Governor Henry Mitchell
11 pages Restricted
Pp. 1-4: This interview includes a group of Governor Mitchell's descendants. Governor
Mitchell's birth and death is remembered to be between 1831/3 and 1903/4 respectively. A
hurricane and freeze are recalled to be major occurrence during his administration. Governor
Mitchell's family discusses the siblings and marriages of all of the family members. The group's
relation to the governor seems to be an important subject to the interviewer and genealogies are
discussed thoroughly. The whereabouts of the remaining pictures of Governor Mitchell are also
argued, but it is unsure what is left and where they might remain.
Pp. 4-7: The Henry Mitchell School, Mitchell Street and the governor's house in Tampa, Florida
are all remnants of the governor's influence in Tampa. Various properties the governor and his
family may have owned in the Tampa Bay area is addressed.
Pp. 7-11: Governor Mitchell was both a teacher and a judge and/or lawyer before he was
governor of Florida. The governor's father is thought to have arrived in Florida from Alabama.
The group speculates over other family members of the governor and where they may have
Aldene Vinson and Virginia Kistner
14 pages Restricted
October 06, 1967
Pp. 1-4: The interviewees claim to be descendants of Virginia Mitchell, sister of Governor Henry
Mitchell. Their addresses and ages are given as are their exact relations to the governor and his
sister. As with the above interview, genealogical issues seem to be the primary focus of the
interviewer. The Mitchell family tree pre-dates the Civil War and consists of many wealthy
residents of Birmingham, Alabama. Exact European descent cannot be recalled.
Pp. 5-9: The women recall meeting the governor as children. Governor Mitchell is remembered
to have been an extremely homely man with a double-chin. His disposition was friendly, although
the women admit they were family and Mitchell may not have been as nice to others in his
professional life. Governor Mitchell's various careers are briefly discussed. More genealogical
aspects of Governor Mitchell and his family are remembered.
Pp. 10-14: The women further discuss their relations with the governor. Whether or not Henry
Mitchell lived on Mitchell Street or Florida Street is argued. It is thought that the governor was
named after the former, but lived on the latter. Other brief mentions of the governor's career and
family are included. Lastly is a short description of how the Mitchell family might have traveled
from Alabama to Florida in a covered wagon and where some of those family members might be
I: He was born when?
II: 1833, yes.
III: He couldn't have died in 1903.
V: Somebody put 1831.
III: We married in 1903 and you remember the governor well.
V: Yes, I remember him.
IV: He lived a long time after I married.
II: What's the date in question?
IV: It says he died in 1903, Spence.
II: He died later than that.
I: I think he died in 1904.
IV: Well, I can't tell you the date.
II: Well, that would be on the stone down there. Well, what I tied it to we
moved over here in 1905. Our real reason for coming (break in tape)
here alone and couldn't put up with it
and she and Mama wanted to live together again; they had lived together be-
fore. So, she come over there right after he died and stayed with us in
Bartow. It could have been 1903 or '04, one or the other.
I: Well, there were two things during his time of office that occurred. One was
the hurricane (break in tape)
all the northern oranges. Did you ever
have any reference to this at all? \ .^,
III: The freeze, the second freeze is the one that did 3 the damage, S c-c *-
SJ-.rCLM ..t...' -- U turned all warm, you know, and the
trees just put out blooms and thn cpme a freeze in February&o AiLCtc
II: All my father's groves.
III: orange groves in Jacksonville. In Ocala, I used
to go up there, used to go up to meetings up there.
II: They still got a lot of fruit up around Leesburg, up that far, and some
around Ocala, too. But the great freeze is around '94, '95, they're referring
IV: Spencer, was your father a doctor and a grove owner and a commissioner of
agriculture and everything? They just did sort of everything in those
II: Well, in those days, they did what come handy to do. He was a physician and
he lived in the country out from "
IV: Were they twin brothers?
II: No, my father was younger.
IV: Were the two sisters twins?
II: No, there was no twins involved there.
III: Was it Uncle William's sister that got burned to death? Someone in the family
burned to death.
II: Yes, but it wasn't Mitchells.
III: No. Governor Mitchell married my father's sister, Governor Mitchells brother
married my father's sister. And W.B. Henderson (?) married my father's
III: sister and W.B. Henderson's brother married my aunt among my mother's
ancestors (?). I'm my own cousin.
V: You wonder why I get mixed up when I start writing little diagrams.
