Mr. Millis was born in Orange County to Enoch and Lydia Fawcett Millis. In 1862, not yet of age, he was mustered into the 66th Indiana Volunteers, but was severly injured just a few weeks later in the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky. Recovering, he returned to duty and was mustered out in August of 1865.
In 1867, he married the former Marie Bruner. They and their four children resided on a Paoli farm until 1892, when the family moved to Bloomington. Initially involved in hardware and carriage and harness sales, Mr. Millis was soon elected to city council, and was responsible for the addition of University Park to the city. Taking an interest in public safety, he worked to improve city sanitary systems and water supplies, streets, and the police and fire departments.
He was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church.