Ogden L. Mills

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Ogden L. Mills
MILLS, OGDEN. HONORABLE LCCN2016861237 (cropped).jpg
50th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
February 12, 1932 – March 3, 1933
PresidentHerbert Hoover
Preceded byAndrew Mellon
Succeeded byWilliam H. Woodin
United States Under Secretary of the Treasury
In office
PresidentCalvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Preceded byGarrard B. Winston[1]
Succeeded byArthur A. Ballantine[2]
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1927
Preceded byHerbert Pell
Succeeded byWilliam W. Cohen
Member of the New York Senate
from the 17th district
In office
January 1, 1915 – December 31, 1917
Preceded byWalter R. Herrick
Succeeded byCourtlandt Nicoll
Personal details
Ogden Livingston Mills

(1884-08-23)August 23, 1884
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
DiedOctober 11, 1937(1937-10-11) (aged 53)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
(m. 1911; div. 1919)

Dorothy Randolph Fell
(m. 1924)
RelativesOgden Mills (Father)
EducationHarvard University (BA, LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1917–1918
Battles/warsWorld War I

Ogden Livingston Mills (August 23, 1884 – October 11, 1937) was an American lawyer, businessman and politician. He served as United States Secretary of the Treasury in President Herbert Hoover's cabinet, during which time Mills pushed for tax increases, spending cuts and other austerity measures that would deepen the economic crisis.[3][4] A member of the Republican Party, Mills also represented New York in the United States House of Representatives, served as Undersecretary of the Treasury during the administration of President Calvin Coolidge, and was the Republican nominee in the 1926 New York gubernatorial election.

Early life[edit]

Mills was born on August 23, 1884, in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Ogden Mills (1856–1929),[5][6] a financier and racehorse owner,[7] and his wife, the former Ruth T. Livingston (1855–1920), granddaughter of Maturin Livingston (1769–1847).[4][8] He had twin sisters, Beatrice Mills Forbes (1883–1972) and Gladys Mills Phipps (1883–1970), and was the grandson of the banker Darius Ogden Mills.[9]

Mills graduated from Harvard University in 1904, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1907.[10] He was admitted to the bar in 1908.[4]


Mills and his sister Gladys owned Wheatley Stable, a horse racing and breeding operation.[11] Their stable owned and bred Seabiscuit as well as Bold Ruler, whose offspring includes Secretariat.[3]

Mills also owned Kantar who won the 1928 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.[3]

After his father's death in 1929, Mills and each of his sisters received $12,197,034 from their father's estate.[9]

Political career[edit]

Mills was a delegate to the 1912, 1916 and the 1920 Republican National Conventions. He was a member of the New York State Senate from 1915 to 1917, sitting in the 138th, 139th and the 140th New York State Legislatures, and was the Chairman of the Committee on Affairs of the New York City, New York in 1917.[12]

He resigned his seat on July 31, 1917[13] to enlist in the United States Army, and served with the rank of captain until the close of World War I.

After the war, he served as president of the New York State Tax Association. He was to elected to the United States House of Representatives from New York's 17th Congressional District as a Republican,[14][15] serving in the 67th, 68th and the 69th United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1921 until March 3, 1927.[16]

In 1926, Mills ran on the Republican ticket for the Governor of New York, but was defeated by Al Smith, the incumbent Democrat.


Corner stone of a post office dedicated during Mills' tenure as Treasury Secretary.

Mills was appointed in 1927, by President Calvin Coolidge as the Undersecretary of the Treasury, serving under Secretary Andrew W. Mellon.[17]

In 1932, Mills was appointed by President Herbert Hoover as Secretary of the Treasury.[18][19] While Secretary, Mills acted as an adviser to President Hoover and actively campaigned for Hoover's reelection in 1932, traveling to Detroit, St. Louis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Minneapolis on his behalf.[20][21] Hoover's opponent was then-Governor of New York Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat who was Mills's college friend and life-long neighbor.[22] Mills remained in office until March 3, 1933.

Later life[edit]

After leaving the Treasury Department, Mills was highly critical of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal policies. He continued to be active in business, and published his views in two books, What of Tomorrow in 1935 and The Seventeen Million in 1937.

Mills served on the boards of the Lackawanna Steel Company, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, Virginia & Truckee Railroad, Mergenthaler Linotype Company and the Shredded Wheat Company.

