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Zophar Mills
Date: 1809 - 1887
Remarks: Served as Assistant Engineer of New York Volunteer Fire Dept., 1838-1842
Biography: Mr. Zophar Mills, Jr., so well known in the fire department, is the partner (in the firm of R.M. Blackwell & Co.). They still do a large commission and naval store business, and keep up the old merchant stock. Mills became associated with Engine Company No. 13 of the New York Volunteer Fire Department at the age of thirteen. In 1835 he became foreman of the company and in 1838 assistant engineer. He was renowned for his bravery and skill in firefighting; his company was responsible, for halting the great fire of 1835 at Wall Street, thus preventing destruction of the northern part of the city. Mills was a supporter of innovations such as self-proelled steam engines which were introduced in the mid-19th century. In 1854 he helped organize the Exempt Firemen's Association, a company of veterans reserved for emergencies, and he served as its president. A fireboat put into service in New York harbor in 1883 was named after Mills.