History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/William O. Mitchell
WILLIAM O. MITCHELL is a native of Iowa, born in Van Buren County, April 4, 1846. At the age of sixteen he enlisted in Company C, Thirteenth Iowa Volunteers, serving three years. During that time he was eight months a prisoner confined in the Andersonville stockade, Salisbury and Florence prisons, from the last of which escaped. During his term of service he participated in the Vicksburg campaign and many other engagements. After the close of the war he graduated at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, and began the study of law, being admitted to the bar in 1872. He located at Corning in Adams County and in addition to practicing law became largely engaged in farming. He has done probably more than any other one man to call public attention to the famous “Blue Grass Region” of southern Iowa as a stock country. He was in 1891 elected Representative in the House of the Twenty-fourth General Assembly and had the unusual honor of being chosen Speaker the first term of his legislative service. He was reëlected to the Twenty-fifth General Assembly, serving as a chairman of the committee of ways and means. In 1895 he was elected to the Senate, serving in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh General Assemblies and at the extra session.