Letter from Robert Gwyn Mitchell to James Bourne Mitchell, June 28, 1898

Note: Robert Gwyn Mitchell, of our line, was a son of the Rev. James Bourne Mitchell, born June 27 1821 in Abingdon, Virginia, died March 12 1901 at Kirksville, Missouri. Robert mentions in the letter his brother Orlando “Lando” McDavid Mitchell and his wife Clara Wilson and their two children Horace Wilson and Martha. Thank you to Jim Mitchell for this letter. The stationary is that of the Sabbath School Assembly of the Synod of Missouri, Cumberland Presbyterian church. “Next Annual Encampment August 16-25, 1898, at Pertle Springs, near Warrensburg, Johnson County. Mo.” The letterhead shows the Executive Officers, the Presbyeterial Vice Presidents (of which R. G. Mitchell was the one for Macon) and the Executive Committee.

Kansas City, Missouri, June 28, 1898

Rev. J. B. Mitchell D.D.
Kirksville, Mo.

My Dear Father: –

Last week, I thought several times of the 27th being your birthday, and full expected to mention it in my letter Sunday, so you would get it on birth day. And just while I was writing, it occurred to me several times that there was something I wished to mention, lo this slipped me, and I did not think of the matter till yesterday. So I will have to beg your pardon for being forgetful – but and your indulgence on account of my previous intentions. Hope you had a pleasant and happy day. The come seeming by oftener as we grow older, and no doubt the (illegible) on these days are free of angst to you since your life has been a busy one, and has been largely for the good of others. Your work too has been appreciated by your friends and contemporaries. (Illegible) yes very many of your deceased friends have gone on (illegible) but your disposition and habits in life have been and are still such that you are actively interested in things that pertain to the citizen, the christian, the friend, companion and parish. I congratulate you on your arrival to the 77th mile stone, and (illegible) that the rest of your journey will be happy and (illegible) and I feel (illegible) that so long as you and (illegible) you will be the more endeared to your children, companions, relations and large circle of friends.

Jno. R. Mitchell

P.S. I was out to Lando’s yesterday evening. All well. Clara is getting along nicely and little Martha seems to be growing. Clara says she is a much better baby than Horace was. He is very fond of her and insists on having the privilege of holding her often. Clara says that Lando is much easier to wake up of a night to go do something for the little sister than he was for Horace.


R. G. Mitchell letter 1898


R. G. Mitchell letter 1898 pg. 2

J. B. Mitchell is Honored on Founders Day (Nov 26, 1931 news article on Missouri Valley College)


Portrait of James Bourne Mitchell

Thanks to Jim Mitchell for the scan of the news articles and the image of James Bourne Mitchell’s portrait. Below is my transcription.

J. B. Mitchell is Honored on Founders Day

M. V. C. Conducts an Impressive Program Yesterday

Founders Day at Missouri Valley College was observed yesterday, beginning in the morning at Stewart Chapel with an impressive program in honor of the Rev. James Bourne Mitchell D. D., who for many years was president of McGee College and then was very influential in the building of Missouri Valley.

Dr. L. N. Evrard of the faculty of the college paid high tribute to Dr. Mitchell as an educator, minister and gentleman. In accepting an oil portrait of Dr. Mitchell for the college, Dr. George P. Baity of Kansas City, president of the board of trustees added his praise from a personal knowledge of the entire Mitchell family.

President George H. Mack presided at the services. After an organ prelude by Dean Claude L. Fichthorn, of the school of music, the invocation was pronounced by Rev. B. P. Fullerton of St. Louis. Dr. Arthur E. Perry of Marshall read the scripture lesson. President Mack introduced Dr. Evrard, a former dean of M. V. C., and present head of the English department, who presented an interesting biographical sketch of Dr. Mitchell and a eulogy of his life.

Organized McGee College

Beginning his Christian experience in 1836, James Bourne Mitchell definitely decided to enter the ministry and in 1841 was received under the care of a Cumberland Presbyterian presbytery, thus affiliating himself with a group in which he was a powerful figure until his death. In 1845 he was ordained to the ministry and was pastor of the Bethel church in Monroe county for several years. Cumberland leaders completed arrangements for the organization of a college in McGee presbytery to be known as McGee college. This country preacher who was wonderfully educated in spite of the lack of college courses, was called to be first and only president of the institution, one of two institutions of higher learning in Missouri until 1874 when the college was closed due to adverse financial conditions over the nation as a whole. Very soon after he was made a member of the first committee of the Cumberland Presbyterian church to consider union with the U.S.A. branch, which was consummated five years after his death.

Worked Without Compensation

Still later he headed the church educational commission which laid the foundations for the present Missouri Valley College. Dr. Black once said, “Without the devoted spirit and unselfish work of Dr. Mitchell, Missouri Valley College would never have had an existence.” After intensive labor by the commission members, Dr. Mitchell alone traveling two-hundred days without compensation in behalf of the new college, M. V. C. was founded with an endowment of $104,381.08, a building fund of $60,000 and a deed to forty acres of land for the campus. The spirit of this work done by Dr. Mitchell has certainly been influential in the history of Missouri Valley and promises more victories for that institution in the future.

In paying tribute to this remarkable man yesterday, Dr. Evrard said, “He became a great scholar, though he never had a college course; a great religious thinker and preacher, though he never attended a theological seminary; and he became a great man because he had princely qualities of self command. He was all of these because he was an indefatiguable worker, never idle. He learned to be master of himself.” These words constitute a real tribute to a worthy man.

Presented Portrait

Mrs. Llewellyn Jones, ’02, presented to Missouri Valley College an oil portrait of her illustrious grandfather.

In the presentation speech Mrs. Jones gave a very personal and touching insight into the home and private life of Dr. Mitchell, giving intimate glimpses of old-fashioned family reunions, the old family home at Kirksville with its colonial architecture and large flower gardens, and the love this man had for all those surrounding him in the congenial hospitality of the old home. As Mrs. Jones formally presented the portrait the audience stood as two other grandchildren, Mrs. Charles Tooker and Miss Martha Mitchell, unveiled it. Miss Mildred Alice Mitchell, a great granddaughter of the honored man and a future student for Missouri Valley, placed a memorial wreath upon the portrait easel. The presentation was in the name of the three living children of Dr. Mitchell, Mrs. B. P. Fullerton of St. Louis, Mr. Lon S. Mitchell of Kansas City and Mr. Orlando M. Mitchell of St. Louis.

In accepting the portrait in behalf of the college, Dr. George P. Baity who heads the board of trustees, spoke of his personal association with Dr. Mitchell and praised him for the way he invested his life so excellently in his home, family, school and church. It was Dr. Mitchell that helped Dr. Baity decide to devote his life to the ministry. Speaking of the work of Rev. Mitchell he said, “Some labor and others enter into their labors,” showing from this the absolute devotion of the man to his task.

