Ogden Livingston Mills, son of Ogden Mills

Ogden Livingston Mills

Ogden Livingston Mills served as Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Herbert Hoover.

Ogden L. Mills was the only son of Ogden and Ruth Livingston Mills.  Ogden L. shared his twin sisters’ passion for horse racing.  He co-owned Wheatley Stables, the stable that bred Seabiscuit, with sister Gladys Mills Phipps.  Ogden served as Undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Coolidge and Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Hoover.  Ogden L. Mills made several trips to the Millbrae estate of his grandfather.  He arranged the sale of the family airstrip to the City of San Francisco in the 1930s.

A biographer of President Herbert Hoover, Gene Smith, in his book The Shattered Dream described Ogden as “smart, capable and arrogant.”  Smith continued:

The Depression hardly crippled him.  He did not give up his yacht, his racing stable, his estates on Long Island at Staatsburg on the Hudson, nor his Newport villa or his mansion on Fifth Avenue, although it was reported that once just before a dinner party he said to his wife, “Dorothy, there are only ten servants in the house; never before in my life have we had fewer than fifteen.”1

The Mills Family Airstrip

The Mills family’s private airstrip eventually became San Francisco International Airport.

The Mills family, and their fabulous wealth and international connections, gave an aura of glamour to the mid-Peninsula area.  On February 12, 1936, the Burlingame Advance-Star announced “Heiress Goes South by Plane.” A photo of Dorothy Fell, daughter of Ogden’s wife Dorothy Randolph Fell Mills, was “shown leaving Mills Field for Hollywood, where she’ll visit Fred Astaire.  Mr. and Mrs. Mills, who are here for a six-week stay at their Millbrae estate, saw her off.”2

Ogden Livingston Mills died in 1937 at the age of 53.

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1 Smith, The Shattered Dream, 73.
2 From 1911 to 1920, Ogden L. Mills was married to Margaret Rutherfurd, the stepdaughter of William K. Vanderbilt.