date(s):
1852-1921
subject(s):
World War, 1914-1918
type(s):
Collection
A3034 Mitchell, Frank C. Family Papers Inventory of Frank C. Mitchell Family Papers. A3034 EAD by Kristina Perez using ArchivesSpace. Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center 2017 225 S. Skinker Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63105 archives@mohistory.org URL: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2018-09-28 06:39:02 -0500 . English Describing Archives: A Content Standard English Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center Frank C. Mitchell Family Papers Mitchell, Frank Clinton, 1896-1977 Mitchell, Edna E. A3034 0.25 Cubic Feet (11 folders) 1852-1921 1917-1919 Processing Information Processed by Corey Schmidt and Sarah Wohaska, 2015-2016. Donor Information Donated in 2005 by John C. and Danean Mitchell (accession number 2005-079). Biographical Sketch Frank Clinton Mitchell was born on 15 January 1896, in St. Louis, Missouri, to John C. and Alvida (Septon) Mitchell. He had one brother, Charles Mitchell. Frank married Edna E. Kessler and had two sons, Frank W. Mitchell and John C. Mitchell. Frank died on 19 October 1977 of a heart attack. Mitchell worked in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the hospital in Camp Pike. After the U. S. entered World War I and rumors of a draft began circulating, he decided that rather than be drafted, he would join the Navy. On June 14, 1918, Mitchell enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve and trained at Camp Farragut (Great Lakes, Illinois). He also served at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Bay Ridge Barracks (New York), and the U.S.S El Sol , on which he sailed to France. Mitchell held various jobs in the Navy. He worked as a plumber, steamfitter, as a foreman during water main construction, and as a ship fitter. In 1918, while serving at the Great Lakes Naval Station, Mitchell contracted both the Spanish flu and the German measles. He mentions that many servicemen at the station succumbed to the flu. Mitchell was released from active duty on September 2, 1919, and was discharged from the U.S. Naval Reserve Force on September 30, 1921. In 1942, Mitchell founded Frank C. Mitchell Co., plumbing and utility contractors, and was the company’s president until his retirement in 1961. He was also active in politics and his community. Mitchell was a candidate for judge in the second district in the St. Louis County Court in 1940. He was a member of the Mt. Mariah Lodge No. 40 A.F. and A.M. for 58 years and also the Ivanhoe Commandery No. 8 Knights Templar in St. Louis and the Order of the Eastern Star, Valley Park Chapter No. 505. Mitchells’ grandfather, Joseph C. Mitchell married Rebecca Jane Harris in New York on 7 November 1852. Joseph served in the 10th and the 101st Illinois Infantry Volunteers in the Civil War. Scope and Content Note The collection is arranged chronologically and is comprised primarily of correspondence written by Frank Mitchell to Edna Kessler from 1917 to 1919. There are discharge papers for Frank Mitchell (1921) and his grandfather, Joseph C. Mitchell (1861-1865), and marriage certificates for Frank’s parents (1888) and grandparents (1852). The bulk of the collection dates from 1917 to 1919. There is a gap between 1889 and 1916. The collection begins with Joseph C. Mitchell’s 1852, marriage certificate and discharge papers dated 1861 and 1865. The first company in which Mitchell enlisted, the 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry was mustered out in July 1861, only a few months after being organized in April. In 1862, he joined the 101st Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Frank C. Mitchell’s postcards and letters began in August 1917, at Camp Pike, Little Rock, Arkansas, where he worked in the camp’s hospital. The correspondence ends in July 1919, after he had sailed to France on the U.S.S. El Sol . The letters are addressed to Miss Edna Kessler of St. Louis, Missouri (812 Market St.). Mitchell wrote to Edna about his work and his friends, with whom he often travelled on the weekends before being assigned to the U.S.S. El Sol . Two of the letters to Edna are from other friends, Louis and Emmett (f.9). Other documents relating to Frank C. Mitchell’s World War I service include his notice of rating from the Labor Board of the Civil Service Commission (f.2). It informed Mitchell that he was assigned the status of Plumber after taking a test. There is also an application for insurance with the Bureau of War Risk Insurance in the amount of $10,000, effective 16 June 1918 (f.2). Mitchell’s naval discharge and his War Service Certificate are filed at the end of the collection. Arrangement The collection is arranged chronologically. Separated Materials The donation included a photograph collection, museum artifacts, and a booklet in the library entitled, "Songs of the Soldiers and Sailors" (Washington: GPO, 1917). Conditions Governing Access The collection is open for research