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Recollection of William H. Mills



I was born in Guilford County, N.C., June 9, 1815; was married to Tobitha Stanbrough, of Wayne County, Ind., October 29, 1836. She proved a worthy companion and helpmate worthy the name of mother and wife. My early boyhood days were spent in Carolina and Virginia. At the age of ten years I accompanied my father in his trips hauling flour and bacon to South Carolina to supply the rich slave-holders and their slaves. At the age of fifteen years, I moved a family from North Carolina to Wayne County, Ind., remained there a short time, visiting friends and relatives, when I sold the wagon and returned to North Carolina with the team, over the mountains of Virginia and Tennessee. At the age of seventeen I hauled salt from the Ocean Salt Works to Wilmington, a distance of eight miles, making one trip a day, driving a good team, consisting of five good horses. At eighteen I hauled tobacco, for a rich old planter, to Petersburgh, Va. The next year I moved to Wayne County, Ind., where, in due course of time, I was married, as above stated. After our marriage, in 1836, we moved to Madison County, Ind., where we had but few white neighbors, with plenty of Indians at our side. Here, for seven years, we had a hard struggle for a start in the world, and where most of our family were born. In the year 1842 we moved to what was then called the “State of Boone,” where we have resided ever since. My occupation has been farming and stock-raising. A portion of the time I was engaged in threshing grain in Boone and Montgomery counties. I believe I had among the first, if not the very first, threshers in the county. Threshing was not, at that time, done in a few days, but we often worked at it in the winter time. Six children living, one in Texas, one in Florida, two in Kansas, two in Indiana, all of whom are doing well, and I am glad to say I raised them to be temperate and industrious men and women. My first vote was cast for the late Solomon Meredith, for sheriff, in 1836 – a noble, good man, who stood high, not only among his friends, but on his feet, being full six feet and six inches high. I was an old Whig up to the death of that party. I have been acting with the Republican party, but of late have nearly lost confidence in parties. I want to live to see a good prohibitory law enacted in our state and nation, as it would, in my opinion, stop seven-tenths of the evils of our good county. I am glad to say I have lived to see our county improve so much. The “State of Boone” is no more applied to us in ridicule, but we are fast climbing to the top in the way of advancement in everything that goes to make up a good county.

I trust you will have good success in your laudable undertaking of writing up the “Early Life and Times of Boone County.”

Mr. Mills resides three-fourths of a mile west of Thorntown.

Source Citation: Boone County History [database online] Boone County INGenWeb. 2007. <> Original data: Harden & Spahr. "Early life and times in Boone County, Indiana." Lebanon, Indiana. May, 1887, pp. 97-98.

Transcribed by: Julie S. Townsend - July 8, 2007