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Mark D. Mitchell, who was born at Franklin, Pennsylvania, April 15, 1871, is a lawyer by profession, but has used his legal knowledge chiefly to further his interests and those of his associates as an oil producer in Kansas. He has operated in various fields both East and West, and is now one of the prominent business men of Independence.
His father, John L. Mitchell, was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1836, a son of Thomas Mitchell, also a native of Pennsylvania, but who died at Ashtabula, Ohio. John L. Mitchell died in Franklin, Pennsylvania, in 1898, having spent most of his life in that city, where he was a banker, a prominent citizen, and a leader in the republican party. He married Harriet Raymond, who was born at Utica, Pennsylvania, in 1837, and died at Franklin in January, 1915. Their children were: John R., a banker at St. Paul, Minnesota; Lida, who lives at Cleveland, Ohio; Mark D.; Thomas, an oil producer living at Franklin, Pennsylvania; Lynn, a banker at St. Paul, Minnesota.
Mark D. Mitchell graduated from the high school of Franklin, Pennsylvania, in 1890 and then entered Amherst College, where he completed the regular course and graduated Bachelor of Science in 1894. His education was continued in the New York Law School, from which he holds the degree LL. B., granted him in 1896. For about two years after leaving university he engaged in various occupations, but since 1898 has been identified almost altogether with the oil industry. He was an operator in Pennsylvania fields, but since 1907 has had his home at Independence, Kansas. He now has extensive leases in Wayside, Chanute, and Humboldt districts in Kansas, and in the Ramsey Pool and Aluwee, Oklahoma. He is president of the Amherst Oil Company, which operates in the Wayside field and has headquarters at Independence, and is president of the Second Oil Company of Aluwee, Oklahoma.
At Independence, Mr. Mitchell resides at 325 West Main Street. While living at Franklin, Pennsylvania, he served on the school board. He is a republican, and has been a trustee and very active member in the Presbyterian Church. He is affiliated with Myrtle Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Franklin, Pennsylvania, with Franklin Chanter, Royal Arch Masons, Franklin Commandery, Knights Templar, and with Mirzah Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Pittsburg, Kansas. He also belongs to the Delta Upsilon College fraternity. In 1900 at Franklin; Pennsylvania, he married Miss Margaret C. Brown, daughter of Rev. T. Edwin and Elizabeth Brown, who reside with their daughter, Mrs. Mitchell. Her father is a retired minister of the Baptist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell have one daughter, Jane, now in the public schools.