Freeman B. Mills is well known in San Joaquin county as one of the representative viticulturists, and on his place near Lodi he has eighty-five acres devoted solely to raising of table grapes principally, and to this line of industry he devotes all his attention and in it has made his most important success.
The Mills family is one of the oldest and most prominent in San Joaquin county, and father and sons have taken a most active part in its various affairs from the pioneer period to the present. Mr. Mills himself was born on the ranch where he now resides, being thus a native son of San Joaquin county, his birth occurring March 28, 1860. He was a son of Freeman and Minerva (Grace) Mills, his father a native of Pennsylvania and his mother a native of Massachusetts. The father came to California in 1853, across the plains from Illinois, and after his arrival in this state he was engaged for a time in mining gold in Sierra county and then in business in Colusa county. He located in San Joaquin county in 1858, on the ranch which is now owned by his children, and he remained there until his death, on September 20, 1875. He was a prominent man in San Joaquin county, and for one term he served in the office of sheriff of the county. He was a short of wheelhorse of the Republican party in local politics, often being sent as delegate to the conventions, and he took an active share in building up and advancing the interests of the party. He was a charter member of Jefferson Lodge, I. O. O. F., at Woodbridge, and was generally public-spirited and enterprising in all that concerned the welfare of his county. There were six children in his family, as follows: Freeman B.; William G., in San Joaquin county; George A., in the same county; Mary L., wife of Ira C. Barron, of Los Angeles; Sophronia, wife of E. H. Kincaid, of Los Angeles; and Alice G., wife of J. M. Taylor, of Los Angeles.
Mr. Mills was reared in his native county, and was fifteen years old when his father died, after which for several years he remained at home and assisted his mother in the conduct of the home place. His mother died February 9, 1896. He received his education in the public schools of San Joaquin county. For one year he attended the former Los Angeles Academy, since develooped into the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. In 1881 he graduated at the University of the Pacific at San Jose. For a number of years he followed the profession of teaching in San Joaquin and Yolo counties, and since then has been exclusively engaged in his present absorbing pursuit of grape culture, in which he has gained fine success and is known all over the county for his ability as a practical viticulturist.
Mr. Mills was married August 11, 1885, to Miss Carrie C. Ellis, of Lodi, a daughter of the late Ralph Ellis of that place. Her father was a former sheriff of Napa county, and was prominent in state politics and also one of the pioneers of California. Mr. and Mrs. Mills have two children, Everts F. and Ralphine G. Mr. Mills fraternizes with the Woodbridge Lodge No. 131, F. & A. M., and in politics is a Republican.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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