Following the singing of a hymn and awarding of honors by Dean Clarence L. Miller the benediction was pronounced by Rev. Russell D. D.

At moon a luncheon for old McGee students, graduates and friends of Missouri Valley was held in the dining room of Young Hall, followed by a reception in the parlors of that dormitory.

Honor a College Founder

Missouri Valley Pays Tribute to the Late J. B. Mitchell

(By the Star’s own service.)

Marshall, Mo. Oct 16 — Missouri Valley college paused today to do honor to its founder, the Rev. J. B. Mitchell, and to accept an oil portrait of him from his children, O. M. Mitchell, Kansas City banker; Lon S. Mitchell, Osceola, Ark., and Mrs. B. P. Fullerton, St. Louis.

Mitchell founded McGee college near Macon, the predecessor of Valley, and guided it from its founding in 1853 through the Civil War period. His three children and three grandchildren took active parts in the program. J. Bourne Mitchell, Kansas City grain broker, and Miss Martha Mitchell of Kansas City and Mrs. Llewellyn Jones, Independence, Mo., unveiled the portrait.

It was received by Dr. G. P. Baity, Kansas City, president of the board of M. V. C. Also taking part in the founder’s day were Mrs. J. W. Lyman, 3312 Holmes street; Mr. and Mrs. William B. Young, 316 West Fifty-sixth street and Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Morrison, West Fifty-ninth street, all of Kansas City.

UPDATE: Mitchell Noll has contributed a picture of the family present at this event. He’s unable to identify all in the photo (is hoping others will be able to assist). He does note, “I do recognize Orlando MITCHELL (2nd man from left on back row). I also recognize three of the GUTHRIEs in the lower right corner (cousins).”

James Mitchell notes, “I recognize my great grandfather Orlando and his daughter Pat. Its on the Missouri Valley College campus. Guessing the guy in the uppermost left is Lon (Leonidas) and the young guy below him is James Bourne a grandson of James Bourne. These are guesses based on who was there.”

Thank you Mitchell and James!

Mitchell Family at Dedication

Mitchell Family at Founders Day

Mitchell Family at Founders Day

Mitchell Family at Founders Day

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.

Will of James Bourne Mitchell, Attested March 6, 1900

In the Name of God, Amen.

I, James B. Mitchell, of Kirksville, Adair, Co., Missouri, being of sound mind, and believing in the existence of the One true and living God, the Father and Holy Spirit, in the immortality and responsibility of man, in the verbal inspiration of the holy scriptures, in the resurrection of the bodies of all the dead of the human family by the power of God in Christ, and in eternal life through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, do make and hereby declare this to be my last will and testimony: viz:

1. I commit my spirit to God through faith in Jesus Christ as my personal savior and Lord, being fully assured by His word and spirit of eternal life through Him.

2. I give my body to the tomb whence God shall call me, in blessed assurance of its being resurrected at the last day in the likeness of the glorified body of the Redeemer by his almighty power.

3. I will and bequeath all my personal and real estate to my wife, Martha C. Mitchell, for her maintenance, comfort and use in acts of benevolence during her natural life, conditioned as follows: That if she survive me and remains my widow, she shall have the free use of all, or any necessary part, of my personal and real estate during her natural life so far as needed to promote her personal comfort, and for such acts of humane and Christian beneficence as she may do for the Lord’s honor in human good.

4. I will that at my wife’s death so much of my estate, personal and real, as may remain shall be equally divided among my surviving children, or if deceased, their bodily heirs, subject to the following conditions relative to my daughter, Mary, and her bodily heirs.

5. As our daughter Mary is not strong and may not otherwise have the means of personal comfort, and that of her child or children, I will that if not sooner done, my executors hereinafter named, or their successors in office, may provide for her an inexpensive but comfortable home, by rent or purchase, as they may deem best, which, with her share of my estate as one of my bodily heirs, shall be held in trust for her personal comfort, and that of her child or children, by our son John T. Mitchell, as trustee, during her lifetime, which at her decease shall all revert to my estate, provided, however, that if at her death she leave a child or children, they shall inherit her equal part of my estate, to be divided at my wife’s death; provided also that if such child or children die without bodily heirs, what remains of her share shall revert to my estate.

6. I will that at my wife’s death, so much of my personal and real estate as may remain shall be equally divided among my surviving children, or their bodily heirs of deceased, subject to the conditions above named relative to Mary and her bodily heirs.

7. I will that after all my debts are paid, such part of my estate as my wife may consider not needed for her ample maintenance and comfort may be equally divided among our natural heirs, subject to the conditions above stated. As my wife inherited a part of what we own from her father’s estate and has ever done a full and effective share in accumulating and preserving what property the Lord in his goodness has enabled us to acquire, and as I desire that her happiness be promoted thereby as fully as under the Lord that may be realized, I will that after my decease, she reside where and how she may choose as most conducive to her personal comfort and welfare.

8. I will that my wife, Martha C. Mitchell, and our son Robert G. Mitchell, shall jointly execute this my last will and testimony, and I hereby appoint them thereto, to settle up my estate as herein provided; provided in the case of the death of either or both of these, or the trustee above named, then my surviving sons shall appoint their successors respectively, and that said executors and trustee serve without bond, it being understood that they will make no charge for services against the estate except for necessary expenses incident thereto.

9. Authority is hereby given to my executors to sell any and all property belonging to the estate, when and how they may judge to be best for all interested therein, and to collect all debts due the estate, in carrying out this will.

10. I will that in settling up my estate no recourse be made as to the Civil Courts further than in compliance with what the law demands in such cases, as all our children are of lawful age and will without doubt do full justice to each other therein; and I will that no informality or other such fact be a bar to the validity of this my will, or its being carried out as provided therein.

Signed and subscribed to by me in the presence of the witnesses hereto attached on this the 6th day of March 1900.

(signed) James B. Mitchell

We hereby attest that James B. Mitchell of this city and state, did at this date and in our presence affix his name to the above paper, saying in connection therewith that it was his last will and testimony.

Kirksville, Mo. March 6th, 1900.

(Signed) J. W. Martin

(Signed) H. H. Morriss

The above was transcribed by me from a typewritten copy courtesy of Jim Mitchell, descendant of Orlando. James Bourne Mitchell died March 12, 1901 in Kirksville. James here expresses concern about daughter Mary Frances “Fannie”, b. 1868, who married Henry M. Bannister b. April 4, 1863. Mary was married to Henry Bannister, not a professional (unlike Mary’s siblings), the 1900 census giving him as a day laborer. He died in 1913. in the 1920 census Mary is in Missouri State Hospital #2, which was an asylum that housed everyone from the mildly depressed to the criminally insane. She died May 30, 1924, survived by a son, Henry Homer Bannister, born March 9, 1894, died Jan 19, 1981.

