Brooklyn Daily Eagle
April 1885

5 April 1885
The Murderer Responsible for His Crime.  A Report from the Commission
Appointed to Examine Him.
[Special to the Eagle.]
 Albany, April 4.
The Governor, this afternoon, received the following report of the
commission appointed to examine as to MILLS sanity:
 To the Honorable David B. HILL, Governor of the State of New York:
Sir - The undersigned Commissioners, appointed by you to examine George
H. MILLS, now confined to the Kings County Jail under sentence of death,
and to report conclusions as to his present sanity, and our opinion as
to his sanity at the time of the commission of the set from which he was
convicted, such report to be made in writing on or before April 6, 1885,
respectfully submit:
That they carefully examined said George H. MILLS on the first and
second days of April instant, and also took statements from 
Charles B.FARLEY, Sheriff; 
Martin V. B. BURROUGHS, warden; 
The Rev. Job G. BASS,chaplain;  
Dr. A. Warner SHEPARD, physician; 
Patrick SHEVLIN, keeper in said jail, 
Hon. Henry A. MOORE, County Judge; 
Mark D. DILBER, Esq.,prisoner's counsel; 
John E. BARNES, Esq., clerk to prisoner's counsel;
Dr. Edward C. MANN of Brooklyn; 
Andrew MILLS and Thomas H. MABEE, of the City of New York; 
Samuel B. MILLS, 
Samuel Robert MILLS and Peter HUDSON,of the City of Brooklyn and further.
That they have read the testimony in the case, as furnished them by your
Excellency from stenographic notes, and acting upon the information
derived from these several sources have arrived at the conclusion 
 That said George H. MILLS at the date of the commission of the act for
which he was convicted was not insane and is not now insane.
William C. WEY 
Brooklyn, N. Y., April 2, 1885

5 April 1885
Mills, the Murderer, Reads the Report Which Dooms Him. 
He is Willing to Have the Top of His Skull Removed so the His Brains May
be Examined and Complains that the Commission was Against Him at the Start.
The full text of the report of the commission appointed to examine
MILLS, the condemned murderer, was published in these columns yesterday.
It states that MILLS was not insane at the time of the murder and that
he is not of unsound mind.  An EAGLE reporter called at the Jail last
evening about 8 o'clock and discovered that up to that time the murderer
had not been acquainted with the conclusions which the commissioners had
reached.  Sheriff FARLEY, securing a copy of the EAGLE, went to acquaint
MILLS with the result of the investigation.  The doomed man was sitting
near the condemned cells which are on the floor facing the City Hospital
grounds.  Standing against the walls of the cell building was a small
table covered by a clean white cloth.  On it were some religious books,
a pot in which a plant was in flower and a box of cigars which had been
provided by the kindness of the Sheriff.  MILLS arose and greeted the
Sheriff and reporter.  Seeing the paper in the Sheriff's hands he asked:
"Any news?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Well, I expected it," said MILLS; "but, thank God I am enabled to hear
the worst."
The Sheriff handed him the paper and MILLS, turning to the reporter,
asked him if he would read the article.
"I think you had better read it yourself," the reporter answered.
Whereupon MILLS adjusted his glasses, seated himself in such a position
as to get the full benefit of the light from the lamp upon the table and
commenced to read clearly and loud enough for the man on the "death
watch," who sat ten feet away to hear.  There was another listener,,
Miss JONES, of the Women's Temperance Union, who had a little girl with
her.  MILLS read the caption and the entire dispatch containing the
report of the commissioners.  There was not a quaver in his voice, nor
did he betray any emotion.  Laying the EAGLE down, he said: "I was
satisfied from the start that those two doctors were against me.  What
did they want to examine all those witnesses for?  If I am insane why
didn't they examine me?"
"But they did," the reporter said.
"Yes, but I was so worked up and excited that I did not know what they
asked me.  I didn't know who they were.  One of them - the gray headed
man, Dr. WEY - I thought was Henry Ward BEECHER, and then I thought he
was Sammy TILDEN; that's a fact Sheriff, isn't it?"
"Yes," said Sheriff FARLEY, "you asked me if one of the doctors was
Henry Ward BEECHER."
The MILLS commenced talking about his case.  He asserted that he had not
had an impartial trial.  "Another thing," he said, "why was not my
counsel allowed to be present?  When Patrick HAYES, who tried to kill
his wife, had a commission in lunacy appointed in his case, the
commission consisted of one physician, two laymen and a jury.  In
addition to that his counsel was allowed to be present.  In my case two
doctors send for me when I am not prepared for them, and I could see
they were against me.  Why, I don't know what room I was taken to, but I
saw Sheriff FARLEYs picture there; only for that I think I would have
cleaned them out of the room, but the Lord held me back.  He seemed to
keep my arms folded like this (folding his arms).  I am not afraid to
walk down there (pointing down the corridor in the direction he will
take to the gallows), but I don't want to be disgraced.  I can go to the
gallows without fear, for I know I am innocent and that God will
strengthen me, but I know they will hang an insane man.  I know what is
in my head and they don't, for they haven't taken the trouble to find
out.  I know that I have something wrong in my head and I want my brain
examined.  Sheriff, can't I have my brain examined?"
"How?" asked the Sheriff.
"I don't know; I'm willing to undergo any operation, even if they take
off the top of my skull.  I want my brain examined and I know that they
will find I am insane.  You are the Sheriff and have charge of me.
Can't you have this done?"
"When?" the Sheriff asked.
"Well, there's mighty few days to do it in if it's to do me any good."
MILLS seemed to be under the impression that the top of his skull could
be taken off as easy as a plate could be lifted from the table, and that
his brain could be examined without any trouble.  "Oh, it can be done,"
he insisted; "they can take a piece out of my skull easily enough -
trepanning they call it, I Think."
As the reporter left, MILLS resumed his conversation with Miss JONES.
Full preparations for the execution have been completed.
10 April 1885
This Morning's Execution at the Jail.
A Short Speech from the Murderer Under the Gallows - All the
Arrangements Excellently Made - The Condemned Man's Extraordinary Nerve.
After religious services had been held in the Jail this morning, MILLS'
relatives and friends gathered around him.  His brother and his friend,
Mr.  MAYBEE  had been requested by the condemned to wait and see the
execution.  Sharp at ten o'clock Sheriff FARLEY  and Under Sheriff
MCLAUGHLIN  entered the wooden gate which leads into the corridor where
MILLS and his friends were.

