MITCHELL GRAVEYARD, HARRISON COUNTY, MO



The now extinct town of Mitchellville, the Mitchellville Church and the Mitchell family graveyard are located one-and-a-half miles south of Bethany, Missouri on highway 69. A gravel road between the old Mitchellville Church and the Mitchell family graveyard is the dividing line between Bethany and Cypress Townships. The cemetery is located in Bethany Township, 63 North, Range 28 West, and is located at the top of a gradual knoll, 100 yards east of highway 69 and 1/4 mile north of the gravel road. Mitchellville Church still stands (as of Oct 1, 2002) and is located on the east side of highway 69.


A Brief History of Mitchellville, a Town with a Brief Life,
and the Mitchell Graveyard, Harrison County, Missouri


The first permanent settlements in what is today Harrison County were along the southern border of the county, as most of its early immigrants came north from Clay and Ray Counties. Several families, including those of Jacob and William Mitchell, arrived in the area prior to 1840 and were well established by the time Harrison County was created by an act of the General Assembly on February 14, 1845. Prior to this date, it had been a part of Daviess County.

Jacob and William Mitchell are listed among the earliest settlers of Harrison County in "The History of Harrison & Mercer Counties", published in 1880. This excellent source of early county information states that William and Jacob Mitchell "and others settled on Sugar Creek in the southeast part of the county (Harrison), in the year 1838." As was most often the case with these early settlements, the areas obtained the name of the first or most prominent occupants. Thus, "Mitchellville" was born...even though there was nothing but a few scattered cabins and a small mill to show for it.

Within a few years, the Mitchellville area was home to several families, including the Mitchell, Gardner, Arnold, Slaughter, Tilley and Burris families. James Mitchell established a sawmill on Big Creek, directly west of the present church building. The local Methodist class was organized in 1867, and the first steps were taken to build a church in the fall of 1869. Although it was never formally incorporated, Mitchellville boasted a "population" of almost 100 souls by the mid 1860s with a church, school and two general merchandise businesses.

Unfortunately...and ironically...one of the first settlers and namesakes did not live long enough to see the growth of his little piece of the world beside Big Creek. But in his death, Jacob Mitchell insured his place in the history of Harrison County. In 1846, Jacob became the victim of the first murder trial ever held in Harrison County.

The story of his killing is told in several local publications, "The History of Harrison & Mercer Counties", published in 1888, and in Mitchell family lore. It seems that Jacob Mitchell and his "good friend" Josiah Spurgin became involved in a heated argument after consuming "large amounts of an intoxicating beverage", and Spurgin stabbed Mitchell to death. Spurgin was arrested and brought before the March term of the Circuit Court in 1848. Several witnesses testified that both men were drunk at the time of the affray and that they had never known the two to have a "cross word" prior to the incident. Spurgin was found guilty of manslaughter in the third degree and was sentenced to a term of three years imprisonment.

Mitchellville's decline came almost as rapidly as its birth. By 1900, all that remained was the church, a school that was used by only a few area students, and a few scattered farm houses. The Mitchells were gone. The children had married and moved to other areas while the older members of the family rested under the soil of a small family graveyard north of the church.

Today (2002) the church still stands and is still used for Sunday services. The Mitchell family graveyard is all but gone. Stones that once marked the graves of some of the earliest Harrison County settlers have been lost, broken or sunk into the soil. Others have been stolen. Twenty to twenty five friends and family members are buried in the Mitchell graveyard. Only about three can now be read. In 1974, Paul Mitchell (a great-grandson of James M. Mitchell) and other descendants gathered the broken and fallen stones in the graveyard and set them in a 10 feet-square pad of concrete. In the center they placed a large stone that reads: "Memorial to the Mitchell, Byrd, Arnold, Martin, Hull, Gardner and other pioneers buried on this knoll during the 1800s. Erected in 1974 by descendants of James M. and Lucinda E. Mitchell." A chain link fence with no gate was built around the concrete pad.

This information and narrative is submitted in honor of and in the memory of Reverend Paul Mitchell, great-grandson of James and Lucinda Mitchell...and my great-uncle. "A good, kind, and decent man who loved God and his family." Phil Stewart

Known or identified burials in the Mitchell Graveyard are:


SURNAMEGIVEN NAMEBIRTH DATEDEATH DATEOTHER INSCRIPTIONEDITOR'S NOTES
ARNOLDA. Lydia Jan 1, 1871Age: 35 years
Wife of Thomas A.
 