James Bourne Mitchell and Family

Dorothy Mitchell McClure gave this to me when I was young. I didn’t make a note who had written it and am unsure who it was. Dorothy added that the below mentioned Missouri Valley College was her Alma Mater.

* * * * *

James Bourne Mitchell and family

by a descendant of J. B. Mitchell

James B. Mitchell was born 27 June 1821, died March 12, 1901. He was the grandson of Robert Craig–son of John Mitchell and Ann Middleton Craig.

Martha C. Dysart, born 5 March 1825–died February 19, 1912.

To the descendants of Dr. J. B. Mitchell and Martha Cowden Dysart Mitchell, his wife, you should have some background of the Mitchell family of Donegal Co., Ireland. A captain in the English Merchant Marine and father of our grandfather, J. B. Mitchell, established the Mitchell family in the United States. Our grandfather told Orlando Mitchell that his father had crossed the Atlantic seventeen times. The last time he had a young lady passenger who was coming across to visit her brother in Abingdon, VA. My great-grandfather, John Mitchell, fell in love with her, quit the ocean, and followed her to Abingdon where he married her–Miss Elizabeth King–on the 14th of May, 1794. Elizabeth King Mitchell died the 13th of May, 1806.

On the 16th of July, 1908, John Mitchell married Nancy Middleton Craig, my great-grandmother, and from this union J.B. Mitchell, my grandfather, was the youngest child, having been born June 27th, 1821. His father passed away in August of the same year. The family lived upon a farm near Abingdon, where they remained until they came to Missouri in 1836. It was in 1836 that J.B. Mitchell wrote he was converted but did not join the church until 1839. All this time, he felt the Lord was calling him to enter the ministry. In 1841, he was taken under the care of Presbytery in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In 1845 he was ordained and became pastor of Bethel Church in Monroe County, Missouri. He was married to Martha Cowden Dysart in 1846.

He was called to the presidency of McGee College in 1853 and was its president until it closed in 1874. He then became pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Kirksville, Mo., which he served until health forced him to retire. His death was March 12th, 1901. His life was a full one. He had a standing order with a publishing company to send him all the new outstanding books. All who knew him say he was a great educator, administrator and had a great personality, beloved by all. In other words, he was a leader in the cultural life of his time. He served as moderator of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the highest office that his church could bestow.

He was also thought of in Masonic Circles as you will see from the following quotation from citation from the most worshipful Masters of Missouri: “Most Worshipful Marcus Boyd, Esq. 1858; Marcus H. McFarland, Esq. 1860; W. R. Penik, Esquire, 1861; Grand Masters of Masons of Missouri in above years, having confidence in the moral worth and Masonic skill of Rt. W. Rev. James B. Mitchell do hereby constitute and appoint him D.D. Grand Master for the 8th Masonic District composed of the Counties Macon, Randolph and Howard.” (All signed by) A. C., Sullivan, Grand Secretary.

He was saddened when McGee College was forced to close for lack of money, for he felt the need of Christian Education for the Youth of the Land. The leaders in the church felt the same need and went to work to establish a school with an endowment that could be relied upon for part of its expense. With all their work, they could not get the job done so they called up J. B. Mitchell to accomplish what the rest had failed to do. Dr. J.B. Mitchell made the drive, giving 200 days of his time to this effort without remuneration and was successful. Missouri Valley College was a dream come true. As Dr. Black, first president of Missouri Valley College said, “Without the devoted spirit and unselfish work of Dr. Mitchell, Missouri Valley College would never have had an existence. Dr. Mitchell and his wife still live. They live, to be sure, in the work of their five sons and five daughters, worthy children all. They live in grandchildren and they liven in Missouri Valley College, which is the flowering of the seed that they planted and a revitalization of abiding hopes.”

Dr. J.B. Mitchell’s family, and all the kin I have been privileged to visit from Abingdon, Virginia, on out west, have been people above the average and people with whom you would like to visit.

The five boys of Dr. J. B. Mitchell are as follows:

Dr. John Thompson Mitchell, a physician, born Oct. 12, 1847 – died November 4, 1912, married Addie Holliday. He was a preacher and had one of the best minds I have ever contacted. I tried him out in everything, Latin, Greek and higher math and I could never stump him. (NOTE by JK: John was not married to Addie Halliday. Instead it was Rev. James William Mitchell, a brother not listed in this biography, who was born Sep 22 1850 in MO and died 1928 Oct 4. He married Addie Holliday Oct 19 1875. As you can see the bio lists 5 boys but only gives 4. I received it from my grandmother and only can imagine that Dr. John and Rev. James were accidentally compressed into one person at some point.)

Robert Gwyn Mitchell, born Oct. 19, 1852 – died March 6, 1908, married Lena Carhart. He was a lawyer and so good the U.S. government called upon him to break the trusts. He was a great church man, Sunday School teacher and went to the different churches talking tithing. He talked it and did it.

Leonidas Stratten Mitchell, born August 11, 1863, died 27 February 1940. He married Laura Owens and that one act showed me he was brilliant. It was wonderful to see him, in his quiet way, get things done where others failed. To sum it up, he told me once, “Give me a pencil and paper, and I don’t believe anyone can out figure me.” He proved this was so.

Orlando McDavid Mitchell, born May 6, 1865, died Oct. 27, 1948, married Clara Wilson. His business was banking, safe deposit and investment work. I must not forget fishing. He had the power of relaxing and lived longer than any of his brothers. He kept an account that was the Lord’s. He helped greatly at Missouri Valley College, investing its money wisely and drawing on the Lord’s account for its help.

On looking at the wives of the sons, I feel that they all married well. If you know me, I am rather choosy and I loved them all for they were more than good to me. I saw more of Aunt Laura and Aunt Clara and they were, and are tops in my book.

The boys seemed to have done well, how about the girls?

Susan Ann, born Feb. 21, 1849, died Sept. 7, 1920, married James S. McDavid. You know that when Dr. J.B. Mitchell was banished during the Civil War the McDavids over in Illinois took care of him and his family and gave them a home on their farm. This is how Sue met James McDavid.

I must put a soty of my own in here. During the last depression, a McDavid came to Kansas City to see if he could raise money to save their bank. A friend brought him over to ask me what I thought of the deal. He talked along for a while, then I spoke up and said the McDavid family had helped my grandfather in the Civil War days and I was glad that a Mitchell could return the favor now. It about knocked this McDavid cold. He said, “What do you know about that? They paid every cent back, a favor that was settled by a grandson for the favor to his grandfather.”

Louisa Caroline married Rev. B.P. Fullerton. Aunt Cal, as we called her, was born July 4, 1895 and died January 22, 1944. She was the life of any party she attended. She had to be to keep up with Uncle Baxter. B. P. Fullerton received the highest honor that the U.S.A. Presbyterian Church could bestow, that of moderator of its General Assembly. The last time I ever saw Uncle Baxter was when he gave a beautiful prayer at Missouri Valley College, when grandfather’s picture was unveiled and given to the school.

Orpha Lou, born October 17, 1857, died July 11, 1925. She married Henry Johnston. Aunt Orpha read her Bible through each year and taught in the Sunday School. Uncle Henry was a farmer and a banker, and a good one too, the leader of his community. He had the best small bank in Missouri.

Bettie Sprague Mitchell, born Dec. 7, 1858, died Nov. 20, 1882, Uncle Lon said she was the sharpest of the lot.

Mary Fannie, born May 4th, 1868, afflicted in youth, died May 30th, 1924, married Henry Bannister. If you wish to take an appraisal, the girls did real well too.”

Transcribed by JMK 2001

On McGee College at College Mound, Missouri

McGee College
College Mound, Missouri

Taken from the history of Macon County, MO (1910), pages 143-144

McGee College, at College Mound, was incorporated under act of the 17th General Assembly of Missouri, approved February 23, 1853. The original board of directors was composed as follows: James Dysart, Thomas McCormack, Stephen Gibson, Isaac Teter, Stewart Christel, Macon County; William A. Hall, Giles Crook, Joseph Turner, Matthew C. Patton, Samuel C. Davis, Nicholas Dysart, Randolph county; James B. Mitchell, William Holliday, Monroe county.

College Mound is in the southwest part of Macon county, on a beautiful eminence, giving a broad view of the picturesque landscape in almost every direction. The college building is a large, commodious brick structure, one of the finest and most imposing of its class in its day. The town was situated on a stage line running from Huntsville to Des Moines, Iowa. Soon after the establishment of the college it grew to be quite an important place. A number of boarding houses were erected and several other structures. The attendance, previous to the Civil War, was about 200 students, coming from the various portions of Missouri and surrounding states. The Rev. James B. Mitchell, member of the Board of Trustees, was chosen President and filled the office as long as the institution was operated by McGee Presbytery, with the exception of two years (1865-1866) when the Rev. John N. Howard, who came from Ohio, acted as President. The school was closed until the war ended, and in 1867 it was reopened and Dr. Mitchell was recalled to the presidency.

The Rev. “Jimps Dysart” was among the earnest promoters of McGee College. It was his land on which the town and college were built. It seems there is no complete record in existence of the enrollment of McGee College.

Not long ago the late Robert G. Mitchell, son of President J.B. Mitchell; Major D. R. Dysart and Captain Ben Eli Guthrie furnished the following list of the living alumni from memory:

The Rev. B.P. Fullerton, St. Louis’ Major A.W. Mullins, lawyer, Linneus; Frank Sheets, lawyer, Chillicothe; L. H. Moss, lawyer, St. Joseph; Dr. John T. MItchell, Kansas City; Rev. J. W. Mitchell, Marshall; Rev W. O. Perry, Stewartsville; George Mayhall,lawyer, New London; Rev. D. E. Bushnell, Alton, Illinois; Captain John M. London, Kaseyville; Bingham Trigg, Marshall; Rev. J. T. Johnson, Chicago; Rev. H. M. Boyd, Weaverville, North Carolina; Rev. J. D. Hull, Japanese Missionary; Rev. W. Benton Farr, Texas; Hon. F. C. Farr, lawyer, Kansas City;’ Hon. W. W. Whitsett, lawyer, Pleasant Hill; Captain Ben Eli Guthrie, Major B. R. Dysart, Captain Ben F. Stone, Judge R. S. Matthews and John T. Banning, Macon.

Bench and Bar Bio of Robert G. Mitchell

Bench and Bar of St. Louis, Kansas City, Jefferson City and other Missouri Cities. Biographical Sketches. St. Louis and Chicago, American Biographical Publishing Company, 1884.


Robert Gwyn Mitchell of the firm of Dysart and Mitchell, is a son of James B. and Martha C. (Dysart) Mitchell, and dates his birth in Monroe County, Missouri, October 19, 1952. His father is a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, born in Virginia, and his mother is a native of this state, and a sister of Benjamin R. Dysart, one of the leading lawyers in Macon county, and mentioned in preceding pages of this work. The family came to Macon county in 1853, before Robert was a year old, and his father was president of McGee College for many years, being now pastor at Kirksville.

The subject of this notice farmed until seventeen years old, attending school during the winter terms, and then took a classical course in McGee College, Macon County, and was graduated in 1874. Afterward he taught three years in Chariton and Macon counties, making quite a success as an educator. He read law with his uncle, Mr. Dysart, already mentioned; was invited to the bar in 1989 and since August of that year has been of the firm of Dysart and Mitchell, his partner being his preceptor. He was county school commissioner for four years, his term expiring in April 1883.

Mr. Mitchell is not only talented, but for a young man possesses a high degree of culture. He is thoroughly devoted to his profession, diligent in his studies, as well as in his practice, eminently reliable and trustworthy, and is a rising young man. He holds a membership in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and is living a life consistent with his Christian profession.


Written by the Rev. James Bourne Mitchell b. 1821 June 27 in Abingdon, Washington, Virginia, died 1901 March 21 in Kirksville, Adair, Missouri.

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Published in “The Observer” date unknown

Thus wrote a dear brother in the Lord who is in the strength of Christian manhood and usefulness, and it will be granted that it is a blessed thing to have the heart undivided, set on heaven from the day we are born of God.

When I was a small boy my oldest brother left our Virginia home to seek employment in Missouri, as mother agreed with him that his services were no longer needed on the farm. After several years had passed he arranged to make us a visit of which he wrote mother in such terms as suggested that his heart was yearning to be in the home circle again. On the day he was expected mother could not await his arrival, hence ordered her horse saddled and taking me up behind her, she went to meet him. The meeting occurred where the view on the road was unobstructed for quite a distance. As we rode along mother said in tones of animated tenderness, “James, I see your brother William coming,” and just then we heard him exclaim, “O, my dear mother! Have you come to meet me?” Quickening the movement of their horses, they were soon in each other’s embrace. What a joyous meeting between mother and son. While I was not overlooked the mother and the long absent son were the crowning of the scene.

