Biography of Hon. Matthew W. Mitchell

HON. MATTHEW W. MITCHELL. – In at least two distinct lines of enterprise has the subject of this sketch achieved commendable success, and has wrought his way to the present prominent position that he holds by dint of real effort of worth and by manifestation of capabilities that are worthy of note, and by the display of integrity and upright principles. Coming with his father to this state when he was but a child he is practically a product of the state and here he has won the laurels and made the record that is his now to enjoy.

On November 13, 1843, the subject of this sketch was born to Frederick and Rebecca (Hill) Mitchell, in Lafayette county, Missouri. His parents were natives of Virginia and came to this state in 1852, using ox teams for the entire journey and settling in Douglas county. His father imported considerable stock when he came to the state and was unfortunate enough to lose nearly all of it the first winter on account of the inclemency of the weather. Following this he took a donation claim in southern Oregon and gave his attention to general farming until the spring of 1863, when he drove stock to the Grande Ronde valley, taking up a homestead here and occupying himself in farming. Returning more particularly to the subject of this sketch, he entered the Roseburg Academy in 1865 and spent two years in the pursuit of knowledge and then took up the duties of the educator in Douglas county, following the same until October, 1870, when he came to the Grande Ronde valley, and there continued in the worthy labors of instruction for three years and assisting his father in his business of farming. In 1878 he bought his present place of three hundred and sixty acres, all good land, besides four hundred and twenty acres on the hills which is used for pasture. His estates are three miles north of Cove and are improved in fine shape and handled in a skillful manner. He gives his attention to general farming, paying considerable attention to fruit culture, having at the present time four acres in orchard, the products of which are sold both in the local markets and shipped to different points. Mr. Mitchell is greatly interested in good stock, and has imported a fine shorthorn bull and also a Holstein and some fine hogs, and he is raising some good specimens and is a leader in this line.

The marriage of Mr. Mitchell and Miss Stevens, daughter of early pioneers of the state, was solemnized in 1870, and to them was born one daughter, Lillie F.

Mr. Mitchell was a second time married, the lady of his choice on this occasion being Jessie Ritchey.

A third time Mr. Mitchell was joined in the bonds of matrimony, the lady that is now his wife being formerly Mrs. Matilda Russel, daughter of James H. St. John, an old pioneer of Kansas. Mr. Mitchell is interested in good government, and is constantly putting forth effort to accomplish these ends. In 1876 he was elected to the state legislature on the Democratic ticket, defeating his opponent, T.T. Geer, the present governor of the state. The efforts of Mr. Mitchell in the halls of legislation, as a private citizen and as a member of the community, have always been capable, faithful and actuated by enterprise and upright principles. He is to-day one of the prominent, respected and well-to-do men of the county.



An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

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