Now George," the Sheriff said, "the time has come when your friends must
leave, with the exception of those whom you desired to be present; are
you ready?"

"Yes, Mr. FARLEY, if you will just give me time enough to put on my

"Certainly; say good bye to your friends."

Mills stepped forward, and addressing those present said in a clear

"I must now take my last farewell of you all."

Mr. BASS  had donned his clerical robes, and he requested that those who
wanted to say good bye to Mills would not do anything to disconcert
him.  His brother, son and aunt stepped up first, and all kissed him
good bye.  "Mrs. MC LANE,  the old lady, shed tears as she parted with

"Don't cry, dear aunt," he said.  "I am strong and full of faith in the
Lord Jesus.  You see that I can bear up.  We will meet in heaven."

"I hope so, and I think so," was the sorrowful response.

When Andrew MILLS, his son, stepped forward the father said:  "My boy,
see how Jesus sustains me in this hour.  Always place your trust in Him,
and don't associate with evil companion."  He kissed the weeping boy on
the forehead and waved a good by to the Christian women and men who have
solaced him during the latter part of his confinement.  All this did not
occupy more than five minutes.  At the expiration of that time the
Sheriff and under Sheriff appeared again.  They were followed by twelve
deputies, all of whom wore their badges draped with crepe and like the
Sheriff carried in their gloved hands the official staves.  Behind them
came the physicians who formed the Sheriff's jury.  The executioner and
his assistant entered with them and placed themselves in position behind
Mills.  Counselor Anthony BARRETT, the Sheriff's legal adviser, stepped
forward with the death warrant in his hands.

"This is a document which the law compels the Sheriff to read to you,"
said Mr. Barrett.

"I know that", said Mills, who at this time was drawing on the pair of
white kid gloves which he had asked Sheriff Farley to provide him with.
While Mr. Barrett was still reading the death warrant, Mills had fitted
the gloves upon his hands, and turning aside for a moment with the
utmost coolness, said to Mr. BARNES (the partner of Hon. Mark D. WILBUR,
the prisoner's counsel), "Mr. Barnes, will you please button these for me?"

Mr. Barnes did so, and though his hands were tremulous, those of Mills
were not.  His coolness surprised every one.  The reading of the warrant
of execution being concluded, the executioner produced a stout cord from
his pocket and pinioned Mills' arms behind his back at the elbows.  The
noose was adjusted and the black cap put upon his head.  During the few
minutes that wee occupied in this proceeding not a muscle of Mills' face
moved.  He exhibited Spartan firmness.  When he was ready the Sheriff
and Under Sheriff, with emblems of mourning upon their left arms, fell
in line.  Directly behind them walked Mills, supported on one side by
Chaplain Bass and on the other by Rev. Mr. FORD.  Then the twelve
deputies followed behind and the Sheriff's jury came after them.

Mills' brother was the last in the procession.  He stood at the left of
the gallows when he reached it, until Mills' body was taken down and
placed in the casket.  Mills walked without help.  His face was pale,
but it was easily to be seen that he was not unnerved.  He glanced at
the gallows as soon as he got his first chance to look at it.  It took
in the eastern end of the main corridor.  With a firm and steady step he
walked deliberately by the side of the dangling rope and stood there an
animated statue while the deputies and physicians filed past him on
either side and took up their allotted positions in front of the
gallows.  A solemn silence had fallen upon the spectators who were
present to see the execution.  Every head was bared and Mills seemed to
seek for sympathetic glances among the people in front of him.