II: Well, that will get you confused, all right. I've puzzled over them a
lot of times.
I: Well, do you have one of these?
II: I don't have as much as she's got, I can tell you that. I'd certainly like
to get it, somewhere along the line.
IV: When you get through, George, can we get a full set, a copy of the tape?
I: Well, I'll say this now, I don't know what form it will be in.
II: Well, whenever you get it all done, I can get it xeroxed and that way we'd
have some copies, as many as you want, at that.
I: Whether or not we xerox or print it or what, it has to be in some kind of
form. The State gets a copy of it.
IV: Is this in connection with the piece that was in the paper about -
I: Yes, it is.
(break in tape)
IV: You're not having much luck, are you?
I: I'm not being over-whelmed. What I want is some original pictures and speeches.
II: Well, of course, you've got the well-known pictures of the Governor. Well,
I took up in Tallahassee and it's in nearly
all the books.
III: Have we got some pictures of the Governor, too?
V: I don't think.
I: Is that a painting in Tallahassee?
Is that in the room with all the portraits?
It's in the Supreme Court Hall.
V: Yes, but the last time we were there, they had moved it.
IV: Yes, they moved it up where the governors are, down at the end of that hall.
You know, the main hall. But it used to be down in the Supreme Court build-
ing where the judges were. Now, whether they have another one down there,
I don't know. We couldn't get in that building.
I: Well, I won't photograph it because photographs are photographs.
II: I may still have that plate of him.
You see, I've let so many people use it
The last real good book that was put together
here about Tampa, you know. Well, that's the plate that was used in that
book. You've seen it, haven't you
in the '50s? Yes, I can't think of that fellow's name right
now; he's dead. But he did a good job.
I: Well, this Henry Mitchell school, is it named for the Governor?
II: Yes, it's named for him and Mitchell Street. And we put a copper nameplate
in the entrance of the school.
I: Is it still there?
II: I imagine it's still there.
I: I'll have to look at that. I photographed the school but I didn't think to
II: Well, inside the entrance there, there is a plaque. And we put that in there
about the time that I got married. That was so long ago, I don't remember
the year. About 1923, I guess, it was when we put that in there.
V: Spencer, you have a pretty good history of the family, don't you?
V: I always thought you were working on it.
II: No, you see, after all the material we had disappeared, why, I didn't have
anything to work with anymore.
I: I sure would like to find those
II: Why, I wouldn't have any idea because it's just like during the last war,
I was on the ration board. And, of course, everybody said, "Well, we'll
send all these things to Washington." Most of them were sent down
direct. I know that's the way they sent them to Wash-
ington but it never would do anybody any good, you know.
III: I imagine if, in Tallahassee, you make connections with the Crawfords (?),
I think you can find out a whole lot about the Governor because
II: Well, the Crawfords were consistently in government there for 75 or 80
years, I guess.
I: Do you say Mitchell Street, Mitchell Avenue?
II: Mitchell Street.
I: When was that put down, do you know?
II: It's when you cut up your grove there, wasn't it, ?
III: Yes, the Spencer place, died right there in tha t corner,
you know. I bought these lots from two lots. I
built a house on one
and I sold the Governor
shoe store on prettiest store there ever was in Tampa,
sold the house to the Governor at a regular
low price (?) And he wrote me a letter and wanted me to
pay for the and I said, "
III: But and finally, I give him a check for it
and then he wanted to pay half. I said, "NO, I owe every damn cent of it
or I don't owe any." So I paid it and said, "You got a nice home." He
didn't like me but he sure liked Sonny (?) .He didn't like me
because I wouldn't chew tobacco.
?: Who was that, Will?
III: The Governor. When Christmas come
give me fifty cents and give Sonny a dollar.
II: Have you talked with (?)
I: Over the phone I talked to him. He said he's going to Mexico (?)
I hope he hasn't left yet.
II: Well, he was in town the other day.
I: I'll give him a ring this week.
II: Well, anyway, you can get into the archives there. YOu can see anything they've
got and they'll no doubt have something.
III: How long are you going to be here?
I: I live here.
III: You do. I might be able to help you go out there to Plant City (?) where
they have that old-timers picnic(?). They have it once a year and the
old people There's some of them left.
Break in Tape
III: and I think you'll find that, too. Governor Mitchell and Papa and Uncle
William Plant City when the railroad come through. And
Papa sold his interest for $300. Now it's a quarter of a share for that (?)
