SIMEON MILLS HOUSE

2709 Sommers Avenue

 

In 1837, when Simeon Mills came to Madison, the only building in town was the Peck's log cabin. Mills built a combination store and post office of logs, thus beginning a long a varied career as a businessman and civic activist. Mills helped establish the first newspaper in Madison, was the first Justice of the Peace, was instrumental in the funding of the University of Wisconsin, was the last treasurer of the Wisconsin Territory, was Dane County's first State Senator, and served as president of an insurance company, a railroad and a bank. His frame house was located at West Main St. and Monona Ave., but in 1863 he erected this gracious sandstone mansion on his 200 acre farm known as "Elmside." Legend has it that his wife, Marie Mills, disliked the new house. So, after four years, Simeon built a larger and even more elegant house downtown (on the site now occupied by the City-County Building). He sold his farmhouse to industrialist John W. Hudson, who later developed Hudson Park. In 1890 the Miller family from Philadelphia moved in. Their son, Samuel, was a nationally-known theater and opera promoter. Miller and local realtor James Corry later subdivided the farm as the Elmside plat. But the "Old Mills Place" remains, a proud reminder of Madison's early pioneers.

Simeon Mills