Sheriff Farley and his deputies looked inquiringly at Mr. Bass, but that
gentleman's eyes were directed downward and an embarrassing silence
followed.  When the clergyman finally realized that some services were
evidently anticipated by the Jail authorities, he shook his head
negatively, and in an undertone said there would be none.  A glance,
both evidently understood, was exchanged between the culprit and the
chaplain, after which the latter said:

"This man wants to return thanks to those who have been so kind to him."

"Have you anything to say?" said the Sheriff, stepping a little nearer
to the condemned man.

Mills nodded, cleared his throat and intones in which not the slightest
huskiness could be detected, said:

"Gentlemen, I stand before you here today condemned to death and I have
but a few moments to live.  I appeal to my God to witness as I stand
here, and that when I committed the crime I am to die for I was out of
my mind.  The law of this land has got to be carried out and I commend
myself to God, and thank you, Sheriff, and your officers for the kind
manner you have treated me.  I thank all my friends and especially my
dear brother Bass (MILLS), who worked so hard for me, and who has been
blamed for trying to save a man's soul.  he has done as much for me as
legal adviser - he has done more to save me.  My legal adviser I -
(after a pause) - won't say  anything about.  God save me, and I hope he
will forgive me.  I commend myself to God."

Sheriff Arley then stepped up to Mills, who had requested that he would
shake hands with him under the scaffold.  Mills held out his hand with
almost a smile on his face and said:

"Goodby, Sheriff, and God bless you, you have been very kind to me."

While the Sheriff held Mills' hand, the latter nodded to Under Sheriff
McLaughlin, who approached him.  Mills extended his hand to him and said
a last goodby.  By this time the necklace around the culprit's neck was
being fixed in the sister hooks which were on the rope that dangled from
the crossbeam.

"Are you ready, Mills?" the Sheriff asked.
"I am."
"Well, be prepared when I step back."
"I will be", was the calm response.

The black cap was then pulled over Mills' face by the executioner, and
the Sheriff stepped backward to his place beside the Under Sheriff.  The
executioner's assistant rapped with his knuckles upon the planking which
concealed the drop weights on the right side of the scaffold, and the
next instant Mills was sprung nearly to the crossbeam.

This was at 10:14, and only the slightest twitching of the hands a few
minutes later indicated any sign of life.  Mills' neck was broken, and
Dr. A. Warner SHEPARD,  who with Dr. J. G. JOHNSON,  was appointed by
the Sheriff to examine the body, stated that Mills was unconscious from
the time the weight fell.

In view of the fact that JEFFERSON'S  execution was somewhat clumsily
managed, the executioner on this occasion took entire charge of the
details himself and did not trust his assistant either to pinion the man
or adjust the noose.  The result was that Mills may be said to have died
an almost painless death, and certainly no cooler or braver man ever
expiated his offense upon the scaffold.

The arrangements inside the prison were under the exclusive charge of
Warden BURROUGHS.  He had special deputies upon each tier, and so
planned the entrance and exit of those who had passed to witness the
affair that not the slightest confusion occurred, and quite a large
number of people were conducted in and out of the prison with the utmost
order and decorum.

After Mills' body had been hanging for about twenty minutes, the order
was given to lower it, and Counselor Barrett, at the request of the
Sheriff, stepped in front of the gallows and, facing the spectators,

"Sheriff Farley desires me to thank you all for the good order you have
preserved.  The body is about to be lowered and placed in a coffin.
When that is done, The Sheriff requests that you will leave the prison
as quietly as you have entered it."

The body was the lowered and placed in a casket covered with black cloth
and ornamented with silver plated handles.  Upon the breastplate was
this inscription:

George H. Mills
Born February 14th, 1849;
Died April 10, 1885

When the black was removed from Mills' face his features were found to
be perfectly natural. A formal inquest was held by Coroner MENNINGER
and a verdict of  "asphyxia by judicial hanging" was given by the jury.
Their names are:  
Drs. Erza H. WILSON,  
John N. DIMON,  
Frank H. ROSS,
William H. WELCH,  
Edward CHAPIN,  
Byron E. MEAD,  
James L. WATSON 

The physicians who served on the Sheriff's jury were:  
Drs. John F. VALENTINE,  
Edward CHAPIN,  
David B. SKINNER,  
Byron E. MEAD,  
John J. GLEAVY,  
Charles N. MILLER  
Carl R. E. RITTER,  
James L. WATSON,  
Ezra H. WILSON,  

After the inquest the body was removed in the casket and placed opposite
the cell recently occupied by Mills, and there a brief burial service
was read by Chaplain Bass.  The friends and relatives viewed the
remains, and the son was brought in to take a last look at his father's
face.  The lid of the casket was screwed down, and body placed, in a
hearse in waiting in the jail yard, and the relatives and friends who
followed Mills to Cypress Hills occupied four coaches.  No clergymen
went with them, as there were to be no services at the grave.  Mills was
buried in the suit in which he was hanged.  The effects he left in the
cell were called for this afternoon by his brother, to whom they were

(The account of the murder's last night on earth, with other details
concerning the execution, will be found on an inside page of this
paper.  -ED)

Carole Dilley
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