He married Nancy Barry abt 1833 in Canada. Nancy was born abt 1814 probably Ireland. Family sources vary on the birthplace of Nancy Barry. Some say Ireland and some say Virginia. One source says the Barry family removed from Virginia to Canada during the Revolution in order to remain loyal to the King of England. However, Nancy's birth in 1814 was post-war. Further investigation is needed.
Nancy died abt 1856 in Pittsfield, Pike, IL, at age unknown. She was baptized 6 Feb 1837 in Nauvoo, OH. Nancy immigrated to destination unknown circa 1837.(1536)
Cornelius was employed at organization unknown as a Carpenter date unknown. Cornelius immigrated to destination unknown circa 1835. He was baptized 6 Feb 1837 in Nauvoo, OH.(1537) He was listed as a resident in the census report 27 Jul 1860 in Pittsfield, Pike, IL.(1538) In 1837, Cornelius Mills and his wife, Nancy Barry joined the Latter Day Saints Church. Cornelius was called and ordained an elder before the year was out. Soon after this, the family moved to the United States, on the shores of Lake Erie, a little north of Kirtland, Ohio, where the Kirtland Temple had been built. Here, they lived during the trying days of the church. In 1852, the family moved to Pittsfield, Illinois and when, in 1860, the scattered members of the church who had remained true to the original doctrines of the church reorganized with Joseph Smith, III, Cornelius was made pastor of the little group in Pittsfield. He was a building contractor and trained all his sons in carpentry. He built the courthouse, the high school and many of the important buildings in Pittsfield. With the help of his sons, he also built a chapel for the church there(1539).
Henry Richard Mills A Biographical Sketch By his sons, Arthur H. and Frank W. Mills
On October 16, 1812, in the little pioneer settlement of Markham, Ontario, Canada, there was born to sturdy English parents a son, afterwards to be known among men as Cornelius Mills. When manhood's estate was reached he espoused a maiden of like stock named Nancy Barry and they twain assumed the duties of establishing home and family. In due time children came to them and about 1835, yielding to an impulse to seek new fields (or was it the promptings of that "divinity that shapes our ends"?) this little family removed to the United States, finding a haven in the northern part of Ohio, on the shores of Lake erie, almost directly north of the village of Kirtland. the pioneering spirit that impelled them, also led them to find ample activities in this undeveloped section, that was not to see the advent of the railroad for almost fifteen years.
At that time, the village of Kirtland was famed because a young and rapidly growing sect, hated and persecuted, and derisively alluded to as "Mormons," had, in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles, erected a temple, imposing and beautiful, consecrated to the worship of God.
The religious fervor of this sect was naturally at this time glowing ardently. Its disciples were diligently proclaiming their new-found faith and were making converts rapidly. Their message could not fail to reach the ears of Cornelius and Nancy Mills. To them it was "the voice of the Good Shepherd," which they gladly heeded, and they were baptized into the church on New Year's Day of 1837, by Elder John Taylor. On October 29 of that same yeaer Cornelius was ordained an elder and himself began to proclaim to others the doctrines of his faith.
In the midst of this religious zeal and almost under the shadow of the sacred temple, the family of Corneliius Mills grew. Other children came; first Charles, on October 16, 1842; and then on October 8, 1844, the subject of this sketch was born. We feel constrained to briefly include Charles in this article for the reason that he and his brother, Henry were boon companions all their lives, associating continuously in many ways. It is believed that they were blessed as children within the hallowed walls of the Kirtland Temple. They both entered the gospel covenant at the same time and both served the church faithfully until the end of their lives. They loved each other like David and jonathan of old; their lives continually manifested this attachment and "in death they were not divided," Henry following his beloved brother in just five days. Of them, Mr. William Southern, Jr.., editor of the Independence Examiner, touchingly wrote in his issue of October 11:
"Within the month two men have died in Independence whose lives meant much to their home city and yet they were modest and unassuming and not before the public and never sought or held public office. The men were brothers, Charles M. Mills was 91 years of age and Henry R. Mills was 89. The brothers came to Independence in 1884 and lived, worked and died here. Independence knew H. R. Mills perhaps the better of the two. He was engaged in business here for 41 years. Always a kindly, simple, friendly man, he made friends of all who came in contact with him. Both of these men were fine and useful citizens and their lives were in accordance with their professions."
It was the peculiar lot of Cornelius and Nancy Mills, whose souls found happiness in their faith, to pass through a most trying religious experience. They witnessed the church of their ideals grow until it bade fair to fulfill their fondest hopes. Then at its zenith, in 1844, they were saddened by the martyrdoms of the prophet and patriarch [Joseph Smith, Jr..]; a blow, that, unrealized, was to mean the shattering of all their expectations. They were forced to witness the gradual fading of all those precious hopes because of the dissensions that seized the church and the apparent disintegration of their beloved faith. To complete the dark picture they witnessed the devotees of the temple gradually forsake it and the sacred building itself ultimately dishonored and put to base uses.
It is no wonder that they could no longer find pleasure in surroundings that reminded them of buried hopes. Hence, about the year 1852, Cornelius and his family again sought another home and found it at Pittsfield, the seat of Pike County, in western Illinois. Here he established himself in his vocation of carpenter and builder, which he followed until incapacitated by an injury in his seventieth year, which ultimately brought about his death. Here he buried faithful Nancy in 1854 and here in 1863 he again heart "the voice of the Good Shepherd," and again allied himself with the church in the Reorganization. He thereafter "built up the work" in that vicinity, recalling the scattered Saints of that section; and when he died, June 11, 1884, the little chapel which he and his carpenter sons had built was crowded to capacity by his fellow townsmen, of all faiths, who came to reverence. Thus we leave him. We have felt he should be honored at such length because his life was so typical of many who passed through "the dark and cloudy day," and it had such great bearing upon the lives of his sons, that its influence should not be ignored.(1540)
RESEARCH NOTE: Research at the Dallas Public Library in 1993 revealed a family history book on Mills. There is a Cornelius Mills who fought in the Revolutionary War from VA or MD and was later stated to have moved to Canada in 1812, which is the birth year of this Cornelius. Therefore, it seems necessary to investigate further before final acceptance of the parentage and other data on the family of our Cornelius Mills.
Cornelius Mills and Nancy Barry had the following children:
+ 9 ii. Daniel Luther Mills was born 31 Aug 1835.
+ 10 iii. George Mills was born circa 1836.
He resided street unknown, in Independence, Jackson Co., MO abt 1870 til death.(1545) CW Pension File of Daniel Mills contains a notarized statement by Charles Mills stating that he is Daniel's brother, aged 68. Statement date 16 Dec, 1910.
13 vi. Henry Richard Mills was born North of Kirtland, Lake Co., OH 8 Oct 1844. Henry died 8 Oct 1933 in Independence, Jackson Co., MO, at age 89. He married Barbara Hicks date unknown in Pittsfield, Pike, IL.(1546) Barbara was born date unknown.(1547) The boyhood of Henry Richard Mills was not unlike that of many other poor boys in like circumstances, easily recounted in "the short and simple annals of the poor." Bereft of his mother at the age of ten, he had much to do in shifting for himself, although his hard-working father largely supplied the lack of mother to his children and held the little family together until all attained maturity and ultimately occupied stations of honor in society. A short time with his father at the carpenter's bench; a few yaers at clerkships in various business enterprises; some miscellaneous ventures of his own, bring Henty to the year 1868, when, with the loan of $300 from his future father-in-law, he embarked in the retail business of merchandising such wares as books, stationery, art and fancy goods, home furnishings, etc., which vocation he was to follow persistently until his retirement in 1927. In this business he established a most enviable reputation for dependableness; and at the close of his business life he had the record of over fifty-nine years of honorable dealings, with never an obligation taht was not fully met and discharged; and at his retirement he was the oldest business man in Independence.
It is but just at this time not to overlook one very important episode in the life of Henry R. Mills,--the period of the Civil War. Pike County, Illinois is a part of that territory made illustrious by the activities of Abraham Lincoln, who was several times a visitor in that section, settled by pioneer stock from the East. "Honest Abe" had appeared in speeches at Pittsfield, and later he was here heard in one of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Thus the ideals of this great American were impressed upon the minds of this patriotic section. When the breaking out of the Civil War inflamed the nation its challenge was heard by the sons of Cornelius Mills. first Daniel, then John, the Charles, gave their service to the nation that its battles might be fought. Henry sought ot do likewise but was forced to remain at home, partly on account of his youth and partly because his father felt that he could not afford to give more than three sons to his adopted country. But the urge of his country's call persisted with Henry and finally his pleadings won a reluctant consent and he enlisted in the army of the Union, in which his brothers were engaged. e was ordered to Camp Butler, at Springfield, Illinois, to which he reparied with many others, to await the ordinance of being "mustered in" the regular army. Sanitary conditions at this camp were very bad and before he could take the oath of soldierhood he was stricken with camp fever which almost finished his earthly career. When able to travel he was invalided home. After recovery he again prepared to re-enlist, when the news of Lee's surrender came and further enlistments were refused by the Government. But it must be remembered that he saw some military service, although in a different way. While his brothers were at the frong, a "home gurad" had been formed. Pike County was a border county touching Missouri and invasions were both threatened and feared. Because of his skill in playing the flute Henry was drafted as fifer for this little band. Several times he was called upon to use his ability to inspire the footsteps of this home guard, to repel threatened invasion.
In 1852, when Cornelius Mills came to Illinois, the church in its scattered condition existed only as a memory, in many respects an unsavory one. Unlike many of those whose hopes had been shattered, he did not cast his lot with any other church. However, his children were attracted to other churches and in his youth Henry received baptism into the Christian Church, at that time the strongest and most militant sect in that section. Herein he experienced the happiness of a church home until he, too, heard "the voice of the Good Shepherd." He gave to this church both loyalty and service; was chosen to various activities in it and earnedc for himself the esteem of its membership. In its popular society he formed many pleasant attachments. The chief of these was a young maiden, Barbara Emmett Hicks, the daughter of Colonel and Mrs. Daniel B. Hicks, of hardy Vermont stock, whose ancestors had served in the Revolutionary War, Colonel Hicks himself being an elder in the Christian Church and a banker of integrity and repute. Barbara gave to Henry her hand in marriage on February 25, 1869. For almost sixty-five years this paid lived together in unswerving devotion until death severed the bonds they always esteemed as holy. Of this union three children were born; Arthur Hicks Mills, Frank Westle Mills, and Mabel Mills Underwoo, all of whom, with their mother, are surviving. (1548)
She resided street unknown, in Independence, Jackson Co., MO abt 1870 until death.
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