While in New York, Mills was an active member of the New York Civitan Club.[23]

Personal life[edit]

On September 20, 1911, Mills married his first wife, Margaret Stuyvesant Rutherfurd (1891–1976),[24] the daughter of Anne Harriman Rutherfurd and Lewis Morris Rutherfurd Jr.[25] At the time of their wedding, she was the step-daughter of William Kissam Vanderbilt and the granddaughter of Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (1816–1892)[26] and Oliver Harriman (1829–1904).[27] They divorced in 1919. In 1922, she married Sir Paul Henry Dukes (1889–1967). They divorced in 1929 and, later that same year, she married Prince Charles Michel Joachim Napoléon (1892–1973), son of Joachim, 5th Prince Murat. They also divorced and in 1939, she married Frederick Leybourne Sprague.[28]

On September 2, 1924, Mills married his second wife, Dorothy (née Randolph) Fell (d. 1968),[29] the former wife of banker John R. Fell.[30][31]

Mills died of heart disease in Manhattan, New York, on October 11, 1937.[3] He had no children, but was the stepfather of three by his second wife.[3] He was interred in St. James Churchyard, Hyde Park, New York.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official Congressional Directory: 69th Congress, 2d Session (1st ed.). Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office (1926)
  2. ^ Official Congressional Directory: 72d Congress, 1st Session (2nd ed.). Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office (1932)
  3. ^ a b c d e "Ogden Mills Dies Suddenly At 53. Former Secretary of Treasury Is Stricken by Heart Attack in His Home Here". New York Times. October 12, 1937. Retrieved 2013-12-18. Ogden L. Mills, former Secretary of the Treasury and a Republican party leader often suggested as a possible Presidential nominee, died suddenly yesterday of a heart attack in his home at 2 East 69th Street.
  4. ^ a b c d "Ogden Livingston Mills". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2013-12-18. ... born in Newport, R.I., August 23, 1884; attended the public schools; was graduated from the academic department of Harvard University in 1904 and from the law department of that institution in 1907; admitted to the New York bar in 1908 and commenced practice in New York City; ... died in New York City, October 11, 1937; interment in St. James Churchyard, Hyde Park, N.Y.
  5. ^ "GODEN MILLS DIES AT HIS HOME HERE; Financier Is the Victim of Pneumonia After Three Weeks'Illness.HE WAS 72 YEARS OLD Active in Many Philanthropies and Long a Leader in SocialAffairs. A Native of California. Interested in Racing". The New York Times. 29 January 1929. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  6. ^ "BURY OGDEN MILLS NEAR HIS ESTATE; Financier's Body Rests in Family Mausoleum in Hyde Park Churchyard. 200 CITY FRIENDS PRESENT Are Taken in Special Train--Rev. Roelef H. Brooks and Rev. Alban Richie Conduct the Services". The New York Times. 1 February 1929. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  7. ^ "OGDEN MILLS ILL.; Father of Treasury Official Suffering From Bronchitis". The New York Times. 7 January 1929. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  8. ^ "MRS. OGDEN MILLS BURIED.; Prominent New Yorkers Attend Services at Hyde Park". The New York Times. 5 November 1920. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  9. ^ a b "OGDEN MILLS LEFT $41,068,690 ESTATE; His Son, the Under-Secretary of Treasury, and Two Daughters Each Receive $12,197,034. MUSEUM REFUSED BEQUEST Metropolitan Declined Two Van Dycks, Valued at $135,000, Tax Report Reveals". The New York Times. 19 December 1930. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  10. ^ Harvard Alumni Directory. Harvard University. 1919. Mills, Ogden Livingston [c 01-04, A.B. 05 l 04-07, LL.B. Law.]
  11. ^ Photo, Bryan Field Special To The New York Times international Newsreel Photo international Newsreel (30 July 1929). "Saratoga Inaugural Feature Won by Diavolo; Gallant Fox Takes Flash Stakes; DIAVOLO 2-1, WINS SARATOGA HANDICAP Wheatley Stable Entry Takes Opening Day Feature at Spa by Four Lengths. HOT TODDY FINISHES NEXT Edges Out Bateau by Head at Wire--Display Is Last-- Race Worth $8,150. GALLANT FOX TAKES FLASH Belair Stud Juvenile, at 10 to 1, Beats Caruso--Sublevado Also Scores--15,000 at Inaugural. Diavolo Burdened by 123 Pounds. Pace Too Fast For Bateau. Caruso Away Fast. Croyden Finishes Third. Bostwick Thrown By Pink Star". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  12. ^ COMMITTEE ON CITY NAMED in NYT on January 11, 1917
