James L. Mitchell

b. circa 1832
  • James L. Mitchell was born circa 1832 in Alabama.
  • He married Elizabeth M. Griffin on 9 September 1851 in Harris County, Texas.
  • Evelina Wood wrote on 5 March 1855, to her daughter Lizzie Powell, undergoing treatment for cancer in Murfreesboro, Tennessee: ". . . James Mitchell is at Queechy run at work. I do not know what he is doing -- he has not got all the Machinery yet -- Forrest has hired Smith to finish Billie's house and gone to the mill -- James has missed you very much, poor fellow. he has had to work very hard -- he tried to get his father to assist him some in the the loan of money but not a dollar was forthcoming. . . ."
         Apparently "Queechy run" is a literary allusion. Queechy, a novel published in 1852, was a story about a young girl, a little village and a saw mill. Perhaps Evelina and Lizzie read it to the grandchildren in the household.
  • On Thursday, 22 March 1855, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent four hands to help raise Steam Mill for Mitchell."
  • On Wednesday, 11 April 1855, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent John to work at James Mitchell's mill to pay for Blacksmith George's work."
  • Classified advertisements appeared during 1856 in The Huntsville Item under "Steam Mills" for J. Mitchell & R. M. Powell's circular saw-mill, and for T. Carothers' lumber & grist-mill.
  • James L. Mitchell and Elizabeth M. Griffin appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1860 in Anderson PO, Grimes County, Texas. Other members of the household included Mary Josephine Mitchell, Ellen Mitchell and Virginia A. Mitchell.
  • He was steam saw milling, according to the 1860 census.
  • On 30 August 1861, William Douglass Mitchell wrote to Bolling Hall Jr.:
         Cold Springs, Aug 30th /61.
    My Dear Uncle,
         As I have an opportunity of sending a letter directly to you by Mr Clepper who is en route for the seat of War in Virginia, as a volunteer in Col Terries regiment of mounted rangers, I will drop you a line. The war feeling engrosses the attention of all here, we hear of nothing but war and rumours of wars. Our county has sent two hundred men to Virginia and have two companies, one of Artilery and one of Cavalry, in the state, for confederate Service, so you see although we are in the back woods, we know our duties as patriotic citizens and members of the Southern Confedracy. Leroy left for virginia a week ago in Mr Powels Company, which is one of the twenty companies called for from this State by the President. My Father is now living in Robertson County on the Brazos. He was well when I heard from him. Charlie is married and living near me, he is doing well. Brother James is living in Grimes County in the Mill business, he is doing only tolerably well. Our Crops of corn were never better than they are this year. The Cotton crop will not be a good average crop owing to dry weather, from ten to twelve hundred per acre will be an average of this county. I received a letter from Josephine a few days ago, she states that all were well but that they had had a great deal of sickness in their family. Major Wood is suffering a great deal with inflamation of the eyes it is thought he will loose his sight. I have intended for some time to write to you on the subject of Margret Bailies Estate, have the heirs of my Mother any interest in that Estate, if not please let me know, by what act they have been debarred I would be glad to hear from you occasionally, and from my other relatives in Alabama. My warmest regards to all of my friends and believe me ever yours, Affectionately
              W. D. Mitchell
    Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability.
  • Lina Wood wrote to her father's younger sister Ella on 26 May 1867, "Aunt Bessies nurse has the itch which makes her very uneasy for fear Frank will have it. they now have Lucretia nursing for them. I see but little of Frank."
  • James L. Mitchell and Elizabeth M. Griffin appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Galveston, Texas. Other members of the household included Mary Josephine Mitchell, Virginia A. Mitchell, Frank Mitchell, Annie J. Mitchell and Sallie C. Mitchell. While daughter (or niece) Jane appears to be absent from the 1870 household, the fact that daughter Ellen is enumerated as "Millie Mitchell" three households away on the same page, with the Mitchell family number noted next to her name, indicates enumerator error in recording the household. And it is possible that Jane is enumerated as so Frank, age 10.
  • He was a railroad engineer, according to the 1870 census.
  • It appears that James and Elizabeth Griffin Mitchell died between 1870 and 1880, based on the presence of their three youngest daughters in the households of his brother William Mitchell and sister Josie Wood in the 1880 census.
  • Last Edited: 26 Oct 2014

Family: Elizabeth M. Griffin b. circa 1830