Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Robert Lee Mitchelle (1865-1939)

The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 651 ("In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lee Mitchelle"):

Robert Lee Mitchelle was born in 1866 near Ridgeville in Caswell County and was educated in the public schools, attending high school at Cedar Grove under the direction of Mr. Sam Hughes. He spent two years at Oak Ridge Military Academy where he studied bookkeeping and commercial law. After being called home on account of his father's death, he took over the management of the large family farm.

Mr. Mitchelle was married to Lilliam James, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wiley James, in 1890. In 1904 Mr. and Mrs. Mitchelle donated the land for the Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church.

Influential in community and county affairs, Mr. Mitchelle served as Clerk of Court from 1902 to 1922, moving with his family to Yanceyville where they remained until 1924. Then they moved to Danville, Va., where Mr. Mitchelle worked in the tobacco business. He died in 1935. His descendants are given in another story.

During the busy Yanceyville years, Mr. Mitchell held many positions of honor and trust in addition to his duties as Clerk. In World War I he served as chairman of the registration committee, as County food administrator, and as chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee. As treasurer of the Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A., Jewish Relief and Armenian and Syrian Relief,Mr. Mitchelle still found time to head the promotion for the Caswell County Agricultural Fair. Mr. Mitchelle was president of the Bank of Yanceyville and responsible for training Mr. Sam M. Bason, his successor. He also bought the Yanceyville drug store and kept it open for the use of the doctors until Pharmacist T. J. Ham took over. He and his wife and family were greatly missed when they moved to Danville.

Although the family has never exploited its ancestry, being fully able to stand on its own merits, it is one of the oldest families in the county and one of the most distinguished. Robert L. Mitchelle was the son of Elbridge Garion and Julia Frances Adams Mitchelle who were married in Orange County on December 26, 1855. Elbridge G. Mitchelle was the son of John and Elixabeth Mebane Mitchelle; according to his father's gravestone at Old Griers Presbyterian Cemetery, John died in 1857 at the age of 64 and was, therefore, born in 1793, the son of Capt. David Mitchell, Jr and Ann Anderson Mitchell.

The Revolutionary War record of Captain David Mitchell, a cavalryman, is indicated in Powell's History of Caswell County. He was still "Capt." David Mitchell in the 1811 tax list for Gloucester District, giving in 1,433 acres with "3 wp and 12 bp". He was not listed as "Jr." because his father had died in 1794.

The will of Capt. David Mitchell, recorded in Caswell County in 1832, names wife, Ann, sons, Samuel, John, William and Anderson and deceased son David's heirs; Daughters are Jenny M. Wiley, Fannie M. Mebane and Elizabeth M. Currie.

The Captain's father, sometimes "Sr.", appeared on the tax lists of Caswell although he died in Person County. the family listed in Caswell before it became Person; in 1784 father and son, David Mitchell and David Mitchell, Jr. listed in St. Luke's District on Hico. In 1790, David Mitchell, Senr., and David Mitchell listed again in this district which was to become part of Person in 1793. In 1794 David alone listed in Gloucester District of Caswell.

The 1794 will of David Mitchell, Sr. is found in Person County and names wife, Elizabeth (Wood or Woods) and sons William and David; daughters named were Mary M. McReynolds, Jane M. Reany, Margaret M. McReynolds, Elizabeth M. McMurray, and Sarah M. McReynolds.

It is thought that the Mitchells were a part of the Scotch-Irish settlement at Eno community in Orange County, one of the oldest in this section, and that the first to come may have been born in Ireland of Scottish parents.


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