Horace Franklin Mills

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Horace Franklin Mills, born 04 Aug 1854, Staten Island NY, died 21 October 1876, Corfu NY. Second child of Edward Hallock and Mary Ann Mills. Horace worked as clerk in E. H. Mills & Co., Corfu.

1860USCastletonHorace F Mills5New York
1870USPembrokeMills Horace F.15New YorkClerk in dry goods store
1875NYSPembrokeHorace F Mills20Staten Island

United States Federal Census and New York, U.S., State Census, ancestry.com. Click column headers to change sort order. Download source data.

Horace was baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church of Port Richmond:

DateBaptizedParents’ NamesBorn
1855, May 4Horace FranklinEdwd. Mills & Mary A. Pine4th Aug. 1854

Jan 1923, Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church on Staten Island, New York City, transcribed and edited by Royden Woodward Vosburgh, v2, p63, Staten Island, Richmond County, NY Genealogical Resources, FHL Film 514656 Item 5. Partial transcription.View largest available size.

Church Register 1790-1908, Reformed Dutch Church of Port Richmond, p18. Digitally photographed by Kathleen Langdon and used with permission via personal correspondence 13 Feb 2023. View largest available size.

Note that James A. Hillyer also had a son named Horace who followed him in the grocery business.

Horace worked as a clerk in his father’s dry goods store in Corfu, E. H. Mills & Co. Horace died by a gunshot wound a few years before the Mills moved to Motts Corners.

ATTEMPT AT SUICIDE.—Yesterday morning a young man named Horace Mills, residing at Corfu, Genesee County, attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself with a revolver. The ball passed through his body and is supposed to have perforated the liver. The young man fired the shot while lying in bed, and it is thought the wound will prove fatal. The would-be suicide belongs to a very respectable family in the place, and no cause is assigned for his rash act. At last accounts he was still alive.

17 Oct 1876, The Buffalo Commercial, Buffalo NY, p3, newspapers.com. View largest available size.

Local Record.

Batavia, Friday, Oct 27, 1876.

DEAD—Horace Mills, the young man who shot himself at Corfu, on Monday, 16th last, died Saturday last.

27 Oct 1876, The Progressive Batavian, Batavia NY, fultonhistory.com. View largest available size.

Horace lingered for several days. The records of Evergreen Hill Cemetery are therefore inaccurate.

MILLS, Edward H. d. 1/6/1908 2:51 b.1819, d. at Ithaca NY, a. 89 yr.

MILLS, Horace F. d. 10/27/1876 2:51 suicide by gunshot

MILLS, Jonas E. d. 1885 2:51

MILLS, Mary Ann d. 1895 2:51 b.1819, w. of Edward H. MILLS

Evergreen Hills Cemetery, Corfu, directory listing, cropped image, page 51 is indicated in original, received by email 21 May 2021, personal correspondence with Diana Reding, Library Director at Corfu Public Library. View largest available size.

Presumably, the fact that the family moved away from Corfu a few years after his death is more than coincidental, but that is speculation. However, this could also explain why Emily was so active in the temperance movement, if alcohol was a factor in Horace’s death. I have taken an initial photographic inventory of every page of the Good Templars meeting minutes, and I intend to read these more closely for clues.

And a very big mystery relevant to the Caroline audience in particular, is why they chose Mott’s Corners as their next destination? At this point, I have only a few vague theories to explore.

  • If the Caroline area was a particularly active area for Temperance, that could have been a draw. But, it is unclear if anyone in Emily’s family were involved in temperance in Corfu.
  • They knew someone who lived Mott’s Corners. One possibility I am exploring is the presence of (possibly related) Hallocks in Caroline at the time.
  • Perhaps Edward sold products from the mills and factories of Mott’s Corners in his store and knew of it that way?
  • As Edward Mills appeared to have multiple business relationships with Edward Lounsbery, perhaps that offers at least a partial explanation.

Horace is interred at Evergreen Hill Cemetery, 112 Alleghany Rd, Corfu NY 14036. I have contacted the cemetery, and the records that survive do not have any further date information than the year each family member died.

Notes for Future Researchers

There is another Horace F. Mills in upstate New York in the 1800’s, who was of some prominence, but who does not appear to be closely related to this Mills family. That Horace Mills was born in 1847, lived in Penn Yan NY, attended the University at Albany in 1861 but left to serve in the Civil War, ultimately rising to the rank of Major in the 9th USCT. Several photos of this Horace Mills can be found online.

This Horace Mills may actually be a distant relative, as there are archival materials on the Mills Family at Queens Public Library that suggests that some branches of the family were in Naples NY and Buffalo NY. If true, this might also be a clue to the family’s move to Corfu.

Yet another Horace F. Mills lived in Wawayanda NY mentioned in Port Jervis newspapers in the 1870’s and 1880’s. He was married to M. J. Mills and had a daughter Bertha who died at four months old.

And most frustrating of all is an presumably unrelated Horace Mills listed in the 1850 United Stated Federal Census as a one year old living in Darien, which is very close to Corfu:

05 Sep 1850, United States Federal Census, Darien NY, p165, ancestry.com. View largest available size.

If this Horace was still living in the area at the same time as Edward’s son, and especially being of similar age, extra care should be taken to correctly identify any reporting on “Horace Mills” at the time in the local papers.

At least some of these Mills may in fact be distant relations.