That devout Christian mother who taught my young heart to seek and serve the Lord has been in her heavenly home many years, but that has not lessened her maternal love, hence I expect her as certainly to meet and welcome her youngest son somewhere on the confines of heaven, within the pearly gates, as she did her oldest child on his arrival from the far West. The whole trend of divine revelation is in evidence of personal recognition in heaven and tends to sweeten the anticipations of the blessed home of God’s family.

It is accepted, however, that all Scriptural thought about those heavenly mansions cluster around the Lord Jesus Christ who has gone thither to prepare places for His redeemed ones. He will be their all and in all amidst the infinite glories, as the mother was the chief joy to the home-bound son. Paul speaks of the believer’s departure from earth as being absent from the body and present with the Lord, and the dying Stephen cried out, “Lord, Jesus, receive my spirit.” No wonder then that Paul should say, “I have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.”

Notwithstanding the richness of heaven’s experiences it would be a great mistake to serve the Lord simply or mainly in order to enjoy its blessedness; yet we despoil ourselves of much of spiritual good if we fail to take in a large field of heavenly meditation as a daily habit of life. No one of earth has been more unselfish than was Moses, and of him in connection with his self-denials, it is sad that “he had respect unto the recompense of reward.” There is no reason to doubt that his mind-picture of Canaan, as in some delightful sense a type of heaven, made him all the more persistent in his entreaty to the Lord to be permitted to pass over into the promised land. While we should not desire to leave the earth for heaven because of present labors, trials or suffering other than in entire submission to the will of the Lord, yet having “our conversation in heaven from whence we look for the Savior,”greatly enlivens and strengthens us for present labors, and wondrously sustains us under the afflictions and sorrows incident to this life.

It may, therefore,be safely said that in an important sense heaven is the goal of the Christian’s race the consummation of his most cherished hopes. It is set before us in the Bible in such terms as evidently intended to have a molding influence upon our lives. To be heavenly minded is a blessed state, and may be enjoyed by all God’s children in every possible condition of life, and certainly not less as the evening shades are lengthening toward the opposite horizon. As to Paul, so to all His dear ones, the Lord makes the straits of the present yield the sweet experience, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!” Hence “a desire to depart and to be with Christ” when then Father so wills, fills the heart of God’s faithful servants with solid comfort and unspeakable joy as they near their heavenly home.

Kirksville, MO

James Bourne Mitchell Autobiography

James B. Mitchell was born 27 June 1821, died March 12, 1901. He was the grandson of Robert Craig–son of John Mitchell and Ann Middleton Craig. He married Martha C. Dysart, born 5 March 1825–died February 19, 1912. They resided in Randolph Co. MO.

This autobiography is had courtesy of Mitchell Noll.

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James Bourne Mitchell Autobiography


In response to an urgent and repeated request of my son, Dr. John T. MITCHELL, the following sketch has been written after much hesitation and prayer as to whether the paper should be prepared and if so, what should be its contents.

To write about ones self is a very unpleasant talk to me and may be a temptation to think and say of ones self more highly than we ought to think or say. How far this has been avoided in these pages the reader will decide; but if this error has been committed, a sad failure of a fixed purpose has occurred.

To be true to history and therein to honor the Lord has been the rule of thought and expression. May the Lord honor himself in any gratification these pencilings may give to this son, his brothers and sisters, or their beloved Mother is my earnest desire.

Nativity and Parentage

James Bourne MITCHELL, youngest child of John and Ann M. MITCHELL, was born in Washington County, Virginia, June 27th, 1823. His Father was a native of Donegal County, Ireland, and his Mother was born and grew into womanhood in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Her maiden name was CRAIG, daughter or Robert and Jane CRAIG.

John MITCHELL became a sailor in early boyhood and so continued for a number of years, being the Captain of a merchant ship for several years before he left the sea. He was born on a farm and had three brothers, James, Robert and George and one sister, Sarah. John and Robert, and a nephew, Andrew MITCHELL, were the only members of the family known to have emigrated to America. Robert and Andrew died without families. John died when his son James, the subject of this sketch, was only a few weeks old. The family resided on the farm where James was born until he had passed his fifteenth year. He was there taught habits of industry and economy; and the practical workings of a Christian life was inculcated by his Mother, who was an intelligent, energetic and self-sacrificing Christian. Her wisdom, good management and devoted Christian life were a rich heritage to her four sons and dour daughters. Though rather feeble for a number of years before her death, she made farm life attractive to her children resulting in the home being stored with sufficient plenty and the scene of family development and enjoyment. It so occurred,however, that the two younger sons had no other school advantages than the rural schools which were much less equipped for efficiency then now to be found in the common schools generally. Four miles had to be walked daily in going to and from the rude log school house of the community. Such things were not then considered a hardship, however, but merely facts of life to be met and mastered notwithstanding. James, like his father, was rather feeble physically until he passed his sixteenth year.

Removal to Missouri

In the fall of 1836, the family moved to Missouri and settled on a farm in Randolph County, where the devoted Mother died July 12, 1837, peacefully trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. On the evening of her death, she gave a Christian Mother’s parting counsel to each of her children present, and left words of loving advice for those away from home, offering an earnest prayer audibly for the salvation and Christly living of all her dear ones. Humanly speaking, her departure was a heavy loss to her children, as under her wise counsel and firm but loving government they had felt safe and happy. Her sweet Christian spirit and strraightforward womanly lifehad been a great inspiration to them, and to her they all, young and older, looked up with filial reverence and tender affection. Hence to be bereft of her personal presence and influence was a berevement no greater than which can befall an ungrown child. She left a precious motherly letter laid away by her ownloving hands in her trunk for them, written only a few weeks before her death, and not known to them until she had gone up to her heavenly reward.

His Youth under a Brother’s Care

At this time, James was only sixteen years old, the age at which the daily influence of the parent has so much to do in developing the future character. His second brother, Robert, had remained with the family and under the Mother, was the business manager. James shared fully in Robert’s warm brotherly care and supervision. Though not then a Christian, Robert was upright and scrupulously observed the rights and interests of others so far as social and secular relations go. In their now motherless home, farm life had its usual ups and downs as well as its impressive lessons of industry, frugality and self-reliance, which features are never lost on the well disposed and considerate youth.

The country being comparatively new, educational facilities were limited. Between the attention needed to be given to the farm and the infrequent and short school terms, mental culture from this source was necessarily slow and had to be supplemented by private home study at leisure hours. These hours a youth can utilize to good results if it is the determination to make the best possible personal improvement.

For several years after the Mother’s death, two brothers–Robert and James and two sisters–Ann and Louisa constituted the home family. Robert being much from home on business, the care and labor of the farm were mostly in the hands of James, and it may be added that his management and labor received Robert’s warm commendation.