IV: Didn't Uncle and your father used to own all where Tampa University
is now? All that area on that side of the bridge?
II: Well, they could have but I don't know.
III: Governor Mitchell, when he was judge, owned a five acre orange grove right
there at Seventh Avenue and Nebraska (?), right in there.
II: Yes, I know where it was.
I: What happened to the Governor's property in Plant City?
III: I don't know what he did. He sold it.
II: Well, some of that as late as, well, along
the 1930's, along in there. You know, that thing
came in handy for Mama and Aunt for all their widowed
lives. People wanted to keep straightening it out so it was real clear;
a lot of it had gone for taxes. But they wanted a on
there so there wasn't any flaw. They pay anything from $10 to $100 or
III: Marion, G.T. Marion (?)
II: Well, that's a lot of money there.
III: Oh, yes.
I: I read somewhere, too, the Governor taught school in Hillsboro County.
II: Yes, but I don't know where.
I: Well, the writer didn't know much about it either other than he said he
II: Well, that wasn't unusual for people that were fairly well-educated, you
know, even though they were (?) self-educated. They'd teach school
for a while to help a district get along, you know, and get school started.
Because even if they'd hire a good teacher, they couldn't pay them about
$20 a month, you know, or something like that.
II: I wouldn't be surprised. Well, we've signed (?) one here within the last
several years out there.
Each one of them spoke
to me about it. They were both involved in it.
I: Well, what else?
II: Well, I'm sorry we couldn't bring any records but they just don't exist
anymore unless somebody in the family that I can't place got them.
IV: Aunt wouldn't have any?
II: She wouldn't have much.
III: The I know they haven't got anything.
II: Well, of course, they'd have Spencer things if they had anything.
wouldn't have Mityhell things.
Spencer, we went to tomb (?) .And those children
over there said he never was married but once. He married that old miser's
daughter and sold eggs (?) The old man, I can't recall his name right
now, but anyhow, he lived -
Who is he talking about?
He's talking about Sue Mitchell, I mean,
She wasn't a Mitchell, was she?
No, she was a Spenser.
His middle name was L-a-u-r-e-n-s?
L-a-u-r-e-n-s, because he told me that himself. He said, "Laurens, my middle
name is Laurens." he's always L-a-u-r-e-n-s.
up there at north of Plant City.
born out there at Plant City?
He was born down at Charlotte County, down there at Charlotte Harbor (?).
His mother was -
Do you know if Tom Mitchell was born in Alabama?
The old man?
I don't think so. I think he was born in Tennessee.
III: What Tom Mitchell is he talking about?
II: The Governor's father.
III: Yes, well, then there's a Tom Mitchell that got killed down there -
II: Well, there were several Tom's in the family.
III: Tom Mitchell died in Denver, Colorado, and
II: Nd, I'm talking about the Governor's daddy.
I: Yes, he came here from Alabama, but I'm wondering where he came from before
he went to Alabama.
II: If you want all that, there's one child that isn't in here, right here, in
this group (?).
IV: Yes, I know it's not complete.
II: Yes,well, Jenny Perry (?). Yes, she was a child and she would come in
III: Anyhow, he'd be Grandfather got 77 votes and he got 87.
Well, the first time I was elected sheriff (?), I only got 3500 votes
but that put me in. That was 1913.
I: Well, I guess Tampa was pretty much all on the other side of the river, then,
III: Way back in, before that, in 1883
start the growing
died, he was a Scotchman came from up in Massa-
chusetts. But he was from Scotland. He belonged to that famous family
over there, the the are coming. But Howard
he died when he was 79 years old, 79. And I remember his
father courting his mother. She ran a bookstore over on Franklin Street
III: You didn't get much information out of me. I'm going to tell you something.
Down in, as I say Key West
and Palmetto and
four horses of mine. And going down in Tampa,
and go down to Manatee County
I: You were telling me about the trip down to Key West.
III: A fellow named
a very good man and a good friend
got into that gang and they killed him and they was tried over in
Palmetto (?) and Governor Mitchell was judge. And the old jail was just
built out of logs, you know
Well, they tried him and they convicted him, convicted him of murder in the
first degree. And Governor Mitchell adjourned the court and come on bac k
to Tampa and he sentenced him. He said, "Stand up, son. (I forget the boy's
name but it doesn't matter. My uncle told me this and he was there.)
