Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918


Robert Lawrence Mitchell

ROBERT LAWRENCE MITCHELL. Menoken Township, Shawnee County, in 1870 was mainly raw prairie land and the hardy pioneers who came here as homeseekers had weary tasks before them. Agricultural riches lay beneath the sod but it was toilsome labor to break up this sod, to plough and seed the land and then await the harvest. In the above year many of the eastern states contributed to the citizenship of Kansas and among those who came from Ohio was George J. Mitchell. He was a prosperous and intelligent farmer in Ohio. After sending his three sons to Oberlin College he thought to still further advance them in life and in 1870 bought 640 acres of wild land in Shawnee County, the ranch which has been the family property ever since, now increased to 800 acres, all in Menoken Township.

Robert Lawrence Mitchell, now deceased, was one of the sons who settled in Kansas, coming to this farm in 1872. He was born near Bridgeville, in Guernsey County, Ohio, February 7, 1848. His parents were George J. and Elmira Mitchell. As above mentioned Robert Lawrence Mitchell came to Menoken Township in 1872, accompanied by his brother-in-law, A. M. Bates, now a resident of Colorado. This farm had been Indian land and on one part of it they found an old Indian burial ground and many other evidences of occupation although no attempt had been made in the way of cultivation. Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Bates had a difficult proposition to face during the first two years, the great grasshopper scourge rendering useless their labor in 1874. In the next year Mr. Bates left the uplands and took land on the Kaw River bottoms, on which he remained until 1900 when he and his son moved to Colorado. After 1874 Mr. Mitchell gradually made progress and in the course of time became one of the leading men in the stock business in this township. He was a man of fine character, public spirited and free handed and was ever ready to assist laudable enterprises designed for the betterment of the community. He gave liberally to the Baptist Church, to which he and wife belonged, and was particularly interested in the founding of schools.

Mr. Mitchell was married to a Miss Keats and they had a family of six children: John, George, Harry, Bert, Nellie, now Mrs. Paul Priddy, and Grace. Harry and Bert conduct the farm ranch, carrying on general farming and stock raising. All the children were given educational advantages and Bert, prior to settling down on the farm, spent one year in the agricultural college at Manhattan. He was married to Miss Wilma Joy Antrim, October 18, 1905, and they have two children: Thelma and Helen. As was his late father, Mr. Mitchell is a republican but the family has never been very active in a political way and have sought no offices. It is a representative family in its good citizenship, however, and no other in this section is more widely or favorably known.


Transcribed from volume 4, page 1739 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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