Roger Quarles Mills & Caroline Mills
Navarro County, Texas


Roger Q Mills Biography || Obituary Index || Dallas Times Herald Selected Articles


Submitted by David Gode


The Corsicana Observer, Dec 13, 1889

Dallas Times Herald, page 1, September 3, 1911



Prominent Citizens Who Knew Former Senator Mills Tell of His Life and His Brilliant Career.

Special to The Times Heald.

Corsicana Tex., Sept. 2. -- The funeral of former United States Senator Roger Quarles Mills, who died Saturday morning, will take place next Tuesday if it is possible for relatives including Mrs. C. H. Mills, a daughter-in-law, to reach here by that time from New York.

Hundreds of people called at the Mills home today to extend their sympathy to the family of Senator mills, and a shadow of gloom has been cast over the entire city by the death of this famous Texan.  Senator Mills' death was not entirely unexpected as he had been suffering from Bright's disease and hardening of the arteries for many months.

In May of this year Colonel Mills went to Canada in the hope that a change of climate would be beneficial.  He returned home less than one month ago and gradually grew worse until he collapsed following an attack of apoplexy yesterday, and was unconscious until death came this morning.

Of Colonel Mills' family who survive him there are: Major Charles H. Mills, a son; Mrs. Richards and Mrs. J. D. Wood, a daughter.  Mrs. Richards is now in Europe and it is impossible for her to attend the funeral.  Mrs. Woods and Major Mills were at their fathers bedside when he died.  Mrs. C. H. Mills has been in New York, having been called there by the serious illness of her own father.

It is expected that the funeral of Senator Mills Tuesday will be the most largely attended by prominent Texans than any that has taken place in Navarro county.  Colonel Mills' body will be interred beside that of his wife in the cemetery here.

Already scores of telegrams of condolence have been received from prominent citizens and friends in all parts of the country.


News of the death of former United States Senator Roger Q. Mills, which occurred yesterday at Corsicana and which was told of in The Times Herald, was received with a great deal of regret in Dallas.  The former statesman had many warm personal and political friends in Dallas, some of them who followed the political fortunes of Mr. Mills immediately following the Civil War and who regarded him as one of the really great statesmen of Texas.  Expressions of regret, however, were not confined to the elder friends of the deceased, but many who knew his record only from what has been written and said about him, joined in expressions of sorrow.

Ex- Senator Chilton's Tribute

Former United States Senator Horace Chilton of Dallas, was a member of the senate in 1899 when Senator Mills retired from the senate.  In speaking yesterday of his former colleague, Senator Chilton said:

"I have long regarded Roger Q. Mills as belonging to the highet class of American statesmen.  When the Republican domination was being lifted from Texas, from 1872 to 1877, the best men in the state were called to active duty.  Then men sent to congress constituted a body of talent and leadership which has never been surpassed in the history of any one state at any period in the national life.  The roll was made up of such men as Hancock, Throckmorton, Herndon, Sleicher, Giddings, Culberson, Reagan, McLean, Willie, Mills, Maxey and Coke.

"Colonel Mills entered the house in 1873, and served in that chamber and in the senate for twenty-six years, without a break.  He made himself a master of economic questions, and stood in the front, with Wm. R. Morrison and John G. Carlisle in the earlier battles for tariff reform which opened up immediately after the settlement of the sectional issues which had afflicted the Southern states.

"When he left the senate in 1890, I was a member of that body and this was the dominant thought which occurred to me in connection with his return to private life:  Here is a man who has preserved the simplicity of his private life, his fondness for Texas, his sympathy with the Democratic masses during a quarter of a century passed a midst the temptations and magnificence of a great capital city.  No lobbyist can lay his finger on him to call for a return of favors.  No corporation owes him anything for special services rendered.  After twenty-six years of beneficial service he is the same free and uncorrupted man that he was on the day he first entered congress.  Such a record is not to be lightly scanned.  It is to be pondered, it is to be preserved; it is to be commemorated as long as truth and integrity deserve to command the veneration of ourselves, our children and our grand-children.

