James Owen Mills is among the representative and widely known men of Columbus. He is president of the Mills
Restaurant Company, operating the numerous Mills restaurants now famous in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.
This organization owes its present success and high standing entirely to Mr. Mills, whose talent as an organizer
and administrator has placed his enterprises at the top among such projects in America. Mr. Mills has long been
active in the affairs of the Republican party in Ohio and in 1926 was the successful candidate for the nomination
for lieutenant governor of Ohio on the Republican ticket. In 1920 and 1924 he was a member of the Republican State
Executive Committee and took an active part in the campaigns in both years, serving as secretary of the committee
Mr. Mills was born in Marysville, Ohio, September 18, 1883, the son of James and Lydia (Turner) Mills. He studied
in the public schools of Union County and in Lima Business College, Lima, Ohio. In 1902 he came to Columbus and
worked in various restaurants of the city, learning the detail of operation and administration. When finally he
established his own business, he branched out on what was at that time rather a novel departure, the "self
service" type of restaurant. He began operations on an efficient, carefully planned system and on a larger
scale than hitherto had been applied to that business. In a very short time he took the field away from his competitors,
in the sense that today his restaurants are conceded on all sides to occupy a class apart.
Mr. Mills is recognized as a leader within the ranks of his profession in America, being a former president of
the National Restaurant Association. He is also a past president of the Ohio State Restaurant Association.
Mr. Mills was married on December 15, 1920, to Mrs. Mae Kiger Tarry, in New York City.
Mr. Mills is a member of the Buckeye Republican Club, the Blaine Club of Cincinnati and the Rotary Club of Columbus.
He is also a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and Shrine, and is affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks. He holds membership in the Columbus Athletic Club, and Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus Chambers
History of Franklin County, Ohio
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930
Franklin County, OH
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