use. Conditions Governing Use For permission to publish, quote from, or reproduce material in this collection, please contact the Archives Reference Desk at archives@mohistory.org . Copyright restrictions may apply. The researcher assumes full responsibility for comforming to the laws of copyright. Physical and Technical Requirements There are no physical or technical restrictions. Preferred Citation Frank C. Mitchell Family Papers, Missouri Historical Society Archives, St. Louis. World War, 1914-1918 United States. Navy Joseph C. Mitchell / John C. Mitchel Papers 1 1 Marriage certificate for Joseph Mitchell and Rebecca Jane Harris in New York 7 Nov 1852 1 1 Certificate of Discharge for Joseph C. Mitchell, Company G of the Tenth Illinois Infantry Volunteers. (provided by War Department on 9 May 1903) 29 July 1861 1 1 Discharge paper for Joseph C. Mitchell, Illinois Infantry Volunteers, (enlisted on August 17, 1862) 7 June 1865 1 1 Marriage Certificate for John C. Mitchell, city of St. Louis, Missouri and Miss Alvida Septon 12 Dec 1888 1 1 List of the 101st Illinois Infantry Field and Staff on which Joseph Mitchell is included (written on the verso of a 28 Sept 1898 letter) ca. 1899 1 1 Frank C. Mitchell Correspondence 1 2 Postcard signed F.C. Mitchell, Camp Pike, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 26 Aug 1917 1 2 Kessler Bros. business cards (2) ca. 1917 1 2 ALS Frank Mitchell, Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions missing the fun times at the river and Valley Park 5 Sept 1917 1 2 ALS Frank Mitchell, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions good times in Valley Park, Missouri 20 Sept 1917 1 2 ALS Frank Mitchell, Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Tells Edna her letters are appreciated 28 Sept 1917 1 2 Postcard signed FCM [Frank C. Mitchell], Little Rock Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 17 Oct 1917 1 2 ALS F.C. Mitchell, written on Hoffman Hotel stationary, Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Describes being homesick and wanting more letters 19 Oct 1917 1 2 ALS Frank Mitchell, Hoffman Hotel, Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions his brother came to visit him in his “machine.” 29 Oct 1917 1 2 ALS F.C. Mitchell, Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses wanting to come home but plans to stick around and an inside joke 2 Nov 1917 1 2 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Informs Edna he does not know about a possible new draft 8 Nov 1917 1 2 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions his brother in law got married. Frank is considering joining the navy before being drafted 14 Nov 1917 1 2 ALS F. C. Mitchell, Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. He plans to visit New Orleans and to visit brother before going to St. Louis 19 Nov 1917 1 2 ALS F.C. Mitchell, Little Rock, Arkansas to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions visiting Pine Bluff to see brother. Father will be working a job at an aviation field 20 miles from Little Rock 27 Nov 1917 1 2 Notice of Rating from the United States Civil Service Commission for Frank C. Mitchell (plumber) 16 March 1918 1 3 Insurance application acceptance letter through the United States Treasury Department, Bureau of War Risk Insurance 16 June 1918 1 3 Postcard signed FCM, Chicago, Illinois, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 16 June 1918 1 3 ALS F. C. Mitchell, Camp Farragut, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions receiving white uniforms that day 18 June 1918 1 3 ALS F.C. Mitchell, Camp Farragut, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 24 June 1918 1 3 Postcard signed FCM, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Informs Edna he moved to Camp Dewey 29 June 1918 1 3 ALS F.C. Mitchell, Camp Dewey, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses the move to Camp Dewey and describes his new commander as “tough” 29 June 1918 1 3 ALS F.C. Mitchell, Camp Dewey, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses her last letter to him 4 July 1918 1 3 ALS F.C. Mitchell, postmarked Chicago, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions a move to Camp Perry; is going to Chicago to have his picture taken 8 July 1918 1 3 ALS F.C. Mitchell, Camp Perry, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Tells Edna about his days on the ship swabbing decks and drilling; though his address has changed he has not actually moved 18 July 1918 1 3 ALS FCM [Frank C. Mitchell], Camp Perry, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions mother and sister visited him at Camp. They all went to Chicago for a show. He gave a tour of camp to his visitors 26 July 1918 1 3 ALS FCM [Frank C. Mitchell], written on Chicago & North Western Railway Club Rooms stationary, Chicago, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he sent Edna a Navy pennant and pin 28 July 1918 1 3 ALS F.C. Mitchell, Camp Perry, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions “Herman” joined the Navy as a seaman 1 Aug 1918 1 4 ALS FCM [Frank C. Mitchell], Camp Perry, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions going to Chicago with friend Frank Harles and Frank’s wife. Also mentions receiving rating as plumber first class 3 Aug 1918 1 4 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Camp Perry, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions being entertained in Chicago with dinner and a ride in a “fine machine.” He also informs Edna he visited a sailor friend, wife and baby and he is going to the YMCA to hear the French band play 9 Aug 1918 1 4 ALS Frank, Camp Perry, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Writes he is a dry land sailor; working in the "articisfer" (specialty) school in Camp Paul Jones as a steamfitter; visited Mrs. Eby who has 3 sons in France; is going to join the Freemason Lodge and start on his degree. (8pg) 13 Aug 1918 1 4 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions one of the truck drivers was killed and another person killed by a train and a hydroplane fell into the lake 25 Aug 1918 1 4 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he is now working at the filtering plant at the main hospital 29 Aug 1918 1 4 Postcard signed Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri c. Sept 1918 1 5 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Camp Ross, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses recent trip home 5 Sept 1918 1 5 ALS FCM [Frank C. Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Apologizes for not spending more time with her while visiting home 11 Sept 1918 1 5 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he is in charge of 25 men putting in a water main. He also went to Hammond, Indiana with sailors from camp 12 Sept 1918 1 5 ALS F.C Mitchell, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 15 Sept 1918 1 5 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. He was in the hospital with Spanish flu 22 Sept 1918 1 5 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Still in hospital with flu; appreciates the sweater she sent 25 Sept 1918 1 5 ALS Frank [Mitchell[, U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he is out of hospital and staying at YMCA. Says 500 from Great Lakes died of the flu. He received a letter from friend Jack Shea who is in France 28 Sept 1918 1 5 ALS Frank C. Mitchell, written on U.S. Naval Training Station stationary, Great Lakes, Illinois, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis. Mentions the death of one of his friends from the plant 1 Oct 1918 1 6 ALS Frank C. Mitchell, Camp Ross, U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis. Mentions a trip to Chicago and arrival of new men at the plant 15 Oct 1918 1 6 ALS “dry land sailor” [Frank C. Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 23 Oct 1918 1 6 ALS Frank C. Mitchell, Great Lakes, Illinois, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis. Mentions new home in Camp Decatur and trip to Chicago 29 Oct 1918 1 6 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions visiting Chicago to see a show called “Jack O Lantern” 7 Nov 1918 1 7 ALS F. C. Mitchell, Chicago, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 11 Nov 1918 1 7 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he was in a fight with the Battalion Commander and lost his liberty for an indefinite time 21 Nov 1918 1 7 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he was in hospital for 4 days with German measles. Also mentions a nurse jumped off a bluff near the plant where he worked 29 Nov 1918 1 7 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. He won’t be going home for Christmas or New Year’s 2 Dec 1918 1 7 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Enclosure: dinner and entertainment program for the Power Section of Public Works Dept., Great Lakes Naval Training Station at the Hotel La Salle, Chicago on 6 December 1918. Frank’s name is listed 9 Dec 1918 1 7 ALS Frank [Mitchell], Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he sent to Edna a blouse and neckerchief 30 Dec 1918 1 7 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses what he did for New Year celebrations and states he wishes he could have been with her 3 Jan 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he won $40 – it kept him in cigarettes 10 Jan 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses the gift she sent him 11 Jan 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 14 Jan 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he met a man who knew a clerk who worked for Edna’s father, by the name of Raymond Young 21 Jan 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions “Herman” did not get his discharge. Also expresses his own interest in being discharged 26 Jan 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Informs Edna another soldier was discharges which means he [Frank] cannot get discharged at this time 30 Jan 