Biography of Robert Lee Mitchell, M. D.
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Dr. Robert Lee Mitchell, a member of one of the old and prominent families of Oklahoma, founded here in early territorial days, engaged in the general practice of medicine at Vinita from 1909 to the close of the year 1921, and during the period which has since elapsed has firmly established himself in the public regard as a man of high professional attainments. He was born at Oaks, which was at that time situated in the Delaware district of the Cherokee Nation, in Indian Territory, and is of Cherokee extraction in the maternal line, his parents being George Washington and Susan (Hildebrand) Mitchell. The father was born in Benton County, Arkansas, and his early life was devoted to the occupation of farming. Subsequently he turned his attention to merchandising and for fourteen years was connected with business interests of Oaks, Oklahoma. In 1894 he established his home in Craig County and is a landowner, being recognized as one of the representative men of his community. His political support is given to the Democratic Party, and he has served as a member of the Cherokee Board of Education at Tahlequah, being the only white man intermarried with the tribe to hold that position. He has taken the thirty-second degree in Masonry and is an exemplary representative of the craft.
Robert Lee Mitchell is one of a family of four children. During his boyhood he resided on the home farm and also in the village of Oaks, where he attended the public schools. In 1895 he was graduated with the Bachelor of Science degree from the Tahlequah Male Seminary, after which he became an instructor in the Orphans’ Home of the Cherokee Nation and he also taught at the Tahlequah Male Seminary, acting as principal during the last year of his connection with that institution. In 1900 he entered the medical school of the University of Arkansas, from which he was graduated in 1904. His second and third years were spent as a student in the University of the South, at Sewanee, Tennessee. He spent one year as house physician at All Saints’ Hospital at McAlester, Oklahoma, and for five years was surgeon for the Milby-Dow Coal Company at Dow, Oklahoma. He has never regarded his education as completed with the termination of his college course and has attended the New York Polyclinic, thus greatly promoting his knowledge and skill. In 1909 he established his office in Vinita and with the passing years his practice steadily increased until it assumed large proportions. He has always made his professional duties his first consideration and is most conscientious and thorough in the discharge of the responsibilities that devolve upon him in this connection. He engages in the general practice of medicine and surgery and is thoroughly familiar with the scientific basis upon which his work rests.
At Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1915, Dr. Mitchell was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Barker, a native of Craig County, this state, and a daughter of Artemus A. and Mary (Rogers) Barker, the latter a Cherokee. As a young man the father came to Indian Territory, where his marriage occurred. He was a very successful farmer, acquiring land holdings in Craig County, and he took an active part in public affairs during the early days. He was a Democrat in his political views and served as a member of the County central committee, while fraternally he was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Dr. and Mrs. Mitchell have become the parents of a son, Robert Thurston, who was born May 28, 1916.
Dr. Mitchell is a veteran of the World war. In May, 1918, he was commissioned a first Lieutenant of the Medical Corps, receiving his training at Camp Sheridan, Alabama. He was attached to the One Hundred and Twelfth Ammunition Train, which formed a part of the Thirty-seventh Division, and on the 28th of June, 1918, sailed for England, being sent to France shortly afterward. He participated in the St. Mihiel-Meuse and Meuse-Argonne offensives and later was transferred to the Three Hundred and Fifteenth Ammunition Train, attached to the Ninetieth Division, being stationed at Marbach, Germany. In February, 1919, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and in May of that year was assigned to Hospital No. 27 of the Third Division, with headquarters at Andernach, Germany. With that command he re-turned to the United States, receiving his discharge in September, 1919, and is now a major in the Medical Reserve Corps of the United States army. He was medical examiner for Craig County of the Fourteenth District of the United States Veterans’ Bureau and in 1920 served as County commander of the American Legion. In October, 1921, he was commissioned a surgeon in the United States public health service. In December, 1921, he was called to active duty in the United States public health service, and assigned duty at the United States Veterans Hospital No. 25, at Houston, Texas, at Which place he is now stationed. For the past ten years he has been Secretary of the Craig County Medical Society and he is also a member of the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association and for four years was counselor for this district for the last named organization. He is also well known in Masonic circles of the state, belonging to Vinita Lodge, No. 5, F. & A. M.; to McAlester Chapter, No. 1, R. A. M., McAlester Commandery, No. 6, K. T., and Indian Consistory, No. 6, A. & A. S. R., all of McAlester ; and to Akdar Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Tulsa. In religious faith he is an Episcopalian and he gives his political support to the platform and candidates of the Republican Party. He is an active worker in its ranks and for four years was chairman of the County central committee. His fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to public office and he served as County physician of Craig County prior to his departure for Texas, discharging the duties which devolved upon him in this connection conscientiously and efficiently. His innate talent and acquired ability have brought him to the front in his profession, while his ambition keeps him abreast with the times in the field of modern medical and surgical practice. He has ever been deeply interested in all that pertains to the welfare and progress of his community, County and state and in every relation has measured up to the highest standards of manhood and citizenship.