You've been tried and convicted of murder in the first
degree and sentenced to death for first degree murder. Do you have anything
to say before I pass sentence?" He said, "No, not now." He called him
by name, and said, "
and you'll be hung by your neck until you are dead, dead, dead." He said,
III: "Now, I have something to say. Judge Mitchell, you can kiss my
." Now, that's true, that's what he said
Aldene Vinson and
Virginia Kistner, interviewed by G.B. Church, Jr.
C: This is Friday, October 6, 1967. On this day we are going to interview
Virginia Kistner, Mrs. B.H.T. Kistner of 8602 North Harbana (?) Avenue,
Tampa, and Aldene Jewel Knight Vinson of 212 West Mohawk Avenue, Tampa.
Both of these ladies are blood-line descendents of Virginia Mitchell, who
was a senior sister of Henry Laurens Mitchell, Governor of Florida.
The age of Virginia Kistner has been given to me as 85 years old. However,
I do not know yet the age of Mrs. Vinson.
Break in tape.
K: I was with him a lot. I was telling Aldene the other day, he asked me what
I studied in school. I was just a little girl. And I said I was taking
French. He said, "French, French, you don't need French!" I was down in
the country, you know. And we had a public school teacher my father
was superintendent and he got good teachers and she spoke French and gAL
pe had a French class.
7 1 I like French myself; I think it's nice.
K: I've forgotten it all now; I haven't had anybody to practice it in front of.
1V V It's easy to forget, I tell you.
K: Well, his mother do you know who his mother was? She was aztj r (?)
from Tennessee and she had all these sons: Uncle Laurens Governor
Mitchell was oldest. I think he was oldest; I'm not sure.
? *V, Oldest boy.
K: Yes. And she had Uncle Laurens, Uncle Bob, and Uncle Lji-Cvt i'. He
was this Dr. Mitchell's father. And she had a son, Frank. He was killed
in the Army, in the Confederate Army.
Break in tape.
and grandmother. Her name was Virginia. And their father was she married
K: a man from Alabama, I think he lived in Birmingham.
Break in tape
She was Elizabeth r (?) of Tennessee and she married my grandfather Mitchell.
C: Where did Tom Mitchell come from?
K: He came from Birmingham.
C: Where was he before then? Was he born in Birmingham?
K: I think so, born in Alabama, I'm sure. His people lived in Birmingham.
C: Why did he come to Florida?
K: Well, they came here, Grandmother Mitchell
covered wagon. And that was, of course, many, many years ago, before they
had any railroads. And they came here in a covered wagon and Grandfather
Mitchell died they had a plantation out there, I don't know, it must have
been out somewhere near .-2.' 7 or between e-.1 ir 7 and Bartow some-
where and he died. And this Dr. Stanford lived HEaxxhim there next to
him; his plantation was next to theirs. And he wanted Grandmother Mitchell
to marry him so he could help her raise the boys. He was a doctor and a
very bright, smart man. And so, he saw that Uncle Laurens was put through
law school and Dr. Mitchell, Uncle I uctn\ he saw that he was made a
doctor, and he was a very good stepfather. She married this man with all
Break in tape.
Aunt Clara, his oldest daughter, married a mmightnx, and Grandmother married
-?' -t (-L .*..,, I thought she married a Worthington?
K: Well, yes, she did marry a Worthington. I don't know what I'm talking about.
fV But then her daughter married a Nabors. Do you remember Nabors' first name?
7 \V I don't know a thing about that side of the family at all. Did they have any
V'7 V: children?
K: Who? The Nabors?
K: Yes. Oh, yes, they had a big crowd of kids. And Mr. Nabors, after the war
was over and all his slaves were freed and everything, he owned all of
Birmingham, that whole little village of Birmingham. It was just a village
then. They lived there. And, so, he said he was going to South America
where he could have slaves. So, he bought a schooner, a ship of some kind,
and started for South America. And off the coast of Cuba, they were ship-
wrecked, I -I _,.4e '!c 5_ I q, e. d 6+ rtd-rel 6 r
and one of the daughters, they had ten children. And they carried their
money in belts, they didn't have banks then, and he didn't sell his
property in Birmingham, though. So, they came back here, went back to
Birmingham and they discovered iron and coal and everything on his property.
And it made him very wealthy.
I So it was better than South America after all, wasn't it?
C: That was Caroline's husband?
? V Caroline's daughter's husband, Betty.
K: Mr. Nabors.
