Sunday, July 27, 2014

52 Ancestors - #30 Philander Davis Mitchell - a Judge and a Fair and Decent Man

Philander Davis Mitchell was born in Hickory Valley, White County, Tennessee on June 1, 1827 to Spencer Sterling Mitchell, Jr. and Mary Polly Malinda Lewis. Philander was the eldest of ten children – five sons and five daughters. According to the family bible birth and death records Spencer Jr. moved his family to Crawford County, Missouri sometime between August 1832 and July 1834 and most probably in 1833 according to reliable records. They then moved to Licking, Texas County, Missouri in 1837. Philander Davis received a fair education in the old subscription schools of early times. At the age of twenty-one he began farming for himself.

According to his obituary he made a profession of religion at the Crow Campground when 23 years of age, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church South and was a lifelong member.

Philander Davis Mitchell married Mary Loucinda Halbert (born on November 30, 1832 the daughter of Eli Garner Halbert and Frances Sherrill) on March 24, 1853 and settled on a 600 acre farm about 5 miles south east of town and lived there for the balance of his life. They lived in a one room log house. Their first child, Travis Burke was born December 1, 1855, followed by Spencer Eli born October 5, 1858; Frances Malinda (or Malvina) born March 8, 1861; and Mary Elizabeth born November 27, 1863. Before the start of the Civil War, they started work on a large two story house.

Philander served as Justice of the Peace for four years before the Civil War. During the war, he served six months in the Missouri State Guard and at the close of the war about six months in the Confederate Army. He served in Company D, Slayback’s Regiment, Missouri Calvary as a Second Lieutenant under General Jospeh O. Shelby. In May 1865 his unit surrendered to Union Forces at Shreveport, Louisiana. He was paroled on June 15, 1865 and shortly thereafter he returned to his farm in Texas County, Missouri.

After the close of the Civil War, they were able to finish their large two story house and move into it. The lumber for the house was brought around the Horn and the large front room doors were of solid mahogany. Their youngest was my great grandfather Hubbard Philander Mitchell was born April 22, 1866.

Philander was a Democrat and a Mason and served two terms as Worthy Master in the Masonic Lodge. All of his property was acquired by his own good management and industry and he deserved much credit for the success which attended his efforts. Besides his own property he gave all of his children good farms.

He was Judge of Texas County from 1886 until his death. Philander was one of the most beloved, devout, and prominent men Texas County has ever known. As to all moral questions and every moment of commendable public enterprise he was always found among those who would take the lead. Those who knew him best and longest loved him most. He was one of the very few of whom you heard no adverse criticisms.

In the 1900 census done on the 13th of June it was just the two of them, Philander and Mary. Philander Davis died two weeks later on the 2nd of July at the age of 73 of Bright’s disease. His funeral was held on Wednesday, July 4 at 3 p.m. in the presence of a large audience at the Methodist Episcopal Church South with his vacant seat draped in mourning and was buried at the Licking Cemetery with honors of the Masonic Order.

Great Great Great Grandparenets: Spencer Sterling Mitchell Jr./Mary Polly Malinda Lewis

Great Great Grandparents: Philander Davis Mitchell/Mary Loucinda Halbert

Great Grandparents: Hubbard Philander Mitchell/Effie Luella Harry

Grandparents: Roscoe Arthur Mitchell/Ruby Burris

Parents: Lionell Burris Mitchell/Elva Rosalie Tucker

Information from: Grand Aunts Veron and Gwen and Gwen’s daughter Bonnie.

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