Reconstruction Period Research Forum
Life of Millis Mitchell & descendants, SC to TX
Millis Mitchell (c. 1845-1895?) and descendants // South Carolina to Texas
Millis Mitchell, born about 1845 in SC, arrived as a slave in Sugar Land, TX between 1856-60. He had died by 1900, probably in Houston, TX. Relatives in Fort Bend Co., TX: Richard and Mariah, Richard and Mila (or Miley), Mingo and Eveline, John and Lucy, Burt (or Burke) and Lucy (Lewis) Mitchell, and Beverly and Annie Holmes.
Parents of Millis Mitchell could be Richard (b. 1800 in SC) and Mariah (b. 1805 in SC), who could also be parents of Richard Jr., Mingo, John, and Burke (or Burt) in Sugar Land. Two known spouses of Millis Mitchell are Emily Williams and Henrietta Eden. Known children of Millis Mitchell are Jack (or John), William H., and Millis E. Mitchell; grandchildren include Langston, Hazel, and Lenora Mitchell.
After Emancipation, Millis Mitchell and his relatives became farm laborers, sharecroppers, and tenant farmers in the Brazos River area of Fort Bend Co., which borders the counties of Harris and Brazoria. From 1865-70 they were sharecroppers and farm laborers in Sugar Land. In 1866-67, Emily Mitchell contracted to work for farmer Thomas W. Mitchell and Millis Mitchell contracted to work for farmer R. G. Kyle in Fort Bend Co., TX.
+ Emily Williams, born about 1849, possibly Fort Bend or Brazoria Co., TX
+ Henrietta Eden (second wife of Millis Mitchell)
In 1870, Millis Mitchell was a blacksmith in Sugar Land, TX. His son Jack (or John) Mitchell (b. 1869 in TX) later worked as a blacksmith or blacksmith’s helper in Houston.
By 1880 several Mitchell relatives had become farmers, possibly on land bought or rented from former planters. Others, including Millis, were leaving Fort Bend Co. in search of opportunities for education and employment in Houston, where several family members were draymen, porters, servants, or blue-collar laborers for Texas railroad companies and for wholesale merchants involved in building the Houston ship channel (Thomas W. House, Philip R. Carson, E. W. Sewall, Joseph F. Meyer, Lockwood Megget, et al).
Between 1880-85, Millis moved to Houston with other relatives, including: Amelia, Burke (or Burt), Clarence, Eveline, Jack and/or John, Mingo, Henrietta, and William Mitchell, and Beverly and Annie Holmes. Related families in Fort Bend and or Harris counties: Holmes, Marshall, Foster, McCode, Sephus (or Cephus), possibly also McCray.
Between 1886-1895 Millis Mitchell and Mingo Mitchell (b. 1839 in SC) lived near and worked for dry goods dealer Abraham J. Schoenmann in Houston at “rear 93 Louisiana between Texas Avenue and Capital.” Mingo’s daughter Amelia, born in 1870 in Fort Bend Co., worked for druggist Erwin Erlenmeyer and for MS-born Edwin J. Williams, counted as a planter in Houston in the 1900 census; listed in Fort Bend Co. as a farmer in 1870 and an overseer in 1880.
In 1900 William Mitchell, married household head, lived in Houston with widowed mother Henrietta, washwoman, and single brothers John and Millis at 1315 Buckner in Houston, TX. In Houston’s Fifth Ward, Josephine Mitchell (b. 1877-78 in TX) boarded with Grif and Maria Lewis and worked as a servant in the household of physician James B. Massie and wife Mary.
In 1910 William H. and Millis E. Mitchell, sons of Millis Mitchell, Sr., were neighbors in Orange Co., TX where both men were laborers at a railroad shop.
William H. Mitchell married Josephine ____about 1900. She was born about 1880 in TX. Her father was born in NC, her mother in TX. In 1910 William and Josephine Mitchell had been married for ten years with no children.
Millis E. Mitchell married his second wife Olivia ____about 1905. She was born about 1885. Her father was born in GA, her mother in TX. In 1910, Millis E. and Olivia Mitchell had been married for five years. They had three children:
This information is pieced together from the following sources:
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