Connect with us

Borrow

Who was Ogden Livingston Mills?

Ogden Livingston Mills (Aug. 23, 1884 – Oct. 11, 1937), son of Ogden, grew up with great wealth and privilege. He graduated from Harvard University in 1904 and Harvard school of law in 1907. He too liked racing and owned Seabiscuit and Bold Ruler, whose offspring included Secretariat.

Rather than follow his grandfather and father in finance, he opted for public service. As could be expected, he was active in conservative Republican politics. He was a delegate to 1912, 1916, and 1920 Republican National Conventions, member of the NY State Senate from 1915 to 1917, and Chairman of the Committee on Affairs of latest York City in 1917. He resigned his N.Y. Senate seat on July 31, 1917, to serve at the rank of captain until the close of war I. Upon his return, he served as President of the NY State Tax Association.

He was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives from New York’s 17th district from March 4, 1921, until March 3, 1927. He ran for the Governor of latest York in 1926 but was defeated by popular Democrat incumbent Al Smith. He then went on to function as Undersecretary of the Treasury during the administration of President Coolidge.

President Hoover appointed him to his cabinet as U. S. Secretary of the Treasury effective Feb. 12, 1932. Mills was a stanch hard-money gold standard proponent who advocated tax increases, spending cuts, and other austerity measures that exacerbated the gathering depression. Mills was out on March 3, 1933, with the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who ironically was a university friend and life-long neighbor.

The American banking industry was imploding. FDR was inaugurated on March 4, William H. Woodin was appointed Secretary of the Treasury on March 5. FDR declared the legal holiday on March 6 and asked Congress to pass the Emergency Banking Relief Act on March 9, which was accomplished at 8:30 p.m. that evening without one dissenting vote.

The Emergency Banking Relief Act provided for the examination and licensing of national banks before they might reopen. It also authorized the Comptroller of the Currency to require a charge of the affairs of shaky banks and to put them in conservatorships with conservators appointed to guard the assets on behalf of depositors. additionally, the act authorized the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to get the well-liked stock in qualifying banks to shore them up. All of those measures were designed to offer the general public confidence.

The fact was that Hoover and his administration had been cognizant that banking reform was imperative which a legal holiday was imminent. Much of the Emergency Banking Relief Act already had been authored under the direction of Secretary Mills, a number of its months before (Awalt, 1969). Hoover was treated as a pariah by FDR so his administration was allowed to sink alongside the festering economy. No transition bridges were laid between the 2 administrations. Thus, the pace of events and elected official status of the Hooverites had overwhelmed their capacity to act therefore the New Dealers took ownership of the act. Mills was highly critical of FDR’s New Deal policies after leaving the Department of the Treasury and wrote books thereto effect.

By Ogden L. Mills’ time, the V & T Railroad had become a shadow of its former self—an unprofitable anachronism. The Comstock silver was long gone and other people moved in automobiles. The Mills’ interests bought out the Sharon Estate’s one-third interest within the railroad in 1933, thus becoming the first owners. Largely out of sentiment, Ogden. L. Mills swallowed the deficits until he died in 1937. Then the railroad went into chapter 11 the subsequent year.

Smith (1970), in his biography of Hoover, entitled The Shattered Dream described Mills as “smart, capable and arrogant.” He went on to mention that “the Depression hardly crippled him. He didn’t hand over 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 had been reported that when just before a banquet he said to his wife, ‘Dorothy, there are only ten servants within the house; never before in my life have we had fewer than fifteen.’”

The Mills were interesting people that trod through history as financial movers and shakers from the glory days of the California gold rush and Comstock silver bonanza to the depths of the good Depression.

Ogden Livingston Mills (Aug. 23, 1884 – Oct. 11, 1937), son of Ogden, grew up with great wealth and privilege. He graduated from Harvard University in 1904 and Harvard school of law in 1907. He too liked racing and owned Seabiscuit and Bold Ruler, whose offspring included Secretariat.

Rather than follow his grandfather and father in finance, he opted for public service. As could be expected, he was active in conservative Republican politics. He was a delegate to 1912, 1916, and 1920 Republican National Conventions, member of the NY State Senate from 1915 to 1917, and Chairman of the Committee on Affairs of latest York City in 1917. He resigned his N.Y. Senate seat on July 31, 1917, to serve at the rank of captain until the close of war I. Upon his return, he served as President of the NY State Tax Association.

He was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives from New York’s 17th district from March 4, 1921, until March 3, 1927. He ran for the Governor of latest York in 1926 but was defeated by popular Democrat incumbent Al Smith. He then went on to function as Undersecretary of the Treasury during the administration of President Coolidge.

President Hoover appointed him to his cabinet as U. S. Secretary of the Treasury effective Feb. 12, 1932. Mills was a stanch hard-money gold standard proponent who advocated tax increases, spending cuts, and other austerity measures that exacerbated the gathering depression. Mills was out on March 3, 1933, with the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who ironically was a university friend and life-long neighbor.

The American banking industry was imploding. FDR was inaugurated on March 4, William H. Woodin was appointed Secretary of the Treasury on March 5. FDR declared the legal holiday on March 6 and asked Congress to pass the Emergency Banking Relief Act on March 9, which was accomplished at 8:30 p.m. that evening without one dissenting vote.

The Emergency Banking Relief Act provided for the examination and licensing of national banks before they might reopen. It also authorized the Comptroller of the Currency to require a charge of the affairs of shaky banks and to put them in conservatorships with conservators appointed to guard the assets on behalf of depositors. additionally, the act authorized the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to get the well-liked stock in qualifying banks to shore them up. All of those measures were designed to offer the general public confidence.

The fact was that Hoover and his administration had been cognizant that banking reform was imperative which a legal holiday was imminent. Much of the Emergency Banking Relief Act already had been authored under the direction of Secretary Mills, a number of its months before (Awalt, 1969). Hoover was treated as a pariah by FDR so his administration was allowed to sink alongside the festering economy. No transition bridges were laid between the 2 administrations. Thus, the pace of events and elected official status of the Hooverites had overwhelmed their capacity to act therefore the New Dealers took ownership of the act. Mills was highly critical of FDR’s New Deal policies after leaving the Department of the Treasury and wrote books thereto effect.

By Ogden L. Mills’ time, the V & T Railroad had become a shadow of its former self—an unprofitable anachronism. The Comstock silver was long gone and other people moved in automobiles. The Mills’ interests bought out the Sharon Estate’s one-third interest within the railroad in 1933, thus becoming the first owners. Largely out of sentiment, Ogden. L. Mills swallowed the deficits until he died in 1937. Then the railroad went into chapter 11 the subsequent year.

Smith (1970), in his biography of Hoover, entitled The Shattered Dream described Mills as “smart, capable and arrogant.” He went on to mention that “the Depression hardly crippled him. He didn’t hand over 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 had been reported that when just before a banquet he said to his wife, ‘Dorothy, there are only ten servants within the house; never before in my life have we had fewer than fifteen.’”

The Mills were interesting people that trod through history as financial movers and shakers from the glory days of the California gold rush and Comstock silver bonanza to the depths of the good Depression.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending