William Watson Mitchell, Martha Willford, Martha Mitchell, & Mary Mitchell

2 great – grandparents of R A Holloman III

William Watson Mitchell 1810 -1897 | his parents
& 1832 Martha C Williford ca 1816 – 1832 | her parents
& 1834 Martha E Mitchell 1819 – 1845 | her parents
& 1845 Mary Elizabeth Winifred Mitchell 1824 -1895 | her parents
of Hertford County, NC

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

WW Mitchell
portrait hangs now at Chowan College

William Watson Mitchell, who was born 20 Dec 1810 in Bertie Co., NC son of William Mitchell 1780-1854 and Rena “Renny” Rawls ca 1783 -1854, married three times.
He married 1st on 4 Oct 1832 Martha C. Williford who died on 1 Nov 1832.
He married 2nd on 17 Jun 1834 Martha E. Mitchell, who was born 7 Jun 1819, dau of John Mitchell and Winnifred Saunders. She died 6 May 1845.
He married 3rd on 2 Dec 1845 Mary Elizabeth Winifred Mitchell who was born 18 Apr 1824, Hertford Co., NC dau of James Saunders Mitchell (-1869) and Mary Thomas. and niece of his second wife.
She died 18 Sep 1895, Hertford Co., NC.
W W Mitchell was known as a planter, civic leader, philanthropist, a founder of Chowan College (1848), and member of Ahoskie Baptist Church.
He died 12 Sep 1897, Hertford Co., NC. Both are buried in the Cemetery at the Mitchell House.

mitchell_house mitchell_cemetery
ca 1830 Mitchell Home and Cemetery
photos by Shirley Wersinger

