Letter from Samuel Kyle Mitchell
The following data is extracted from David and Margaret Mitchell Genealogy.
Sept. 21 and 29, 1903
On request, Mr. Mitchell diffidently gave us the following brief sketch of his life. He says:
"According to the record I was born June 20, 1822, at 12 o'clock in the night. Whether it was the first hour or the last hour of the 20th, the record does not say. Coming to the world that time of the night, left me in the dark as to events until my third year, when my mind began to open up, and I began to notice some of the things that occurred at that time. My grand mother Mitchell was living with my parents. Father had built an addition to their house. This was called grand mother's room. The first thing that I can remember is that grandmother was sick in bed. It must have been her last sickness; she died February 4, 1825, which would make my age at that time about two years and eight months. The circumstance that I recalled was grandmother's being in bed sick, and they had made her something to eat, which was called mull buttermilk. I was given some of it. I thought it was very good. I have always remembered seeing grandmother lying in bed, sick, and the taste of that dish. The circumstances always seemed as fresh as if they had been of recent occurrence. I have no distinct recollection of grandmother's death. I was very fond of my mother and my sister, Maria.
I have a very vivid recollection of the religious training given me by my mother when I was at a tender age. She would take me to what was grandmother's room, and there by a large chest that locked itself, we would kneel down together, and she would pray with and for me, dedicating me to the Lord. Another thing I remember distinctly at a very early age was when Mr. Jeremiah Morrow of Warren County was governor of the State. Infat going from his home (to the capitol) he rode on horse-back and made her's house his stopping place to stay over night. I got to know him on sight, and being out in the yard I saw the governor riding down the lane. I ran into the house and, not yet talking plainly, I said "Yonder comes the gobbler." I was a healthy, active, stirring boy; when old enough I went to school, which was not far from home; an old fashioned teacher, the spelling book and the gad composed the chief outfit in those days-especially the gad. For a few years I attended school three or four months in a year. This was the extent of my school opportunities. But I gathered up some of the rudiments. I learned to read quite well, and there was not a word in the old spelling book or Walker's dictionary that I could not spell on announcement. I also got a little of the arithmetic. With this equipment I commenced the battle of life, and when I came to a problem that I did not understand, I went to work and worked it out, till I became master of the situation. I grew in years and tried to serve God and my parents aright. I was always faithful on attendance at church, and about the age of eighteen connected myself with it-the Rev. James P. Smart being the pastor. I lived with my parents and ran the farm.
At about the age of twenty I found a pretty little girl of whom I became very fond and persuaded her to marry me, which she did in her eighteenth year, I being in my twenty-first. We remained on the old place, which I farmed and paid father rent. I was not worth a dollar when I married, never had made any money- of my own, but we managed and got along.
My father died just six years after my marriage, when, in consequence of the farm being sold, I bought part of it. In the fall of 7.853, I sold out, and in the spring of 1854, moved to Cincinnati and engaged in the grocery business. After being there about one year I was made an elder of the Associate Church. We left Cincinnati in the fall of 185'7 and came to Cedarville where we have since remained. We connected with the Cedarville congregation. But a trouble arising over three things. abolition, temperance and dancing, we were among the persons who withdrew and went to Clifton, and became members of the new organization there. I was made one of the elders, and I feel that the great work of my life in Christian service was in the nearly thirty years that I way permitted to be an instrument of bringing some to Christ; and when 1 am permitted to enter that blessed kingdom and to wear the crown, that there will be some stars in it to shine forever. During the last ten or twelve years we have been members of the old (Cedarville) congregation, trying to fill our place to help on the cause of Christ.
I cannot estimate too highly the value of Christian parents, grandparents and Christian friends. O, what a boon it is to have a Christian mother. I verily believe that my mother dedicated me to the Lord before I was born. I have no doubt about my being one of God's children, and yet I cannot recall the time when the change came. I thank God every day of my life for my Christian mother. I have now lived more than fourscore years, and my testimony is for the Christian life; nothing else will do.
We lived with my parents, after we were married, till about the first of the following April. We then commenced housekeeping, and on the first evening before we retired, we erected the family altar. I, then and there, as we bowed in worship, although in great weakness, asked God to be our God, protector and guide throughout the journey of life; and from that day to this, that altar has remained as a monument of our devotion to God, and of his love and goodness to us. My testimony is that family religion is a very important part of the Christian's life.
SAMUEL K. MITCHELL
Source: David and Margaret Mitchell Genealogy