Mills graduated from Dartmouth College and completed his theological training at Andover Theological Seminary in 1833. Following his marriage to Sarah Marshall in September 1833, the couple headed west to Crawfordsville, Ind., where Mills had accepted the position of principal and first teacher at the newly founded Wabash College.
On Dec. 3, 1833, Mills welcomed the first 12 students to Wabash, an independent liberal arts college for men. The college had been founded because the trustees felt there was a need in what was then the far west of the United States for a college to educate teachers and preachers. Mills was a strong advocate for a public education system, and he later became the second superintendent of public education for the state. He served at Wabash as a professor of languages—he was the first Lafayette Professor of Greek Language and Literature—and as principal of the normal school. He died at home on the Wabash campus.Died: 1879