriage of Mr. Mills and Miss Cecilia Berbush, a native of France, who died several years ago, leaving two children, Eugenia C. and Frank H., both residents of San Francisco. The daughter is now married.
Mr. Mills gives an unswerving support to the Republican Party, for its platform embodies his ideas of governmental policy. He has served upon the board of city trustees for fifteen years, and was county supervisor for three years, discharging his duties in an accepted manner. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity and affiliates with the uniformed rank of the order. Although more than seventy-one years of age he is still fond of the chase, and each fall enjoys a few weeks in hunting in the mountains in search of deer and other large game. He has been identified with this section of the state from the period of its earliest development, when the majority of its citizens were miners drawn hither by the hope of gaining a fortune through their search for gold. All the accessories of civilization have been introduced with the passing years, and with the work of progress Mr. Mills has been entirely in sympathy, doing all in his power to advance the substantial welfare of the community.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.