Russell Crawford Mitchell


Russell Crawford Mitchell

Madison County, Georgia, USA
Death 20 Jan 1905 (aged 67)
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA
Burial Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA
Memorial ID 48174167 View Source

Russell Crawford Mitchell was the fifth of nine children born to Rev. Isaac Green Mitchell (1810-1881), a circuit riding Methodist minister, and his wife Mary Ann Dudley (1808-1859). His paternal grandparents were William Mitchell and his wife Eleanor Thomasson, of Henry (now Rockdale) County, Georgia; and his maternal grandparents were George W. Dudley and his wife Elizabeth Raines, of Elbert County, Georgia. A great grandfather was Thomas Mitchell, a Soldier of the Revolution, from Edgefield District, South Carolina.

R. C. Mitchell was born near Danielsville, Madison County, Ga. His family moved to DeKalb County when he was a child, and to Marthasville (now Atlanta) soon after it was founded. He was educated at Bowden College (now West Georgia College), and in 1856, moved to Texas to practice law there. When the War came, he enlisted in the First Texas Infantry, CSA, a part of Hood's famous Texas Brigade, and served under General Lee during many of the famous campaigns in Virginia. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam), after which he went for a time to convalesce at the home of his brother in Thomasville, Georgia. While there, he met a young lady from across the state line in Florida, Miss Deborah Margaret Sweet (1847-1887). After the War, he returned to Florida, and he and Miss Sweet were married on 10 August 1865.

In the days immediately after the War, Russell Crawford Mitchell made a considerable fortune investing in cotton and selling it to the North, but he got into a fight with a carpetbagger, ran afoul of the yankee occupation government in Florida, and had to flee to his family in Atlanta. His wife soon joined him there. They debated whether to go to Texas or to stay in Atlanta, and Mrs. Mitchell suggested they remain. She commented that her husband "seemed to have the knack of making money." He began with a lumber mill, and branched out into real estate investments. Eventually, he became one of the wealthiest men in the city, and also served as mayor for a time.

By his marriage to Deborah Margaret Sweet, R. C. Mitchell had eleven children: Eugene Muse Mitchell (13 Oct. 1866-17 June 1944, m. Mary Isabel "Maybelle" Stephens), Gospero Sweet Mitchell (25 Jan 1868-4 Oct 1888), Edward Russell Mitchell (16 Jul 1869-4 Oct 1870), Jessie Mitchell (28 Mar 1871-5 Apr 1918), Gordon Forrest Mitchell (17 Nov 1872-2 Aug. 1956, m. Isabel Ormond Thomas), Mary Leila Mitchell (6 Nov 1874-31 Aug 1891), Robert McKenzie Mitchell (19 Sep 1876-after 1905, m. Lottie Ball), Deborah Sue "Ora" Mitchell (11 Jan 1878-11 Sep 1908), Russell Crawford Mitchell, Jr. (23 Jun 1880-17 Oct 1916), Aline Eliza Mitchell (15 Jun 1882-16 May 1956, m. Willis Menifee Timmons), Irene Caroline Mitchell (6 Oct 1885-21 Oct 1908).

By his second marriage to Clara Belle Neal, the widow Robinson, whom he married 4 April 1888, there were two more children: Clara Emma Mitchell (25 Aug 1891-13 Dec. 1983, m. Lucius Willingham McConnell) and Lillian Leona Mitchell (5 Oct 1895-9 Dec. 1988, m. John Hughes Roberts). He also had a step son, Arthur Neal Robinson.

R. C. Mitchell was seriously injured in a street railway accident in 1900. He recovered from his injuries, but retired from active business after that time. Perhaps due to his retirement, he was able to spend considerable time with his grandchildren in his last years, telling them stories of his experiences during the War and Reconstruction. Many years later, when one of his granddaughters sat down to write a book that would tell about those harrowing days, and the folks who had what she called the "gumption" to survive them, her grandfather Mitchell's stories were doubtless fresh in her mind. That granddaughter was Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell (1900-1949, Mrs. John Marsh), and the book was a rather famous one. It was called "Gone with the Wind."

A transcription of Russell Crawford Mitchell's family Bible can be found at:

Many thanks to "Julia Ather," who created this memorial, and kindly transferred it to me, not to mention that she provided the newspaper article and picture.


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