Excerpts from “Biography of Mrs. Susan Addie Holliday Mitchell” (b. 1853, daughter of Thompson Holliday) by Callie Mitchell Jones

Thank you to Jim Mitchell, descendant of Orlando, who sent me the typewritten copy of this excerpt. Below is my transcript, followed by some notes.

In 1868, at aged 15, Addie Holliday went to McGee College. Her father Thompson Holliday was very happy to have her go to McGee College for he loved Dr. Mitchell as a brother. Dr. Mitchell had formerly lived and preached in Monroe County. She went with her cousins Polly Atterbury and Emma Lightner. It was arranged for them to board at Grandfather Mitchell’s, who was such a close friend of the Holliday family.

During her last year at school she boarded with Uncle Jimps (James) Dysart and Aunt Mary. She enjoyed this very much, for Uncle Jimps was such a character and enjoyed teasing his boys and girls. Here she met and loved Willie Mitchell. Willie Mitchell was graduating June 26, 1874 from McGee College at College Mound, Macon County, Missouri with high honors. He was ordained a minister of the gospel in 1874. He accepted a call to preach in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Abingdon, Illinois.

Grandfather Holliday was pleased with the match. He liked papa very much and thought he was a very fine, deserving young man. Then too, he loved Grandfather Mitchell like a brother. He called him Brother Jim Mitchell. Grandfather Mitchell had lived in Monroe County, had preached at New Bethel. In fact, the Mitchells had stayed quite some time in Joseph Holliday’s home (Thompson’s father) when they first came to Monroe County. The wedding was Oct. 19, 1875 at 8:30 AM.

The day before the wedding, Aunt Callie, Uncle John, and Uncle Bob Mitchell and Cousin Sallie Mitchell came to Monroe County for the wedding.

Some additional wedding guests included Cousin Emma Dysart and Cousin Willie, Dr. Ben Dysart, and Cousin Hattie Patton.

After the lovely wedding breakfast they went to Grandfather Mitchell’s home at College Mound accompanied by Aunt Callie, Cousin Hattie Patton, Cousin Sallie Mitchell, Cousin Polly Atterbury, Uncle John and Uncle Bob Mitchell. It was a thirty mile drive. They had a lovely time visiting at Grandfather Mitchell’s and after four days left for their future home in Abingdon, Ill.

Grandfather Mitchell had a family reunion at College Mound the next June and Mother and Father came back. All the children were present. They had a grand time and went to Howard County for a visit with Grandmother Dysart. Papa wrote in his diary that it was a delightful visit for them both.

Their first child Emmett Holliday was baptized when he was three months old by Grandfather Mitchell at Macon, Mo.

Will Mitchell next preached at Biggsville, Ill. Grandfather Mitchell had resigned as President of McGee College and had accepted a pastorate at Kirksville, Mo. Father was instrumental in building a new church at Biggsville and Grandfather Mitchel dedicated it and made a little visit. After Callie was born Grandmother Mitchell soon came to Illinois to see them.

Another “Family Reunion” in the Mitchell family was being planned and Grandfather sent Uncle Lon, who was about seventeen to help mamma on her trip as papa was coming later. Grandfather Mitchell baptized me at this time.

Next Will went to Roanoke, Mo. Grandfather Mitchell had first preached in the Roanoke community, and they were happy for his son to fill their pulpit. They lived in Armstrong, 3 miles away. Bourne was born there. After eight years there they moved to Odessa…Uncle John, Uncle Orlando and Aunt Clara were so good to Mamma when she was having her eyes treated during this time.

They spent three years in Odessa, then two in Harrisonville. Then they moved to Marshall–papa took work from the Home Mission Board in New York…After Bourne left home they move to Bunceton, Mo., where Will preached for three years, and then back to Marshall…Emmett married Miss Betty Naylor of Mason City, Ill. Children Holliday, Robert and Betty Ruth.

From Marshall, after a sojourn in Eldorado Springs, they moved to Independence. He died Oct. 4, 1928, and she died Mar. 28 1935.

The bio is not of a direct descendant but is illuminating, elaborating on relationships, and providing information on the Mitchells in general. The Dr. Mitchell initially mentioned, a friend of Addie’s father, was James Bourne Mitchell b. 1821. Addie married James Bourne’s son, the Rev. James William Mitchell, who was born Sept 22, 1850.

“Uncle Jimps” Dysart is mentioned in a letter written by Lon (Leonidas) in 1930 and is Rev. James “Uncle Jimps” Dysart b. 1807 and died 1885.

Visitors for the wedding who arrived the day before were Louisiana Caroline “Callie” Mitchell, John Thompson Mitchell and Robert Gwyn Mitchell (my line), siblings of Willie. The other guests I’ll have to take a guess on. “Cousin Emma” was perhaps Emma Turner Dysart, b. 1835, wife of Benjamin Robert Dysart b. 1834. They had married in 1866. But Benjmain Dysart was a brother of James Warren Paleg Dysart, b. 1833, who she calles “Uncle Jimps”, and he was a lawyer rather than a doctor. I don’t know who Cousin Sallie Mitchell would have been.

She later mentions Uncle John, Uncle Orlando and Aunt Clara as being good to their mother when she was having her eyes treated. This would be Dr. John Thompson Mitchell, Orlando McDavid Mitchell, and Clara, Orlando’s wife.

Rev. James William Mitchell and Addie had two children, Emmett and Callie.

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3 Responses to “Excerpts from “Biography of Mrs. Susan Addie Holliday Mitchell” (b. 1853, daughter of Thompson Holliday) by Callie Mitchell Jones”
  1. Marilyn says:

    I wonder if you have the correct Jimps Dysart. If it is the one married to Mary, as mentioned in the text, I think it was James Sprague Dysart who married Mary Fray. I have this mention of him:

    Source: Tucker, Phillip Thomas. Westerners in Gray.
    James Sprague Dysart became the ordinance sergeant of the Fifth Missouri. He could claim Tennessee ancestry and hailed from one of the first pioneer and leading families of Randolph County. In addition, he was the surgeon’s relative and son of a Randolph County judge. James Dysart taught school for seven years after earning a McGee College education in the Dysart tradition. Then he set up shop as a College Mound merchant. Along with other residents, Dysart could only watch as his community was invaded by hundreds of Illinois troops in blue uniforms in June of 1861. This was enough to make him grab a gun and become a diehard Rebel. Young Dysart demonstrated talent as the ordnance sergeant of the First Battalion. (Page 22)

    Mary Fray was a sister to my husband’s great-grandfather, Columbus Fray.

  2. jmk says:

    Hi, Marilyn. Yes, that was my best guess above, that Uncle Jimps was James Warren Sprague Dysart who was married to Mary Fray. (I don’t remember where I picked up the idea he was a lawyer, I don’t have that profession in my database.) He was a brother of Martha Cowden Dysart who married Rev. James Bourne Mitchell. Their son James William Mitchell married Addie Holliday (Halliday). Anyway, that was the James Dysart who stood out to me as being a candidate for Uncle Jimps.

  3. Sue leitner says:

    In preparation for the funeral of my Mom, Ruby Fay Gwyn Tisue, I came across an 1898 plat map of Madison township that showed a fairly sizeable piece of land owned by Mrs. Susan Lightner. Since my married name is Suzanne (Sue) Leitner, pronounced Lightner, and since Mom’s maiden name was Gwyn, I was surprised to see both those names in your editorial above. Is there anything you can tell me about the Gwyns or Leitners? Thanks

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