California Blue Book or State Roster

Biographical Sketch











     Darius Ogden Mills was born in North Salem, Westchester County, New York, September 25, 1825.  He descends from an old family founded in America by a pioneer who came from the north of England near the Scottish border, before the American Revolution; received his education at the North Salem Academy and at Mount Pleasant Academy in Sing Sing, leaving the last named institution at the age of seventeen to begin work as a clerk in New York.  In 1847 he removed to Buffalo to become a partner in, and to act as cashier of, The Merchants' Bank of Erie County.

     Retaining his interest in the bank, in December, 1848, he left Buffalo for California, arriving in June, 1849, and going almost immediately to Sacramento, where, by carrying on trade with the miners, he had by November, 1849, accumulated about $40,000, at which time he returned to Buffalo to sell out his interests for the purpose of making California his home.

     The year 1850 found him again in business in Sacramento, in which year he started The Bank of D.O. Mills, which to this day is one of the leading banks in Sacramento, and is now known as The National Bank of D.O.Mills & Co. 

    At the time of the organization of the Bank of California he became its president, and remained at the head of this institution until 1873.  In 1875 he again became president of the bank, retiring in 1878.

     He served as regent and treasurer of the University of California from 1874 to 1881.  His interest in the University was demonstrated by his endowment of a professorship of intellectual and moral philosophy and civil polity, at an outlay of $75,000, which has since increased to over $100,000.

     In 1880, Mr. Mills transferred his home and a portion of his capital to the city of New York, where he has since been a resident.   Two magnificent buildings have been erected by him, each bearing his name, one located in San Francisco, and the other in New York.  He is a director of the Bank of New York; trustee of the Farmers' Loan and Trust Company; of the Metropolitan Trust Company; of the United States Trust Company; of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; of the American Museum of Natural History; member of the American Geographical Society; founder of the Training School for Male Nurses, and of Mills Hotels Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Of all the many charitable things Mr. Mills has encouraged, his hotels for homeless men in New York are a monument worthy of the name of any man.




Transcribed 12-24-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

Source: “California Blue Book or State Roster – Biographical Sketches” Page 223.  Published by C. F. Curry, Secretary of State, Sacramento, CA 1907.

© 2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.




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