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Chemung County NY
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1840s-1850s Letters of Mitchell-Sheardown Family 

Wm K. Mitchell Cash Store (circa 1870's) formerly located at Mitchell's Creek, PA.
Letters in possession of and transcribed by Pete Kreidler - kreidler@localnet.com
Joyce's Search Tip - December 2010
Do You Know that you can search just the 355 pages of our
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B. R. Swick to Wm. K. Mitchell 1849
Bath March 1st 1849
Dear Brother Mitchell
       The winter is past
I have not been to Tioga.  Perhaps an apology is due yourself & the brethrin in Tioga.  When I came here I found every thing to do.  Even things that ought to have been done years ago.  Once a  strong Pedo baptist influence to contend with hence if I built up a Baptist Church &  a good congregation it must be by the hint of industry.  I therefore found it absolutely necessary to be at my post all the time, & to study hard to be prepared to preach so as to call out the people. This I have effected.  (We) have now a  good congregation, & 35 have been added to the church by baptism & by Letter.
(We) now have a little short of 50 in the village & about 135 in all- But my Dear Brother if you Knew how hard I had labored you would not scold me because I had not been out to see you.  I knew you had good preaching every Sabbath & if I left here, my people must be scattered as it is next to impossible to get a supply.
My health has been good for me until within the last month or two.  I am now more feeble.  My child is yet feeble & Little Adelia Ann, has been at the door of death with the lung fever, she is now able to sit up most of the day, but is yet very feeble.
I have been engaged in protracted meeting six weeks this winter.  Eld Mallory, Olney of (W)ayne Hotell, & Eld Olney of Warsaw, & Eld Smith of Penn Yan have each had a Meeting, & each a Revival of Religion.  I was at Penn Yan Nearly 3 weeks.  Most of the churches in This association are enjoying more or less a revived state of things.
I understand Pastor Sheardown is enjoying a  revival.  I hope God will bless him in his new field of labor.  I have had two  letters from him since I came here, but have not seen him.
I hope to be remembered to your family and the Church.  I did very much see if not being able to attend the Council in Tioga, but I could not.  I was at Penn Yan engaged in a Meeting and could not leave give my love to Br (Kenady) and believe me to be as ever your friend -
Wm K Mitchell -
   B R Swick

Letter addressed to
Wm K Mitchell
 Tioga Pa

Notes:
(1) B R Swick the author of the letter was Benjamin R. Swick, Pastor of the Bath Village Church, P.O. in 1849 was Bath, Steuben County, NY.*
(2) Elder Mallory is believed to be either Almon C. Mallory of Wayne Church, P.O. in 1849 was North Urbana, Steuben County, NY or John C. Mallory of Cameron Church, P.O. in 1849 was Cameron, Steuben County, NY.*
(3) Olney of (W)ayne Hotell is believed to be Philetus Olney of Barrington Church, P.O. in 1849 was Wayne, Steuben County, NY.*
(4) Elder Olney of Warsaw is believed to be David B. Olney of Warsaw Church, P.O. in 1849 was Barrington, Yates County, NY.*
(5) Elder Smith may be D. Smith of Bath, NY (No listing was found for any Smith in the Steuben Association reports for 1849, a listing of D. Smith of Bath, NY was noted in the 1851 reports)*
* This information came from The New York State Annual 1842-1857 located at the American Baptist Historical Society, 1106 S. Goodman St., Rochester, NY
(6) The Pastor Sheardown mentioned in the letter was Thomas Simpson Sheardown, (Born November, 4 1791 in Little Coates Parish, Lincoln County, England - Died July 30, 1874 in Troy, PA) a Baptist minister, who was instrumental in the founding of quite a few churches in Southern NY and Northern PA.  He married Esther (Jane?) Gassum (Born 1793 in Hull, England - Died July 20, 1854 in Southport, NY) on December 23, 1814.  He came to America in the Spring of 1820 and settled at Covert, Seneca County, NY.  His wife and two daughters arrived in May 1821.
(7) The letter was addressed to Thomas Simpson Sheardown’s son-in-law, William Keeney Mitchell (Born 1811 - Died September 13, 1870 in Tioga, PA).  Wm K. Mitchell’s wife was Jane Esther Mitchell (Born April 10, 1817 in Hull, England - Died September 17, 1880 in Tioga, PA).  They were married on September 6, 1835 in Catlin, NY.  They had 14 children.  The Mitchell’s lived at Mitchell’s Creek just above Tioga, PA.

