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Mitchell, Nathan  ( 1817 Jun 13  -  1897 Aug 30 )

The Kemp Sketch (What is this?) | Download the original typescript

MITCHELL, NATHAN -- Born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, June 13, 1817, eldest child of Asa and Charlotte (Woodmancy) Mitchell. Asa, Eli and William Mitchell, sons of Louis and Rhoda (Abrams) Mitchell were among the earliest Anglo-American settlers in Texas and played important parts in the development of the Republic and the State. Asa and William came to Texas in 1822 and Eli in 1824. Mitchell County, Texas, was named in honor of Asa and Eli Mitchell.

Asa Mitchell was living at Velasco in 1832 and participated in the battle of Velasco in June of that year. Moving to Washington Municipality, in 1835 he was sent as a delegate to the Consultation held at San Felipe. For a time he was a member of the General Council of the Provisional Government of Texas.

Asa Mitchell was twice married. His first wife, Charlotte Woodmancy, was born in New Jersey January 11, 1800, and, as is shown in the Mitchell family bible, "Departed this life at the mouth of the Brazos River in Texas on Friday evening about dark September 17, 1830, being thirty years old, and is buried with an infant child in her arms near the Mouth of East Union Bayou East Side, where there is a burying ground." Other children of this union were Nathan, born in Pennsylvania, June 13, 1817, and died at San Antonio, Texas, August 20, 1897, and was buried at San Marcos; William, born at where Columbus, Texas, now stands, June 16, 1823, and died in Mexico in 1843 while a member of the Mier expedition; Caroline, born at Velasco, September 4, 1825, and died _______ ; Theodore, born April 16, 1828, and died July 25, 1833; and, as has been stated, an unnamed infant born and died September 17, 1830.

Asa Mitchell and Emily Brisban were married in Austin County, Texas, April 8, 1835. Their children were: Milam, born March 2, 1836, and died at Bastrop April 6, 1853, while a student of Bastrop Academy, and was buried at Bastrop. His parents, as recorded in the bible, "have agreed to be buried by his side if it should be the will of God that we should die anywhere near and it being possible." Later his remains were removed and placed by the side of those of his parents in the family cemetery in Medina County, February 25, 1857.

Hiram Abiff Mitchell was born November 17, 1837; Ellen, born April 2, 1839 and died June 11, 1841, in Washington County "on the same place she was born, and is buried in the pasture field near 300 yards west of the dwelling house; her grave is raised one foot above the ground with rock and flat rock on the top. Picketed in with cedar pickets in 1841." Martin Luther was born February 8, 1841, and died in camp in Kentucky during the War Between the States while a lieutenant in the Confederate Army. Medara and Laura, twins, born December 25, 1842 in Washington County. Laura was married to William Joyce; Asa born January 20, 1847; and Emily, born August 18, 1852.

Asa Mitchell died November 6, 1865, and his widow died. They are buried in the family cemetery in Medina County.

It was at the home of Asa Mitchell in Washington County that Captain William J. Hill's company was formed and Nathan Mitchell joined it on the day it was organized. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 3952 for 320 acres of land for serving in the army from March 1 to May 30, 1836. San Jacinto Donation Certificate No. 226 was issued to him May 20, 1838. On an original muster roll of Captain Hill's company he is described as being 5 feet 8 inches high; of fair complexion, with blue eyes and light hair. He was a messmate of George W. Petty.

Mr. John A. "Rip" Ford, writing in the San Antonio Express, August 31, 1897, said that Captain Hill's company remained near the battle field for about ten days. After being disbanded at Victoria, it was mounted and reorganized as a ranging company.

On December 7, 1836, as is shown in the Secret Journals of the Senate, page 30, President Houston appointed Mr. Mitchell Second Lieutenant of a company of Mounted Riflemen for duty in Gonzales County. William H. Eastland was appointed captain and Joel W. Robison first lieutenant of the company. He later became a clerk in the General Land Office at Austin, remaining as such until the office was closed as a result of the "War of the Archives." He actively aided the United States troops in the Mexican War, as was vouched for by Colonel John E. Ford, but his services were not considered as official by the War department.

Not long after the termination of the Mexican War, Mr. Mitchell formed a partnership with Colonel John L. Jaynes and they made comfortable fortunes as merchants at Rio Grande City, or Davis Ranch, as it was then commonly called. After about six years he returned to San Antonio and there for two years was a member of the business firm of J.H. Echford and Company. For a period during the War Between the States Mr. Mitchell was a clerk to Major George Howard, Commissary of General Hamilton Bee's Brigade. Mr. Mitchell was married to Miss Cordelia Martin on November 14, 1883. There were no children from this union. Mr. Mitchell died at San Antonio August 30, 1897, and was buried in San Marcos. Mrs. Mitchell died in 1913 and was buried by the side of her husband.

At the birth of Caroline Mitchell at Velasco September 4, 1825, William H. Wharton was named as her godfather and at the death of Mrs. Mitchell September 17, 1830 was taken to the "Eagle Island Plantation," famous country estate of Mr. And Mrs. Wharton. She made her home there until Mr. Mitchell again married on April 8, 1835, when she returned to the home of her father. She eventually was married to Mr. R.H. Belvin.

Children of Mr. And Mrs. Belvin were Sarah; Charlotte Woodmancy; Elizabeth, who was married to Mr. O.F. Brown; Asa Mitchell, who died in 1918; Caroline; Roberta Lee, who was married to Mr. John E. Pritchett; and Mary Eva, who died in 1929. In 1934 Mrs. Pritchett, Mrs. Brown and Miss Caroline Belvin, the surviving children, were living in San Marcos, Texas.

In the Headright Certificate issued to Mr. Nathan Mitchell January 19, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners of Washington County it is simply stated that he came to Texas before May 2, 1835.

A few years before his death, Mr. Mitchell was interviewed by a representative of the San Antonio Express and the resulting story as published in the Express follows: (interview not in pages).

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.


Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Lieut. Robert Stevenson

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1817 Jun 13
  • Birthplace: Pennsylvania, Somerset County
  • Came to Texas: 1822
  • Date of Death: 1897 Aug 30
  • Burial Place: San Marcos, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 3592
  • Donation Certificate: 226
  • Profession: Merchant
  • Wife: Cordelia Martin
  • Children: none

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