Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


When the city of Soledad was incorporated John P. Mills was made city judge, a position which he still holds. He was born at Freedom, Santa Cruz county, California, September 30, 1874, and is a son of Obed and Christina (Brandt) Mills. The father was born in Maine and upon reaching manhood became a carpenter and builder. At the time of the Civil war he and his brbther, Boardman Mills, were out on a whaling voyage which lasted for four years. Four other brothers enlisted in the Union army and were never heard of afterward. In 1868 Obed Mills brought his family to California, where he engaged in mining, in which he acquired a considerable fortune, but later he lost much of what he had accumulated in a strawberry growing venture in the Pajaro valley. In 1876-77 he took up a tract of government land, which he developed, and followed ranching until his death in November, 1896. His widow, aged ninety years, is still living in Gonzales, California.

John P. Mills was given a grammar school education and upon leaving school learned the barber's trade. He first worked at that trade in San Francisco, then in Salinas and other California cities. Shortly after the beginning of the present century he opened a shop in Soledad, which he still conducts. A little later he took up the study of law and in 1918 he was elected justice of the peace. He still discharges the duties of this office in connection with that of city judge.

Judge Mills is a democrat in his political views and has taken a commendable interest in all matters of a public character. He was one of the organizers of the Soledad Chamber of Commerce and was active in bringing about the inauguration of the city government.

In 1894 was solemnized the marriage of Judge Mills and Miss Dora E. Hill, and they have six sons and four daughters, namely: Ellen, now Mrs. Raymond Peoples; Rosie, now Mrs. Jerry Jury; Lola, wife of Murray Bruce; John A., Charles, Willie, Robert, James, Donald and Dorothy. The five older children are graduates of the Soledad high school, and the next two are students in that institution. All seven have won the distinction of being honor pupils.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.