The Mills family 8
Further generations and a centenary

by Ronald E. Morris


The two sons of Richard Mills "the composer", both became printers and founded weekly newspapers:
Richard Mills (8), the elder of the two, was perhaps the more able. After serving his apprenticeship, which included the difficult craft of setting old notation for the press, he moved to the Wrexham area and conducted choirs in that town and adjacent places. In 1878 he set up a printing press at Rhos and many years later launched the Rhos Herald which he continued to edit until his death in 1903. His interest in music and his ability were very great and he also founded the Rhos Choir. He composed a number of anthems, arranged hymn tunes (e.g. Arabia) and wrote songs such as Beti Wyn and Y Dderwen Lydan (The Spreading Oak Tree), all very popular in their day. His most well known hymn tune is undoubtedly Arweiniad usually sung to the hymn 0 Fab y Dyn (0 Son of Man).
  John Henry Mills (9) a posthumous child, was the other son of Richard Mills the composer. He remained in Llanidloes and founded the printing press which in 1886 began to print The Montgomeryshire Echo, continuing to print and edit this until 1905, the year he died. He himself was an able musician and founded the Llanidloes Choral Society. A radical in politics, he had the reputation of being a hard master and an autocratic father to his many children. From time to time for several years one of his favourite editorials was about the need to demolish the Old Market Hall.

The old Market Hall, Llanidloes

By kind permission of Llanidloes Museum 

The old Market Hall, now very much the pride of the town, was once seen by some, including John Henry Mills, as an eyesore.
Of John Henry's sons, Woosnam Mills left home and eventually became assistant editor of The Times of Ceylon and later of the Civic and Military Gazette of Lahore, India. He died at Las Palmas in 1925, aged 52. His sons and grandsons have held important posts in the world of radio and television.
Another son of John Henry Mills was Handel Mills, also a journalist on the old News Chronicle and old Pall Mall Gazette. He eventually became deputy editor of the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich.Handel's son John Hafren emigrated to Australia and became music critic for one of Sydney's leading newspapers.
  John Henry's only daughter was named Euphrosyne. She settled in Virginia U.S.A. Her unusual name, together with those of her brothers - Handel, Woosnam and John Hafren - was certainly a break from the repetitive John, Richard and Henry.

 Detail of a report of a special celebration on the centenary of the death of Richard Mills (7) in 1944.

Report of centenary
A large group of people gathered at China Street Welsh Presbyterian Church to celebrate the centenary. Proceedings were presided over by the Mayor Alderman G.F. Hamer and many family members attended.
  There are 8 pages on the Mills family. Use the box links below to view the other pages.