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Posted By: Jake Tornholm (email)
Date: 4/23/2020 at 13:37:26

W. O. MITCHELL, farmer and lawyer, residing at Corning, was born in Van Buren county, Iowa, April 4, 1846. His parents, George and Sarah M. Mitchell, were natives of Kentucky, and came to Iowa in 1840, engaging in farming. W. O., the second of their five children, at the age of sixteen years enlisted in the war for the Union, joining Company C, Thirteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served three years, eight months of which time he spent in southern prisons, including Andersonville, Salisbury and Florence, - from the last named of which he escaped. The horrors he suffered, in common with many other "boys in blue," are too well known to need recital. Mr. Mitchell was in the siege of Vicksburg and in many other important engagements, escaping rebel bullets, however, without injury. After the war he graduated at Cornell College and immediately began the study of law in the office of Stuart Brothers, Chariton, Iowa; was admitted to the bar in 1872. He has ever since been in active practice. He has for some time been engaged also in farming and stock- raising. He has an estate of some 700 acres, situated in the heart of the famous Blue-Grass region. Probably no man in the country has done more to call attention to the matchless resources of the eighteen counties embraced in this tract. Knowing its agricultural and mineral resources, he enlisted with enthusiasm in the development of an important section, and has been particularly active as a member of the Blue-Grass League, of which he is now president.

For his wife he married the daughter of A. H. Chaffee, the architect, a resident of Corning, and now has two children. He is a member of the G. A. R., as well as of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a stalwart Republican. In 1891 he was elected as Representative to the 24th General Assembly. Mr. Mitchell is the first man to be elected by his party to this important office in the last fourteen years. He only ran seventeen votes behind the Governor, although the Democrats and People's party fused on their candidate. No higher mark of respect and esteem could be given him by the people of Adams county than in his election in November, 1891, when such odds were against him. As a lawyer he is prominent, leading and able; as a business man he is possessed of good executive ability, untiring and energetic; as a citizen he is active, progressive, public spirited and liberal, and since coming to the county he has ever been loyal to her best material interests, advocating all measures that the best elements therein strive to maintain. Of strict and upright manhood, he constantly labors for her welfare and is always found in the line of the best citizenship.

As a friend he is true, honest, faithful and sacrificing to all who show themselves worthy of his friendship; as a man he is amiable, temperate, benevolent and just, with fine literary tastes and broad culture.


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