from National Register of Historic Places
Inventory – Nomination Form
LOCATION: North side of N. C. 350, 3 miles west of Ahoskie
CONDITION: Unaltered – Original Site
The William Mitchell House is a pleasant Federal farmhouse set amid a grove of large trees in the flat coastal plain farmland of Hertford County. Near the house, which is approached by a long, straight dirt road flanked by cultivated fields, are a number of well-preserved early frame outbuildings, including an office, schoolhouse, carriage house, and smokehouse. The dwelling is a two-story L-shaped structure of frame covered with plain weatherboards. The house, which rests on brick piers recently infilled with concrete blocks, is covered by a shallow gable roof of standing-seam tin. At each end of the front section and at the rear of the ell is as ingle- shoulder brick chimney with stepped weatherings and a molded cap. That on the west is of one-to-five common bond; the other two have no regular bonding pattern.
The main front (south) section of the house is five bays wide and two deep; the ell extends three bays to the rear, covering the two east bays of the rear facade of the main block. There are a number of one-story additions. Attached to the east side of the front section is a small, one- story, two-bay wing covered by a gable roof. To the rear of this, adjoining the ell, is another, earlier gable-roof wing with a rear shed porch. It was originally a separate kitchen building. The two wings are joined by a flat-roof enclosed porch. Occupying the northwest corner between the main front section and the ell are two one-story shed additions; they extend across the rear facade of the front section and cover all but the rear bay of the ell.
The exterior finish of the two-story house is simple and handsome, having traditional Federal proportions but using some Greek revival elements. The windows, which contain nine-over- nine sash at the first level and nine-over-six at the second, have symmetrically molded frames with plain corner blocks and sills. The eaves are finished with a box cornice. The central front entrance is sheltered by a pedimented porch. Four paneled pillars, square in section, with molded caps, support a plain entablature. Similar pilasters occur on the facade at the ends of the porch. A heavy molded cornice frames the flush-sheathed tympanum. The porch is enclosed by a balustrade of thin square balusters between plain rounded rails, and the ceiling has long flat panels. The entrance consists of a wide single door beneath a transom. The whole is framed by a symmetrically molded architrave with plain corner blocks at the upper corners of door and transom; the lintel above the door is fluted. The door has seven raised panels: the arrangements is like that of a normal six-panel door, except that a narrow horizontal panel separates the two lower pairs of panels.
The interior of the front section follows a center-passage plan, one room deep; the ell, entered from the rear of the east room, contains a stair hall and a chamber behind. The finish, like that of the exterior, combines Federal and Greek Revival elements. The door and window frames of the main first-floor rooms employ a remarkable variety of symmetrical moldings and corner blocks. Several types of chair rails occur, including a wide one whose lower element is symmetrically molded like the door frames. In all main rooms there is a wainscot with a dado consisting of a single wide board, eighteen inches wide. Handsome carpenter locks remain on most of the doors, which are raised-paneled on one side and flat-paneled on the other. The five panels on most doors are arranged with a pair of long panels above and below a horizontal panel. The doors in the center passage have symmetrically molded architraves with deeply molded corner blocks centered with a square panel composed of four triangular pieces of wood. The rear door is like the front door but slightly shorter; the lintel on each is flat-paneled. The west parlor, the most elaborately finished room, has symmetrical architraves with a faceted center band and faceted-paneled corner blocks. The mantel features wide, symmetrical moldings, which flank the square fire opening and extend beneath the convex molded shelf. A short strip of the molding vertically bisects the flat-paneled frieze. A plain corner block appears above the center band and at each corner. The east parlor, now a dining room, has a mantel with similar proportions but quite different elements. Engaged vernacular colonnettes flank the fire opening and terminate in small end blocks beneath a thick shelf. A narrow tapered block bisects the flat-paneled frieze. The door and window frames in this room feature rather flat symmetrical moldings and plain corner blocks. The rear room of the ell, said to have been the dining room, contains a mantel that is a simplified version of that in the west parlor, and the rest of the finish resembles that in the east parlor. The steep, narrow open-string stair rises in one flight along the rear wall of the stair hall, beginning with winders and ascending from east to west. Slender balusters, square in section, and a plain newel, also square in section, support a molded rail. The lower border of the stringer is symmetrically molded. A short door with two long raised panels gives access to a small closet beneath the stair. The second floor follows the same plan as the first except that the front hall has been altered somewhat and includes a bathroom. A very simple chair rail and baseboard are present, and the doors and windows have symmetrical moldings with plain corner blocks. The overall design of the mantels is like that of the ell room below. The most interesting feature of the second floor rooms is the survival of original wood-graining and marbleizing. In the west chamber, the mantel has extremely fine wood-graining, which is repeated on the soffits and reveals of the doors. The east chamber and the ell room have mantels that have been treated with curious marbleizing achieved by spattering; the baseboard in the ell room is similarly treated. The doors leading from the stair hall retain the handsome wood-graining.
The small frame office and schoolhouse are identical, and both retain their step-shoulder chimneys and mantels similar to those in the main building. They are finished inside with plastered walls; on the schoolhouse walls are a number of signatures and inscriptions, some dated as early as the mid-nineteenth century. The smokehouse and carriage house are simple frame structures.
The Mitchell House was built by William W. Mitchell, probably around the time of his marriage to Martha C. Williford in 1832. Family tradition has it that Mitchell selected the timber and supervised the building, but left the finishing of the house to a slave. The first Mrs. Mitchell died soon after their marriage, and Mitchell was subsequently married twice.
That his offspring included four daughters [actually there were at least seven from all marriages–S.M.W.] partly serves to explain his interest in establishing a good school in the area. A devout Baptist and a believer in education, Mitchell was one of a small group of men who met in 1848 and agreed to found Chowan Female Institute. He was serving as the second chairman of its board of trustees when the board decided in 1863 to take over the operation of the school from William Hooper. Hooper, son of one of North Carolina’s signers of the Declaration of Independence, was a distinguished educator and scholar, but his anti- secessionist views were apparently unacceptable to the board during this time of war. In 1868 Mitchell sustained the school during a financial crisis when he acted as chairman of a group of stockholders who purchased it. The school has since become Chowan College, a respected regional institution.
When William Mitchell died in 1897 the home tract of 1117 acres was divided among four of his children with Bettie Mitchell Vann, the youngest daughter, being allotted 200 acres and the dwelling house. [More recently, the Mitchell House passed to Edith Winborne Gordon, Bettie’s granddaughter. Edith and her husband, Dudley, spent many years carefully restoring the house. Since Edith’s death in the early 1980s, Dudley, now in his 80s, has continued to live in the house and maintain the property.]
The William Mitchell House is of local historical importance as the home of one of the founders of Chowan College. It is a well-preserved example of a transitional Federal-Greek Revival farmhouse, retaining the traditional decorative elements that were fashionable. The survival of such interior features as the locks and handsome wood-graining, and of the numerous early outbuildings, enhances the significance of the Mitchell House.MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES: Hertford County Records, in both Register of Deeds in Winton and at the State Dept. of Archives and History; McKnight and Creech, “A History of Chowan College”, Murfreesboro, 1964; Winborne, “The Colonial and State Political History of Hertford Co., N.C.” Raleigh, 1906; Parker, comp., “The Ahoskie Era of Hertford County”, Ahoskie, 1939.
FORM PREPARED BY Survey and Planning Unit Staff, State Dept. of Archives and History, 109 East Jones St., Raleigh NC, 18 July 1972

