John Henry’s father was James Mitchell who emigrated from Clackmannan, Scotland in 1850 with his father, James Mitchell (b. 1817) and his mother, Janet Fife (b1822). James was born 4 February 1841 in Clackmannan, Clackmannanshire, Scotland and died 1 September 1918 in Shelley, Bingham, Idaho. The following pages document their voyage from Liverpool, England on the ship “North Atlantic” to New Orleans up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri and then to Council Bluffs, Iowa and then on the Salt Lake City.
James Mitchell was age 33, his wife, Janet (Fife) was 29 and their sons James, age 10 and John, age 9.
They arrived in New Orleans in November 1850. They then traveled up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri and then to Council Bluffs. They departed Council Bluffs, Pottawattomie, Iowa in 1851 in the David Wilkie Freight Train (Pioneer Company). They arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley on 21 September 1851. In Utah the family settled first at Salt Lake City, shortly thereafter moving to Provo, Utah where they spent the winter of 1852-1853 which was very cold, the work scarce and the snow very deep. They then moved on to Cedar City, Utah. Then in the fall of 1853 they crossed the desert to San Bernardino County, California, losing one small child, all their cattle and most of their possessions along the way. They lived here for six years working hard to make a home for the family in this primitive section of the country, eventually returning to Utah, and in 1859 the family home was permanently located at Riverdale, Weber, Utah, where the father who had been a coal miner in Scotland engaged in agriculture, being dignified with the position of a Seventy in the LDS Church.
James and Janet’s (Fife) four children were : James, John, Andrew (died in Scotland) and Jeanette (died in Scotland).
At Salt Lake City, Utah on 16 February 1865, James was united in marriage to Miss Ann Hull, a native of Scotland, born 28 May 1849. James Mitchell with a growing family longed to settle where he could acquire more land.
Up north in the Upper Snake River Valley, the virgin soil was bringing forth bounteous crops. This land could be had almost for the asking, so James took advantage of the pre-exemption rights of the Homestead Act and secured 360 acres of virgin soil just two miles north of Shelley, Idaho. So it was that in 1885, James came to Idaho.
James developed a beautiful home and outbuildings, many acres of fruit trees and berry bushes of all varieties that grew in that locality. He worked long and hard to secure irrigation rights and to build ditches and canals, becoming one of the builders of the Cedar Point Canal with much help from his sons, Richard, John (Jack) and Will. Like all old timers, life gave him a benevolent spirit. He was quick to respond to any call for aid and to encourage those who really tried. In his business dealings he was scrupulously honest and fair, always putting his family first and his church, of which he was a consistent member.
James passed away 1 September 1918 at Shelley, Bingham, Idaho. His wife, Ann, died 16 April 1923 at Preston, Franklin, Idaho. They are both buried in the Shelley Cemetery.
All that remains to remind his descendants of the Mitchell homestead is the “Mitchell” siding sign just north of Shelley. Where his original homestead used to be is a new Riverview Elementary School.
The children of James Mitchell and Anne Hull are as follows:
Mary Ann 1 January 1866 (died as a child)
James Andrew 3 January 1867
Thomas 28 October 1868
John Henry 1 February 1870
William David 5 October 1871
Joseph 24 May 1873 (died as a child)
Jeanette 16 April 1874 (died as a child)
Walter Scott 3 February 1876
Richard Charles 16 December 1877
Margaret May (twin) 6 October 1879
Adam (twin) 6 October 1879 (died as a child)
Helen Mar 21 May 1882
Anne Catherine 11 March 1884
Nettie Belle 22 December 1887 (died as a child)
On the following pages you will find a picture of James Mitchell (b. 1841) and his wife, Anne Hull Mitchell (b. 1849), pictures of their headstone in the Shelley Cemetery, and other pictures I have been able to obtain: