Image of Enos Abijah Mills


Lifetime: 1870 - 1922 Passed: ≈ 101 years ago


Naturalist, Author, Homesteader


United States

Enos Abijah Mills

Enos Abijah Mills was an American naturalist, author and homesteader. He was the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Enos Mills was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in 2016.

Mills was born in Pleasanton, Kansas, near the later site of the Mine Creek Battlefield of the Civil War. His parents were Enos Mills Sr., and Ann Lamb Mills. He had ten brothers and sisters, who are listed in order of birth: Augustus, Elkhanah, Mary, Naomi Victoria, Ruth, Sarah, Ellen, Sabina Isabelle (Belle), Horace, Enoch Joe. He married Esther Burnell on August 12, 1918. Their only child, Enda Mills,was born on April 27, 1919.

Mills authored several articles and books on nature and Estes Park area, beginning in the first decade of the 20th century. His speeches generally focused on the lives of trees, forestry issues, preservation of natural lands, and the lives of wild animals. Often in his speeches and written articles he encouraged people of all ages to get outside and into nature.

Mills continued to lecture and write books until his death.

Mills led the fight to preserve the area around Longs Peak as a national park, and used his speeches, his writing, and photography to lobby for the park. He wanted a park of about 1,000 square miles that would cover the area from Wyoming to Pikes Peak. Mills was aided by the Sierra Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, American Civic Association, the General Federation of Women's Clubs and especially, Freelan Oscar Stanley, founder of the Stanley Hotel. President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the bill that made the Rocky Mountain National Park the tenth national park on January 26, 1915. It was 352.5 square miles. He was called the "Father of Rocky Mountain National Park" by the Denver Post.

Mills died at age 52 in 1922. He died from blood poisoning from an infected tooth.

His wife, Esther Burnell Mills, was co-author with Hildegarde Hawthorne, on the book Enos Mills of the Rockies, which was published in 1935. Mills Lake, within the Rocky Mountain National Park, was named in his honor.

Books by Enos Abijah Mills

Wild Life on the Rockies  Cover image

Wild Life on the Rockies

Non-Fiction Biography
Nature Autobiography Fire Explore Wildlife Winter Birds Mountains

"This book contains the record of a few of the many happy days and novel experiences which I have had in the wilds. For more than twenty years it has been my good fortune to live most of the time with nature, on the mountains of the West. I have made...