“Mr. Mitchell . . . was chairman of the County Court from June 1861 – 1866 and had served the county as one of its leading justices for twenty-five years. He was a man of stern and positive character and a strong member in his church and denomination from early manhood to his death, and a great advocate of education. . . .He was one of the prime movers in the building and establishing of the Chowan Baptist Female Institute and contributed largely to the expense and was chairman of its board of trustees for a number of years until his health became so enfeebled that he declined further election. During his active life he was always ready to respond to its needs and faithfully attended all meetings of the trustees and his face was familiar on the rostrum at the annual commencement exercises.
He married the sister of the late Rev. Jno. Mitchell who was so well known throughout North Carolina. She was the daughter of James S Mitchell, the legislator from Bertie in 1842.” Winborne’s History of Hertford County.


Children of William W Mitchell and Martha E Mitchell:
1. Nancy Emily Mitchell 21 Nov 1836 – 5 Jan 1837
2. Mary Jane Mitchell 16 Oct 1838 – 1919
married James Lawrence Mitchell died ca 1878 of Winton
3. Elizabeth Winiford Mitchell 10 May 1841 – 26 July 1844
4. Sarah Martha “Sallie” Mitchell 1 May 1842 – 21 July 1911
married Lt. William P Taylor ca 1843 –
son of Maj. Hillery Taylor of Mill Neck & wife Nancy E.
a. A S Taylor ca 1866 – son
b. E. Taylor ca 1871 – daughter
c. son Taylor ca 1880 –

Children of William W Mitchell and Mary E W Mitchell:
1. James Saunders Mitchell 5 Aug 1847 – 19 July 1918
educated at Wake Forest
married ca 1885 Hattie V Owens

1899 “Gray Gables” in Winton NC
home of James S Mitchell, retail grocer

a. Adrian S Mitchell Oct 1886 –
b. Elsie Mitchell June 1890 –
c. Ina Mitchell July 1895 –
d. Thelma Mitchell March 1898 –
2. John Pipkin Mitchell 15 Feb 1849 – 4 July 1930
retail merchant – banker -Winton, NC
married Mary Jordan Garriss ca 1859 –
a. James Rossius Mitchell
3. Almira Hassletine Mitchell 14 Aug 1850 – May 1871
4. Pauline Agnes Mitchell 27 Jan 1852 – 13 Nov 1932 Winton, NC
1900 census: Pauline states she has had 10 children, 3 of which are living

Pauline A Mitchell

married ca 1873 William Dorsey Holloman 11 Mar 1828 – 1879
a. Susan N Holloman ca 1876 – dy
b. John M Holloman ca 1877 – 1880/1900
c. William D Holloman ca 1878 – 1880/1900
married 2nd ca 1883 Clingman Webster Mitchell
16 Aug 1860 – 20 Jun 1921
of Aulander Businessman, politician Grad. Wake Forest 1881
a. Herbert Hawthorne Mitchell 1 Jan 1884 – 4 Feb 1912
1904 Wake Forest
b. Carrie Vivian Mitchell Mar 1885 – 25 Dec 1950
grad Chowan
married Dr. John L Pritchard
i. Elizabeth 1914 – ca 1931
c. Clingman Webster Mitchell Jr 9 Mar 1894 – 6 Apr 1979
BA Wake Forest
married 17 Nov 1915, Mackey’s, NC Mary Alma Elliott 12 Apr 1894 – 6 Apr 1979
BA Meredith
i. Margaret Anita Mitchell 1917-1973
ii. Clingman Webster “Bill” Mitchell 1925-
5. Bettie Elva Mitchell 5 Oct 1853 – 14 Jan 1939

