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Thomas S. Mitchell & Sons – Silent Land Cemetery, Ford County, Kansas

Headstones in cemeteries can reveal to us how difficult and tragic life was in those days of early pioneers settling the Midwest. The Thomas S. Mitchell headstone in Silent Land Cemetery is a testament to those individuals. It reads:

Thomas S. Mitchell Son of James & Rebecca Mitchell Born Oct 22 1847 Died Aug 22 1878

Thomas was born in Concord, Champaign, Ohio. Between 1860 and 1870, Thomas, his parents and siblings moved to Iroquois County, Illinois. His future bride, Sarah Davis, was born on August 14, 1848 in the same county. The two were married the day after Christmas 1872. Their first child and daughter, Minnie, was born in 1874 while living in Illinois.

After the Civil War, many veterans and others were drawn to Kansas and other western states because of cheap land. Between 1874 and 1878, Thomas moved his wife and daughter to Ford County. The new year of 1878 was not a happy one for the family as infant fraternal twins died in January. In August of that year, Thomas passed away at the young age of 30. He is buried next to his infant daughter and son.

At some point, Sarah and her daughter Minnie moved back to Illinois. Sarah married the Rev. Francis H. Brown in September of 1887. She died on May 17, 1892 at the age of 43. She is buried at the Clifton Cemetery in Clifton, Illinois. Thomas’ daughter Minnie became a schoolteacher. In 1894, she married Ernest C. Pawley in Cook Co. Illinois. She passed away March 10, 1951 and is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Stickney, Illinois.

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