7 V, William Nabors.
C: Did Tom Mitchell want to go to South America with them?
7 'V Let's see, this is Tom Mitchell, the Governor's daddy.
) \: Did he talk about going to South America?
K: No, this was Mr. Nabors that went to South America. Aunt Caroline's daughter.
C: Tom didn't go with them?
K: No, he wasn't going with them, I don't think. He was their uncle. He was
Aunt Caroline's brother. I don't think he was with them; I never heard It
K: if he was.
?,V Well, these other children that Caroline and Pinkney (?) Worthington had,
the second child's name was Ella and she married a Graham. Do you know his
K: Yes, I knew him. Betty was the oldest girl and Ella and Alice and
Margy, and 6t'se was the baby who was thrown, nearly drowned when they
shipwrecked over on the coast of Cuba. I used to go up there with my
grandmother every summer to Birmingham. She took me there from the time I
was 11 years old. In fact, we were on our way up there when she died.
And I knew all those so well; I always kept in touch with them.
V Well, this sister Alice married a Nabors, too, didn't she?
K: Yes, she married a Nabors.
.": What was his name, do you remember?
K: No, I don't know his name.
iV" Well, Ella married a Graham. Did you know his first name?
K: No, I don't know his first name either.
@7 : All we had was the girl's last name, their married name; we didn't kn any*
K: Do you know who Grandmother's children married?
.7 \ The Virginia Knights. Yes, I've got the Knight family. In fact, all those
pieces of paper on the floor are full of Knights. I've got the Knight family
pretty well. But the ones I don't know anything about is this group you're
talking about now, Carolyn and Pickney (?) Worthington.
K: That's all the children.
'? V Well, didn't they have a John and a Jane?
K: Yes. John. There was a Mary; she married Dr. Robinson, Robertson.
?~'i Oh, there was a Mary; I never met her.
K: That was another girl; I'd forgotten about her.
V: Well, who was Beth Nabors?
K: She never married.
V: Well, whose child was she?
K: She was Cousin Betty's daughter. Bessie (?) is another one; she's of another
7V. They had a whole i& of children. Do you have any lists of these names of
these children anywhere? All their children? The Nabors' children?
K: There was Beth and Emma and Will, the boy. Oh, I know their names just
as well as I know mine.
-7'V Well, when you've got ten, it's hard to remember.
K: I didn't know you wanted all their names.
7'V-- No, it's all right. We will trace the Nabors back and we will find them.
C: Did you ever see Governor Mitchell?
K: Why, he visited my grandmother all the time. We lived at Charlotte Harbor
and he was very fond of my grandmother. He came down there, he brought her
a great big old dog one time and we named the old dog Governor.
:C: Well tell me about him. How tall was he?
K: Well, he was a tall man and very, very ugly.
C: I see. What makes you say he was very, very ugly.
K: I was amused at what a man told my grandmother. He said, "I like Governor
Mitchell but he was the ugliest man I ever saw." Grandmother said, "Well, he
was my brother and I think he was a very good-looking man."
C: Well, how tall was he?
K: Well, he must have been over six feet; he was a real large man.
C: How much do you think he weighed.
K: Well, I think he weighed about 200 pounds, 185 or 200. He was a large man.
C: What color hair? Do you recall?
K: I don't know that; I don't remember that.
C: Well, tell me what he looked like, really. Did he have a beard? Or a
K: No, he didn't have a beard. He had a big double chin. He was awfully
homely in the face.
Break in tape.
V: And so I'll show it to you.
C: Fine. We'd like to get a picture of your picture.
Break in tape.
V: I had this picture of Uncle Laurens. It was on the porch.
K: I never looked at the pictures. The ivk i way up e the top of the cCttic
and I may have had a picture of hhim.
V: Well, I've got one and Doris has one.
K: You got one?
V: I've got a picture of him. But there was a group on the porch and I don't
have the one with the group on the porch. But my sister does. I saw it at
her house not long ago. But this picture that I have is one that he was
sitting a little apart from the group and it was cut off. And evidently, he
was sitting in a rocking chair with one knee over the rocker. And you can't
see the knee. c 3 C d1 C' 5) v i ,
Break in tape.
K: And Carrie (?) married an Abbott. I knew them better than most any of them
but I just couldn't think of their names when you asked.
V: Now, to go in with this ugliness. I wanted to tell him to put in with this
ugliness he and another uncle of mine, one of the OLa lce uncles who was
a doctor, were riding on the train. We used to call them drawingrooms in
those days. And they saw these two men out there at the door, just laughing.
