Specific Topics

Mills' Store in Brookton NY

After moving to Mott’s Corners in Mar 1879, Edward restarted his general store on his own, now simply called E. H. Mills, where his surviving children Jonas and Emily clerked. Emily took over the store after Edward’s death and operated it under the name M. E. Mills from 1909 until her death in 1937. Soon thereafter, Jessie Brewer took over the store and ran it under her name for a dozen years, primarily as a notions store with a lending library in the back. In 1961, Charles Vorhis purchased the building and moved the post office there from what is presently known as Brookton’s Market. The Mills’ store structure survives today and is located at 484 Brooktondale Road, better known to current residents as “The Old Post Office”.

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The Mills Family in Corfu NY

Before calling Mott’s Corners home, the Mills moved to Corfu NY in the early 1860’s where Edward, along with partners Charles Pine and James Hillyer, started E. H. Mills & Co. “cash store” offering general merchandise and dry goods. Horace clerked in his father’s store, and Mary Ann was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Corfu.

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The Mills Family in Staten Island NY

Edward and Mary Ann began their marriage in Staten Island NY where they lived throughout the 1850’s and where each Mills child was born. Here, Edward presumably learned the grocery business from Mary Ann’s brother, Charles Mills Pine (1812 to 08 Oct 1897), who subsequently co-owned E. H. Mills & Co. in Corfu. Edward presumably worked in Pine’s general store, which was located in West New Brighton, also known as Factoryville, a neighborhood in the Staten Island town of Castleton, and was known as Pine, Hillyer & Co. and then C. M. Pine & Son. The Mills are members of the Reformed Dutch Church of Port Richmond, where Charles M. Pine was a longtime member of the church consistory. This section also explores related Pine family members in Staten Island as well as associates in the Loper, Hillyer, Brown, Egbert and Mersereau families. Finally, the Civil War service of Charles’ son Theodore, and Theodore’s cousins are also explored through surviving letters between his cousins Milton Loper and Juliett (Loper) Shepard.

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Hempstead NY and Pine, Seaman Genealogies

Edward presumably moved to Hempstead with his family in 1837. There, he met his first wife, Mary Ann Pine, as well as her brother, Charles Mills Pine, who became Edward’s mentor in business. The Mills and the Pines attended Christ’s First Presbyterian Church. This section also introduces Captain John Seaman.

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Hallocks in Caroline and the Hallock Genealogy

Edward Hallock Mills (25 Mar 1819 to 01 Jan 1908) was distantly related to William B. Hallock (07 Jul 1822 to 29 Mar 1901), a prominent farmer in Caroline, and later Danby, who is closely associated with Thomas H. Howell, of Howell Brothers general store, also in Danby. Eventually, Hallock and Howell partnered on a dry goods store in Willseyville. Edward and William share the ancestor William Hallock (1610? to 1684), who was the only son of Peter Hallock, “The Original” Hallock in America.

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Temperance Activity

Emily, Hannah, and Ellen were each known to be active in temperance, primarily in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), although Emily and her brother Jonas, were also members of the High Bridge Lodge #296 of the Independent Order of Good Templars, in Brookton. The temperance movement was a significant cultural phenomenon of the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s, and was particularly strong among the religious communities of upstate NY. There was significant overlap between members of the temperance movement and those supporting suffrage, and before that, abolition.

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Emily’s Brookton Baptism

07 Apr 1907, fifteen people that included Emily Mills and Jessie Brewer are baptized at Brookton Congregational Church, in a service officiated by Reverend Annis Ford Eastman on one of her last visits to Brookton.

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George Richardson

George H. Richardson (May 1862 to 26 Feb 1938) was employed at E. H. Mills in Brookton during the time that Edward Mills was Brookton Postmaster. George subsequently opened his own grocery business in Personius Hall at present day 559 Brooktondale Road and also supplied groceries to farmers from his delivery wagon two days a week. George moved his family to Ithaca in 1905.

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