Clara Mills was born on January 24, 1868 in Corralitos, Santa Cruz, California, to John Boardman Mills and Louisa Christina Bickmore. She married Mark DeSpain on December 15, 1889, in Soledad, Monterey, California. They had four daughters: Hazel May, Myrtle Edna, Pearl Veda, and Oma Ruth. She died February 23, 1939, in Chico, Butte, California.


The following information about the Mills is taken from Ancestors and Descendants of Walter Covey, Dutchess County, New York (1750-1834), by Mary Lancaster Quist, Vol. 1-2, (Salt Lake City, UT: Publisher’s Press, 1971), p. 757-759, 1390, 1409.

John Boardman Mills (known as Boardman) was born July 14, 1829, in Maine. He and his brother, Obediah Durill Mills, are said to have come to California as crewmen on a sailing ship in the 1850’s. He was a brewer, teamster, woodman, and in later years a carpenter and farmer.

On Aug. 19, 1860, he married Louisa Christina Bickmore in Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California. Christina was born March 20, 1844, in Hancock County, Illinois. Boardman and Christina had 12 children.

Boardman died July 1, 1887, near Gonzales, Monterey, California. Christina died Nov. 30, 1900 at home in Gloria district near Gonzales, Monterey, California, and is buried in IOOF (now Pioneer) Cemetery, Watsonville, Santa Cruz, California, next to her husband.