My maternal great grandfather was named Sidney Franklin Mills. He was born on March 21, 1879 in St. Stephen’s, Alabama. His parents were Burrel Mills (1854-1906) and Amanda Smith (1854-1935). Sidney was one of six children born to Amanda and Burrel. Their other children were: Lucy (1896-1954) Ada (1894-1958), Ida (1887-1969), Lillian (1882-1939), and William (1876-1935). I have located Sidney Mills on the 1880 census, living with his parents in Washington Co, Alabama. At the time Sidney is 1 year old and his brother William is 3.
I found him again on the 1900 census when he was 21 years old. In addition to all the siblings mentioned above there are 4 other people living in his house. The first are listed as Burrel’s daughter in law Laura and her child Ida, I think it’s safe to assume she is William’s wife. The next two are boarders, Knox Mallett (fantastic name!), and Frank Hamilton. At this time they are all living in Greene, MS. Sidney is working as a either a booker or booper?-really hard to read, and his father is in timber. This census record also tells us that Sidney’s mother, Amanda, was actually the mother of 7 children, however only 6 are still living. My guess is a stillborn, or a child who died very young as I haven’t seen any record of this 7th child as far as a name goes.
The 1930 census shows them living in Piave, MS with 10 of their 11 children (6 of whom were born to his first wife Hallie). Sidney’s oldest has already moved out at this point.
By the 1940 census, Sidney is living with his second wife Frances in Perry, Mississippi. At this point, many of their children have moved out and there are just 4 daughters still living with them as well as one son in law. This is the last census record for Sidney Mills as he died at the end of 1941.
On March 2, 1904 Sidney married Hallie Pauline Covington (who I wrote about here)
After she died in 1916, he married a woman named Frances Menerva Smith who was nearly 20 years younger than he was. The two were married from 1878-1941, when he passed away. Frances was born on March 30, 1898 and died on May 13, 1984 in New Augusta, MS. Her parents were John Jordan Smith and Sarah Emaline Burge.
Frances and Sidney had 5 more children together: Mary (1924-1992), Mildred (1920-1998), as well as three more who are still living so I will keep their names unlisted. My grandmother Sadie (written about here) was a daughter of Sidney and his first wife Hallie, but she loved Frances very much and called her Miss Frances.
I also found his 1918 WWI draft registration card on Familysearch.org. I love finding little tidbits like this for several reasons. I love seeing a relative’s signature, which you can see at the bottom of the first page, and I also like seeing characteristic details, like he was 5’9″, had blue eyes, and dark hair and that he was stout (!). It helps make him seem more real than a serious looking face in a black and white photo.
Sidney was a turpentine man and therefore traveled around quite a bit with his job. I love this old photo I have of him in this awesome horse drawn buggy. The photo was sent to my grandmother many years ago by one of her cousins. The letter stated that the photo was of “uncle Sid” (as it was her uncle, but my grandmother’s father) and Grandpa Mills. However, I am pretty sure that the man on the right (as you look at the photo) was actually the Mills’ store clerk Burton Core. Looking closely at the photo the second man doesn’t seem old enough to be Sidney’s father. I wish it was’t so damaged. The photo here is actually after I did a TON of work on it with photoshop. The original is horribly damaged 😦
Sidney died on December 27, 1941 at the age of 62, in New Augusta, MS.