Pioneering Families
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Samuel Thomas Mills, one of twin sons of the Rev. Samuel Mills (Yale 1776), was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, on March 6, and baptized on March 13, 1785. In his infancy his father became the pastor of the Congregational Church in Chester, then a parish of Saybrook.

He did not enter College until after the opening of the Sophomore year.

After graduation he was for one year a tutor in the family of Isaac Bronson, of New York City and Greenfield Hill, Connecticut, and then for two years studied theology in the Andover Seminary. He was licensed to preach by the Middlesex (Connecticut) Association of Ministers on October 2, 1810.

On October 11, 1811, he was ordained and installed as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Litchfield, Herkimer County, New York, where he continued about five years.

On February 6, 1817, he was installed over the Presbyterian Church in Onondaga Hollow, but remained only until September 2, 1818, when he became the first preceptor of the Utica Female Academy. His health, however, was infirm, and this compelled his resignation after a year had expired.

A little later he undertook service as a home missionary in the employ of the Female Missionary Society of Oneida, and had been acting as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Moscow, Livingston County, when he was installed in 1825 as pastor of the Village of Peterborough, in the township of Smithfield, Madison County, where he remained for the next ten years.

He was then installed on July 16, 1835, over the church which his father had formerly served, in Chester, Connecticut. His ministry here was fruitful and acceptable, but he was dismissed at his own request on April 11, 1838.

He returned soon after to New York State, and in 1840-41 was acting pastor of the New School Presbyterian Church in Oswego. After that he went to Ohio, and for three or four years taught in Columbus, serving also for a part of the time as Chaplain of the State Penitentiary. In 1845 he retired from active service, and resided in Cleveland until his removal in 1852 to New York City, where he died on February 27, 1853, at the age of 68.

He was married on October 15, 1810, by the Rev. Joab Brace (Yale 1804), of Newington, Connecticut, to Harriet M. Gelden, who died soon, leaving no children.

He next married Charlotte, daughter of Colonel Gerrit G. and Maria (Antill) Lansing, of Oriskany, Oneida County, New York, by whom he had four sons and two daughters.

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Authorities.

Bagg, Pioneers of Utica, 469. Chesebrough, Sketch of Chester Church, 17; MS. Letters, 1892-93, Hotchin, Hist. of Western N.Y., 308. Robinson, Memoir of Rev. W. Robinson, 204. Stiles, Hist. of Wethersfield, ii, 504. Talcott, N. Y. and N. E. Families, 137.

Source: Dexter, Franklin Bowditch.  Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College September 1805--September, 1815.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1912, 1881, pp. 144-145.

 

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