Mills, Lyle Leroy (1869-1948)

Lyle Leroy Mills lived at 1967 Barclay Street from 1911 to 1916.

A newspaper notice of a property auction indicates that Mrs. Mills was still at 1967 Barclay Street in 1924.

Lyle Leroy Mills was born in Iowa, probably about 1869 (although some sources say that he was born in Kansas, and perhaps as late as 1877).

His father was Elisha Mills, who was born on October 24, 1818, and who was a hotel operator in Davenport, Iowa, and Buffalo, Iowa. From 1873 to 1883, Elisha Mills operated a hotel in Independence, Kansas, where he died on December 4, 1901.

Lyle’s mother was Margaret Burns, who was born October 17, 1825 (or perhaps 1826 or 1827), probably in Pennsylvania (although some sources say that she was born in a place called Clydes Furnace, Ohio). Margaret died in Vancouver on April 29, 1914, at the age of 87.

Like his father, Lyle Leroy Mills was a hotel operator. He was the proprietor of the Empress Hotel at 235 East Hastings Street in Vancouver. Lyle’s brother, Oscar Ernest Mills, was also associated with the Empress Hotel.

Lyle was married to Elsie (or Ellie) Swenson (Anderson) who came originally from Sweden. Lyle was apparently Elsie’s second or third husband. Elsie was involved in the American Women’s Club in Vancouver. Lyle and Elsie appear to have had no children.

By the early 1920s, Lyle and Elsie moved to Seattle, Washington. In 1924, Elsie arranged for an auctioneer to sell the furniture at 1967 Barclay Street, and the house itself was also for sale.

Elsie died in Seattle, Washington on June 17, 1941.

Lyle died in Lakeview, Washington, on February 4, 1948.

Lyle’s brother, Oscar Ernest Mills, was still living in Vancouver, when he died on May 28, 1934. At that time, Lyle was living at 554 16th Ave. in Seattle. Oscar’s wife, Cora, was living in Seattle with Lyle and Elsie in 1940.


Thanks to the creator of Changing Vancouver [] for additional information on the marriage of Lyle Leroy Mills and Elsie (or Ellie) Swenson (Anderson).

Margaret Mills

“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Margaret Mills, 1914.

“British Columbia Death Registrations, Margaret Mills, 1914,

In Memoriam, Margaret Burns Mills, Vancouver Sun, May 1, 1914, p. 9

“Margaret Burns Mills was born in Ohio at Clydes Furnace on October 17th, 1826. When three years of age she moved with her parents to Peoria, Ill, was married there June, 1844, later she lived at Davenport, Iowa, and in the fall of 1870 moved to Montgomery Co., Kansas, with her husband and family. She made her home there for forty years, during which time she buried her husband and three children.

Grandma Mills was a woman who made hosts of friends by her kind, helpful and sympathetic nature. A friend to any and all in their misfortune or distress, and will be missed by a large circle of friends. She was the mother of thirteen children, of whom six survive. She has twenty-one grandchildren, twenty great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

She entered into her rest April 29th, 1914, aged 87 years 6 months and 12 days.”

Death Notice: Margaret Mills, Vancouver Province, April 29, 1914, page 16; similar notice, Vancouver Sun, April 30, 1914, page 9:

“Mills – –  Margaret Mills, at 1967 Barclay street, beloved mother of L.L. and O.E. Mills of the Empress Hotel, and Josephine James, aged 87 years. Funeral services will take place from the above residence April 30 at 2:30 p.m. Remains will be forwarded to Independence, Kan. By Center & Hanna for interment on May 1 via G.N.R. Rev. K.K. Unsworth will officiate.”

Lyle Leroy Mills

“United States Census, 1880,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Apr 2013), Elisha Mills, 1880.

1911 Canada Census: / British Columbia / Vancouver / 2 Vancouver City / page9,

Source Citation: “United States Census, 1930,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 June 2012), Lyle L Mills, Seattle, King, Washington.

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Apr 2013), L L Mills, Tract K-5, Seattle, Seattle Election Precinct, King, Washington, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 40-186, sheet 10A, family 216, NARA digital publication T627, roll 4379.

“Washington, Death Certificates, 1907-1960,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Lyle Le Roy Mills, 04 Feb 1948.

