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Biography - DANIEL C. MILLS

Daniel C. Mills, a retired farmer of Ottawa, LaSalle county, Illinois, was born in Staffordshire, England, July 3, 1832. He is a son of Daniel and Sarah (Smith) Mills, both natives of England who emigrated to the United States in 1833, arriving in New York city. He became interested in the Veneer Mills, of Cohoes, New York, remaining there until 1839. He sold his mills at Cohoes and returned to Tipton, Staffordshire, England, where he engaged in business, remaining there until 1843. when he started from Tipton by boat to Liverpool; thence he went by sailing vessel to New York, by boat to Albany, by the Erie canal to Buffalo, and by steamer to Chicago, making the entire distance from his old home in England to Chicago by water.

At Chicago he purchased a wagon and team, with which he came to Ottawa. Here he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of Thomas Basnett, and at once entered upon its improvement. He was also interested in the mills here and continued to identify himself with the prosperity of the place until his death, which occurred September 23, 1880, at the advanced age of seventy-six years. He was a Republican and took an active interest in all local affairs, acting as supervisor and assessor of the town of South Ottawa, and treasurer of the school district, also as enrolling officer during the war. His wife reached her seventy-eighth year, dying June 30, 1891. They were the parents of four children, namely: Daniel C, our subject; Edward G.. who died in 1870; Sarah J., wife of Thomas J. Stumph; and George A., of this city.

Daniel C. Mills was a lad of twelve years when his parents left their native country, and his education was well advanced. After reaching Ottawa he attended school in what was known as the old Mechanics' Hall. He continued to assist his father about the farm work until he was twenty-one, and at the age of twenty-three purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Farm Ridge, where he began farming for himself. He placed this land in first-class condition, putting up a good dwelling, barn, sheds and other required improvements, and adding greatly to its convenience and appearance. He was among the first to introduce the famous Norman and English Shire horses in this locality, receiving fabulous prices for some of them. One team brought him the splendid sum of seven hundred and fifty dollars, and all commanded good prices. He continued to add to his original purchase until he had accumulated four hundred and sixty acres of choice farm land, upon which he lived until 1887, when he moved to East Ottawa.

Mr. Mills was married November 3, 1855, to Miss Eliza Hogoboom, a native of this city and a daughter of Richard and Phoebe (Farnsworth) Hogoboom. Mr. Hogoboom came from New York to LaSalle county in 1829, and in partnership with Russel Kimbal built the first dam across the Illinois river, at Marseilles, in 1830. Mrs. Hogoboom departed this life in May, 1877, while Mr. Hogoboom lived until May 9, 1899, passing away in his ninety-second year.

Five sons and four daughters have blessed the home of Mr. Mills, viz.: Charles C., an attorney at law, of Rensselaer, Indiana; Albert F., a farmer; Horace, also a farmer; Abbie, deceased; Alice; Phoebe; Eliza; Richard, a student; and William A. The family are all members of the Episcopal church and liberal contributors of both time and money to the cause of that ecclesiastical body. Mr. Mills is a member of Occidental Lodge, No. 40, F. & A. M.; Ottawa Chapter, No. 37, Royal Arch Masons; and Ottawa Commandery, No. 10, Knights Templar. A Republican, he has held a number of minor offices in the gift of the people and is highly respected for his honor and integrity of character.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 348-349.

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