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D.O. Mills Bank Checks  

D.O. Mills served as the first president of the Bank of California and major financier of the Comstock Lode. The mines of the Comstock Lode constituted the financial bubble of its day. D.O. Mills was orphaned and penniless at age sixteen.  Mills left his native North Salem, New York to take a job as a clerk in New York City.  By the age of 22 he owned a small bank in Buffalo, yet in 1848, at the age of 23, he joined the California gold rush.  Mills first founded the Bank of D.O. Mills, then used massive profits from mines and mills in the silver region around Virginia City, Nevada to found the Bank of California in 1864.  Soon he controlled enormous fields of industry, including mines, timer tracts, railroads, newspapers, shipping, and many other areas.  After serving as Regent of the University of California, Mills retired from banking and returned to New York.  There he erected the then-tallest office building in the city, built a building on the Bellevue Hospital grounds specifically for training male nurses, and served as trustee of Lick Observatory, Metropolitan Museum, and Museum of Natural History.







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