General Davidson's Tribute

Former Attorney General R. V. Davidson, who was very much grieved on hearing of Senator Mills' death, said: "While I did not have the honor and pleasure of an intimate association with Senator Mills, yet I have known him for many years.  I knew him when he was a member of congress, and afterwards as a senator from Texas.  He was a man above reproach, and without suspicion.  As a public servant he was always a friend of the people, and his every effort was to relieve them from tax burdens, and from extortion and governmental oppression.  No man in the last fifty years did more for them than Senator Mills.  He was a leader in congress and in the senate, and was honored by his colleagues in many ways and how well and ably he discharged his duty as chairman of the committee on ways and means is a part of the history of our country.

"He was not a man who changed his views with every passing political cloud, or arranged them to catch popular approval, or to get or hold a public office.  The principals and policies he advocated and stood for when in congress and in the senate, are at last to be put in force by his party.  His personal and official life are worthy of emulation by the young men of our state."

Former Neighbor Pays Respect

Hon. Bryan T. Barry, resided at Corsicana for many years, and was intimately acquainted with Senator Mills, said: "I am pained to hear of Col. Mills' death.  I was born and raised in the county of his residence and have known him all my life, and the first political speech I ever heard was made by him during the trying times of reconstruction just after the Civil War.  For many years I followed him closely in matters political, and he was always my ideal of the brave, brilliant and wise statesman.  And all his political life was free from any taint whatever.  He had pointed views upon every question of his time, and always the nerve to stand for them and he was outspoken and forceful that he encountered much opposition which he generally overcame by his own force and genius.  He was the best grouped public man I ever knew in pure Democracy.  He believed the people competent to govern themselves and always favored trusting them and took no stock at all in the idea that they should be protected by others who assumed superior wisdom in governing and taking care of them.  That basic idea of government run through all his political utterances and no man in his day presented them more forceful or eloquently."

Commissioner Nelm's Tribute

"It was with deep regret that I read of the death of Roger Q. Mills this afternoon," said Water Commissioner Richard R. Nelms yesterday.  "He was a type of public man worthy of great admiration.  I have known the former senator for thirty years or more, I suppose.  He was a friend of the family and in that way I got to know him well.  In private as in public life, he was a man whom one could not help respecting and admiring."

Caroline Mills - Oct 28, 1897


Wife of Former United States Senator from Texas Dies at Corsicana

Mrs. Roger Q. Mills, wife of the former United States Senator, died this morning at 2 o'clock, surrounded by the members of her family. Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock.
In her time Mrs. Mills was one of the best known women in Texas. She manifested great interest in all her distinguished husband's affairs, and had a wide acquaintance both here and at the National Capital.
Mrs. Mills had been married nearly half a century-forty-nine years, to be exact-she having become the wife of Hon. Roger Q. Mills on Jan. 7, 1858. She was Miss Caroline R. Jones, daughter of Henry Jones of Navarro County. Three children survive her-Charles H. Mills and Mrs. Woods of Corsicana and Mrs. Richards of Washington, all of whom were with her when the end came.
Her health had been bad for many months. Some time since she was taken to Washington, D. C., for treatment in a sanitarium there, but this failing to prove efficacious, she was brought back to Corsicana a short time ago.



Corsicana Suspended Businesses to Pay Respects to Distinguished Citizen.

The remains of Col. R. Q. Mills, Corsicana’s most distinguished citizen, were laid to rest this afternoon at 4 o’clock. The services were conducted on the broad veranda of the stately and typical old southern home, hundreds of admirers, sympathizers and friends being seated in chairs beneath the tall trees that add beauty, comfort and dignity to the stately home, the architecture of which was so much in vogue in the earlier history of the south. The casket was almost hidden from view by floral offerings, many of them elaborate, while Confederate flags appropriately arranged told of southern loyalty and the flag of the Union bespoke the love of nation on the part of the man who slept peacefully beneath them.

Rev. Dr. Horace Bishop, a staunch friend of fifty years, conducted the services. Following a song service scripture reading and prayer Dr. Bishop began his remarks in which he touched with words of modest yet sincere and eloquent praise upon his friend’s life as citizen, soldier, lawyer and statesman. A profound silence fell upon the audience when Dr. Bishop began his tribute in which he said: “I met Col. Mills first in 1861 in Palestine when he was commanding Col. Nelson’s regiment. I met him again during the war at Camp Nelson, north of Little Rock, where he was with Deshel’s brigade, Col. Mills’ regiment in the brigade was there detached from Camp Nelson and sent to the relief of Arkansas Post. Gen. McCullough’s division to which I belonged, followed not long after, Gen. Churchill in command of Arkansas Post surrendered to the Federals and Col. Mills was taken prisoner. The advance guard of Walker’s division was in sight of the post when the white flag went up. We learned from Texans who escaped that Mills wanted to take his regiment and cut through the enemy’s line to join our division. This was not allowed and he was surrendered along with the Arkansas troops

“I next saw him after the war had closed. He was in Corsicana then, disfranchised, working with his hands to make a living. We became intimately acquainted about that time. He made fame as a lawyer immediately after he was re-admitted to the bar here after the war. Ever thereafter he was on one side of every prominent case. When Edmond J. Davis came to Corsicana to speak at a great barbecue surrounded by the state police he had already murdered many. At the close of the speech Mills mounted the platform and flung such defiance at Davis and the police that they qualled before him. Davis abandoned the Clark campaign and never made another speech. I considered Mills our leader for I believe before Coke was elected governor that Mills had broken the backbone of the Davis administration.

“We were thrown together in church relations, the most intimate relations possible. I was his pastor for four years. During that time we built the first church in Corsicana and Col. Mills was the largest contributor. When the state democratic convention met in Corsicana it convened in the unfinished church and Mills and Asa Willie were nominated for congress for the state at large and Col. Mills was elected. Judge Reagan, whose disabilities had not then been removed, was present at the convention and congratulated the democracy of Texas on the nomination with these words: “I have known Roger Q. Mills from his boyhood and I know that all the gold in Washington cannot corrupt him.” Since that time some times we have been together—sometimes our lives have drifted apart. We have not always agreed on public issues but we have often corresponded and I am prepared to say that we have never differed in heart, and now that his life is ended I know that Judge Reagan’s statement has been vindicated. Roger Q. Mills was an honest and incorruptible man. There has never been a break in our friendship that begun in 1861. He contributed of his means liberally as long as he was in active life and he died believing in the principles of Christianity and passed away honored and respected for his unswerving integrity and loyalty to his convictions of truth and duty.”

The procession that followed the remains to the cemetery was the longest ever seen in the city. All the stores were closed during the funeral hour and business was at a complete standstill. Camp Winkler of Corsicana turned out in a body and Roger Q. Mills camp of Frost was also here in its full strength tough death has reduced its membership to a mere handful. This cam tendered the services of the Frost band, but Major Mills, out of respect to his father’s well known love for the simple life, declined the kindly offer with assurances of appreciation. Comrades from Blooming Grove and other points in the county were also present in goodly numbers.

Among the prominent men from other parts of the state who were present were former State Senator O. P> Bowser of Dallas, Dr. Tabor of Dallas, Hon. Scott Field of Calvert, Judge Green of Dallas, District Attorney Atwell of Dallas, Judge C. K. Bell of Fort Worth, J. K. Parr of Hillsboro and others.

Among the contributors of flowers were Mr. and Mrs. Wood of Dallas, Mr. and Mrs. Groce of Waxahachie. No more elaborate collection of floral offerings was ever seen in Corsicana.

Following were the pall bearers:

Active—E. H. Church, W. J. Gordon, F. N. Drane, J. E. Butler, J. D. Cunningham, C. T. Banister, B. L. Davis, F. P. Wood, E. O. Call, Wm. Clarkson, W. M. Peck, Upton Blair, J. C. Allen, Geo. Carr, A. N. Justiss, Douglass Jackson, Jno. H. Rice, W. H. Young, Aaron Fergusson, Jarvis Whiteselle, Steele Clayton, J. E. Blair, Gus Hoover, G. C. Kirven, Jr., H. B. Daviss.

Honorary—Jas. Garitty, S. A. Pace, W. M. Tatum, R. S. Neblett, Geo. H. Green, W. N. Kenner, G. A. Rakestraw, E. E. Dunn, Jno. Duren, L. T. Wheeler, A. F. Wood, A. M. Milligan, A. Fox, Chas. H. Allyn, J. E. Whiteselle, J. F. Stout, J. M. Blanding, G. T. Jester, J. A. Townsend, B. F. Lisman, Rufus Hardy, O. P. Bowser, Tom Conner, R. E. Prince, W. J. McKie, Hon. Scott Field of Navasota, Dr. Geo. R. Tabor of Dallas, L. C. Alexander of Waco, J. S. Cullinan of Houston, Hon. Jack Beall of Waxahachie.