Elsie Mills (Swenson) (Anderson)

American Women’s Club, description of meeting at 1967 Barclay Street, Vancouver Province, August 25, 1913, page 8.

“Important West End Auction,” 1967 Barclay Street, Harvey & Gorrie, Vancouver Province, November 1, 1924, page 33; “West End Auction,” 1967 Barclay Street, Harvey & Gorrie, Vancouver Province, November 3, 1924, page 18.

Message Board Post:

Looking for information on a Lyle L. Mills and his wife Elsie. They had no children. She worked as a matron at Rex Solitorium. Lyle died 2/1948 and Elsie died 6/41. His nativity was Kansas and hers was Sweden>Minnesota. They are listed in the 1930 Federal Census – Seattle.

From: Cathie>
Subject: [UT-CENSUS-LOOKUP] McErland in 1900
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 17:09:13 -0500

Could someone please look on the 1900 census to see if there is a man surnamed McErland with a wife Elsie in Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, UT?

Elsie was born in Sweden in 1864 and emigrated with her folks in 1870 to Minnesota. Elsie is referred to, in a 1905 Historical Book from the county where the folks and most of her siblings lived in MN, as Elsie, Mrs. McErland of Salt Lake City, UT. By 1915, Elsie was married to another man by the name of Lyle L. Mills, as stated in my great grandmother's obituary and who she ultimately stayed married to until her own death in 1941 in Seattle, Washington.

Thank You... Cathie

Else (Elsie)  Swenson, born 7 May 1864, Sodra Rorum, Skane, Sweden;

“Washington, Death Certificates, 1907-1960,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Elsie Mills, 17 Jun 1941.

Oscar Ernest Mills

Oscar married Cora Hoover in Independence, Kansas on November 16, 1897: “Kansas, Marriages, 1840-1935,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Oscar E Mills and Cora E Hoover, 16 Nov 1897.

“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Oscar Ernest Mills, 1934.

Death Notice, Oscar Ernest Mills, Vancouver Province, May 28, 1934, page 13; Vancouver Province, May 29, 1934, page 16; Vancouver Sun, May 28, 1934, page 12:

“Mills – Passed away May 28, 1934, Oscar Ernest Mills, aged 63 years, late of 674 E. 29th Ave. He leaves to mourn his passing his wife and one son, Roy, at home; one brother , L.L. Mills of Seattle; two sisters, Mrs. L. Scoggins and Mrs. C. Sharp of Kansas, U.S.A. Funeral will be held Wednesday, May 30, at 3 o’clock, from G.W. Hamilton’s Chapel, Kingsway and Main at 7th Ave., Rev. Anna D. Britton officiating. Interment in Ocean View Burial Park.” A similar notice appeared in Vancouver Province, May 28, 1934, page 18.

Oscar Ernest Mills had a son named Oscar Leroy Mills, who married Olivia Annie Robinson in Vancovuer on September 2, 1927: “British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Oscar Leroy Mills and Olivia Annie Robinson, 1927.

“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Oscar Leroy Mills, 1982.

Empress Hotel

“Empress Hotel,” Exploring Vancouver: The Essential Architectural Guide, By Harold Kalman, Ron Phillips, UBC Press, 2011, page 51, building 82

Photo of the Empress Hotel:

There is a useful history of the hotel:

The hotel still exists in 2013, although its days of glory are long gone:;

The architect of the Empress Hotel was Frank Noble Bender, who was married to Lyle Leroy Mill’s sister, Emma.

Mr. Bender also designed Cook’s Hotel at 113 West Myrtle, Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas:;

History of Montgomery County, Kansas, Illustrated, 1903, article on F.N. Bender, for full version of the book.

F.N. BENDER –Well and most favorably known to the building trades of Independence and esteemed as a citizen, we present F.N. Bender’s life work, in brief, as a factor in the internal development of the county seat. Comparatively young in years, but old and trained in experience in the craft, his efforts have accomplished much, as a more detailed account of his career would reveal.

