Men of Progress. Wisconsin. (pages 49-81) A selected list of biographical sketches and portraits of the leaders in business, professional and official life. Together with short notes on the history and character of Wisconsin.
MILLS, Thomas Brooks, of West Superior, who is not yet forty years of age, is a successful business man and has filled a prominent place in Wisconsin politics. His father, Hugh Brooks Mills, came to Wisconsin some fifty years ago, and was a successful lumberman. His mother's maiden name was Mary Rogers. Both parents were of Scotch descent, their ancestors coming from the northern part of Scotland near Kortwright.
T. B. Mills was born on the 12th of October, 1857, in the town of Manchester, Jackson county, Wisconsin. He lived on a farm until he was sixteen years of age, receiving his primary education at the common school. He then learned telegraphy and railroad work, which he followed until he reached his majority, when he took the scientific course in the famous academy of Col. John G McMynn, at Racine, graduating in 1881. Since that time he has been engaged in lumbering and dealing in pine lands. He early took an active part in public affairs, was chosen chairman of the town board in 1882, and held the office for six years; was four times chairman or the county board of supervisors, and, in 1884, was elected member of the assembly from Jackson county, and re-elected in 1886, and again in 1888. For the session of 1887 he was elected speaker, though but twenty-nine years of age. He was re-elected speaker for the next session--that of 1889. Though young and with limited experience in legislative matters, he made a capable and efficient speaker, one who readily grasped the intricacies of parliamentary rules and the various phases of public business. In 1894 he was elected to the senate from the Eleventh district, composed of the counties of Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer and Washburn.
Mr. Mills is a Republican in his political affiliations--says he "was born that way." He has been a working member of the party for years, and an effective, but not an "offensive" one. He is a member of the Superior Commercial club, and the Superior Boat club. He is unmarried.
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