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History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 490-492

JAMES R. MITCHELL is one of the oldest continuous residents of Vinton, an honored pioneer and during many years one of the city's active business men, but during the past ten or twelve years he has lived quietly retired from an active life. During some twenty years or more he conducted a wood yard in Vinton, and during eight years he served the city as its marshal. His home has been in Vinton since 1854, with the exception of three years during the Civil war and two years at the county poor farm, but he is a native son of Kentucky, born in 1838 to the marriage union of William and Emily (Boyd) Mitchell, who were also from that state, but they moved from there to Jefferson county, Indiana, when their son James was an infant, later going to Scott county, that state, and they both spent the remainder of their lives there. They were farming people. All of their four sons served their country as Civil war soldiers, all save James enlisting from Indiana, and two were members of the Twenty-second Indiana. Lemuel was killed while serving under General Sherman in the celebrated march to the sea. Elias and Alonzo returned to Indiana and resided there until their deaths. Of the two daughters, Permelia and Elizabeth, one is deceased and the other, Elizabeth, is living in Austin, Indiana.

James R. Mitchell was a young man of eighteen years when he came to Benton county, Iowa, the only one of his family to locate in this state, and as he was without capital he worked at different occupations and some three years later bought town property and still later considerable timbered land. He cut the timber from his land, and the property is now valuable for farming purposes. He also owns property in Taylor township, In 1862 he became a member of Company D, Twenty-eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, going out under Captain Van Etta for a month or two. He was succeeded in command by Captain Thompson, and at the latter's death Captain Henry Wilson took command. Mr. Mitchell participated in nearly all the engagements in which his regiment took part, and was twice slightly wounded. Among the engagements were Sabine Cross Road, Champion Hill, Siege of Vicksburg, Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek and many minor skirmishes and engagements. During his service he also contracted small pox and spent some time on a plantation near Algiers, Louisiana, just outside of the city of New Orleans. Being mustered out in 1865 he returned to Benton county and resumed farm work, having charge of the county farm for a couple of years, and then for eight years he was the city marshal of Vinton, continuing in the office until his retirement about twelve years ago.

Mr. Mitchell was married before the war, wedding at Vinton, Miss Laura Knapp, who died here in 1881. She bore him three children, but all died within a few years after their birth. He married for his second wife a Miss Culver, another of the early residents of Benton county, and she is also deceased, leaving a son, Edward Mitchell, a plumber in business in Des Moines. He is married and has a son. Mr. Mitchell married for his present wife the widow of William Westover, deceased, and she bore the maiden name of Miss Belle White. By her first marriage she had a daughter, Maud, who became the wife of a Mr. Elliott, now in the southwest, and she died at Vinton about ten years ago, leaving two daughters, Mary, aged fourteen, and Pauline, aged twelve, and they reside with Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell. Politically Mr. Mitchell has always been a supporter of Republican principles, and his public service has been a credit to himself and to his constituents. While in the army he served as a first sergeant, and he is now a member of Coder Post No. 98, G. A. R., at Vinton, one of the charter members of the order. Mrs. Mitchell is a member of the Woman's Relief Corps. Both are church members, Mrs. Mitchell having her church home with the Methodists and Mr. Mitchell is a member of the Presbyterian denomination. They are honored pioneer citizens of Vinton and of Benton county.




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