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  • Writer's pictureTisha Dolton

Ticonderoga to China by way of Hudson Falls: Mildred R. Bolles Cornell Mills

Updated: May 16

As we continue to work through the thousands of glass plate and cellulose nitrate negatives in the Richard M. Bloomer Glass Plate Negative Collection, we slowly uncover the stories that go along with the faces.


I have been adding images to our digital collections platform—New York Heritage. There are currently 438 images online in the Bloomer Collection. Three of these images are of a young woman in a sheer white blouse with curls piled atop her head—a freckle or mole on her cheek and another on her chin. Handwritten in pencil on the paper envelope housing the negatives reads "Miss Mildred Bolles 3 of each".


Half portrait of a woman wearing a necklace and white sheer shirtwaist or dress with buttons. Her head is tilted downward, but she is looking up to the right.
Miss Mildred Bolles, c. 1916 <Bloomer0374, Richard M. Bloomer Glass Plate Negative Collection, The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, NY>

Since I have Mildred's name, I was able to do a little digging to find out a bit more about this young woman.


Mildred was born 21 May, 1895 in Plattsburgh, Clinton County, NY to Linnie A. Havens Bolles (1874-1950) and Armin Keyes Bolles (1870-1948). In the 1910 census, Mildred was 14 years old and living in Ticonderoga, Essex County, NY with her parents and her six siblings—Mary (13), Helen (12), Elmer (8), Edwin (4), Vivian (3), Regina (11 months).


Mildred Bolles married Erving Cornell <The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY) 15 August, 1916>

The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY) August 15, 1916

TWO WEDDINGS HERE WITHIN FIVE MINUTES

Witnesses to First Ceremony Are Married and Attended By Newlyweds

Rev. Frank W. Terrell, pastor of the Methodist church, was a busy clergyman yesterday morning when two local couples were united in the holy bonds of wedlock. The ceremonies were performed at 11:15 and 11:20 o'clock.

Miss Elsie Pease, daughter of Mrs. Lenora Pease, Lower Elizabeth street, was united in marriage to John Doty of Burgoyne avenue. The attendants were Miss Mildred Bolles and Erving Cornell.

The contracting parties in the second ceremony were Miss Bolles, who is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. [sic] Bolles of Ticonderoga, a popular Hudson Falls young lady and Erving Cornell. Mr. and Mrs. John Doty attended the happy couple.

Following the ceremonies, Mr. and Mrs. Cornell and Mr. and Mrs. Doty departed for New York [City] where they will pass their honeymoons. On their return Mr. and Mrs. Doty will take up their residence in Burgoyne avenue and Mr. and Mrs. Cornell will reside in Wright street [both in Hudson Falls]. A host of local friends join in extending best wishes to the newlyweds.


On 14 August, 1916, Mildred married Erving Robert Cornell who was eleven years her senior. Erving was born 5 January, 1884 in Fort Edward, Washington County, NY, to Esther D. (1859-1932) and Fillmore Cornell (1853-1897). It does not appear that they had any children before they divorced sometime between 1918-1925. Erving married Florence Jordan (1900-1980) on 25 April 1935. It appears they had one son, Daniel Paul. Erving died 1 March, 1967 and is buried in the family plot in Union Cemetery, Fort Edward, NY.


Perhaps these photographs were taken in the summer of 1916 to mark Mildred's upcoming wedding the Erving...


Half portrait, in profile, of a woman wearing a necklace and sheer white shirtwaist. Chemical reactions have damaged the negative, leaving white speckling over the face and body of the image.
Miss Mildred Bolles, c. 1916 <Bloomer0373, Richard M. Bloomer Glass Plate Negative Collection, The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, NY>

Around 1925, Mildred married Edmund Smith Mills III. I found a manifest from the SS President Hoover showing Edmund S. Mills, Mildred R. Mills and Edmund S. Mills Jr. departing Shanghai, China and arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii on 6 March, 1936. The manifest states that Edmund Sr. was born on 3 March 1893 in Hastings, Westchester County, NY and probably worked for Standard Vacuum Oil Company It also states that their son, was born in China on 12 October, 1926. The family was still in China at the outbreak of World War II.



The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY) Friday, May 8, 1942

Former Ti Girl Safe

Mr. and Mrs. Armin K. Bolles of Ticonderoga have received word that their daughter, Mrs. Edmund S. Mills, the former Mildred Bolles of Ticonderoga, and her son have reached San Francisco safely from Hawaii. They resided previously in China where Mr. Mills is employed at Tientsen [Tianjin] by an oil company.

Since she could not communicate with her husband, Mrs. Mills applied to the American Red Cross for assistance in contacting him. During the past week, Mrs. Mills was informed by the Red Cross that Mr. Mills was taken prisoner by the Japanese and is at present detained in Peking, China. They added that he is well and that the Swiss consul in Peking was trying to help him to obtain necessities and read...

The letter added that Washington is making every effort, but without any results yet, to get all these American prisoners in China exchanged for Japanese prisoners held by the United States.


By the time of the 1950 census, the family was living in Ridgewood, Bergen County, NJ. Edmund III died on 15 August, 1990. Edmund IV died on 22 August 2008. There is a note on FindAGrave stating the city of Edmund IV's birth being "Yajhu". I wonder if it is Yushu, Southern Qinghai Province, China. Father and son are buried in George Washington Memorial Park cemetery, Paramus, Bergen County, NJ along with Mildred who died at 78 years old on 17 July, 1973 .



Half portrait of a smiling woman wearing a necklace and sheer white shirtwaist or dress with buttons. Heavy vignetting obscures the lower portion of the image.
Miss Mildred Bolles, c. 1916 <Bloomer0372, Richard M. Bloomer Glass Plate Negative Collection, The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, NY>



 

To see previous posts about the Bloomer collection, click the links below.


 

SOURCES:

Post-Star archives on Newspapers.com, Ancestry.com, Findagrave.com.

 

Tisha Dolton is Librarian/Historian at The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY. Her areas of interest are suffrage music, suffragists of Warren and Washington Counties, local women and minority populations, and embroidery.


 

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