Title: Governor Henry Mitchell, Aldene Vinson, and Virginia Kistner
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00023784/00001
 Material Information
Title: Governor Henry Mitchell, Aldene Vinson, and Virginia Kistner
Series Title: Governor Henry Mitchell, Aldene Vinson, and Virginia Kistner
Physical Description: Book
Publication Date: 1967
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00023784
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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FP 11
Governor Henry Mitchell
11 pages Restricted
not dated

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

FP 11
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.

Simultaneous talking?

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.

Simultaneous talking?

II: What's the date in question?

III: 1903.

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?

Simultaneous talking?

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.

Simultaneous talking?

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

go inside.

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?

II: No.

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

simultaneous talking?

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

taught school.

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

Simultaneous talking

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,

wasn't it?

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

these children.

Break in tape.
Nabors (?)
Aunt Clara, his oldest daughter, married a mmightnx, and Grandmother married

a Knight.

-?' -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?

K: William.

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.

C: Yes.

K: No.

) \: 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*

first names.

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
I, ke,
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

about that.

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

for him.

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

her Honey.

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

it went.

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.



?: Bob?

K: Bob.

?: 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?

K: No.

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

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