The Origin and Working of his Christian Life

Up to this time, none of the brothers and sisters were Christians. In the spring of 1838, James accompanied his sisters to a sacramental meeting held at Sugar Creek Church in that county, under the pastoral care of Rev. Samuel C. DAVIS of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, on the last day of which he went forward for prayer and religious instruction. While as the result of his Mother’s teaching and practical Christian influence,he had been accustomed from early childhood to say his evening prayer, and read the scriptures, this had been mainly a formal habit, ripening however into a conviction of duty. From this time, he became prayerful in a better cause and read the Bible to learn the will of God. He trusted in Christ for personal salvation at home, in July 1838, while out on the farm at his usual work, and was very happy in his clear view of Jesus Christ as present to save him.

After the meeting referred to, it was his custom to carry a small Testament in his pocket in which to read short passages at leisure moments. Being alone at the time just mentioned and feeling greatly oppressed by a conviction of personal sinfulness,went to an adjoining wood and bowed in prayer with his Testament open at Matt. 11:28-30, which specially helped him then and there to look to Jesus for personal salvation. Thus going to the Savior, he was so richly blessed as to constrain him to speak out the Redeemer’s praise. Robert was from home when this precious experience of grace was realized. That evening, James told his sisters of his joyous experience and proposed to have family prayer which had been the daily custom of the household in their Mother’s lifetime. To this they readily consented, uniting within each evening in the service. Though these services were conducted in much weakness they were a rich feast to his young heart. When Robert returned home, James told him of his conversion and asked him if he might hold family worship every evening. To this Robert assented though he would sometimes retire before the service was held. Thus the fallen-down family altar was rebuilt and sought to be honored while the family remained together.

He Unites with the Church

Having informed himself relative to the doctrines and policy of the several churches in thatportion of the country, James united with the Eldad congregation of the Cumberland Presbytian Church of which Rev. S. C. DAVIS was pastor, in May of 1839. His parents were Presbyterians.

Conviction of Duty to Preach the Gospel

Coincident with his conversion, James felt it to be his duty to preach the Gospel which conviction was as clear and forceful as the evidence that he was a child of God. Of this however, he made no mention to anyone for some months, indeed not until some time after he had joined the church. This deeply felt conviction was a matter of daily thought and prayer. Though there was the consciousness of personal unworthiness for so holy a work and many serious difficulties confronting him, from the very first, it was as well settled in his mind that he ought to preach the Gospel as that he should pray, read the word of God, or engage in any other religious duty. While there was no light as to how he could become prepared for so responsible a work, he felt that he dared not say “No” to the Spirit’s deep conviction. When tempted to let the attending difficulties become an embarrassment, the”Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel” would ring in his heart in tones of controlling warning. But when he sought grace to trust the Lord Jesus Christ for help in the undertaking he was always filled with comfort and hopefullness.

Struggles, Hopes and Disappointments

One day while out on the farm with his brother, he told him of his conscious duty to preach, for which Robert did not seem at all prepared. Though he spoke kindly in his response, his words showed plainly that he suggested that it involved a very laborious and self-sacrificing life, having but small pecuniary renumeration, especially in a new country as that then was, reminding James that he was yet quite young to be thinking of entering upon so responsible a work, and more, that he did not have the needed education or the means of securing it. He added that he would not be in his way of living a consistent Christian life but thought it best to lay the matter of preaching till he reached riper years, closing with the remark that the impression, as he called it, might pass off after a time. The reference to youthfulness and the need of the necessary education without the means to procure it were recognized as important considerations to be had in mind, but the conviction that he must be true to the Lord’s leadings remained unimpaired in its authoritative force. he continued to read his Bible and to pray daily for light and strength to do the Lord’s will.

It was not long after this conference with his brother that from an unexpected source a proposition came to James to place him in a good school and this without the friend’s knowing anything about his feelings of duty to preach. Indeed, it came from a man who did not claim to be a Christian. Robert said to him that he could not do well without his aid on the farm that year and he readily consented to continue that assistance, for Robert had from his early life been much as a father to him. The purpose for which his aid on the farm having been realized the friend above referred to renewed his proposition to help James obtain an education, to his surprise and delight. This blotted out the unhappy regrets of the late disappointment as Robert said tohim that in a few weeks he could spare him from the farm. He prosecuted the work of these weeks full of cheer and bright expectations; but his brother in the meantime embarked in a business to which he could not give his personal attention and asked James to take charge of it and become equal sharer in the profits. This was an unlooked for obstruction and without any unkind reflection toward Robert as intruding to do him an injustice, James reminded him of the repeated and very generous offer of the family friend to assist in his education which he so much needed and desired, and which was much more to him than the prospect of making money. His brother replied that he had closed the contract which he could not honorably recall and he hoped he would consent to take charge of the business. James again informed his friend that circumstances were against his practically accepting his great kindness, which he therefore declined with thanks but with a heavy heart. As he was yet a minor and Robert had exercised such affectionate care over him, he thought it best to yield to his brother in the matter. It developed afterward that these moves of Robert were made no doubt largely at least to wear James off from the thought of preaching. His other brothers were very much opposed to his entering the Ministry, which may have had something to do in the course taken by Robert.

The new business was not remunerative as might have been expected,its practical workings being arrayed against God’s will so far as James’ connection with it was concerned. It involved heavy responsibility and much hard manual labor and bodily exposure as well, the last of which brought a long and dangerous illness to James, after being thus employed for six months. This he considered a chastisement by the Lord for permitting himself to be turned aside from what was evidently a providential opening to his becoming well educated thus early in life. As he slowly recovered from his protracted sickness, he informed Robert that he could not conscientiously resume the business, however legitimate in itself, that it must be disposed of at whatever financial loss to himself. There was really neither gain nor loss financially.

His Decisive Stand for the Lord

While James was greatly relieved in being honorably freed from what he had for these months felt to be against the Lord’s will, still there was a fearful darkness over him. He had during these months aimed to live a true Christian life but it was without his former joy, or even comfort, of an abiding character. He now went to God in deep humility and supplication, promising the Lord that if in His great grace He would restore divine light and strength, from that day he would by His gracious help let no person or thing come between him and the Gosepel Ministry. The Lord in His infinite love at that time and place filled his whole being unutterably full of light and comfort. The cloud of darkness then removed had been more oppressive than any ever upon him even before he was converted. In this darkness the devil’s temptation was as forcible as if spoken to the ear–“You are not a child of God else you would have been obeying him. You have just as clear evidence that you are called of God to preach the Gospel as you have that you are born of God. You have neglected the former, hence you have no sufficient reason to claim the latter”. Satan here made a strong case. He had vantage ground in the neglect that had been tolerated. Never had the determination been reached by James that he would not preach. Indeed, he had never entertained such a thought. Had the devil charged him with this he could have candidly pronounced it a false accusation; but he could not deny culpable neglect which through not self suggested had been permitted by him to control his actions. Indeed, the prospective privilege of inviting the unsaved to come to Christ had all the time been very dear to him.

