- Born: 1805, Jefferson County, Tennessee
- Marriage: Rebecca Canaday in 1827
- Died: 1846, Vermilion County, Indiana at age 41
SHORT SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF SETH MILLS, 1805-1846
from The Henry Mills Family
State of Illinois, Vermilion County, 2nd Mo. 4th, 1846. This is a memorandum of the most particular events of my life, penned down in order that I can look over and see what has happened through my life.
Their first five years of my life.--I was born in the State of Tennessee, Jefferson County on the third day of the 10th month A.D. 1805. My parents names were John and Mary Mills, and at the age of one year old they moved to the State of Ohio and settled on the Big Miami, fifteen miles above Dayton, where they remained about four years. At the end of that time they moved on further east and bought land on Mad River about nine miles east of Urbana.
This happened not far from the fifth year of my age. There they lived five years, which brought me to my tenth year, without anything worth notice. except that we lived about eight miles from meeting until about one year before we left that place, there was a small meeting set up which my father took me to for the first time that I was at meeting of any kind that I can recollect, having had but three months schooling to this date.
About the year 1815 my father sold his possessions in Ohio and moved to Indiana, where his mother, brothers and sisters all had settled, having moved from Tennessee about two years previous to that time. My father bought land in the county of Wayne or rather where that county was laid out, for he moved to that county while it was yet a territory and settled among the beech some three miles from meeting or school which proved to be a sad misfortune to me. I being the oldest child except one sister and the land being wonderful heavily timbered, it required a great deal of labor before it could be cultivated, so I was suffered to grow up without the advantage of education. But I had to work very hard to help my father make a farm, to support a large family, there being twelve children, six of each. The girls were the oldest save myself, which made it harder on me. It appeared almost impossible for me to get time to go to school, which was a very great cross to me, for I would often plead with my father to let me
go to school, but he would say that he could not let me go for there was too much work to do, but at some other time I should go. But alas that time did not come, for about the eighteenth year of my life it was my lot, with the rest of the family to be drprived of an affectionate father, who was removed by death tot ry the realities of another world. Oh what a trial it was for me to pass through; it appeared to me that it was more than I could go through.
But alas, there was the time of my troubles, or the time of the beginning of hardships, the care and labor devolving on me. Thus I continued to sow and reap. Once in a while I would get to go to school for a few weeks then something would turn up to stop me; thus I continued to labor for the support of the family. I did not only make the shoes, but I also tanned the leather, my father having taught me to tan in a trough, and it was no small job to tan leather and shoe as large a family as ours was. My mother's brother, Thomas Davis was a great help to me in the way of shoe making, having spent the winter after my father's death with us. He gave me some assistance in the way of shoe making for which I shall ever feel grateful. He lived at that time in the
state of Ohio, in Highland country.
Thus I lived and worked until I was in my twenty-third year, at which time I was married, on the twenty-first day of the third month, in the year of our Lord A.D. 1827 to Rebecca Canaday, a daughter of John and Julatha Canaday, highly respected and of good report. When we were married we lived in my mother's kitchen until I put in a crop and tended it, then in the fall we moved off and gave up the crop for the support of the family and went and bought corn to winter on. In the spring of 1828, on the twenty-third day of the third month I left my family and started to company with Hermon Canaday, my brother-in-law, to the state of Illinois in order to raise a crop to move to in the fall. We were gone from our families about three months, and on the second day of the seventh month, 1828, we got home. In the fall of the same year, my father-in-law Hermon Canaday, and myself moved to where we had raised our crops and all landed safe and sound on the Grand Prairie in Vermilion County. At this time I was able to own one small mare, two cows, two or three calves and a few sheep, and 50 cents in cash, that being all that I was worth. But I had two hands and was able to work, and I went at it. The first thing that I done after we landed was to buy a horse of my father-in-law for which I was able to pay him one hundred and ten days work, and in the course of that fall and the next winter and spring, I had my horse paid for, besides gathering my corn and a number of other things that I had to attend to. The first work that I done was to build a house, my father-in-law having bought land without any improvements. When the house was put up and about one-half of the floor laid we moved into it, that is my father-in-law and myself, with our families, where we remained until the twenty-fifth of the fifth month 1829, when I sold my afore-mentioned horse. With thirty-six dollars that father-in-law gave to my wife and soem more that I obtained somhow else I was enable to buy eighty acres of land. I then went to work and put up a house and we moved to it and were then at home for the first time.
We had forty acres of prairie where I built my house, and forty acres of timber just one mile from home. On this place we remained for some three or four years. I became dissatisfied and sold out for four hundred dollars and left the prairie. My mother-in-law having departed this life, father-in-law wanted us to move into the house with him and we accordingly done so, where we remained for two years. Some time in the course of that time I went to White Water or Wayne county, Indiana and bought a drove of sheep and brought them on the prairie and sold them to pretty good profit. At this time I bought a farm of one hundred and seventy-five acres, adjoining that of my father-in-law for which I paid five hundred dollars; a part of that I paid in cash and the balance in trade.
About the beginning of the year 1835 we moved once more to our own home where we have remained until the present time,
Seth Mills died 8-19-1846
Seth married Rebecca Canaday, daughter of John Canaday and Julatha Cox, in 1827. (Rebecca Canaday was born in 1806 in Jefferson County, Tennessee and died in 1888.)