This letter was transcribed and background information submitted by Peter Kreidler, 8 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, NY 14125 on 22 March 2006.  The letter was typed as written.  No punctuation was added.  Parenthesis were placed around letters or words that were difficult to decipher.  The original letter is in my possession.  The background information comes from family papers and published information and is correct to the best of my knowledge.  Thomas Simpson Sheardown was my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather.  William Keeney Mitchell was my Great-Great-Grandfather 


 Thomas Sheardown to his daughter Jane Esther Sheardown and her husband Wm. K. Mitchell of Tioga
Jefferson Ap 16th  1851

Dear
 Children

I drop you this hasty line to let you know we remember you although we have not heard from you in some time we have long looked for a letter but received none as yet we hope  you are well  Our village is very healthy but there has been a great deal of Sickness and Death all around us it is a mercy that we live but in life or in Death I trust we are the Lord’s our stay on Earth is getting very short we cannot expect to continue long  however my health is better than last year but I feel old age pulls hard upon me my nerves are so easy excited at times it uses me up  I cannot endure as I have done  Mother is very lame  with the Palsy she gets out but very little does her work but cannot get to meeting only once in a great while yet it is of the Lord’s mercies we are alive

We expect if God will to dedicate our meeting house the 2nd Wednesday in next that will be the 14th day of May should be very happy to have you come out at  that time if you can  If all is well I shall be in June at the Tioga Association

 Mother & Almon send their love
to you and the Children

   Your aff. Father
            T.S. Sheardown

Wm & J. Mitchell

Notes:
(1) Jefferson (later Watkins) is located in Schuyler County, NY
(2) Thomas Simpson Sheardown (Born November, 4 1791 in Little Coates Parish, Lincoln County, England - Died July 30, 1874 in Troy, PA) was a Baptist minister and instrumental in the founding of quite a few churches in Southern NY and Northern PA.  He married Esther (Jane?) Gassum (Born 1793 in Hull, England - Died July 20, 1854 in Southport, NY) on December 23, 1814.  He came to America in the Spring of 1820 and settled at Covert, Seneca County, NY.  His wife and two daughters arrived in May 1821.
(3) The letter was addressed to Thomas Simpson Sheardown’s son-in-law and daughter,  William Keeney Mitchell (Born 1811 - Died September 13, 1870 in Tioga, PA) and his wife Jane Esther SHEARDOWN Mitchell (Born April 10, 1817 in Hull, England - Died September 17, 1880 in Tioga, PA)  William K. Mitchell married Jane Esther Sheardown on September 6, 1835 in Catlin, NY.  They had 14 children.  The Mitchell’s lived at Mitchell’s Creek just above Tioga, PA.
(4) Almon was T.S. Sheardown’s youngest son, Almon S. Sheardown (Born January 13, 1839 - Died January 13, 1864 in Troy, PA).  Almon was an Army Surgeon during the Civil War.  He enlisted in New York, caught typhoid after 3 months and was discharged.  He re-enlisted with the 107th Reg. PA Volunteers and cared for wounded at Gettysburg.  He became ill again and was send home.  He died of “chronic diarrhea” (dysentery) on his 25th birthday.  Source - Obituary in the Tioga Agitator.

This letter was transcribed and background information submitted by Peter Kreidler, 8 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, NY 14125 on 22 March 2006.  The letter was typed as written.  No punctuation was added.  T.S. Sheardown was my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather.  Wm K  and Jane Sheardown Mitchell were my Great-Great-Grandparents.  The original letter is in my possession.  The background information comes from family papers and published information and is correct to the best of my knowledge. 


May 2006 - Hello Joyce,

Attached are two more letters.  One is from my great- grandmother Esther Jane (Mitchell) Towner to Hearm or Herman Inscho, who I believe was her cousin, detailing the death of her brother William Simpson Mitchell.  The second letter was written to my great-grandmother by Private Nathan Mericle.  He died during the civil war.  I'm sorry I'm slower than molasses in getting this stuff to you but I think the background information is important.  More to follow.

