Maj. Gen. Anson Mills
Teniente General Anson Mills

Maj. Gen. Anson Mills

Anson Mills, surveyor, builder, army officer, engineer, American boundary commissioner, diplomat, and inventor, was born at Thorntown, Indiana, on August 31, 1834, the son of James P. and Sarah (Kenworthy) Mills. He attended school in Indiana and New York and accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1855. After flunking out at West Point in 1857, he rode the Butterfield Overland Mail stage to El Paso, where he arrived on May 8, 1858. He was appointed district surveyor and surveyed Forts Quitman, Davis, Stockton, and Bliss, all in West Texas. He also built the Overland Building, for three decades the largest structure in El Paso. On February 28, 1859, Mills submitted a street map of a settlement called Ponce's Rancho, Franklin, and Smithsville. He called the little community El Paso, and the name stuck. The downtown is still practically as he platted it. Mills is best remembered, however, for the boundary dispute with Mexico over the Chamizal tract and for the Mills Building in El Paso. As the American boundary commissioner he refused to accept the 1911 arbitration agreement that gave the El Paso Chamizal to Mexico. The Mills Building began as the Grand Central Hotel, which Mills constructed in 1883. When the hotel burned, he replaced it with the Mills Building in 1911, at that time the largest concrete monolith in the world. Today it is no longer the highest building in El Paso, but it remains a major El Paso landmark. Source: Image Description: Black and white photograph of General Anson Mills is shown. He stands to pose for the photo with his body and face slightly at an angel facing away. The image is taken from Mills thighs, up to his head where he wears a decorated military suit. The suit has six sets of buttons coming down his chest and several badges and pins to the left of his chest. Mills also wears shoulder pads and a belt as to complete his military look. His hair can be seen white from his long beard that hangs only from his chin and his multi shaded mustache. His hair is parted at the side and of white color.

Area: Central / Downtown

Source: El Paso County Historical Society

Uploaded by: El Paso Museum of History


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