JUDGE JOHN MITCHELL, Peru. The subject of our sketch is a native of Great Britain. He was born in the city of Bristol, England,
September 24, 1829. His father was a native of Prussia, and his mother a native of England. In November, 1833, he emigrated, with
his parents, to the United States, arriving at the city of Philadelphia. He lived in Delaware and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania,
until ten years of age. He then removed with his parents to Wayne County, Indiana, where he remained four years. His parents then
removed to Peru, Indiana, bringing their family with them, arriving on the second day of October, 1843.
Mr. Mitchell attended the public school, where he received a good primary education. After completing his course of study in this department, he was sent to a seminary at Cambridge City, Indiana, where he continued his studies one year, under the supervision of Prof. Hoshour, now of the Northwestern Christian University. At the age of 14 he learned the tailorís trade with his father, who was engaged in that occupation. This trade he followed in the city of Peru for a number of years, devoting his spare moments to the acquisition of legal knowledge, in which pursuit he made rapid progress, under the instruction of the late Alphonso A. Cole.
In 1861, he was elected Justice of the Peace, when he abandoned the tailorís trade, devoting his entire time to the study of law. In December, 1863, he was admitted to the bar of Miami County, and entered into partnership with Hon. H. J. Shirk, with whom he has since been associated, excepting a short interval in the winter of 1872. He was elected Justice of the Peace three terms, without opposition. He rose rapidly in his profession, taking rank with the older members of the bar. In October, 1872, less than nine years after he commenced practice, he was elected Common Pleas Judge of the Twenty-fifth Judicial District of Indiana, composed of the Counties of Miami, Cass and Pulaski. To this office he was also elected without opposition. This was a high honor to confer upon him; and more particularly so, as he is the only member of the Miami County Bar who was elevated to that position. In this capacity he served his constituents, until the Legislature abolished the court, when he resumed the practice of law with his former partner, Mr. Shirk. At the close of his brief judicial career, Judge Mitchell retired from the high position awarded him by his fellow citizens, with an enviable reputation as a jurist, and a record of which he may justly be proud. The annals of the Twenty-fifth Judicial District Court present no brighter example of integrity and dignity. He is a logical and impressive speaker, and is known throughout the county as a conscientious adviser and successful practitioner. Though a self-made man, he is one of marked ability. His name will stand out prominently, in the years to come, as an example of what may be accomplished by application and perseverance in the difficult profession of the law.
Judge Mitchell was married February 24, 1859, to Miss Caroline R. Foote, of Paynesville, Ohio, who bore him several children, the following of whom are living, namely: Emily M., Samuel C. and Mary F. Mitchell. Mrs. Mitchell died on the 16th day of September, 1883.
From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township