They may have used a little sDu7cj for it, I don't remember. They said
Uncle John and the Governor were the two ugliest men they ever saw. And
V: Uncle John said, "Well, we lack a long sight of being the most ignorant men
you ever saw."
K: I know something I want to tell you. When Uncle Laurens and Aunt Honey
were married, he was circuit judge then. He was a judge and he had the
whole court down at Bartow. And Aunt Honey told someone once, said they
spent the first night on the /i cap&tk River going to Bartow. That
was when we didn't have any roads or anything, you know. And they had to
go down there and they couldn't go in the day. It was about 45 or 50
miles to Bartow but I guess it was about1l00 when they had to go in a horse
and buggy. And she said they spent the first night on the Alcia River
going to Bartow. But Grandmother was insulted when that man told her Uncle
Laurens was the ugliest man he ever saw. He came down there real often to
see Grandmother ca?. X JiJ h 6f' ''c l T\ 1 Ua t c 1.l'/
?: Did he joke a lot and kid people a lot?
K: Well, I don't remember. He was very nice to all of us children, though.
?: Did he seem interested in your education?
K: Well, I guess so. I don't know. I was about 12 years old; I don't know much
C: I understand the Governor taught school sometime -bg-n his life.
K: I never did know that. I never knew him until after he was married, I don't
think. Grandmother Mitchell, as I told you, was a Sev-rz from Tennessee
and her sister died up there and left twin daughters. They were identical
twins about 12 years old and Grandmother sent Uncle Laurens up there to
bring those twins she left them to Grandmother, her sister. And Uncle
Laurens went up to Tennessee and brought the twins back here.
?: What were their names? Do you remember their names?
K: Their mother was a e iA 7 I don't know whether their mother or their
father was her brother. And I don't remember. And Mama said they all had
K: identical dresses. They were just identical twins and she had to fall heir 4o
all their dresses. She had two dresses of a kind. She was just about
two or three years younger and she fell heir to, all their clothes.
And one of those twins married a Parker down at Arcadia and the other one
married into a family down at Fort Meyers but I can't think of that man's
name now. But ew one of them married a Parker, I know. I knew a woman
that lived over in Garfield when I was living in Beach Park and we
were very good friends. And I said to her one day,"I know that we're
related." She was from Birmingham and I said, "You look just like all my
relatives up in Birmingham." And she said, "No, I lived in Birmingham and
I didn't have a relative there." And I said, "Well, I know you're kinfolk."
And I said, "My grandmother was a 'vCS from Tennessee." And she
said, "Why, my grandmother was a S irts ? from Tennessee, too." It
was my great-grandmother, you see. And I said, "Mine was named Elizabeth;
my grandmother was named Elizabeth," that married Mitchell, you know. And
she said, "My grandmother was named Caroline." That's the family name, you
know. And she said, "It's a right funny thing. I had the family tree from
England yesterday, or the day before, and we'll look it up." And they were
sisters. And there was so much resemblance, I knew all that way back there,
my great-grandmother and her grandmother.
V: Well, does she still live out there?
K: No, she didn't live in Beach Park; she lived in Garfield. And that woman's
name has escaped me since we moved out here and moved away from there.
Break in tape.
K: I don't know where they came from. I just found out about the 4- L+v es
from her saying she had looked up the family tree.
?: There's someone over in Winter Park that knows about the S -ervS
maybe we can trace it that way. They have a family tree, I think.
Break in tape.
K: Aunt Caroline's daughter married, her children married, but you didn't find
out about Grandmother. Well, I guess you know that, who they married.
?: Who's that?
K: Grandmother Mitchell, Governor Mitchell's brothers and sisters.
?: Yes, I have the brothers and sisters. Do you remember anything about a
Thomas Mitchell who married Sarah McCloud who had a child named Frank?
Break in tape
V: I remember there was a Tom Mitchell.
?: This was a brother of Henry Laurens Mitchell.
V: This was a son, a Tom Mitchell.
?: Well, that might be Samuel's son named Tom. There's another Tom. Do you
know anything about that family, Samuel?
V: The most I remember about Tom he came to our house real often and he was
rather dull. And he made poetry and I can't remember one piece he made right
Break in tape.
?: Well, her mother was a Campbell. Her father came here before the Civil War.
He had that property right on the corner of Franklin and LaFayette Street.
