Biography of Hugh Brooks Mills
Clark and Jackson Counties, WI Biographies

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HUGH BROOKS MILLS, the founder and a prominent business man of Millston, was born in Mountain. Canada, January 14, 1828, a son of Thomas and Margaret (Mcintyre) Mills. His father was born and reared in Delaware, and lived there until about twenty one, when he went to Canada, where he met and married his wife. Early in the '30s his father moved back to Delaware, and a year or so later removed to St. Lawrence County, New York, where he lived until about 1856, and then came to this county and spent the remainder of his life. He was a farmerm and he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church. His grandfather was Alexander Mills, a Scotchman who served in the war of 1812 as an officer, and died from injuries received while in the service. Our subject's mother was born in Scotland, near Glasgow, and died in Jackson County, Wisconsin. He had four brothers and one sister, viz.: Catherine (deceased) was the wife of Ira Partridge, of Macomb, St. Lawrence County. New York; Thomas, a farmer in this county; Daniel, and John H. (deceased), formerly lumbermen in this county.

The subject of this sketch, the second child in order of birth, was reared in St. Lawrence County, on a farm, He remained with his father and gave him the benefit of his labors until twenty one years of age, when he came in the spring of 1849 to Wisconsin, and began working by the month in the praeries at Shawano and remained in that vicinity three seasons. He then came on to Black River and continued working in the piaeries until 1853. when he commenced lumbering on his own account, in what is now Clark County, and has since been continuously in the lumber business. Later he moved back into Jackson County, and bought and ran a mill in the town of Manchester several years. In 1862 his mill was burned, leaving him almost penniless. in 1873 he located where he now lives, and started the town of Millston, or rather the village, and the township took his name. He erected the first buildbig in the place. He is now running a mill at Millston and also owns about 3,000 acres of timber land,- pine, hard wood, etc. He owns considerable farming land in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and also property in Superior

Mr. Mills was one of the organizers of the Jackson County Bank at Black River Falls, and at the first election of officers was made its vice-president, and later was elected president, in which capacity he served five years. He has since been one of the directors. He is also interested in a steam grist mill at Black River Falls. He has served his town in some official capacity ever since he has been in the county, was a member of the State Assembly one term in 1877, from Jackson and Clark counties, He is a meniber of the F & A. M at Black River Falls, and is now a thirty second degree Mason. In polities he has all his life been a Republican.

January 12, 1857, Mr. Mills married Miss Mary Rogers, of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, who was then engaged in teaching school. She was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1837. They have had nine children namely : Thomas B., John H., Alexander, Ira, Edward, Dennis, Hugh B., Mary M. and Margaret M. Ira and Dennis arc deceased.

Mr. Mills is an old pioneer and a selfmade man in the fullest sense of the word, In 1852 he barrowed $25 to pay his expenses to what is now Jackson County, and began the struggle for a fortune to which he can now with honorable pride lay claium. When he first came here, he with six others kept bachelor's hall, going occasionally to Black River Falls for a sack of flour and supplying themselves with meat by hunting and fishing, killing deer, bear, partridge and other wild game. One old United States rifle was the only gun they owned, and each would take his turn in killing game. The Winnebago Indians were then under tribal relations and not as near civilized as they now are, but were always friendly with the old pioneers. Mr. Mills speaks of those days as some of the happiest of his life. "Then," he says, "a man's word was his bond, and honor was law; and all differences were settled by arbitration."

Mr. Mills' own life is an example for young men to follow. Starting with no Capital but brain and muscle, inspired with a determination to succeed, he went to work and never squandered his hard earned dollars in drink and riotous living, and his present accumulations speak for his success. He has always contributed liberally in an most tentatious way to every public enterprise, and has added as much to the wealth and prosperity of Jackson County as any of her citizens. His sons are all good business men and are "chips off the old block," following closely the footsteps of their worthy sire. Mrs. Mills is a lady of refinement, and her gentle but cordial manner makes cvery one around her feel happy. She is devoted to her husband and children, and her children are such that she can justly feel proud of them.


FROM:
Biographical History of
Clark and Jackson Counties Wisconsin
Lewis Publishing Company.
Chiago, 1891.