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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Charles H. Mills, M.D.

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878

SURNAMES: DERTHICK, MILLS


CHARLES H. MILLS, M.D. Dr. Charles H. Mills was born in Dunbarton, New Hampshire, on the 22d of August, 1824. His parents were of Scotch-Irish ancestry. The Mills were in olden times residents of Dunbarton, Scotland. About the year 1660 they went with others into Ireland to escape the religious persecution and the heavy payment of tithes, which were exacted from them in support of the established Church of Scotland. In 1751 they came to this country and settled in Dunbarton, New Hampshire. The grandfather of the present sketch was a prominent man in the history of Dunbarton. The following we quote from Stark's History of Dunbarton: "Major John MILLS, son of Thomas MILLS, was born June 7th, 1756. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and participated in the battle of Bunker Hill. In all of his transactions he was known as a pains-taking, honest and upright man. He attained the rank of major of the N. H. M., and filled for years, offices of trust and honor. He was Moderator four times; Representative eight years; Selectman twenty-two years, and Treasurer thirty-five years, besides being appointed upon many important committees. He performed well the part assigned him. His son, John MILLS, was town officer and representative. The Mills family were staunch old Federalists."

John Mills, the father of the present sketch, removed to Michigan in 1836, where he engaged extensively in farming, and continued so employed until his death, which occurred in 1842. Mrs. Mills, the mother of Dr. Mills, died in Dunbarton in 1828. There were ten children in the family, six of whom have survived the parents. Dr. Mills remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age. From eighteen until twenty-one he had charge of the farm. He attended the district schools of his adopted state during the winter season. He afterward entered the Preparatory Department of the University of Ann Arbor, after which he taught school for several years in Michigan. During the time he was engaged in teaching he also studied medicine, and in the winter of 1849-50 he entered Cleveland Medical College, and graduated from that institution February, 1851, with the degree, of M.D. He returned to Prairieville, Michigan, and practiced his profession for two years. He then spent the next winter in Philadelphia, and in the spring of 1854 he removed to Urbana, in this county; he practiced there two years and in the fall of 1856 he removed to Champaign, where he has since resided. He continued the practice of medicine until the war broke out, when, on the 4th of Sept., 1862, he entered as first assistant surgeon of the 125th Reg't. Ills. Vols. He was soon after promoted to the position of Surgeon-major of the regiment. He had charge of the hospital in the field at Louisville, Ky., in the months of Sept. and Oct. of 1862. He joined the army of Lebanon, Ky., and then went to Nashville. In Jan. 1863 he was on detached service at the convalescent camp, which was afterwards changed to hospital, and remained in charge for fourteen months, after which he was ordered to the Cumberland hospital. In April, 1864, he was ordered to the front in the Atlanta campaign, and was on duty at Division hospital. He remained in that position and was with the regiment during the balance of the war, and was also with Sherman in his famous march to the sea. He was mustered out with the regiment in Washington, in 1865. He then returned home and resumed his practice here. Dr. Mills re-graduated at the Medical Department of the University of Nashville, in 1864. In the winter of 1854 he married Miss May E. DERTHICK, of Spring Prairie, Wisconsin. Two children were born to them; both however are now numbered with the dead. The eldest died at the age of three years, from croup, and the youngest in March, 1864, while he was in the service. In politics Dr. Mills is a Republican. He however voted with the Democratic party until 1856, when he cast his vote for John C. Fremont, and has adhered to the fortunes of the Republican party ever since.

Dr. Mills belongs to the Regular School of Medicine. As a practitioner he has been eminently successful. All accord him a front rank in the profession. His studious habits, united with his long practice and experience in the treatment of diseases incident to this climate, together with his experience in his army life, all conspire to place him, where he justly belongs, at the head of his profession in Central Illinois.

In 1751 John Mills settled in Dunbarton. Sarah MILLS born 1755.

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