Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Samuel Mills

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Samuel Mills (c1805-1864)

Richard Bills a gunlock maker of Church Street, established a furnace and foundry at Furnace Lane, Lower Green, where Heath Road is today.

1826 He made his stepson Samuel Mills a full partner on his 21st birthday and the company became known as Bills and Mills

Richard died in 1849 and Samuel took over the company.

Samuel Mills lived at Darlaston House, on the western end of what is now Victoria Park. It also occupied the modern Rectory Avenue, the Post Office, and the land behind Pardoe's Cottage, where the dovecote still stands. In the 1920s when foundations were dug for the war memorial in Victoria Road, the ground gave way to reveal part of the cellars of Darlaston House. The workmen found a number of bottles of wine, much of which was drunk there and then, although some bottles of parsnip wine did find their way to The Green Dragon in Church Street, were they went on sale. The original All Saints Church in Walsall Road was built in 1872 in memory of Samuel Mills, who died in 1864.

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