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James A. Mitchell (deceased); one of the early pioneers of Coles Co., was born in Washington Co., E. Tenn., Aug. 27, 1797; he was a son of Robert and Elizabeth (Allison) Mitchell; his father was a native of North Carolina and emigrated to Tennessee in an early day. He passed his early life on his father’s farm near Jonesboro Tenn., and after obtaining a thorough preparatory education entered Washington College, in his native State, but, after a time, left college and engaged in merchandising. He was married May 12, 1818, to Miss Esther Collom, of his native county; she was born Oct. 28, 1799. He came to Coles Co. in 1833, and entered a large quantity of Government land, and engaged in farming, dealing in stock, etc. For a number of years, he resided in Charleston, but afterward retired to a farm near town, on which he resided till his death. He was a prominent citizen and a prosperous business man. He was for several years School Commissioner of Coles Co. He died Oct. 14, 1843, while on a visit to his old home in Tennessee, leaving a wife and nine children – Robert A., for twenty years Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Charleston, and now of Kansas, Ill.; Jonathan C., now a farmer in Missouri; John D.,. a physician of Terre Haute, Ind., Sarah E., wife of Thomas Cheeseman, of Missouri; Samuel, who died in 1873; Luther and James A., farmers in Coles Co., Alexander C. and Isaac B., merchants in Charleston. His widow, now Mrs. Lumbrick, still resides in Charleston,