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

Letter from Robert Gwyn Mitchell to James Thompson Mitchell, June 2d 1903

Thanks to Jim Mitchell who sent me a scan of R. G. Mitchell’s typewritten letter with his signature. Below is my transcription.

Macon, Missouri, June 2d, 1903

Dr. J. T. Mitchell, Kansas City, Mo.

Dear Brother: —

You will find enclosed a card and a letter which I have just received from mother. You will notice she suggests that I send the same to you and that you, after you have read them, send them to William.

I have just written her and also Callie. Callie wants Mother to spend the winter with her. I have not talked with Mother about it, but I want her to have her own wish about the matter. She is welcome at my house and I am arranging to have it more comfortable for her than it was last winter.

The floods that you are having must be very distressing from the paper reports.

We are all well. I have written Mother and Callie too, in very strong language against her going to Kirksville. There is no necessity for her going there to take care of an old house.

I think that it is best for you also to write her and suggest that she had better not try to go back to take care of that house. There is no reason why she should not have an easy time living around among the children just as she would desire, for any of them would be glad to have her at any time or all the time. Love to you from all of us and to Orlando’s family.

Come to see us. Your brother,

R. G. Mitchell

Robert Gwyn, the third son of Martha Cowden Dysart Mitchell, is writing his eldest brother concerning their mother, Martha Cowden Dysart Mitchell, who was about 78 at the time. William would have been the Revd. James William Mitchell, the second eldest brother. Callie would be Louisiana Caroline Mitchell Fullerton, the second eldest daughter. She was in St. Louis, Missouri. Robert Gwyn Mitchell was then living in Macon, Missouri with wife Lena Bell Carhart and children Margaret and Robert.


Robert Gwyn Mitchell, letter 1903

Letter from Martha Cowden Dysart Mitchell to her Son, Robert Gwyn Mitchell, June 1 1903

Coffeen June 1, 1903

Dear Robert,

I don’t want you to loose sight of me entirely. I came over here May 21. Have written to Callie to meet me in St. Louis Thursday June the fourth. Aunt Mary McDavid is here since saturday. Will remain while I am here. She is cheerful as you could expect, so soon after Willies death. Talks very freely to me about her business and prospects. She is two months younger than me. Not one black hair. Her head as white as cotton. Says she will stay in the hotel with Mat, as long as she treats her right but would rather live to herself if she had someone to live with her. I don’t blame her for that. I find all the land she has any claim on is morgaged even to her home in Hillsborough. She thinks not too near its full value. Says Mr. McDavid had 900 acres, but she only has a claim on three forty’s. All morgaged. Wants to sell part to secure the rest, especially the home in Hillsborough. With that and her pension she could live. Mattie still expects to run the hotel. Pays $50 per month for the first year $75 per month after the first year. Without any furnishing. Five years lease. Aunt Mary furnished the hotel carpets and everything she thinks with little over $2000. Jimmie says $2500. That is what became of all the morgage money she could raise. Says she had to do it so Willie and Mattie could have some way to make a living.

M. C. M.

Enclosed you will find a card so you will see it is necessary for me to go to Kirksville soon. When you read this send it to John. John send it to Willie so you will all know where to find me if you wish to write.

M. C. Mitchell

Thanks to Jim Mitchell for the typewritten transcription of the original letter. My transcription of the typewritten letter is above and is exact.

Letter from Robert Gwyn Mitchell to his brother James William Mitchell, July 31, 1908

My thanks to Jim Mitchell who sent me a copy of the letter. My transcript is below.

Macon, Mo., July 31, 1908

Rev. J. W. Mitchell, Marshall, Mo.

Dear Brother:–

Your letter of 27th inst. to hand and contents noted. The notes that you mention are all in my hands. You ask for the dates of the $1800 notes. The $1800 note is dated February 1st, 1908, and the other note for $800 is dated March 3rd, 1908.

