History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Frederick D. Mills
FREDERICK D. MILLS, who rendered a great service to Iowa when a young man, has left no record of his youth and place of nativity. We only learn that he graduated at Yale College in 1840 and came to Iowa in 1841, locating at Burlington where he became the law partner of J. C. Hall. He was a brilliant public speaker and in 1845 rendered a voluntary service to Iowa which has immortalized his name. Although a Democrat, he opposed the efforts of his party to secure the adoption of the Constitution of 1844, under which the entire Missouri slope would have been cut off from the State as defined in the enabling act of Congress. Uniting his efforts with Theodore S. Parvin and Enoch W. Eastman, he canvassed the Territory, urging the electors to vote against the adoption of the Constitution which would do away with the symmetrical proportions of the State. The Whigs were opposed to the Constitution for various other reasons, while the Democrats were urging its adoption as a party measure. The three young lawyers, all Democrats, who opposed its adoption solely on the ground of obnoxious boundary on the west were able to defeat it and thus preserve for all time the fair proportions of the State when it was finally admitted. At the beginning of the War with Mexico in 1846, Mr. Mills received a commission as major in the army and was with the command of General Scott in his march to the City of Mexico. After the Battle of Cherubusco, Major Mills led a detachment in pursuit of General Santa Anna to the walls of the city where he was slain on the 20th of August, in leading a charge. The Federal Government had his name inscribed on a mural tablet in the chapel of the Military Academy at West Point as one of the heroes of Cherubusco. The General Assembly of Iowa recognized his service in civil affairs by giving his name to a county.