He had a store there for years and years.
K: You got who my mother married and allX 4, Cb cJI "'ti-'1-, s L-
SP' J1 ( Hev 'v
She married a Ge$M' And my sister married Dr. Smoke.
?: Dr. Smoke, yes, I've got that. That was Eva. Now, I've got Sumner (?) who
married Marian McCloud. And Larou (?) B. married Elizabeth Wallace. And
Marcus (?) J. married Josephine Hill. And Paul kCvi j( married Marian Malone.
K: And 6oady married Florence Flynn.
Break in tape.
C: 86 next May! Well, you don't look that old.
K: I've been married t years in January.
V: Your mind doesn't work like you're 86, either.
K: I can't hear very good; I'm getting deaf. I bought a hearing aid and paid
$369 for it and I don't use it. I go to church and the preacher sounds so
loud-talking but I don't get the articulation and I can't hear it. ANd
I'm nearly blind, too.
Break in tape.
C: Well, he was a very kind man and very thoughtful.
K: Yes, he was very nice. He loved Grandmother.
C: He was always doing things for people, helping them.
K: Yes. I was just a child and I didn't pay much attention, though. We
always had him for meals when he come to see Grandmother.
C: Do you know where he lived in Tampa?
K: Well, I think he lived on Mitchell Street; I think Mitchell Street's named
C: Did he have a home there?
K: I think so.
V: Well, it seems to me he lived on Florida Avenue.
K: Well, I was thinking the other day, I thought he lived on Mitchell Street.
I thought they named that street for him.
V: Well, they may have.
K: They may have named it after he died, I don't know. Oh, he always brought
my grandmother lots of wine. Every time he come, he'd bring her wine. And
all of us children, there were about 7 of us, we'd go down to Grandmothers
after he'd go and we'd all get sick. Have a headache or something. There
would be 3 or 4 of us there, we'd all get sick. And she'd always prescribe
wine for us. She had a great big old wardrobe in the dining room and there
K: was always two or three bottles of wine. He kept her supplied with it.
C: Did the Governor own any property in Hillsborough County?
K: Well, I don't know whether he did or not. He was a lawyer, you know, and he
always made a living. He was judge and then Governor. I don't know how
old he was when he died.
?: He didn't seem to make a whole lot of money, though, as Governor, because
he didn't have money when he came back.
K: I think he gave a lot of presents.
?: Do you remember Aunt Honey? Everybody calls her Aunt Honey; I've been calling
her Aunt Honey, too.
K: Yes. Her name was Eugenia b A u ) We asked her why they called her
Honey and she said when she was a child she was so.sweet. So, they called
C: Well, the Governor called her Honey, too, did he not?
K: Yes. Everybody called her Honey. We all didn't know her name. I think
her name was Eugenia, though. But we all called her Aunt Honey.
C: Do you have any pictures, family pictures of the Governor?
K: I don't think I do. We may have a little one. There's a little one in that
old trunk out thereAbut I don't know whether that's the Governor or not.
C: HOw about letters?
K: I don't know. I've always burned all the letters. I don't believe in
keeping old letters. I don't keep anything.
C: I can't begin to thank you for your time and what you told us.
K: Well, I haven't told you anything. I don't think I've told you much.
C: This is a big help. We would like to know where the Mitchells came from.
Whether it was England or Scotland or Wales or somewhere.
K: Do you teach school?
C: At Oak Grove Junior High, yes. I teach social studies, civics, geography,
C: and history.
K: We have a school right over here. Mr. Mitchell is the principal (?)
But he wasn't kin; his mother married a Mitchell. She was a Knight and
she married a Mitchell. He's no kin to us. His mother's my mother's first
cousin but he's no kin himself. I mean, through the Mitchells he's no kin.
C: There is a Mitchell here in Tampa who is minister of the First Methodist
Church. Do you know him?
K: Oh, Uncle George Mitchell. Uncle George was a wonderful man.
?: Well, we found that Aunt Honey had a box, a wooden box, and the WPA (?)
people were going to give this to historians. And they =ep that box
of Aunt Honey's to the WPA people and it's all gone. Nobody knows where
K: What did it have in it?
?: Well, all of her little keepsakes, the Governor's and hers, all of her most
precious possessions, I guess. But they wrote up a history of Hillsborough
County with it so that we'll get to see.
Break in tape.
C: Well, what we want to clear up is his middle name. We want to find out what
the Governor's middle name was.
