Pendleton County Biographies Project

Milo Smith Mills

From History of Kentucky, Volume 5 By William Elsey Connelley, Ellis
Merton Coulter p. 217


A native of Pendleton County and now county judge and resident of Falmouth, Milo Smith Mills has lived a busy and useful career, primarily identified with farming, but he also has a record of public spirited service in various capacities.

Mr. Mills was born in the northeastern corner of Pendleton County April
24, 1862. His grandfather, James Mills, was a native of County
Tipperary, Ireland, where he married at the age of eighteen, and he and
his young wife worked their way over in the steerage and for several
years lived in Western Pennsylvania, and then moved to Lordstown,
Trumbull County, Ohio, where he reared his family on a farm. Late in
life he retired and spent his last days at the home of his son, John W.
Mills, in Pendleton County, Kentucky, where he died in 1867. John W.
Mills was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, in 1824, but grew up at
Lordstown in Trumbull County, Ohio, and as a young man came to Kentucky, where he helped build the Old Kentucky Central Railroad. He married at Independence in Kenton County and after his marriage became a farmer in that county, and about 1852 moved to Pendleton County and bought what is now known as the old Mills homestead near Gardnersville. He was one of the highly respected residents of that community until his death in 1894. He always voted as a republican, was a deacon in the Baptist Church, and during the Civil war served as a member of the Home Guard.

John W. Mills married Satira Stephens, who was born near Independence,
Kentucky, in 1825, and died in Pendleton County in 1894, the same year
as her husband. They had a family of eight children: Mary Ann, who died
in Grant County at the age of forty, wife of D. L. Simpson, who still
lives on his farm in Grant County; Joseph P., owner of the old Mills
home farm ; Amos F., a wagon maker and woodworker who died in Pendleton County at the age of fifty- four; Hattie, who married John W. Cram, a farmer and trader, and both died in Pendleton County, she at the age of thirty-six; Milo Smith, the fifth among the children; John, a farmer who died in Pendleton County at the age of thirty, while his twin brother,
Will, died at the age of twenty-nine ; Fannie, of Gardnersville, widow
of J. R. Ervin, who was a merchant there.

Milo Smith Mills, while a boy on the farm, attended rural schools,
received a normal education in Valparaiso University in Indiana for two
terms, and at the age of nineteen began teaching. He taught five terms
of five months each in the rural schools of Pendleton County. From 1886
until 1919, a period of a third of a century, Judge Mills devoted all
his energies and judgment to the operation of his farm, finally selling
his well improved place of 220 acres.

In November, 1917, he was elected county judge, and began his official
term of four years on January I, 1918. His home is on Liberty Street in
Falmouth. Among other essentially public services rendered by Judge
Mills should be mentioned his membership of five years on the Pendleton
County School Board, a term of six years on the Farmers Fire Insurance
Board of the county, the splendid work he did as a member of the
Pendleton County Draft Board and his effective leadership in every
patriotic movement for the World war.

Judge Mills is a republican, a member of the Christian Church, is
affiliated with DeMoss Lodge No. 220, F. and A. M., at DeMossville, and
is a past noble grand of Gardnersville Lodge No. 172, Independent Order
of Odd Fellows.

In 1896, at Gardnersville, he married Miss Elizabeth Daugherty, daughter
of James and Nancy (Daugherty) Daugherty, now deceased. Her father was a farmer. Judge Mills had the misfortune to lose his wife.
Two children survive her. The younger is Alma O., now her father's
housekeeper. The son, James Wesley, has had a life of unusual action and
experience. He is a mechanical and electrical engineer, a wireless
operator, and enlisted in January, 1918, in the navy and was stationed
at Boston Bay, Hampton Roads, Key West and Pensacola. He was an able
aviator, rated as a gunner and pilot, and was mustered out of service in
March, 1921. He is able to speak six languages.