Melville "Melvin" V. Mitchell was born 30 Sep 1845 in Lewis
Co., VA. (now West Virginia), the son of John Elam and
Prudence A. McCally Mitchell.
Melville was the great-grandson of Rev. John Mitchell, a soldier
in the American Revolution, who came to America from
Dawston, Lancashire Co., England in 1774 at the age of 11,
bound to a sailor. He ran away from the ship when they made
port in Yorktown, VA. and eventually made his way up to
Hampshire Co., VA. where he was drafted into the Virginia
militia at age 17. He was wounded in the shoulder and
discharged, but re-enlisted and was present when Cornwallis
surrendered to George Washington. After the war he became a
minister and preached the gospel for 40 years, first in the
Methodist-Episcopal church and later with the Protestant
Methodist. He moved to Harrison, Co., VA. (now Lewis Co.,
West Virginia) in 1803 where he lived the rest of his life. He built the Harmony Methodist
Church on his farm and there is still a church today. He was the first school teacher in that area.
He divided his time between preaching, teaching, farming and fighting Indians. He married
Catherine Margaret Teter in 1783. They were the parents of 8 children:
Mary who married George Cookman,
and Margaret Mitchell.
Catherine died in 1803 and is buried in an unmarked grave on the farm. John married the second
time to Susannah Washburn 3 Dec 1804 and they were the parents of 7 children:
Catherine who married Phillip Petty,
Elizabeth who married George Bent,
and Cassandra Mitchell.
Rev. John Mitchell died 29 Apr 1840 and is buried in the family cemetery on his farm.
Melville was the grandson of Abner and Dorcas Lawson Mitchell. They were married 8 Dec.
1812 by Abner's father in Harrison Co., VA. and settled about one mile below the village of
Roanoke. They were farmers and were the parents of 3 children: John Elam, Paul Teter and
Elizabeth W. Mitchell.
John Elam Mitchell and Prudence E. McCally were married 29 Jan 1842 in Lewis Co., VA. John
followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and was a traveling minister through W.VA. He and
Prudence were the parents of 10 children but only the names of 8 are known:
John E. (died an infant)
and Samantha Jane married Martin Riffle.
John Elam raised a company of soldiers for the Confederate Service in Gilmer Co., VA. (now
W.VA.) and went out as their Captain. He had to resign on account of his health, but stayed on
as a Chaplain with the Confederate Army in Virginia and Maryland until his death 25 May 1862.
He is buried under a church building in W.VA.
Also serving in the Confederate Army were four of John E. Mitchell.'s sons: Wesley P., Melville
V., Ira B. and Henderson D. Mitchell. Wesley died in the hospital in Petersburg. Melville was a
private in (2nd) Co. G, 62 Virginia Mounted Infantry and was captured by the enemy in Highland
Co., VA. 12 Dec 1863. He was taken to Camp Chase, Ohio, but was transferred 14 Mar 1864 to
Ft. Delaware, Del. He took an oath of allegiance and was released on 20 Jun 1865. Upon release
his papers describe him as being 5 feet 6 inches tall, with dark complexion, dark hair, and hazel
eyes. At the time Melville enlisted, he was a resident of Braxton Co., VA. (now W.VA.)
Melville Mitchell was first married to Mary Ann Bull on 27 Dec 1866 in Lewis Co., W.VA. They
had 4 children: twins Mary and Martha, Cora Bell who married Edwin Stanton Sutton, and a
son who died as an infant. Possibly Mary Ann died before 1880 because on that census a Mary is
found in the household of S. P. Radabough (Rohrbough?) in Braxton County. Martha had been
adopted by Margaret A. Ewing in Lewis Co., and Cora Bell had been adopted by Richard M.
Westfall in Braxton County. Also, in 1880 Melville was on the census in Greenup Co., KY. living
with the David Pendleton family. It was in Greenup Co. that Melville married Henrietta A.
Horner on 26 Jun 1880.
Melville and Henrietta came to Texas about 1884. They lived in the Ambia community of Lamar
county for awhile but bought a farm east of the Caviness community in 1893, in the J. B. L.
Ewing headright. They had 4 children:
Arizona who married Alva Lee Taylor,
Oceola who married Robert Emmit Taylor, Jr. (brother of A. L.),
Myrtle who married (1) Mr. Bagley and (2) William Henry Gordon,
and Katherine Opal married (1) Jess Reginald Rooks and (2) Thomas P. Jones.
Melville Mitchell died 3 Jun 1896 from a heat stroke while working in his fields. He is buried in
the McEwin Cemetery, east of Caviness in Lamar County. There is a baby buried in the cemetery,
child of Pearson and Mary Mitchell. It is not known if this Mary is the daughter of Melville.
There are many descendants of Melville and Henrietta in Lamar Co. and elsewhere. They are my
©Ron Brothers and Connie Ball, All Rights Reserved, 1999.
3 Jun 1999
Return to Biographies Return to Confederate Soldiers of Northeast Texas
Return to Biographies
Return to Confederate Soldiers of Northeast Texas