Pages 767-768, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




The laws of nature have provided that labor always brings change, that effort is always followed by result, and therefore when labor is well directed and effort carefully planned the outcome is most desirable. Toil thus becomes a marketable commodity of value and brings, in measure, that for which every business man is seeking—wealth. William J. Mitchell is of the class of representative farmers whose energies have been so prosecuted along well defined lines of activity that he is now in possession of a handsome competence, being the owner of one of the fine farms of Woodson county.

A native of Ohio, he was born in Adams County, March 30, 1841, a son of William and Nancy (Johns) Mitchell, also natives of the Buckeye state. The father devoted his life to agricultural pursuits and died in Ohio in 1885, at the age of seventy-six years. His wife departed this life many years previously, being called to her final rest in 1854, at the age of forty-


three. They were the parents of eleven children, eight of whom are yet living, William J. being the fifth in order of birth. He spent his youth on the old homestead farm in Ohio and at the age of eighteen began learning the blacksmith's trade, which he followed in his native state until twenty-six years of age. In 1868 he removed to Livingston County, Illinois, where he was engaged in the work of the smithy until 1881, when he came to Kansas, settling in Coffey County. There he purchased eighty acres of land upon which he resided for three years, when he sold that property and came to Woodson County. Here he has made his home continuously since. He bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in North township and in connection with blacksmithing carried on farming. As his financial resources increased he added to his property until his landed possessions now aggregate four hundred and eighty acres. A good house and barn are among the features of the place and neatness and thrift characterize the farm in every department. In connection with blacksmithing and the production of grain he has also extensively and successfully engaged in raising cattle for the market and now has a large herd upon his place. His farm is pleasantly and conveniently situated thirteen miles northwest of the county seat and he has postoffice facilities at Keck.

In 1865 Mr. Mitchell was united in marriage to Miss Maria Carlisle, a native of Ohio and s daughter of John and Miriam (Vincenhaler) Carlisle. The father was a native of Virginia, the mother of Ohio and both died in the Buckeye state. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell have been born four children: Silvia, wife of J. T. Parkinson, who is residing in Port Orchard, Washington; Ora, wife of J. F. Miller; Effie, a teacher of Woodson County, and Maude, who is also engaged in teaching in this county. They have also lost two children—Samuel, who died in Illinois at the age of twelve years, and Harman, who died in the same state when nine years of age.

Mr. Mitchell exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of Democracy and by his fellow townsmen has been elected to public office. He served for one term as township trustee, and at this writing is capably filling the position of township treasurer. No trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed in the slightest degree, and in all walks of life he is known as a man of honor and reliability.

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