Martha Cowden Dysart Mitchell – Tribute and Obituary

Courtesy of Jim Mitchell who sent me the scans of an obituary and tribute published in a newspaper (name not preserved) on her death. Below is my transcript of the two pages.

A Loving Tribute to Mrs. Martha C. Mitchell

A writer has truly said: —

Each day some pearl drops from the jewel of friendship; — some lyre to which we have been wont to listen, is hushed forever.” This is confirmed today as we mourn the passing away of Mrs. Martha C. Mitchell. But why mourn.

“Call it not death, ti’s life begun,
The warfare is o’er, the victory is won.”

Surely the character of the “worthy woman” so beautifully portrayed by the pen of the inspired Kingly writer, is as a royal robe fitted to be worn by Mrs. Martha C. Mitchell. The christian traits of kindness, charity, wisdom and dignity constituting the warp and woof of this heavenly garment were hers. As a wife she possessed the loyalty of Sarah. “The heart of her husband safely trusted in her.” Miriam–like she was ever ready to acclaim the praises of Jehovah. Emulating Hannah she early brought her children to Jesus. Like Martha and Dorcas she labored industriously for the advancement of the christian faith, thus “Doing with dilligence whatsoever thy hand findeth to do:” While the crowning glories and graces of the Marys sweetly adorned her brow. Well may her chldren “rise up and call her blessed.”

Doubtless the fruits of her life met her at the gates of pearl, and now in heaven in the presence of unveiled Deity in celestial light she sees and knows the love and power that led her safely home.

(Illegible) G. W. Sharp, Mrs. W. C. Templeton, Mrs. H. L. Harris, Mrs. Minnie Willow, Mrs. W. A. Dodson, Mrs. Sam Guthrie, Mrs. F. L. Link, Mrs. H. J. Bailey, Mrs. D. C. Pierce, Mrs. Maud Allen, Mrs. W. T. Baird, Miss Althea Ringo, Mrs. P. J. Rieger, Mrs. S. F. Stahl, Mrs. J. D. Forsythe, Mr. Robert Lorenze.

This tribute written by Mrs. G. W. Sharp accompanied the flowers presented by members of the old Missionary Society of which Mrs. M. C. Mitchell of precious memory was a member.


Martha Cowden Mitchell (illegible) in Howard county, Missouri, March 5, 1825, and passed from this life to that beyond at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Dr. B. P. Fullerton, in St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 19, 1912. She was the oldest of ten children of family of John and Matilda Dysart. Her father came to Missouri in his early manhood in the year 1818, having been born in Tennessee in 1799. His parents affiliated themselves with the Cumberland Presbyterian church in his early history.

Mrs. Mitchell was an extraordinary woman, she possessed fine natural abilities; her opportunities to secure an education were very meager indeed in her youth, but she made the most of her advantages. She was united in marriage to Rev. J. B. Mitchell in November, 1846, professing religion and joining the Cumberland Presbyterian with her husband after their marriage.

Here has been a life of loving labor and sacrifice for her husband and her children, ten of whom they reared to manhood and womanhood. Her husband was called to his reward nearly eleven years ago, after they had traveled life’s journey together for nearly fifty-five years. To of her children, a son and a (illegible) preceded her to (illegible) more than a quarter (illegible) were spent in this city of Kirksville as the wife and co helper of one of its most devoted and beloved pastors. She was a noble helpmeet and her life and character was a living epistle to all who come into the spirit and acquaintance of her influence. As the wife and co-laborer of a pioneer missionary and minister, the influence of her life was far reaching, and many who have become useful (illegible) have rejoiced (illegible) over their lives. As (illegible) Israel, truly beloved and (illegible) esteemed, many rise up and call her blessed. A source of strength and support to her husband, an indefatigible worker in the church, yet probably the greatest work of her life was giving to the world a large family of industrious, useful sons and daughters. They are as follows:

Rev. B. P. Fullerton, D. D. son-in-law, Mrs. B. P. Fullerton, Lon S. Mitchell, of St. Louis, Mo.: Judge Henry Johnson, son-in-law, Mrs. Henry Johnson of Purdin, Mo.: Rev. J. W. Mitchell, of Marshall, Mo.; Henry Banister son-in-law and Mrs. Mary Banister, of Memphis, Mo.; Dr. J. T. Mitchell and O. M. Mitchell, of Kansas City, Mo.; Mrs. Susan McDavid of Coffeen, Ill. Mrs. McDavid and Mrs. Banister, the oldest and youngest daughters of Mrs. Mitchell, were unable to be present. The two sons from Kansas City did not reach Kirksville in time for the service, but were present at the interment.

The funeral service was conducted from the former Cumberland Presbyterian church of Kirksville, by the Revs. W. C. Templeton and William H. Johnston. The latter spoke sympathetically and tenderly from a long and intimate acquaintance with Mrs. Mitchell. Deprived so far as circumstances permitted she had been a mother devoted and beloved to him. A beautiful live has been lived; a pure and wholesome example has been given to the world. Her work has been completed and she has heard the call to come up higher and hear the plandit from the Master. “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

The interment was in the Forest Park cemetery, where beside the remains of her husband and daughter all that was mortal to this good woman was laid to rest until the coming of the resurrection.

Transcribed by J. M. Kearns

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