Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

OBADIAH CLARK MITCHELL. Few can draw rules for their guidance from the pages of Plutarch, but all are benefited in one way and another, by the delineation of those traits of character which find scope in the common walks of the world. The unostentatious routine of private life, although in the aggregate more important to the welfare of the community, than any meteoric public career, cannot, from its very nature figure in the public annals, though each locality's history should contain the names of those individuals who contribute to the success of the material, civic and moral welfare of the community and to its public stability; men who lead wholesome and exemplary lives which might be profitably studied by the oncoming generation. In such a class must consistently appear the name of Obadiah Clark Mitchell, the present efficient and popular Postmaster of Springfield, Missouri, a man who has led a plain, industrious life, a large part of which has been in government service, and suffice it to say that his record is without blemish, for he has always endeavored to do his duty faithfully, deal honestly with everyone and contribute somewhat to the general public good in an unobtrusive manner. He is one of the best examples in Greene county of the successful self-made man and is deserving of a great deal of credit for what he has accomplished in the face of obstacles, having climbed, step by step, from an environment none too promising in his youth to a position of prominence in the affairs of the capital city of the Ozarks. His example might be studied with profit by the youth, discouraged and hesitating at the parting of the ways.

Mr. Mitchell was born in Dallas county, Missouri, October 20, 1858. He is a son of Greenberry Mitchell and Sarah (Williams) Mitchell, both natives of the state of Tennessee, the father born in 1819 and the mother in 1822. They each represented fine old families of that state. There they grew to maturity, received such educational advantages as the early days afforded and there they were married. At the age of twenty-three years Greenberry Mitchell began the ministry of the Missionary Baptist church. About the year 1850 he moved to Missouri as a missionary of his church, and was one of the pioneer ministers of this section of the state. He was man of sterling character, a powerful preacher of the old school and he did an excellent work among the frontier settlers here, some of the older citizens yet remember him and revere his memory for his kind, helpful and unselfish life. He was called to his reward in the Silent land in 1888. His wife died in Greene county in 1882. They are both buried at the Union Grove cemetery, near Fair Grove, Missouri.

To Rev. Greenberry Mitchell and wife nine children were born, six sons and three daughters, two of the sons and one of the daughters being now deceased. Those living are, Samantha is the wife of H. A. Highfield, and they live at Highfield, Arkansas; David H. lives at Marshfield, Missouri; Rebecca A. is the widow of George W. Cooksey, of Strafford, Missouri; Robert G. lives in Cassville, Missouri; Allen J. makes his home at Pladd, this state; and Obadiah C., of this review.

The subject of this sketch received a common school education and spent one year in Morrisville College, in Polk county, Missouri, after which he engaged in farming until March 9, 1887, when he came to Springfield and secured employment with the Frisco railroad with which he remained two years, then secured a position on the police force under Mayor Walker, which he held for two years, discharging his duties most faithfully, then engaged in the grocery business for a year. In 1893 he was appointed mail carrier, in which capacity he served in a highly satisfactory manner to all concerned until in February, 1914, when he was appointed postmaster at Springfield, and he is proving to be a most faithful, conscientious and capable public servant, giving eminent satisfaction to both the department and the people. He has served the government faithfully for a period of twenty-one years.

Mr. Mitchell was married October 2, 1878 to Elizabeth Donnell, who was born in Greene county, Missouri, March 26, 1858. She was reared to womanhood and educated in the public schools of her native community and she has proven to be a most faithful helpmate. To Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell one child has been born, John E. Mitchell, who is employed in the Frisco shops at Springfield.

Politically, Mr. Mitchell is a Democrat and has been a worker in the party since attaining his majority. He has been a member of the Baptist church since 1877. He is a member of the Ozark Mountain Branch, No. 203, National Association of Letter Carriers. He has been president of the same for ten years, and has been a delegate to the state and state and national conventions of the order. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Royal Arcanum and the Woodmen of the World.


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