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Mitchell, William Nazareth (1813-1879) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Mitchell, William Nazareth (1813-1879)
Variant Name: Mitchell, William N.

Historical Note: William Nazareth Mitchell was born in Wilson County, Tennessee and moved to southern Illinois in 1829.  According to one source, he was forced to leave his Tennessee home because he taught a slave to read the bible.  He settled in Crab Orchard Township in Williamson County and established the settlement of Attila, where he opened a post office in his home in 1842.  Mitchell also taught school, kept a store, and worked as a surveyor in Williamson and Franklin Counties.  Mitchell married three times; his second wife, Rachel Caroline Roberts, is the subject of his Civil War correspondence.  After war Mitchell served as clerk of Williamson County and postmaster of Marion, where he died.
Sources: Details compiled by William C. Etherton, great grandson of William Nazareth Mitchell, as part of a typed transcription of Mitchell's letters.  Also online genealogical sources and Glenn J. Sneed's Ghost Towns of Southern Illinois (1977), pp. 241-42.
Note Author: Aaron M. Lisec

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