MITCHELL, ELI (1797–1870). Eli Mitchell, early settler, merchant, and public official, was born on September 15, 1797, the son of Lewis and Rhoda (Abrams) Mitchell, in Turkey Foot (later called Ursina), Somerset County, Pennsylvania. He came to Texas in 1824 as one of the Old Three Hundred. His brothers, William and Asa Mitchell, had arrived in 1822 with Stephen F. Austin. Eli settled in San Felipe and in 1828 moved to Gonzales. He served as Gonzales delegate to the Convention of 1833. In 1835 he was elected first regidor of DeWitt's colony. He was one of the founders of the Masonic order in Texas. The Gonzales "Come and Take It" cannon was mounted on Mitchell's wagon, and he fired the first shot of the battle of Gonzales and consequently of the Texas Revolution. He later provided supplies for the Texas army in preparation for the siege of Bexar. His claim for compensation was accepted and passed by the Senate; he finally received payment in 1856.
Mitchell married Sarah Olivet Skinner in Pennsylvania; they had one son. Mitchell's second wife was Elizabeth Zumwalt, daughter of Adam and Nancy Caton Zumwalt, original settlers of DeWitt's colony. They were married on October 5, 1833; they had nine children. On August 5, 1850, Mitchell was elected tax assessor and collector of Gonzales County. He was reelected to that post three times, his tenure ending on October 29, 1860. He died in Gonzales on April 19, 1870. Mitchell County, established on August 21, 1876, was named for both Eli and Asa Mitchell.
James David Carter, Masonry in Texas: Background, History and Influence to 1846 (Waco: Grand Lodge of Texas, 1955). Gonzales County Historical Commission, History of Gonzales County (Dallas: Curtis, 1986). Ethel Zivley Rather, "DeWitt's Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 8 (October 1904). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Stephen L. Hardin, "MITCHELL, ELI," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmi52), accessed February 12, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles