Clay County

Biography - Israel Mills

ISRAEL MILLS, stock dealer, Clay City, was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, April 18, 1843, a son of Jonathan and Sarah (Downing) Mills. The parents were both natives of Ohio. On the father's side the ancestors were natives of Pennsylvania; those of the mother were natives of Virginia. Both families emigrated to Ohio in an early day. Subject was the sixth of twelve children, and of this number six are now living. The father is dead; the mother is still living on the old homestead in Ohio. The free schools of Ohio furnished subject his means of education, and he rendered what assistance he could on his father's farm until his majority. In October, 1865, he came to Clay City, Ill., where he has since resided. In this town his first business was that of a stock trader and dealer. At present he handles about 2,500 head of hogs, 1,500 head of cattle, and about 2,000 head of sheep per year. In 1872, he commenced merchandising with the firm of Bagwell, Evans & Co., and remained in that establishment until 1879. Mr. Mills also farms quite extensively, owning about 740 acres of land, of which 580 acres are in Clay City Township, the rest in Stanford Township. Of the whole, there are about 700 acres in cultivation. Mr. Mills was married in this county, September 10, 1867, to Miss Elizabeth Bagwell, a daughter of Thomas and Cina (Whiteman) Bagwell, who were very early settlers of this county. Mrs. Mills was born August 24, 1848, in Clay City Township, and is the mother of two children — Edna, born July 2, 1870; James B., born October 22, 1881. Subject enlisted June 3, 1862, in Company K of the Eighty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served until taken prisoner at the battle of Harper's Ferry. Was afterward paroled, and discharged October 3, 1862. June 29, 1863, he re-enlisted in Company B of the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served in that company until the expiration of time, March 5, 1864. He re-enlisted the third time, September 2, 1864, in Company H of the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war, being honorably discharged June 29, 1865. Mrs. Mills is a member of Clay City Christian Church. Mr. Mills is a member of Clay City Lodge, No. 488, A., F. & A. M. He has been a life-long Republican, and has held numerous offices of trust and profit, having served as member of Board of Supervisors, School Trustee and Collector.

Extracted 26 Jan 2020 by Norma Hass from 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, pages 182-183.

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