He was born in Fulton county, Illinois, of parents, Tobias and Elizabeth (Sinclair) Bender, the father a retired cabinet-maker, of Kansas City, and a leading member of the M.E. church. Tobias Bender was born in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, in 1830, and began his wanderings toward the setting sun, before the era of railways, some time in the 40’s. His trip carried him down the Ohio river, up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, to Peoria, where he settled and resided till about 1856, when he moved to Fulton county, Illinois. IN 1882, he came to Kansas and resided on a farm, near Independence, till 1897, when he removed to the city which is now his home. His wife was born in the State of Pennsylvania, in 1836, and is a devoted mother and Christian lady. She is the mother of ten children, four of whom yet survive, as follows: Mary, wife of Robert Swartz, of Kansas City, Kansas; F.N., of this article; Jacob S., of Kansas City, a plate-glass worker and an inventor of some note; Edward, in the same business with Jacob, in Kansas City.

The birth of F.N. Bender occurred August 11, 1860. His education was acquired in the Illinois public schools and, at the youthful age of thirteen, began to learn his trade. He continued it, zealously, till he had acquired a wide knowledge of carpenter and cabinet work and then became a journeyman carpenter. He took up planning-mill work, in 1886, in Kansas City, where he went that year, remaining some ten years. As a builder in Independence, he has filled contracts on some other good structures of the city, dwellings and business houses, and his work has shown him to be master of the trade he follows.

July 3, 1884, Mr. Bender married Emma Belle Mills, a daughter of Elisha and Margaret (Burns) Mills, native, respectively, of New York and Pennsylvania. Mr. Mills was a hotel man in Davenport and Buffalo, Iowa, and, from 1873 to 1883, in Independence, Kansas. He was born October 24, 1818, and died December 4, 1901, in Independence. His first wife was Miss Parker, who bore him six children, of which number three yet live, viz: Mark, of Colorado; George, of Renwick, Iowa; and Charles, of Ida Falls, Idaho. Three of the seven children, born of his second marriage, survive Mr. Mills, namely: Mrs. Bender, Lyle L., of Salt Lake, Utah, and Ernest, of Independence, Kansas. Mrs. Bender’s mother was first married to Thomas Walker and has four children living by that union, as follows: Thomas, of Joplin, Missouri; David, of Coffeyville, Kansas; Josephine, widow of John S. James, of Davenport, Iowa; and Laura, widow of C.W. Middleton, resides in Independence. Mr. and Mrs. Bender’s children are Clyde M., deceased at ten years; Hazel Urma, Lila Marie, Oscar N. and Harry.

Mr. Bender has passed all the chairs in local Oddfellowship. He is a member of the Woodmen, Red Men and Elks. He was elected a member of the Board of Education of Independence, in 1902, and is a Republican in politics.

Mr. Bender is a musician of some note and is a member of the Independence Concert Band, of which he is president, and is an alto player.”

“United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Noble F Bender in household of Tobias Bender, Illinois, United States; citing p. 6, family 45, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 545722.

“United States Census, 1880,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Noble F. Bender in entry for Tobias Bender, 1880.

Frank Noble Bender died on August 26, 1921. He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Independence, Kansas:

Emma Bell Mills Bender died on January 24, 1911. She  is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Independence, Kansas:

Frank and Emma had a son named Noble Oscar Bender. He was born in Kansas in 1896; he married married Blendina Antoinette Tanquary. Blendina was born on 29 Jul 1898 to Earl Delaska Tanquary and Mamie J Edwards. Noble and Blendina had a child named Carolyn Jane Bender:

Frank Noble Bender and Emma Belle Milles also had a daughter, who was called Lyle Marie Bender. She married Charles Howard Callaghan in Vancouver on June 29, 1913.

“Minnesota, State Census, 1895,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Charles H Callaghan in entry for C E Callaghan, 1895.

“United States Census, 1900,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Charles H Callaghan in entry for Chas E Callaghan, 1900.

“United States Census, 1910,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Howard Callaghan in entry for Charles E Callaghan, 1910.

“British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Frank U Bender in entry for Charles Howard Callaghan and Lyle Marie Bender, 1913. [The “U” in “Frank U Bender” should probably be an “N”.]

“United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Apr 2013), Charles Howard Callaghan, 1917-1918.


One thought on “Mills, Lyle Leroy (1869-1948)

  1. Pingback: Lyle Leroy Mills (1869-1948) | westendvancouver

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