K: He spelled his name L-a-u-r-e-n-s; it wasn't L-a-u-r-e-n-c-e. I don't know
whether he had a middle name. Oh, Grandmother had another boy named
Dlaid ; did I tell you about him? I think I did. He died when he was
about 12 years old. He was the youngest boy of all those boys.
?: You mean, Thomas J. Mitchell had a young son Edward?
K: Edward? No. :aI/45 .
Break in tape.
?: And Robert Bruce married -
K: I never heard of Robert.
?: He was the one who had orange groves or something. Didn't he have orange
groves over in Lake Wales?
K: No, he lived down at Fort Meade. We visited him one time, Uncle Bob.
Uncle Bob and Uncle Lucien (?) both lived down there.
C: Do you know where Tom Mitchell is buried?
C: He's the one who came to Tampa from Birmingham, the father of the Governor.
K: I don't know where he's buried.
V: Wouldn't he be buried down at Charlotte Harbor?
K: No. Grandmother Stanford, their mother, was buried at Charlotte Harbor.
V: Well, when did Grandmother move down to Charlotte Harbor?
K: Well, after Dr. Stanford died. She lived down there with Grandmother Knight
a little while and she died down there.
V: And then they came up here and lived at Knight SC ,'Or .
K: Oh, no. That was before.
V: That's where Father was born, out there at Knight &.' "
?: Why didn't Caroline stay up in North Carolina, in Alabama.
K: Well, you see, they came down here in a covered wagon; she was married to
Mr. Nabors and he lived in Birmingham. And he didn't want to come down here.
They said it waabout six months before they could get a letter back and forth.
And she didn't know her brother Dallas (?)was dead till a long time.
?: Now, Dallas (?) I don't have on here. I don't have a thing about him.
C: Maybe that's a middle name. Dallas Mitchell, brother of Caroline, brother
of the Governor.
K: Yes, he was the youngest boy.
C: The youngest boy. Edward D. Edward Dallas? There we go, Edward Dallas.
C: Edward Dallas Mitchell.
?: How old did you say he was when he died?
K: 12 years old, I think. About 12.
C: Edward Dallas Mitchell, he was the last child, the last little boy.
K: She did a good thing for herself when she married Dr. Stanford. He was
the one that saw that Governor Mitchell was sent to school and Dr. Mitchell.
He was very ambitious for the boys. Mama said her mother nearly cried her
eyes out when her mother married again, married Dr. Stanford. She felt
like they were disgraced. She married about two years after Grandfather
died and she thought-that Grandmother had disgraced them.
Break in tape.
C: I\A" M\\ came together from Alabama by covered wagon.
K: Yes, Grandmother Mitchell and her family.
C: And where did they homestead?
K: Out there, somewhere out there. Aldene says that Grandfather Mitchell is
buried out near ep1h r& ; they must have been out there somewhere near
where he was buried. I know they didn't take him very far to bury him.
C: How long did it take them, do you know, to come from Alabama by covered
K: I imagine it took a long time.
This concludes the interview for the day.
I am now at the Tampa Public Library where I have before me the old Florida
newspapers, the Florida Peninsular from 1860-1869. THe number is R/700/F63
Reel #2 Tampa Bluerpint Company, Tampa, Florida. I am putting this film in the
viewgraph and I find that the early copies of the Florida Peninsular is indistinct
and difficul- to read. In fact, I can not even though I try through all manner
of focusing raise anything at all. I will now proceed and go forward. I am
afraid of these early microfilms that I am not able to raise anything except the
large titles. It focuses extremely bad aid the lighting is not particularly
good either. I am afraid that reel #2 is going to be worthless for out purpose
in this present condition because I can not get any focus on the fine print.
all I can raise in headlines like Boots, New Goods, Fall and Winter Goods, The
End of a DOnkey in Four Parts by somebody or another and Charles Gerbert Boot,
Shoemaker but none of the fine print will come out at all. I am now looking at
Reel #3 of the Florida Peninsular for the years from 1869 to 1871 and the Sunland
Tribune from 1877 to 1878. This will focus and I will have no further trouble
finding informatiofi concerning Governor Mithhell providing that it is here in
print. I see before ma a copy of the Florida Peninsular devoted to the interests
of South FLorida Volume 4 Number 4 Wednesday June 2, 1869. On the front page
of which there is an advertisement for H.L. Mitchell Attorney-at=Law