Born October 1, 1825
|Some of the bravest and most devoted defenders of the Union during the dark days when dissolution seemed imminent were men who were born on foreign soil but attracted to the cause on account of their love of justice and fair dealing and for the reason that they knew that the north was in the right. One of the native sons of Canada who came to the rescue of the country which is now his adopted land is William Mills, of Hale township. He was born near St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, October 1, 1825, and, is a son of David and Ruth Mills, natives of Nova Scotia, who spent their lives in Canada. They had a family of five children, as follows: John, who died young; George; Nathaniel, who passed away forty-eight years ago; Sarah Eberly, also is deceased; and William, the youngest of the family.
The father of this family died when William Mills was only thirteen months old but the mother brought up her little family and William remained with her until he was fifteen years old. At that age he went to Palmyra, Ontario, and learned the blacksmithing trade with a brother-in-law and followed it until about 1897, with the exception of the time he spent in the service of the United States. Mr. Mills was still a resident of Canada when he enlisted at Detroit, Michigan, in Company E, Fifteenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry and served during the last five months of the struggle. In the fall of 1865 he came to Wyoming, Jones county, Iowa, with his wife and four children and resided there for seven years, when he removed to Hale township and this has since been his home. Being an excellent workman Mr. Mills always had plenty to do and he took a pride in being one of the best blacksmiths in Jones county.
On February 22, 1854, Mr. Mills married Amanda Whitesell, who was born in Streetsville, Ontario, January 5, 1837, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Whitesell, natives of Pennsylvania and Ontario, respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Mills have had four children: John, who lives at Geneva, Nebraska: William J., who lives at Anamosa; Elizabeth, who married Edward Lewis; and Cora, who married Peter Markey, of Milwaukee; Elizabeth died in Texas, April 11, 1909. Cora was born in Wyoming, and the others in Canada.
Mr. Mills is a stanch republican and has always been interested in the success of the party for which he has done so much. He is a member of the Dan Carpenter Post, G.A.R., of Olin, Iowa, and takes a great deal of pleasure in his association with it and the opportunities it gives him to meet his old comrades. A man of simple tastes, he has always striven to do his full duty and has won and held the respect of his community.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 419.
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