The Divine Victory

Never after the Lord removed that cloud was there another upon him in reference either to his being accepted of God in Christ, or of his giving up all for the Gospel’s sake. Hence the Lord got to Himself complete and final victory over Satan in this battle as to whether His young servant should yield his life to preaching the Gospel of Christ. Wondrous in the power of God’s grace in the deliverance He brings to His weak and struggling ones when subject to temptations! Wondrous is His restoring and sustaining grace even to the most unworthy of all His servants!!

While these neglects should never have occurred, the lessons which they by the help of the Holy Spirit impressed were not without much worth in all after life, making James stronger in will to obey the Lord it may be than he would have been without some such trial of faith. The following message of the apostle doubtless thereby came more fully into his reckonings and doings:–“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this that the trying ofyour faith worketh patience; but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Autobiography courtesy of Mitchell Noll

Transcribed by JMK 2001


This is the transcript of the journal kept by Anne Middleton CRAIG MITCHELL of her travel from Abingdon, Washington, Virginia to Randolph County, Missouri in 1836. This was passed to family by John T. MITCHELL of Kansas City, MO, as given by Anne’s son, Rev. J. B. MITCHELL. Mitchell NOLL passed it along to me.

Ann Middleton Craig, b. 1786 March 22 in Abingdon, Virginia, was married to Capt. John Mitchell in 1808 July 26. After his death in 1821, she next married Dr. Stephen Bovell on 1824 Oct 20.

When Ann made her trip to Missouri she was 49 years of age. The trip took two months. She died less than seven months later on 1837 July 12 in Huntsville, Randolph, Missouri.

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Monday, September 26th, 1836. This day we left Clover Hill near Abingdon, VA and reached Capt. GIBSON’S and Capt. DAVIS’. Fine weather.

Tuesday, September 27th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. SENIKA’s. Heavy rain in the morning, fine afternoon.

Wednesday, September 28th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. CLARK’s at North Fork River. Fine weather.

Thursday, September 29th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. NEILL’S at Clinch River. Fine weather.

Friday, September 30th,1836. Crossed POWELL’s Mountain and lodged at Mr. ALLEN’s. Fine weather.

Saturday, October 1st, 1836. Crossed WALDEN’s Ridge. Lodged at Jacob FULKERSON’s Less Court House. Fine weather.

Sabbath, October 2nd, 1836. Came to Col. FULKERSON’s. A little rain in the morning. Fine evening.

Monday, October 3rd, 1836. Dined at Joshua EWING’s. Returned to Col. FULKERSON’s. Fine weather.

Tuesday, October 4th, 1836. Col. FULKERSON’s. Very snowy, stormy day.

Wednesday, October 5th, 1836. Left Col. FULKERSON’s. Very clear and cold. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. LAVV’s, fifteen miles.

Thursday, October 6th, 1836. Passed Cumberland Gap and crossed a part of Loaf Mountain. Lodged with Mr. JONES fourteen miles. Very cloudy and raining a little.

Friday, October 7th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Lodged comfortably with Mr. CAIN. Crossed Loaf Mountain and Cumberland River. Very cloudy and light cold rain. Turnpike part of the way.

Saturday, October 8th, 1836. Came to Mr. Willis BURTON’s. Passed through Barbersville, crossed big Laurel River. The morning very cloudy and damp. Afternoon clear and moderate. Twenty four miles.

This would be Barbourville, Kentucky, rather than Barbersville

Sunday, October 9th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles, crossed Little and Big Rock Castle. Passed through London, Laurel County. Lodged with Mr. John GRIFFIN. Clear fine day. Wretched lodging.

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Monday, October 10th,1836. Traveled 23 miles. Passed through Mount Vernon, Crab-Orchard and Walnut Flat. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. WOOD. Clear, beautiful day.

Tuesday, October 11th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Passed through Stanford and Danville. Fine day. Lodged with Mr. VERBRYCK.

Wednesday, October 12th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles and a quarter. Passed through Harrodsburgh. Visited the celebrated Springs of that place. Passed through Salvicey (sp?) and lodged with Mr. MCCALL. Fine, clear day.

Thursday, October 13th, 1836. Traveled twenty one miles and three quarters. Passed through Lawrenceburgh and Hardensville. Lodged with Mr. SHANNON. Pleasant morning. A little rain at evening.

Friday, October 14th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles. Passed through Claysville, Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Boston. Clear, pleasant day after a very rainy night. Lodged with Mr. John GORMAN, Floyed’s Fork.

Saturday, October 15th, 1836. Passed through Middletown, Louisville, New Albany (in Indiana). Crossed the Ohio River, in a steam (ferry) boat. Pleasant morning. Very rainy evening. Traveled some time in the night. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. ARMSTRONG on banks of the Ohio.

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Sabbath, October 16th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Clear, cold morning. Cloudy evening. Passed through Zanesville. Lodged with Mr. James JAMISON.

Monday, October 17th, 1836. Traveled eighteen miles. Clear, cold day. Crossed the Blue River. Lodged with Mr. TOWEL, Quakers.

Tuesday, October 18th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Crossed Lost River. Rainy, stormy morning. Cloudy all day. The worst roads I ever traveled. Lodged with Mr. FRENET.

Wednesday, October 19th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Severe blowing rains. Lodged with Mr. MARTIN. Desperate roads.

Thursday, October 20th, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles. Fine, clear, cold day. Bad roads. Lodged with Mr. HAYS. Kindly treated. Crossed the eastern branch of White River.

Friday, October 21st, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles. Crossed North Fork of White River. Passed through Washington, Haysville. Fine weather. Bad roads. Lodged with Mr. John STEEN. Kindly treated.

Saturday, October 22nd, 1836. Illinois, Lawrence County. Traveled thirteen miles. Passed through Vincennes. Crossed the Wabash River. Good weather. The roads still worse. Lodged with Mrs. SHULAR on the bank of the river. Beautiful view of the town and river.

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Sabbath, October 23rd, 1836. Traveled three and half miles. Lodged with Mr. Jacob MAY. Very kindly treated. Crossed over a part of the place called Purgatory which is worse than anything I ever saw to be called a road. Our wagon sunk above the hub of the wheels. Three of the horses mired down. The coupling pin of our carry all broke. We were taken out on a horse. A number of our fellow travelers came to our assistance. With all our help we were until nearly sunset getting out, although we got into it about ten o’clock, notwithstanding all our difficulties we had hired a pilot by the name of Neilson CARPENTER who engaged to take us through safely. We had but little rain until we got in the house. We were all crowded into one little room. Amanda and Louisa both sick.

