Charlotte A. Raymond was born in
Manlius, New York, in 1840. When she was aged three, her
parents, Luther Raymond and Julia Ann Loomis, moved the family
to Wisconsin, locating in the vicinity of Waukesha. Two years
later they removed to Fond du Lac County, securing a tract of
wild land, from which Luther developed a farm. Years later,
Charlotte married a Mr. Ransom and they had two sons: Fay
(b. 1859) and Benjamin (b. 1862). After her husband died,
she married Calvin John Mills in 1866. Four years later
they moved to Christie, Wisconsin and this marriage produced a
third son, Claude Lee Mills, in 1877.
In 1883 her father Luther died.
In the spring of 1899, her son Fay bade
his parents farewell and moved away from Wisconsin, traveling to
South Dakota, Montana, California, and finally to Alaska in
search of gold. Then one day Charlotte received the sad
news that her son had drowned near Labarge, Alaska on October
12th, 1901 on the steamer Goddard ten miles from
shore during a gale.
One year later, she received
more sad news. Her second son Benjamin had died on October
2nd, 1902 in Mackay, Idaho.
In 1905 her husband John Calvin Mills died
very suddenly of heart failure while at their home at Christie.
After his death, Charlotte fell into a severe
depression and expressed to her son Claude her feelings that her
life was pointless, full of misfortune, and not worth
On October 4, 1907, Charlotte, who was
probably dwelling on thoughts about her two sons who had died
during the month of October, told her son Claude that she was
going to visit one of her friends. Because she would often
spend the night at the friend's house, it was not unexpected
when she did not return that evening. However, after she
was gone for two days, Claude became concerned and went to look
for her. When she was not found at the neighbor's house,
Claude searched near the Black River finding her footprints,
then her shawl, and finally her body floating in shallow water
near the shore. Later he found that before going to her
death, his mother had carefully laid out on her bed the clothes
that she wanted to be buried in.