Regards, Pete

     (He  ters of)
Co. H. Coon Island
              S.C.     May 1, 1862

 Friend Esther,
  I now sit my self down to rite a few lines to you, to let you know how I get along  I am in good health at present and I hope these few lines will find you the same  I had wrote to your father and Will and haven’t got any answer yet but feele in hopes I will before long  now you must try and answer this will you not   it is very warm here at present  the (b)lackberries is ripe and they are very thick.  this is a healthy place.  the most so of any place that I have ben since I left Camp Curtain  this place I like it’s first rate for mee  it makes a good sturdy home for me  there is no war news I here to rite and so you must rite all the war news you here and tell Will to write as I will whip him when I get back  the captain is in good health  hee has a little sail boat to go out and ride  Wee are about eight miles from the rest of the regiment on a island to guard it  Some of the boys think that wee will get home by the fourth of July but I don’t think wee will  What is your opinion on it Now you give my respects to Caroline, Will, Sim and all the rest of the folks and tell them to rite and I will answer them all  You will please excuse this short letter and next I will try and do better.  rite soon.
         From your friend.
         Nathan Mericle.
 

For Esther Mitchell.

Direct to Otter Island, S.C.
Co. H forty fifth regt
Pa Volunteers care of
of Capt Schieffelin

Notes:
(1) The letter’s author, Private Nathan Mericle, is listed on the regimental roster as having died during the war.  No dates or other details were listed.
(2) The letter was addressed Esther Jane Mitchell (Born July 1, 1840 at Tioga, PA.  She married Frank B. Towner on March 3, 1870.  Died December 8, 1917 at Hornell, NY.
(3) Esther’s father mentioned in the letter was William Keeney Mitchell (Born December 4, 1810.  Married Jane Esther Sheardown on September 6, 1835 at Catlin, NY.  Died September 13, 1870 in Tioga, PA).
(4) The Will mentioned in the letter was William Sheardown Mitchell, Esther’s brother.  Born November 7, 1843 and died on July 16, 1862.  He was run over by a train near the station at Mitchell’s Creek, PA.
(5) The Caroline mentioned in the letter is Caroline Catlin Mitchell, Esther’s sister.  She was born on November 14, 1846 at Tioga, PA.  She married J.H. Miller on October 11, 1865.  She died October 17, 1938 in Brooklyn, NY.
The Sim mentioned in the letter is Thomas Simpson Mitchell, Esther’s brother.  He was born on June 13, 1845 at Tioga, PA.  He served in the Civil War with Co. E, 11th Pa. Cavalry.  He married (unknown) September 1, 1867.  He died on February 23, 1919 at Tioga, PA.
(6) Fort Drayton (1861 - 1865), Otter Island, South Carolina
A CSA earthen fort with a wet moat, originally named Fort Heyward. It was captured by the Union after the Confederates abandoned it in1862 after the fall of Port Royal, and was renamed. Part of the wooden palisade also still exists. The island is currently owned by The Nature Conservancy.

This letter was transcribed and background information submitted by Peter Kreidler, 8 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, NY 14125 on 23 May 2006.  The letter was typed as written.  No punctuation was added.  Parenthesis were placed around letters or words that were difficult to decipher.  The original letter is in my possession.  The background information comes from family papers and published information and is correct to the best of my knowledge.  Esther Jane Mitchell (Towner) was my Great-Grandmother.  William Keeney Mitchell was my Great-Great-Grandfather.


      Mitchells Creek  July 31, 1862

Friend Hearm,
  The last day of the month is fast hastening to a close and oh! Hearm what sadness this present month brought to our household, the vacant chair, the vacant place at the table, the absence of the cheerful face of the once lovely brother too well can tell, but more than all this the pleasant associations and kind counsil of dear Willie, are gone, all gone, for my dear friend, have had to consign to the lonely grave. That fair form, and who can tell what  bitter tears it has cost us,  I answer, no one.  But while we mourn that one so dear and lovely has been taken from our number.

We have the consolation of knowing we can if we will, meet him in that land where parting shall be no more.  Willie died the death of the righteous he died triumphing in the love of God, and we could ask no more.  Let this be a warning to us to be prepared to meet the dear ones who have only departed this life of trials & afflictions & temptations.  To dwell in one of perfect bliss.  Hearm, bear with me when I ask you if you have made your peace with Him whose you are and to whom you all that you enjoy, if not my dear friend allow me to request you defer this duty no longer.  Death stands waiting for its victims and perhaps we may be the next who he will destroy.  Some plead want of time but do we not waste time enough each day, which if we devoted to God would insure us a seat at his right hand?  Indeed we do, I wish you could have witnessed Willies death, he was so composed.  We never heard him express a desire to live, neither did a murmer ever escape his lips, and we know he must have had a strong arm on which he could recline or he never could have left this world so full of promise to him, life looked very fair to him but, alas, how little we know what a day may bring forth. Lest us then prepare for any change which may await us.