ARNOLDWilliam G. Feb 3, 1872Age: 28 years, 3 months, 12 days 
BYRD    No Other Information
GARDNERWilliam       
HULL         
MARTINLoretta       
MITCHELLJacob  1846 Son of J.M. & L. 
MITCHELL James M.      No marker
MITCHELL Lucindia Dec 15, 1813 Aug 15, 1883 Wife of James M. 
MITCHELLParmelia  Jan 28, 1886 Dau of H.H. & C. 

Misc Mitchell Family Information

John Mitchell was born in Pennsylvania in 1786, the son of John and Jannett (Clark) Mitchell. He married Ann Plummer in 1806 in Peace Township, Belmont County, Ohio. John and Ann Mitchell had the following children:

- Jacob Mitchell born 1807 in Belmont County, Ohio
- James Mullin Mitchell born Apr 24, 1810 in Belmont County, Ohio
- (female) Mitchell born abt 1810 in Belmont County, Ohio
Ann Mitchell died between abt 1810 in Belmont County, Ohio

John Mitchell then married Sarah Hart on May 27, 1812. They had the following children:

- Daniel Mitchell born abt 1816 in Ohio
- (female) Mitchell born abt 1820 in Ohio
- (female) Mitchell born abt 1823 in Ohio
Sarah Mitchell died abt 1823 in Ohio

John Mitchell then married a lady named Milicent (last name unknown). They had the following children:

- Benjamin Harrison Mitchell born 1825 in Belmont County, Ohio
- Thomas Mitchell born 1826 in Belmont County, Ohio

Milicent died prior to 1850

John married Jane Hunt in Harrison County, Missouri on Dec 1, 1855. They had no children.

John Mitchell died at Mitchellville, Harrison County, Missouri on June 29, 1863. Records indicate he is buried at Mitchellville. Although it is assumed he is buried in the Mitchell family graveyard, he might be in the nearby Burris Cemetery. Either way, the grave is unmarked.

James Mullin Mitchell was born on April 24, 1810 in Peace Township, Belmont County, Ohio, the son of John and Ann (Plummer) Mitchell. He married Lucinda Elizabeth Corbin on Feb 23, 1832 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Lucinda was the daughter of Luther Colvin and Mary "Polly" (Sharp) Corbin and was born Dec 15, 1813 in Ohio. James and Lucinda's first child, Edward C. Mitchell, was born Feb 12, 1835 in Tippicanoe County, Indiana. They soon moved to what would later become the Mitchellville area of Harrison County, Missouri, and there rest of their children would be born there. The children of James and Lucinda Mitchell were:

- Edward C. Mitchell born Feb 12, 1835 in Indiana
- Jacob Mitchell born abt 1837 in Harrison County, Missouri
- Zachariah Mitchell born 1838 in Harrison County, Missouri
- George Washington Mitchell born Jul 26, 1840 in Harrison County, Missouri
- Mary Elizabeth Mitchell born 1844 in Missouri
- Victor C. Mitchell born 1847 in Mitchellville, Harrison County, Missouri
- Ann Eliza Mitchell born Feb 1850 in Mitchellville, Missouri
- John G. Mitchell born Jan 1855 in Mitchellville, Missouri

Jacob Mitchell, the son of John and Ann (Plummer) Mitchell, was born in 1807 in Belmont County, Ohio and was killed in Harrison County, Missouri in 1846. He married a lady named Timmons (first name unknown) and had the following children:

- Unknown child born abt 1830
- John Mitchell born 1831 in Indiana
- Thomas H. B. Mitchell born 1835 in Indiana
- Joseph R. Mitchell born 1838 in Indiana
- Lucinda Mitchell born 1840 in Indiana
- Jacob A. Mitchell born Jun 15, 1844 in Harrison County, Missouri

Mitchell Family Members Known to Have Died In Harrison County, Missouri Between 1860 - 1880

Mitchell, Benjamin Harrison son of John & Milicent died: 1854
Mitchell, Daniel son of John & Sarah died: 1848
Mitchell, Greenberry son of Benjamin & Nancy died: Abt 1857
Mitchell, Jacob son of John & Ann died: 1846
Mitchell, Jacob son of James & Lucinda died: 1846
Mitchell, James Mullen son of John and Ann died: Apr 2, 1879
Mitchell, John son of John and Jannett died: June 1863
Mitchell, Lucy dau of Benjamin & Nancy died abt. 1857
Mitchell, William died: bef. 1865

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