Page 8 - MFM August 2017
P. 8

The Hands of the Workmen


                                     Reid Gardiner, R.W. Past Grand Secretary

                     James H. Mills                        He  was  known  by  his  contemporaries  as  a  “king
               Grand Master 1895-1896                    among territorial editors.” He was the sixth person to
                                                         be elected to the Montana Newspaper Hall of Fame in
                                                         1961.
       James Hamilton Mills was born in New
    Lisbon,  Ohio,  on  December  21,  1837.                         Having  established  himself  in  Montana
    James received his education in Ohio and                      he  dimitted  from  the  Grand  Lodge  of
    Pittsburg,  Pennsylvania  and  then  worked                   Pennsylvania and affiliated with Deer No.14
    in  mercantile  and  mechanical  pursuits                     in Deer Lodge, Montana on February 2, 1889.
    until the Civil War. Brother James H. Mills                   He served as Worshipful Master of Deer No.
    became a Mason and was a member   of a                        14 in 1893. He served as R.W. Junior Grand
    Lodge in Pennsylvania.                                        Warden (Pro Tem) in 1890 and 1893. He was
                                                                  elected as R.W. Senior Grand Warden in 1894
       In April  1861  he  enlisted  in  Company                  and R.W. Deputy Grand Master in 1895. He
    G  of  the  Eleventh  Pennsylvania  Reserves                  was elected and served as Most Worshipful
    of  the  Fortieth  Pennsylvania  Infantry.  He                Grand Master of Masons in Montana in 1895
    participated in 27 engagements and for “heroic conduct        and 1896.
    in the Battle of the Wilderness and Bethesda Church” he
    was commissioned brevet-major and brevet-Lieutenant    James Mills held many important appointed positions.
    Colonel. He was mustered out of service at Pittsburg   In  1884,  he  was  appointed  Secretary  of  the  Montana
    on June 13, 1864. After the war Mills engaged in the   Territory  by  President  Hayes.  Five  years  later,  after
    wholesale  leather  business  at  Pittsburgh,  where  he   declining nomination to attend the state constitutional
    remained until the spring of 1866.                   convention,  Mills  accepted  the  duties  of  Collector  of
                                                         Internal Revenue for the Montana-Idaho-Utah district,
       On  May  24,  1866,  Mills  traveled  from  Omaha,   a  position  he  held  until  February  1893.  During  the
    Nebraska, to Helena, Montana, arriving on August 12.   following  four  years,  he  served  as  Commissioner  of
    He tried his hand at hydraulic mining near Emigrant   the State Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry. In
    Gulch however after some failed attempts he moved on   addition, he was the appointed receiver to the Northern
    to Virginia City. In Virginia City, he found employment   Pacific Railroad in 1895, and to the Helena Consolidated
    as a bookkeeper for a company owning freight trains,   Water  Company  in  1897.  He  also  served  as Adjutant
    corral, and a hotel.                                 General.

       D.  W.  Tilton,  the  owner  of  the  Montana  Post   James Mills was a Companion of the Loyal Legion,
    newspaper,  came  across  an  article  which  Mills  had   Past Senior Vice Commander of the Grand Army of the
    written for an Eastern magazine and offered James Mills   Republic, Past Grand Master Workman of the A.O.U.W.
    to become the editor of the Montana Post. He followed   He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.
    Thomas Dimsdale and Judge Blake as Editor starting in
    1866 through 1869. In July 1869 he relocated to Helena                        Past  Grand  Master  James
    and later moved to Deer Lodge and opened the offices                       Hamilton  Mills  died  at  six
    of The New Northwest newspaper which he published                          o’clock  Monday  morning,
    and edited until November 1891.                                            September 5, 1904, at the age
                                                                               of sixty-seven years.
       Mills  also  established  and  then  sold  early  weekly
    papers in Butte and Anaconda.  He established the Butte
    Miner in 1876 a weekly publication. Mills was also the
    first president of the Montana Press Association.
       James H. Mills, was the third editor of the Montana
    Post, both in Virginia City and later in Helena where it
    was moved, until July of 1869 when the paper ceased
    publication. Mills then founded the New Northwest in
    Deer Lodge and was editor and publisher there for 22
    years.

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