MITCHELL, JAMES M., a worthy and well known citizen, Morgan County, Ill., who is successfully engaged in the coal business, was born in Pittsburg, Pa., June 21, 1831. He is a son of James E. and Mary (Melvin) Mitchell. In June, 1840, he came with his parents to Jacksonville, where, in boyhood he received his mental training in the public schools. In early manhood he applied himself to the milling business at the City Mills, being engaged in the buying and selling of wheat for about fourteen years. Subsequently, for about six years, he was engaged in the auction business on the Public Square, in Jacksonville. Still later, he undertook the manufacture of brick, in which line he was occupied for five years. Finally, he began dealing in coal, and now handles about 10,000 tons per years, his yards being located at the intersection of the Chicago & Alton and Burlington Railroads.
On May 1, 1860, Mr. Mitchell was united in marriage with Catherine Fitzgerald, a daughter of John Fitzgerald. Eight children were the offspring of this union, as follows: Clara B. (Mrs. Ralph Reynolds); Ida (Mrs. E. Whitmer); William, deceased; Edward M.; Clinton, of Jacksonville; Alexander, Stella and Clarence H. of Jacksonville. The mother of this family died in 1879, and in 1882, Mr. Mitchell was wedded to Lutha E. Brown, a daughter of Burton and Clara (Hilligass) Brown. This union resulted in four children, namely: Mina, Louise, Ruth and Fay, of whom the eldest is a teacher in the public schools and the others are students.
In politics, Mr. Mitchell adheres to the Democratic party, and has served five terms as Alderman. Religiously, he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a thoroughly capable business man, straightforward and upright in all his transactions, and is regarded as a substantial member of the community.