You say I wrote you that you had $37.00 in the bank, and that now you only have $29.51, and you ask if you had checked on it. No, you had not checked on it. The difference arises this way: those notes of exchange were not turned over to me until April the 9th or 9th. The note belonging to you and mother of $1800, $500 of which was mother’s and $1300 yours, had interest accumulated from March 1st up until the date of the exchange of the notes, $10.44, that being a 5% note. All of the notes that you and mother received in exchange are 5-1/2% notes, and from their dates up to the date of the exchange of notes on mother’s note had accumulated $2.90 interest, and on your $300 note, $4.64, on your $1000 note, $10.39, it running from Feb. 1st, as you see. This all makes $17.93; deducting the $10.44 from it leaves $7.49, and $7.49 is the exact difference between $37.00 and $29.51, mentioned above, so you see it is all right. You have received a little too much at mother’s expense. I did not notice it at the time, but it is a very small item anyway, only being one half of one per cent per annum on her loan for one month and eight days. I suppose this is satisfactory, and your balance is as it ought be in the bank.

The day after your letter came we had the good fortune to have another boy arrive at our house, weighing ten pounds, big nose, big mouth, good lungs, and can make plenty of noise. Mother and babe are both doing well. Lena has suffered considerably, but Addie can tell you that is common.

I hope to see you next month.

Your brother,

R. G. Mitchell

The new arrival was Benjamin Dysart Mitchell, born July 29 1908, and the last of the children of Robert Gwyn Mitchell and Lena Bell Carhart, for Robert died march 5, 1909.

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.

Letter from John Cowden b. 1834 to John Thompson Mitchell on the Cowden Family History, 1905

My thanks to Jim Mitchell for the photocopy of a typewritten transcript of this letter. My web transcript is below.
Petersburg, Tenn. June 5 1904

Dr. J. T. Mitchell
New Ridge Bldg.
Kansas City, Mo.

Dear Sir:

Your letter of May 24, 1905 was handed me a few days ago. Knowing that I was the oldest Cowden now living in this state that might be able to answer some of your questions about our ancestors.

My father, William Cowden died when I was only 5 years old, leaving me to get all of my family history from my mother. First I will say that my great grandfather and great grandmother Cowden had four children. John, William, Martha and Elizabeth. My mother referred to them as Aunt Patsey and Betsy. After this, my great grandfather died and my great grandmother married a man by the name of Nichols and had three children, Joshua, Joe and Jennie Nichols.

Note: This will be easier to comment on paragraph by paragraph as John Chambers Cowden doesn’t present his material in the clearest fashion. The writer, John Cowden, was born 6 Oct 1834, and died 1912 in Petersburg, Marshall TN. He married Mary Hannah Leonard. His father was William Cowden b. 1806 in Rowan, NC, died 1839 in Cornersville, Marshall, TN. John skips his grandparents at this point and talks about his great grandfather John Cowden, b. Jan 6 1735 in Lancaster PA, died before Aug 1777, and his wife, sometimes given as Jane Jean Brown (her death date would be after 1795 as she is mentioned in her son Matthew’s will as his leaving her a scarf). He relates they had four children, which includes his ancestor John Cowden b. 6 April 1772, died Feb 1 1843, and also Martha “Patsy” Cowden, b. 1780 in Rowan, NC and died 1853 in Huntsville, Randolph, MO. She is down my line and married, on 17 Aug 1798, James Dysart, b. 1777 in Mecklenburg, NC and died July 5 1853 in Huntsville, Randolph, Mo. John then relates that John b. 1735 died and that Jane married a man by the name of Nichols and had three children with him.

There might of been other Cowdens and Nichols children but this is all I ever heard my mother speak of. My grandmother, John Cowden’s mother’s maiden name was either Norris or Brandin, both family names. Grandfather’s sister, Patsy, married a man by the name of Dysart and settled near Farmington. Then a part of Murry City, afterward cut off to Marshall county. They lived there a short time and then moved to Mo.

Note: Now he relates his Grandfather John Cowden b. 1772 (sibling of Martha Cowden Dysart) marrying Elizabeth Norris.

His sister Betsy married Allen McCord and settled near what is now known as Chapple Hill, Marchall County, then a part of Murry county. Second – My grandfather John Cowden and his family, William Cowden, his brother and family, his sister Patsy Dysart and Martha and the Nichols family all moved from Dendall County, North Carolina about 1806 to 1814, to this state and settled in and around this part of the state. I have often heard my mother speak of visiting Aunt Patsey Dysart while they lived. Now I think you are mistaken when your great grandparents left here as my father and mother was married in 1822, must have been after that my father and mother visited them in Murry County. There was two old men by the name of Dysart raised families near Farmington, Marshall County. They were related to the man you are writing about, I don’t know him closely. A part of those families are living there at this time. Will make inquiry about their ancestors.