  13. ^ MILLS QUITS STATE SENATE in NYT on August 1, 1917
  14. ^ Mills, Ogden L. (28 October 1920). "Ogden Mills Against the Bonus". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  15. ^ Mills, Ogden L. (19 January 1925). "Republicans and Voting Machines". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  16. ^ "OGDEN MILLS KEEPS SEAT.; Under-Secretary of the Treasury Will Continue as Representative". The New York Times. 3 February 1927. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Mills Takes Oath in Treasury Post". The New York Times. 5 March 1927. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  18. ^ "ROOSEVELT IS VICTOR IN BUFFALO PRIMARY; Two Candidates Favoring Him Defeat Smith Supporters by More Than Two to One. MILLS AND STRAUS WINNERS Sweep for Two Hoover Backers -- Each Party Picks 86 for National Conventions. ROOSEVELT IS VICTOR IN BUFFALO PRIMARY". The New York Times. 6 April 1932. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  19. ^ Treasury Times Ogden L. Mills Secretary Of The (19 April 1932). "Mills Revenue Plan in Detail". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  20. ^ "MILLS STARTS TOUR WEST.; Secretary Will Speak at Detroit Today -- Plans 6 or 7 Talks". The New York Times. 29 September 1932. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  21. ^ "MILLS OPENS FIGHT TO RE-ELECT HOOVER; Secretary in Boston Speech Asserts Roosevelt Has "No Program" for Recovery. PRESIDENT 'BOLD' AND 'FIT' Governor Is Challenged to Give "Fair Criticism" of Where Administration Failed. MILLS OPENS FIGHT TO RE-ELECT HOOVER". The New York Times. 12 July 1932. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  22. ^ "MILLS AVOIDS ROOSEVELT.; Treasury Head Leaves Albany Without Calling on Friend". The New York Times. 2 September 1932. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  23. ^ Cundy, Arthur (October 1935). "Why an International!". The Civitan. Birmingham, AL: Civitan International. XVII (2): 17.
  24. ^ Aitken, William Benford (1912). Distinguished Families in America, Descended from Wilhelmus Beekman and Jan Thomasse Van Dyke. Knickerbocker Press. p. 48. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  25. ^ World, Times Wide (21 April 1940). "MRS. VANDERBILT DIES IN HOSPITAL; Widow of W. K. and Daughter of Late Oliver Harriman Noted for War Work and Charities". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Lewis Morris Rutherfurd" (PDF). New York Times. June 1, 1892. Retrieved 2014-01-09. Lewis Morris Kutherfurd died on Decoration Day at his home, Tranquillity, N.J., in the seventy-sixth [sic] year of his age.
  27. ^ "MISS RUTHERFURD WEDS OGDEN L. MILLS; Daughter of Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt Sr., Married at Chateau Du Quesney in France. FIRST A CIVIL CEREMONY Gay Luncheon for Twelve at 17th Century Estate Follows Marriage Service by the Rev. J. B. Morgan". The New York Times. 21 September 1911. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Mrs. M. S. Rutherfurd Wed To F. L. Sprague" (PDF), The New York Times, New York City, 27 November 1939. Margaret was the daughter of Anne Harriman, the second wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt, and her second husband, Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, son of the astronomer Lewis Morris Rutherfurd. After divorcing Dukes, Margaret Rutherfurd successively married Charles Michel Joachim Napoléon, Prince Murat, and Frederick Leybourne Sprague (1907–1993).
  29. ^ "MRS. OGDEN MILLS DIES HERE AT 79; Widow of Hoover Treasury Secretary Led A.W.V.S." The New York Times. 2 May 1968. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  30. ^ "Congressman Ogden L. Mills Is Wed to Mrs. Dorothy R. Fell by Peace Justice". The New York Times. 3 September 1924. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  31. ^ "MRS. OGDEN L. MILLS HURT.; Secretary's Wife Suffers Slight Injuries in Car Crash Near Albany". The New York Times. 4 September 1932. Retrieved 7 May 2017.

External links[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by Member of the New York Senate
from the 17th district

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by United States Secretary of the Treasury
Succeeded by