The name of William Mitchell is inseparably interwoven with the history of Sacramento county, and he is one of its honored pioneers and essteemed business men. He is truly a man of the world; his span of life covers more than the period allotted by the Psalmist, and in his time has seen many sections of the United States; has earned an excellent record as soldier, and has been successful in the material affairs of life. He was born in Rochester, New York, September 12, 1829, his parents being Andrew and Margaret (Stewart) Mitchell, both natives of Scotland.

When but eight years of age Mr. Mitchell was left an orphan, his parents both dying at that time, and he subsequently went to live with an uncle, Robert Graham, in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he grew to years of maturity. However, he was practically dependent upon his own resources from the early age of eight, and at one time was a newsboy in New York city. While a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, he enlisted as a soldier in the Mexican war, entering the Louisiana Mounted Volunteers, with which he served eighteen months, his services being principally under General Scott. During his period of enlistment he participated in the battle of Cerro Gordo and numerous other engagements, including the taking of Mexico city, and remained a faithful soldier in the service until the war had ended. In 1849 Mr. Mitchell started on the voyage from New Orleans to California, the journey being made via Cape Horn on the steamer McKim, this being the first steamboat to ascent the Sacramento river, and about nine months passed ere the harbor of San Francisco was reached. After his arrival in this state he mined for gold for a short time on the Yuba river, but in the fall of 1850 returned to San Francisco and thence to New Orleans, also by the isthmus route. Two years later, however, in 1852, he again came to the Golden State, this time coming direct to Sacramento county and locating at what is now Cicero Station, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1888. In that year he took up his abode in the city of Sacramento, and here he has ever since continued to make his home. He has long been numbered among the successful agriculturists and stock-raisers, and is the owner of a large and valuable ranch at Cicero Station, devoted to stock-raising and general farming pursuits.

In 1852 Mr. Mitchell was united in marriage to Mary St. John, of New Orleans, and they became the parents of eight children, five of whom still survive: Catherine, widow of the late William Doyle and a resident of Cicero Station; Margaret, of Sacramento; Charles L., also a resident of Cicero Station, and Clara and Annie, both in Sacramento. The three who have passed awau are Mary, Josephine and William, and the wife and mother has also been called to the home beyond. In his political affiliations Mr. Mitchell is independent, and fraternally is a member of the Masonic order. He has now reached the seventy-sixth milestone on the journey of life, but retains in a remarkable degree his youthful character, and is one of those sunny veterans of the Mexican war whose ranks have been decimated by the hurrying steps of time.

Source: History of the New California - Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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