Among the many telegrams received were the following:

ADD Mills.
J. L. Doggett of McKinney; “He, next to my family, was my greatest benefactor.”

Tom Randolph of St. Louis” “I esteemed him as one of Texas’ most brilliant, patriotic statesmen.”

Walter B. Scott of Fort Worth: “Texas has lost one of her greatest men who fought for what he thought was right and had the courage of his conviction.”

Hon. C. B. Randell, Sherman: “The death of your noble father grieves me much. I tender my heartfelt sympathy.”

Geo. H. Green, Dallas: “Please accept my deepest sympathy. Will attend funeral.”

Dr. S. W. Johnson, Dallas: “Accept my sympathy for the loss of your distinguished father whose honesty to a public heritage to all who love their country.”

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Fleming, Dallas: “ Just read of the death of your distinguished and honored father. Accept our sincerest sympathy and love.”

Judge O. C. Kirven, Sr., Austin: “The great chieftain has fallen. In his time the biggest of them all. Am proud he was my friend for nearly fifty years.”

Senator Culberson telegraphed from Atlantic City, N. J.: “You and the family have my deepest sympathy in the death of your distinguished father.”

W. H. Pope, Beaumont: “He was so brave, so pure, so great.”

J. S. Cullinan, Houston: “In the passing away of your father the state and nation lose both a statesman and a sterling character. Your many friends here join Mrs. Cullinan and myself in extending our most sincere sympathy.”

S. W. Fordyce, St. Louis: “I mourn with you the death of your good father, my friend. No braver soldier, no more patriotic citizen or abler statesman ever served his state and country. His life is an inspiration to those he has left behind.”

Clarence Ousley, Fort Worth: “Accept assurance of deep sympathy in the death of your father. His was a noble and useful life, remarkable for high courage and high thinking. His achievements will always be esteemed as a blessing to his country, and his character as an inspiration to youth.”

W. H. Atwell, Dallas: “Your father, Senator Mills, was my friend when I needed one and I grieve with you because of his passing. Texas never had an abler representative in or out of national congress. Big, brave, true, fearless. With bowed head I sorrow with you.”

J. F. Wolters, Houston: “The death of your distinguished father removes from us the greatest contribution made by Texas to the statesmanship of the Union during her entire history. His courageous fight for human liberty and those inheritant rights of mankind will remain a part of history of our state and nation so long as the deeds of man have remained a part of our country’s records. While I and your thousands of friends mourn with you and your loved ones in your personal loss the spirits of the embattled heroes of Texas are acclaiming his welcome in heaven now.”

Hon. Cone Johnson, Tyler: “A life of probity, public and private devotion to his country’s welfare, gallant services as a soldier, brilliant as an orator and eminent talents combined to make your father one of our country’s great men. I extend my sympathy to yourself and family.”

Lamar Davis, El Paso: “Accept my sincerest sympathy in the death of your illustrious father.”

O. Paget, Galveston: “One of God’s grandest, noblest and truest soldiers has answered his last roll call.”

Many other messages of sympathy were also received by telegram and letter by Major Mills, some of them also being addressed to Mrs. J. D. Wood, Col. Mills, daughter. These came from in the city and those living here who are away. Many relatives and personal friends living at various points in and out of the state sent messages of condolence. Among these are the following: R. D. Templeman of Navasota, Col. Eber B. Peters of Calvert, Judge H. B. Daviss of Corsicana, Otto Reeves of Greenville, L. C. Alexander of Waco, Col. P. C. Townsend, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. McQueen of Bryant, R. T. G. Matthews of Kansas City, Mo.; Cliff A. Adams of Bryan, Mrs. F. J. Halbert and Miss Hallie Groce, who were visiting in Corpus Christi; Mrs. Wm. Vater and family of Cleburne, Mrs. Julia Smith of San Diego, Cal.; J. E. Whiteselle, who is in Denver, Colo.: Charles Davis of Bryan, Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie of Bryan, Claude Wiley of Tyler, Mrs. F. N. Stears of Hyde Park, Ill.


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