bettie tjvann
Bettie and TJ Vann

married 12 Dec 1874 Thomas J Vann
son of Jesse Vann
6. William Judson Mitchell 15 Oct 1857 – 23 Jan 1934
edu. Wake Forest – farmer – near Ahoskie
married 25 Nov 1880 Sallie Riddick Vann 5 June 1863 –
daughter of John Arline Vann
a. Almira [Myra] Vann Mitchell single person
b. William Arline Mitchell
married Maggie Sue Woolfley
i. only child died in infancy
c. Horace Carlton Mitchell 1884 –
married 1908 Bessie Jones Pruden 21 Nov 1887 –
i. Horace Pruden Mitchell
ii. Lewis Judson Mitchell
married Juanita Vick
iii. Nancy Mitchell
d. Lillian Clyde Mitchell
married 1st William Wallace Ecklin
i. Lillian Vann Ecklin
married Warren Gaskins
1. Lillian Vann Gaskins
2. Warren C Gaskins Jr.
ii. Wallace Judson Ecklin
iii. Mary Emily Ecklin
married John Wesley Sowers
1. John Wesley Sowers Jr.
iv. Edward Corwin Ecklin
married 2nd W L Daniel Dec 1889 –
e. Martha Winifred Mitchell dec.
f. Kleber Watson Mitchell dec.
g. Robert Bruce Mitchell
married Gladys Ashburn
h. Julian Jarvis Mitchell
7. Charles Emerson Mitchell 1 Mar 1859 – bef 1870

Ref: 1860 Census, 1870 census, 1880 census
Edith Gordon (d. 1982), granddaughter of Bettie Mitchell Vann, whose source was the family Bible [confirmed by Shirley Wersinger during a visit to the house and cemetery in 2000] Entry in Dictionary of NC Biography
Winborne’s History of Hertford County

Under William Watson Mitchell, you
have child number 6 William Judson Mitchell. His
daughter Lillian Clyde married Eiklin and had several
children. Then it says married second W.L. Daniel.
Would this be the Lewis Daniel born in the 1880s?
Also, Lillian brother Horace Carlton Mitchell married
Bessie Pruden. This is Bessie Jones Pruden, daughter
of Charles Norfleet Pruden and Nancy Walton Jones.

1880 census in Hertford co St Johns twsp is found in one household
Paulene A Holomon 27
Susan N – 4,
John M 3
William D 2
{I assume she is a widow at this time]
also in her household is
Thomas J Vann 30 her brother-in-law farm manager
Bettie Vann 25 her sister
Jesse J. nephew

In 1870 St Johns twsp
Mitchell, W W 59 farmer
his wife Marie E W 47
James S 22 student
John P 21 farmer,
Almirah H 19
Pa–lea– A 18
Bettie 16,
Wm J 12,
and Ba–er, Nancy 87 [no relation given]

1870 also living in the household of
G H Mitchell of St Johns 41 farmer
Nancy 40,
Jesse H T 13
Marie E 4
James — S 1
and Vann, Thos 20 at school