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions becoming a master mason 6 Feb 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 13 Feb 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions looking for “Herman” who has been transferred to Great Lakes 15 Feb 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses his uncertainty of when he may get discharged 21 Feb 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses a friend at the camp who left for St. Louis; the friend lives nearby Frank’s family 27 Feb 1919 1 8 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he is being shipped to sea 6 March 1919 1 9 ALS Frank, Great Lakes, Illinois to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 8 March 1919 1 9 ALS Frank, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn New York to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions taking in the sights of New York 26 March 1919 1 9 10 blank postcards depicting various scenes of Buffalo, New York. Note on back of each reads “from Frank” ca. Apr 1919 1 9 ALS FCM, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn, New York to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions having the measles, the flu and hives. Mentions his friend John Shea was discharged. Informs Edna he is writing the letter at Knights of Columbus where they are playing a waltz. Can hardly “keep his feet still” as he loves to waltz 2 Apr 1919 1 9 ALS Frank, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn, New York to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Discusses partying with his discharged friend John Shea and his cousins in Brooklyn and going to Coney Island. He compares it to Forest Park Highlands 12 Apr 1919 1 9 ALS Emmett, Jewish Welfare Board, U.S. Army and Navy (on envelope) to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 13 Apr 1919 1 9 ALS Frank, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn, New York to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions Edna writing to him about buying a new 1920 model car 18 Apr 1919 1 9 ALS Louis, Valley Park, Mo to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri ca. 19 Apr 1919 1 9 ALS Frank, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn, New York to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions his friend John Shea left for St. Louis 25 Apr 1919 1 9 ALS Frank, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn, New York to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions sending a picture home to his family that was taken at Coney Island 1 May 1919 1 10 ALS Frank, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn, New York, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions the possibility of getting shipped out very soon 7 May 1919 1 10 ALS Frank, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn, New York, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Writes he is very discouraged to that his request for discharge was not approved. He will have to stand by to be shipped out or wait for general demobilization. Says everyone is dissatisfied and wants peace. Many went “over the hill” as soon as they found their discharge request was not approved 9 May 1919 1 10 ALS Frank, Bay Ridge Barracks, Brooklyn, New York, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions he is going to sea on the U.S.S El Sol . Writes there was a fire in the boiler room and one of the boilers blew and set the building on fire and several people were hurt. Thinks he may be sailing for Bordeaux, France 12 May 1919 1 10 ALS Frank, U.S.S El Sol laying at Hoboken, New Jersey, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions the possibility of leaving for France by the first of June 21 May 1919 1 10 ALS Frank, U.S.S El Sol , New Jersey, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Still docked in New Jersey 4 June 1919 1 10 Postcard signed Frank, U.S.S. El Sol , New Jersey, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Mo. Still docked in New Jersey 7 June 1919 1 10 Postcard signed Frank, U.S.S. El Sol , Virginia, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri 5 July 1919 1 10 Postcard signed Frank, U.S.S. El Sol , Virginia, to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Mentions the ship is refueling for another trip 6 July 1919 1 10 ALS Frank, Newport News, Virginia to Miss Edna Kessler, St. Louis, Missouri. Describes his trip to France and back. Informs Edna he did not get seasick. Left France June 24th and returned to the states July 5th. Mentions going to France again and the possibility of a 5 day leave for Paris 8 July 1919 1 10 Frank C. Mitchell Papers 1 11 Navy Allotment Office notification of a delay in final payment checks ca. 1921 1 11 War Service Certificate from the United States Navy 21 Sept 1921 1 11 Request for transfer to Volunteer Naval Reserve for Frank C. Mitchell and blank acknowledgement from the Navy Department 29 Sept 1921 1 11 Discharge papers for Frank C. Mitchell from the United States Naval Reserve Force 30 Sept 1921 1 11