Harry Mills (politician)

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Harry Mills
Last Ministers UFO 1955.jpg
Mills (2nd from right) in 1955, with last surviving members of the 1919-1923 coalition
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Charles William Jarvis
Succeeded by Franklin Harford Spence
Constituency Fort William
Personal details
Born (1873-10-11)October 11, 1873
Bedwellty, Caerphilly, Wales
Died December 20, 1959(1959-12-20) (aged 86)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Resting place Mountain View Cemetery
Fort William, Ontario
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Mabel Elsie Mackenzie (m. 1900)
Occupation Locomotive engineer

Henry Mills (October 11, 1873 – December 20, 1959), better known as Harry Mills, was a locomotive engineer before being elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as the Labour candidate for the riding of Fort William in the October 1919 election. He was appointed to the cabinet as its first Minister of Mines and served until his defeat in the general election of June 1923.


Born in Wales in 1873, and later raised in Birmingham, England, he commenced work about 1893 as a wiper in the Canadian Pacific Railway roundhouse at Fort William and rose through the ranks from fireman to locomotive engineer. He was active in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and was elected to the Fort William Board of Education[a] serving as its chairman during 1917-19. Construction of the Fort William Collegiate Institute[b] began in 1919 under his leadership.[2]

Following his election as MLA in 1919, the Independent Labour Party nominated him to become Ontario's first Minister of Mines, a move that caused some controversy.[3] He sat in Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio until the new Department was officially created,[4] after which he was named its Minister.

On July 24, 1900 at Port Arthur, Ontario, he married Mabel E. McKenzie, with whom he had five children. She died in November 1925 at Brandon, Manitoba, where Mills had resumed railroading after his defeat in 1923.

Mills died at Vancouver, British Columbia in December 1959.[5]

Cabinet positions

Ontario Provincial Government of Leslie Frost
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Howard Ferguson[c] Minister of Mines
Charles McCrea
Sub-Cabinet Post
Predecessor Title Successor
Minister without Portfolio



  1. ^ now part of the Lakehead District School Board
  2. ^ which closed in 2005[1]
  3. ^ Was called Department of Lands, Forests and Mines before 1920


  1. ^ "Fort William Collegiate Institute". thunderbay.ca. City of Thunder Bay. 
  2. ^ Fort William Daily Times-Journal 1 & 21 Oct 1919
  3. ^ "Mines Portfolio Of No Account". Toronto World. November 12, 1919. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ The Department of Mines Act, 1920, S.O. 1920, c. 12
  5. ^ "Henry Mills: British Columbia Death Registrations". familysearch.org. 1959. 

External links

  • Ontario Legislative Assembly parliamentary history
  • "Henry "Harry" Mills". findagrave.com. 
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