Fonds MHCA0014 - Holden C. Mills fonds

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Holden C. Mills fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds

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  • 1923-1944 (Creation)
    Mills, Holden C.

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Physical description

.07m of textual records

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Name of creator

Mills, Holden C. (1853-1927)

Biographical history

Holden Compton Mills (1853-1927), the son of Benjamin S. Mills (1820-1893) and Virginia F. Compton (1819-1892), spent most of his early years in St. Eleanors, Prince Edward Island. His parents married in 1849 and lived for a short time in York, Ontario where Holden was born. Benjamin farmed and milled flour. Holden assisted his father and eventually established himself as a flour and oyster dealer with an office on Water Street in nearby Summerside. By the early 1900's he was specializing in the shipment of Malpeque oysters mainly to Quebec and Ontario. He had started in the oyster industry during its peak in 1882 and survived in business throughout the decline caused by over-fishing and seabed damage and then the setback in 1915 due to "Malpeque disease". By 1922 the oyster stocks began to recover and Holden continued with his shellfish export until December 1926 when failing health forced his retirement. In the 1920's he became involved with the booming fox fur industry and was president of the Pavilion Silver Fox Company Ltd. In 1925. In 1881 he married Catherine Green (1856-1944), the eldest daughter of Harry Compton Green who served for many years as Postmaster in Summerside. Around 1898 the Mills moved into a large home designed for them by William Critchlow Harris at 168 Central Street, Summerside. They had one child who died at 1-½ years. H.C. Mills served for years as a warden in the St. Mary's Anglican Church. His obituary noted him to be "one of the outstanding figures of Summerside. . . actively identified with the business and social life of the town".

Custodial history

The account book was passed down through the Mills family to Miss Helen Mills. Helen's father was Ernest Mills, son of William B. Mills who was a cousin to Holden. The wife of W.B. Mills was Henrietta Green, a younger sister to Holden's wife Catherine Green. Ena Mills, the wife of Helen's brother William David Mills found it prior to the auction of the estate of Helen Mills who moved into Andrews Lodge in Summerside.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of one item which is an account book titled "Day Book" He began making entries on Tuesday 1 May 1923 and continued until 26 December 1926. Presumably he became ill and someone else then recorded his personal and business transactions until 4 March 1927. There was a gap from that date until 6 April 1927 during which time Mr. Mills passed away. From April 1927 to the last entry in March 1944 there are financial recordings for his widow. Prior to that, Holden used the book for tracking personal expenditures for his home and automobile, donations to St. Mary's Church, purchases from local companies, wages for a domestic helper and an endowment to the building fund at King's College in Halifax, N.S. Other entries noted the results of local elections, planting of vegetable gardens, birthday dinners and the marriage in 1923 of his wife's niece Katherine Green and her untimely death in 1924 after baby Holden Taylor was born. In the autumns of 1923-26, H.C. Mills recorded his purchases of oysters and clams and the subsequent sale to numerous customers. His most important suppliers were Wallace Noye of Ellerslie and Russell Clark of Mount Stewart. He shipped most of the oysters to the Rideau Club in Ottawa, the York Club and the M. Doyle Fish Co. in Toronto, the Montreal Club in Montreal and J.H. Gingras in Quebec City. There are numerous entries for the Pavilion Silver Fox Co. regarding payments to rancher Joseph Arsenault, purchase of supplies and the sale of pelts and live animals.

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  • English

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  • English

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