Note: John relates how the families of John Cowden b. 1772, and his siblings, Martha Cowden Dysart b. 1772 and Sarah Elizabeth Cowden McDavid, and their families, moved to Tennessee. I think there is perhaps a mistranscription here of his parents marrying in 1822, as his mother was born abt 1811 and his father about 1806. I see them elsewhere given as married in 1828.

My grandfather, John Cowden raised a good large family here, most of whom was born in North Carolina and moved with him about the time mentioned to this state and married here and moved to different states to rear their families.

Aunt Mary Cowden (nee Polly) married John Collins and settled near Springfield, Missouri and raised a large family and died only a few years back. She has 1 or 2 sons practicing physicians now in Missouri, you may know something of them. They attended the Vanderbuilt University and while there came out to see us for a few days. The rest of my grandfather’s family. I can give you a history at any future time you may wish to hear about them.

My father, William Cowden, died in 1859 [sic] leaving 3 sons and 1 daughter. Myself and W. N. Cowdens of Lewisburg who died in 1892 leaving three sons and two daughters making their homes at or near Lewisburg, Marchall County, Tenn. I, John Cowden, married Miss M. H. Leonard from this union was twelve children. Eight of whom are mostly living, three boys and five girls. The boys, a Dr. C. N. Cowden, a practicing physician and surgeon at Fayetteville, Tenn. E.E. Cowden, a grain dispatcher at Middleboro, Kentucky and John R. Cowden, a Prof. in a select school at Gallatin, Tenn. My children are all married but two, John R. and Sarah are yet single.

Note: The above death date of his father is a mistranscription. He died in 1839.

I am seventy years old, have been a practicing physician for fifty years, reasonably good health for a man of my age. I still practice medicine at Petersburg, Tenn. Would be glad to meet you suppose you turn loose for a few days and come out and let us compare notes for a few days and see what we can learn about each other for I think we are related, I am sure that the Dysarts at Farmington, Tenn. are related to your grandfather, do not now recollect their given names, think one was Elliot and the other George thought I may be mistaken as to their given names, will try to find out later on.

I am most truly yours,

John Cowden

March 31, 1930, Letters from Lon Mitchell to Orlando Mitchell and Thomas Dysart on the Dysart Family History

My thanks to Jim Mitchell, descendant of Orlandlo, for the photocopies of these letters. My transcripts are below.

Osceoloa, Ark. March 31, 1930

Mr. Thomas N. Dysart
St. Louis

Dear Tom:

Some time ago you expressed a desire to know something more of the history of the Dysart family and I am enclosing herewith some data sent to me by Orlando and the carbon copy of my reply, which no doubt will be of interest to you. I do not not believe I have made any mistake in my letter to him, with respect to the family, but if I have, your mother will doubtless be able to correct it. She is the last surviving member of what to you and me is the old generation, and one of the finest of the lot. You probably cannot remember your father but your brother William is as much like him as a son could be like a father and if your mother has a pet amongst the children, I should think it would be he.

If you think your mother and Billy would like to look over the enclosed, send it along to them and then return it to me.

I have called at your office several times within the recent past but each time you were away. I would enjoy an evening with you, some time at your leisure. My regards to you and cousin Jess, and through you to Aunt Mollie and the other members of the family when you see them or write, and in this Lura would join if she knew I were writing.

L. S. Mitchell

Note: Lon (Leonidas) is writing to Thomas Nichols Dysart b. 1880 Sept 2, son of William Patton Dysart who was a brother of Martha Cowden Dysart, Leonidas Mitchell’s mother. They were first cousins. Thomas Nichols Dysart’s mother was Mary Susan Collins b. April 29, 1841, died 1936. Perhaps “Billie” is Thomas Nichols Dysart’s brother, William Patton Dysart b. Dec 11 1864 and died 1936 in Missouri.

March 31, 1930

Dear Orlando,

Your letter of the 28th with enclosure came duly to hand and has been read with much interest and pleasure. The name carries the line of the Dysart family back one generation further than I had any knowledge i.e. to John Dysart, Sr., the father of our great grandfather, James Dysart, who came to Randolph County, Mo., from somewhere in Tennessee, away back somewhere about the year 1818. As you see by the record, he and his wife, nee Martha Cowden, both lived until the year 1853 and I expect our brother John may have had some recollection of them.

