William A. Mitchell
“Shelby county was largely settled by immigrants from the states of Ohio and Kentucky, and these in turn were either natives of the states further east, or were descendants of those who crossed the mountains in the days of the pioneers. A glance at the ancestry of the gentleman whose name heads this review will serve as an illustration of the above statement.
Paul Mitchell, grandfather of William A. Mitchell, was born in Kentucky and came to Shelby county, Indiana, when settlers were still few in number and the dense forest was still the principal landscape feature. His wife, Elizabeth (Coleman) Mitchell, was also a native of Kentucky. She became the mother of five children, among whom were Martha, William, H. D., and Washington, the father of William. Washington Mitchell was born in April, 1828, and died June 1, 1855, aged twenty-seven years. He married Letta J. Brown, a native of the county, and three children were born of this union. One of these died in infancy. Mary became the wife of James Sexton, of Shelbyville. The third is William, our subject, who was born on May 3, 1852. After her husband's death, his mother's second marriage was to Elza Swanigan.
William has lived in this county all his life with the exception of a short time spent in Tipton and Howard counties. He was married February 18, 1875, to Elizabeth Margaret Allen, who was born in Tipton county, Indiana, November 25, 1853. This union resulted in the birth of the following children: Mary J. was born February 20, 1876, and became the wife of Dr. J. E. Keeling, of Waldron, Indiana. George W., born December 19, 1877, who is a carpenter, and lives at Waldron. Dr. E. T. Mitchell was born February 13, 1880, and is a graduate of the Indiana Medical College of Indianapolis. He is practicing medicine at Romney, in Tippecanoe county. Charlie F. was born July 11, 1882, and follows farming. Bertha A. was born May 20, 1885, and is the wife of Elmer Amos.
The mother of these children died January 31, 1890, and Mr. Mitchell on December 23, 1891, was married to Elizabeth Leffler, who bore him one son, John W., born September 23, 1893. Mr. Mitchell and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and take an active part in promoting the advancement of the church interests. Mr. Mitchell has striven to lead an exemplary life and has carried out in his relations to his friends and neighbors those principles of Christian fellowship that have characterized him all through life. He is a member of the board of trustees of the church and has for many years been associated very actively with the Sunday school work, having served as superintendent and is now acting as teacher of one of the Bible classes. Mr. Mitchell is not only congenial in church affairs, but in social life also he has become well known. He takes a great deal of interest in the Knights of Pythias lodge, of which he is a member. He affiliates with the Democratic party and served as Trustee of Noble township for five years. He built the new school building at Geneva, and is at present a Justice of the Peace. He owns a fine farm, which, considering the fact that he began with nothing, is a good illustration of what may be accomplished by industry, perseverance and sound integrity."
From pp. 665-6 of Chadwick's 1909 History of Shelby County, Indiana
Submitted by Don T. Mitchell, great grandson of William Alexander Mitchell
Notes/corrections: (1) According to family and census records, Paul Mitchell was born in Rockingham Co., North Carolina. (2) Letta Jane Brown was born in 1829 in Decatur Co., Indiana, where her parents were married and lived at the time of the 1830 (census). (3) Elizabeth M. Allen was born in Warren Twp., Marion Co., Indiana, and married William Mitchell in Tipton Co., Indiana.