Jul 26, 2014

Judge Frank C. Mills III Named Cherokee 'First Citizen'

Cherokee County Chief Superior Court Judge Frank C. Mills III was given the prestigious honor by the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce.

Judge Frank C. Mills III Named Cherokee 'First Citizen' Judge Frank C. Mills III Named Cherokee 'First Citizen'

One of Cherokee County's well known public figures has been recognized for his service to the community.

Cherokee County Chief Superior Court Judge Frank C. Mills has been named the First Citizen of Cherokee County.

Mills, who retired in 2012 after serving over 30 years on the bench, was formally recognized with the honor during the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce's Good Morning Cherokee Breakfast on Thursday.

He's the 38th person to receive the honor. 

First Citizen is given to a Cherokee County resident who has lived in the county for at least five years and has given back to the community through family, civic and/or religious involvement. 

A panel of out-of-town judges reviews and selects each recipient. Mills was nominated by Cherokee County Superior Court Judge Ellen McElyea. 

Mills was born in DeKalb County in 1948 and graduated in 1966 from Tennessee Military Institute.

In 1970, he graduated from Emory University and from the University of Georgia Law School in 1973.

Mills was also commissioned in the United States Army through the ROTC program while at UGA and participated in active duty military police training at Ft. Gordon near Augusta.

He continued his service in the Army Reserve until he was honorably discharged as captain.

After leaving his military career, Mills started work as the assistant district attorney in the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit and was later appointed as district attorney of the circuit by Gov. George Busbee in January 1978. 

Mills was later elected to the position that year and in 1979, he received the Distinguished District Attorney Award from the Prosecuting Attorney's Council.

Mill was appointed by Busbee as a superior court judge in the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit in February 1981.

Mills was subsequently re-elected to the position eight times and has served over 30 years in the capacity. 

Mills in 1982 was elected to the Board of Governors of the Georgia Bar Association, received the Justice Robert Benham Public Service Award in 1999 and was the state's nominee for the American Bar Association's Judicial Excellence Award in 2003.

An active community servant, Mills has been heavily involved with  Boy Scouts of America, where he's served as assistant scoutmaster, unit commissioner, aquatics instructor and district chairman.

Boy Scouts of America also bestowed upon Mills the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award given by the scouts for service to youth, and the Whitney M. Young award for distinguished service to low income youth. 

Mill has also served with the American Red Cross, Leadership Georgia,  Leadership Cherokee, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Dizzy Dean Baseball and the  Cherokee County Humane Society.

Other recognitions include being named an Outstanding Young Man of America for Cherokee County in 1982 by the Jaycees; awarded as Volunteer of the Year in 2004 by  Cherokee FOCUS; received the Light of Hope Award in 2011 from  CASA Cherokee and given the Jean Harris Volunteer of the Year Award by the  Rotary Club of Canton earlier this year.

Mills and wife Amanda have one son, West Point graduate Frank "Tater" Crouthers Mills, who served two deployments in Iraq as an United States Army captain and is now employed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

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