As great grandfather Craig was a captain in the Continental Army, during the revolution, we are sons of the Revolution from both sides of the house.

This is the first time I have ever known where our mother got her given name.

You may not know, so I am going to tell you that, to the best of my knowledge, James Dysart (born 1777, died 1853) and Martha Cowden Dysart, his wife, had five sons (three of whom I can remember) as follows: John, our grandfather, who always went by the name of “Jack”; Nichols, whom we always called “Uncle Nick”; Robert; Patton; and James, whom we always called “Uncle Jimps”. Of these, Robert and Patton I never saw and I think they both died long before the civil war. I assume that you know about the children of our grandparents but possibly not and I will give you their names, in the order of their births:

Martha Cowden, our mother;
William Patton, married Mary Susan Collins
Susan, married Green Demeron;
James Warren Peleg Spray married Mollie Frey; (Mary Jane)
Benjamin Robert, married Emma Turner;
Orpha, married E. D. Pearson;
Lescellas, married Ann Yates;
Bettie; married Pettis Parkinson; (I can remember this wedding)
Orlando, who died in young manhood, unmarried;
Laura, who died in young womanhood, unmarried.

You know, of course, that the mother of these, our grandmother, was Matilda Brooks. She had two sisters and three brothers and I can tell you about them some time when we are together, if you would like.

I never cease to regret the loss of all the information about the family history, on both sides of the house, compiled with such care and labor by Dr. John. We come from sturdy stock and if we have not amount to something, it is all our own fault.

I do not get to see Tom Dysart very often but, some time ago, he said he wanted to get together with me and find out as much as possible about the family. I am going to forward to him the data received from you and the carbon of this letter, for I think it will be of interest to him and no doubt also to Aunt Mollie and Dr. Billy. I shall be more than glad to give you all information which I may have about the family, at any time. Not long ago, at Owen’s request, I wrote up something of the incidents of my life and, after I get this data back from Tom I will send it to him, for I know he will be interested in it. After all, Orlando, I am forcibly reminded of what the immortal Sam Jones said viz. “the most important matter is not who my forebears were but what am I.”

Yours affectionately,



The following is a copy of a letter received by Mrs. Llewellen Jones, of Independence, Missouri, from Mrs. W. N. Bagby, of Armstrong, Missouri.

John Dysart Sr.

Born Chester County, Pennsylvania, December 25, 1749; died Lewisburg, Tennessee, September 10, 1842. His first wife was Martha Patton. They married about 1773. We have no dates of her birth and death.

James Dysart, son of John Dysart, Sr. (our Great Great Grandfather) born 1777; died 1853. Married Martha Cowden about 1797. Martha Cowden born 1780; died 1853.

From here you branch off to your Great Grandfather, Grandfather’s Father, and yourself to finish your papers.

(From the Bureau of Pensions)

Date of enlistment: July 1 1776 Service: Oct. 1 1776 Rank: Private Superior Officers: Capt. … Col. State N.C.
Date of enlistment: 1777 Service: 6 months: Rank: Private, Cp. W. Moore Col. State N.C.
Date of enlistment: 1779 Service: 6 months Rank: Sergt Superior Officers: Cp. Robt. Patton, Col. McDowell
Date of enlistment: 1780 Service: 6 months Rank: Sergt Superior Officers: Cp. Sam Woods, Col. McDowell
Date of enlistment: 1781 Service: 6 months Rank: Sergt Superior Officers: Cp. Sam Woods, Col. McDowell

In battle of: Cane Creek and Kings Mountain

Residence of soldier at time of enlistment: Muddy Creek, Burke County, N.C.

Date of application for Pension: August 2, 1832. His claim allowed.

Residence at date of application: Bedford County, Tennessee; age at date of application: Born December 25, 1749, Chester County, Pennsylvania

REMARKS: Died September 10, 1842. Soldier was referred to as John Dysart, Sr. His father, James, and brother, William, were killed on the Yadkin River when General Davidson was killed.


G. M. Saltzgahen

February 28, 1919

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

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.