4 May 1894, I, WILLIAM W. MITCHELL of Hertford County North Carolina being of a sound and disposing mind and memory but duly regarding the uncertainties of this mortal life do make and declare this my last Will and Testament.
Item 1 I leave to my daughter BETTIE VANN wife of T. J. VANN Two hundred acres of land the same to embrace my dwelling, out buildings stables &c during her natural life, but all the money accruing from the sale of strawberries and grapes from my vineyard shall go to her children to be used in educating them. I give to my daughter BETTIE VANN six hundred dollars to be paid to her by my executors after my death. After the death of my daughter BETTIE VANN I give and devise and bequeath to her children in fee simple the above mentioned land.
Item 2 I give devise and bequeath to my grand children PAULINE ROBERTA, BEULAH BETTIE, MARY HASSELTINE and NANCY THOMAS children of my daughter BETTIE VANN the wife of THOMAS J. VANN six hundred dollars to be equally divided between them and used in educating them.
Item 3 I give devise and bequeath to my son WILLIAM J. MITCHELL all that portion of land lying on the south West side of Knee branch to the public road, adjoining the lands of J. P. NEWSOME, JAMES EARLY and others in fee simple; also one note made payable to me for one hundred and twenty five dollars bearing date January 12, 1887.
Item 4 I give, devise and bequeath to my grand children ALMIRA V., WILLIAM A., HORACE C. and LILLIAN C. MITCHELL children of my son WILLIAM J. MITCHELL seven hundred dollars to be equally divided between them and to be used in educating them.
Item 5 I give, devise and bequeath the reminder of the farm on which I now love; that is to say so much as may remain after subtracting from it the devises hitherto made to my son JOHN P. MITCHELL and to my daughter PAULINE A. MITCHELL wife of C. W. MITCHELL to be equally divided between them in fee simple.
Item 6 I give devise and bequeath to my son JAMES S. MITCHELL my Mount Pleasant Mill situated in Harrellsville Township Hertford County together with the gin house and cotton gin annexed, the wharf property with five acres of land annexed with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging in fee simple.
Item 7 I loan to my daughter MARY J. MITCHELL, widow of JAMES L. MITCHELL Fifteen Hundred Dollars the interest of which to be used by her during her natural life after her death I loan it to my grand daughter LULA DAVENPORT, widow of CARLTON DAVENPORT, the interest to be used by her during her natural life, and at her death I give devise and bequeath it to her children RUTH and MARY DAVENPORT.
Item 8 I loan to my daughter SALLIE M. TAYLOR wife of W.P. TAYLOR fifteen hundred dollars the interest to be used by her during her national life, and after her death I give devise and bequeath it to her two children P.H. TAYLOR and ANNIE JUDSON TAYLOR to be paid by my executors. I also give to my daughter SALLIE M. TAYLOR one note for five hundred dollars executed by her to me and bearing date of April 1st 1878. Also two notes against W. P. TAYLOR for three hundred dollars each and both bearing date of July 8, 1889.
Item 9 My will is that all other property real or personal, of which I may die possessed after taking out the devised and legacies above mentioned shall be sold by my executors privately or at public auction as they may deem most advantageous to my estate; and the debts owing to me to be collected and what ever surplus may remain after the payment of my debts, funeral expenses and the legacies and charges which I have imposed upon my estate I desire shall be equally divided between my children J. S. MITCHELL JOHN P. MITCHELL MARY J. MITCHELL and PAULINE A. MITCHELL wife of C. W. MITCHELL.
Item 10 I hereby constitute and appoint my son-in-law C. W. MITCHELL guardian for the legacy of fifteen hundred dollars loaned my daughter SALLIE M. TAYLOR and given to her children P.H. TAYLOR and ANNIE JUDSON TAYLOR.
Item 11 I hereby constitute and appoint my sons JAMES S. MITCHELL and JOHN P. MITCHELL and my sons-in-law C. W. MITCHELL and THOS. J. VANN my executors to execute my last Will and Testament according to its true intent and meaning hereby revoking all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made. I request my executors to settle my estate as early as may be consistent with its best interests and without charging it with any commissions for receiving and paying out money
Witnessed, signed and sealed in the presence of
Superior court 20 September 1897;
exhibited by C.W. MITCHELL, JNO. P. MITCHELL, & T.J.VANN executors; proved by G.A.TEEL & M.E. NEWSOME.

1880 Winton, Hertford Co., N.C.
W.P. Taylor, m. age 37 Hertford Co., N.C. lumber Mfg., N.C./N.C.
S.M. Taylor, f, wife, age 37, all N.C.
A.S. Taylor, m son, age 13, all N.C.
E. Taylor. f.,dau., age 8, all N.C.
blank)Taylor, m. , son, 2months

3 thoughts on “William Watson Mitchell, Martha Willford, Martha Mitchell, & Mary Mitchell”

  1. Trying to find information on 2 grave markers the stone reads John h Mitchell born 1852 died 1894. Deborah a Mitchell born 1848 died 1920.

  2. A footnote: my gggrandfather John Pipkin Mitchell, born 1810 in Winton, NC, was the son of Winnie Sanders Alford and John Mitchell. He was the brother of William W. Mitchell’s second wife.

  3. I today visited Winton in Hertford County, where my great, great grandfather John Pipkin Mitchell was born. He and his nephew, John Pipkin Nowell, migrated to Grenada, Mississippi, where they remained for the rest of their lives. I also drove through Bertie County today. It was so helpful to have access to this history of the Mitchell family.

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