Monday, October 24th, 1836. Traveled eight miles and a half. Rained all day. The roads no better. Lodged in Lawrenceville with Mr. MARNVEY’s.

Tuesday, October 25th, 1836. Traveled ten miles. Dreadful roads. Got the tongue of our wagon broke and new one made. Lodged with Mr. CHRISTY very comfortably.

Wednesday, October 26th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Crossed Fox River on a bridge. Bad roads still. The tire of our wagon wheel broke and mended again. Lodged with Elijah NELSON.

Thursday, October 27th, 1836. Beautiful morning. Traveled twelve miles. Crossed the muddy fork of the Little Wabash River. In the bottom between the two, know by the name of Hell, which is the worst piece of road I ever saw. Lodged with Mr. McCOLLEY. Very comfortably.

Friday, October 28th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Passed through Maysville and a prairie of twelve miles in length. The roads a little better. Lodged with Mr. Thomas ELLIOTT.

Saturday, October 29th, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles and three quarters. Dreadful roads in the morning. Better in the evening. Our wagon stuck fast. Had to delay some time getting out. Left part of our load at Dr. John DAVENPORT’s. Crossed the Skilletfork of the Wabash. Lodged with Mr. Dunning BAKER. Very well treated.

Sabbath, October 30th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles. Fine day. Saw the prairie on fire, passed through twelve miles of the Grand Prairie. Lodged with Mr. CONE. In the prairie passed through SALEM.

Monday, October 31st, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Passed through the Grand Prairie and Carlysle. Crossed a toll bridge over Shoal Creek. Fine roads and beautiful weather. Lodged with Mr. DOYLE.

Tuesday, November 1st, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles. Passed through Lebanon. Very fine day and good roads. Lodged with Mr. STITES. Very well treated.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 1836. Traveled fifteen miles. Bad roads. Crossed the Mississippi River in a handsome steam (ferry) boat. Stayed at Mr. WRIGHTS.

Thursday, November 3rd, 1836. Still at Mr. WRIGHT’s. Visited the Catholic Church. Part of the family went on board of a steam boat. Saw several land and several start.

Friday, November 4th, 1836. Left Mr. WRIGHT’s, traveled sixteen miles. Lodged at Mr. MARTIN’s. Tolerable roads. Good weather.

Saturday, November 5th, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles after our wagon crossed Missouri River in a steam boat. Passed through St. Charles. Good roads. Fine weather. Lodged very comfortably at Mr. BAILEY’s at Pond Fork.

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Sabbath, November 6th, 1836. Traveled eight miles to Mr. SPIRES for breakfast. Passed through Warrenton. Traveled thirty miles. Lodged with Mr. JONES. Very kindly treated. Breakfasted there.

Monday, November 7th, 1836. Came to Nathaniel DRYDEN’s seven miles. Met with Cousin Patsy there. All well and glad to see us.

Tuesday, November 8th, 1836. Came to Thomas DRYDEN’s. From there to Danville. Dined at Mr. SHARP’s. Returned to Mr. DRYDEN’s and spent the night.

Wednesday, November 9th, 1836. Mrs. SHARP spent the day with us at Thomas DRYDEN’s. Susan, Ann and Margaret and myself went home with her. Stayed with her in company with Mrs. CARPENTER.

Thursday, November 10th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. SHARP’s until after dinner. Returned to Mr. Thomas DRYDEN’s.

Friday, November 11th, 1836. Mr. BOWELL and Margaret STILL at Thomas DRYDEN’s.

Saturday, November 12th, 1836. Still at Thomas DRYDEN’s.

Sabbath, November 13th, 1836. Attended preaching in Danville.

Monday, November 14th, 1836. Went to our home four miles, directly went from Danville.

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Tuesday, November 15th, 1836. Started to John DAVIS’, in company with William MITCHELL and Susan, his wife. Traveled twenty miles. Bad roads. Stayed at old Mr. HARRISON’s. Very hospitably treated. Fine day.

Wednesday, November 16th, 1836. Traveled thirty two miles through prairie. Tolerable roads. Fine weather. Lodged at Mr. PALMER’s. Called at Craig FULKERSON’s twenty miles beyond before reaching Mr. PALMER’s.

Thursday, November 17th, 1836.. Traveled twenty five miles through prairie. Roads good and weather. Lodged in Huntsville at Mr. Walter CHILD’s.

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Friday, November 18th, 1836. Came four miles to breakfast at Mr. DOODING’s. Traveled twenty miles through prairie to what is called the Narrows. Lodged with Mr. CAMMON’s. Rainy, disagreeable day.

Saturday, November 19th,1836. Traveled thirty five miles through Prairie. Rain all day. Lodged at Mr. MYERS’.

Sabbath, November 20th, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles chiefly through prairie. Reached John DAVIS’. Found all well.

Monday, November 21st, 1836. At John DAVIS’. Visited Mr. EASTON’s family.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 1836. Spent the day and night at Mr. EASTON’s.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 1836. Returned to John DAVIS’.

Here the daily journal closes. From November 11th, the date is one day in advance of the real time.

At the close of her little book Mother kept the names of the States, Counties and Towns we traveled in and through.

States: Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri

Counties: Virginia: Washington, Scott, Lee
Tennessee: Sullivan
Kentucky: Harland, Knox, Laurel, Rock Castle, Lincoln, Mercer, Anderson, Shelby, Jefferson
Illinois: Lawrence, Clay, Marion, Clinton, Sinclair
Missouri: St. Louis, St. Charles, Warren, Montgomery, Callaway, Boone, Randolph

Towns: Scott Court House, Jonesville, Barbersville, London, Mount Vernon, Crab-Orchard, Walnut Flat, Stanford, Danville, Harrodsburgh, Salvicey, Lawrenceburgh, Hardensville, Clayville, Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Boston, Middletown, Louisville, New Albany, Greenville, Paolis, Mount Pleasant, Washington, Maysville, Vincennes, Lawrenceville, Salem, Carlysle, Lebanon, St. Louis, St. Charles, Warrenton, Danville, Williamsburg, Huntsville

My mother signs her name N. M. BOVELL in this book. Some years after the death of my father she was married to Rev. Dr. Stephen BOVELL who survived her a few years.

There was one child, a daughter–Juliain, they named Margaret, born to them. She was a sweet spirited child and I loved her as I did my full sisters. She died in early married life.

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Google’s present plot of a trip from Abingdon, Virginia to Huntsville, Howard, Missouri. It will now take all of 13 to 15 hours by car.

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