FRED M. MILLS.
Starting out in business life at the age of fifteen years in order to earn enough to support a widowed mother and three brothers, Fred M. Mills thus early faced a heavy responsibility following the death of his father, and the story of the trying experiences and hardships which he has met would be an extended one if given in detail. His record indicates how force of character and persistency of purpose may overcome obstacles and difficulties and ultimately reach the goal of success. Though his start in the business world was a most humble one, he is now at the head of an extensive wholesale provision business and, moreover, is respected not alone by reason of the success he has achieved but also owing to the honorable, straightforward business policy that he has ever followed and also owing to the manly and honorable attitude that he has maintained in every relation of life.
He was born in Leigh, England, July 29, 1875, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Davis) Mills, who were also natives of that country. The father, who was an engineer, died in 1888, when but thirty-eight years of age. In 1890 the mother came with her family to the new world and established her home in Rock Springs, Wyoming. She was accompanied by four children, two of the children having died ere the family came to America. Those who survive are: Fred M.; Walter and J. E., both residents of Rock Springs; and Charles, who is living in Seattle, Washington.
In early life Fred M. Mills became a pupil in the public schools of his native country, there pursuing his education to the age of fifteen. His father died and the necessity of providing for the family soon devolved upon him. He continued in school for a brief time in England, but after coming to America assumed the burden of assisting in the support of his widowed mother and the younger children of the household. He secured a position in a brickyard in Rock Springs and was employed in that way and in various other occupations until 1901, when he embarked in business on his own account as a wholesale dealer in provisions, grain and feed. His capital had been obtained entirely through his own labors. He had practiced unfaltering industry and close economy and whenever it was possible to save a dollar he did so until the sum was sufficient to enable him to begin an independent commercial career. He is now selling in carload lots and is today one of the prosperous merchants in his line in Wyoming, notwithstanding the fact that he started in business with an indebtedness of three hundred dollars. He ranks very high in commercial circles in Rock Springs and it is a well known fact that opportunity is ever to him the call to action. Aside from conducting a very extensive and profitable business as a dealer in provisions, grain and feed he is connected with the North Side State Bank.
Mr. Mills was married in Rock Springs on the 6th of June, 1900, to Miss M. G. Boland, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Boland. They have one child, Fred H., who was born in Rock Springs in 1902 and is a student in St. John's Military Academy at Delafield, Wisconsin.
Fraternally Mt. Mills is connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. In politics he maintains an independent course and for one term he served as councilman, but has not been a politician in the sense of office seeking, preferring to concentrate his undivided thought, attention and purpose upon his business affairs, which have been most wisely directed. He is deserving of much credit for what he has accomplished, for in youth he faced difficulties and obstacles that fall to the lot of comparatively few boys, and yet, notwithstanding these, he has won a place among the most prominent and prosperous merchants of western Wyoming.