We are all as well as could be expected after this severe affliction. Jimmie hurt himself very badly after in jumping from the cars after Willie fell, but he is getting better.  Ma has been quite sick, but is also better.  All join in sending our love to you.  How I wish you could come home.  But what changes you would see in this dear family.  Two of our number have gone to the grave.  I refer to Henry and Willie.  Henry was here so long that when he died it seemed almost like one of the family.  Though we saw a great difference when darling brother was taken.  Hoping to hear from you very soon I subscribe myself your bereaved friend.
         Esther J Mitchell

Herman Inscho

Notes:
(1) Esther Jane Mitchell the letters author was born July 1, 1840 at Tioga, PA.  She married Frank B. Towner on March 3, 1870.  Died December 8, 1917 at Hornell, NY.
(2) The Will mentioned in the letter was William Sheardown Mitchell, Esther’s brother.  Born November 7, 1843 and died on July 16, 1862.  He was run over by a train near the station at Mitchell’s Creek, PA.
(3) The Jimmie mentioned in the letter was most likely a friend of William Sheardown Mitchell.  No other information about him is known.
(4) The Henry who is mentioned as having also passed away July may have been a hired hand, but this is only speculation.
(5) Hearm or Herman Inscho to who the letter is written may have been a cousin to Esther Jane Mitchell as Esther’s Aunt on her father’s side of the family Lovina Mitchell (Born 26 August 1795) married John Inscho.  This connection requires more research.

This letter was transcribed and background information submitted by Peter Kreidler, 8 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, NY 14125 on 23 May 2006.  The letter was typed as written.  No punctuation was added.  The original letter is in my possession.  The background information comes from family papers and published information and is correct to the best of my knowledge.  Esther Jane Mitchell (Towner) was my Great-Grandmother.


Sim Mitchell

        Camp 11th Penna Cavy
        James Neck Va
        Sept 1st 1864

 Darling Sisters having another opportunity to write I will embrace the few moments that are going to waste in writing to you.  I am still at the dismantled camp and in good health.  We don’t get much news at the present, only political news.  I don’t know what to think about the nominations, but I think that Spitty Mack will be our next President.  I don’t bet it effects me any because I think that God almighty has got the say of this affair.  I would like to see old Abe take the chair, but there is to many soldiers against him.  I went down to (Bermuda) yesterday to see John, but he has shipped out some where and I can not find out where.  I expect he is with the Eighteenth Corps, I suppose (Pathen) has got the will to bring alright and I think he is doing a pretty good business with from all accounts.  I have not had a letter from home since the 18th of last month, but I don’t think it is because I am forgotten for I have got to good sisters for that.  It is getting dark and I must close so good bye for this time.  Love to all & compliments to Charlie

      From your aff. brother
      Thomas Sim Mitchell
 

Notes
(1) The “darling sisters” were Esther Jane Mitchell and Caroline Catlin Mitchell.  Esther Jane Mitchell was born July 1, 1840 at Tioga, PA.  She married Frank B. Towner on March 3, 1870.  She died on December 8, 1917 at Hornell, NY.  Caroline Catlin Mitchell, was born on November 14, 1846 at Tioga, PA.  She married J.H. Miller on October 11, 1865.  She died October 17, 1938 in Brooklyn, NY.
(2) Spitty Mack was General McClellan who was the Democratic nominee for president.
(3) Bermuda most likely is the present Bermuda Hundred, VA.
(4) John may have been John Sheardown, Thomas Mitchell’s uncle?  He was “with
General Phil Sheridan’s fighting men”, Sheridan was with the Army of the Potomac from May to August 1864 and then in the Shenandoah Valley.  This however is only speculation.
(5) Pathen or Rathen may have been an officer at some level in the Eighteenth Corps.
(6) Charlie is unknown.  Possibly a hired hand or family pet?
(7) Thomas Simpson Mitchell, the letters author was born on June 13, 1845 at Tioga, PA.  He served in the Civil War with Co. E, 11th Pa. Cavalry.  He married (unknown) September 1, 1867?  He died on February 23, 1919 at Tioga, PA.

This letter was transcribed and background information submitted by Peter Kreidler, 8 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, NY 14125 on 27 June 2006.  The letter was typed as written.  Prentiss were placed around words that were hard to decipher.  Thomas Simpson Mitchell was my Great-grandmother’s (Esther Jane (Mitchell) Towner) brother.  The background information comes from family papers and published information and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933   histcent83@gmail.com


Bradford County PA
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 03 APR 2006 
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