A biography of Charles A. Mitchell appears in Albert Williams, "Past and Present of Knox County, Ohio", Vol. II, published in 1912, p. 563-4. It nearly contains more information on his father, John Allen Mitchell, than it does on Charles:
CHARLES A. MITCHELL.
notion that hard work, patient industry and far-sightedness make for success in
the various avenues of life does not seem to be accepted so unreservedly in our
day. The spread of pessimism engendered by many phases of our complex life is
in a great measure responsible for the lack of faith in the old idea. However,
if we observe conditions closely we will find that the intelligent individual,
who leads a practical and industrious life, will reach a point of success
commensurate with his efforts. The life of Charles A. Mitchell, ex-mayor of
Mount Vernon, will afford us an instance of this.
"Mr. Mitchell was born June 1, 1868 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, being the representative of one of Knox county's honored old families. He is the son of John A. and Malissa (Jackson) Mitchell, who were both born, reared, educated, married and spent their entire lives in this community. Sylvester Mitchell [should be Sylvanus], the great-grandfather, came to Ohio from Salem, Massachusetts, in 1808 and first settled near Granville, Licking county, soon afterwards moving to Milford township, Knox county, and the land on which he located still remains in the Mitchell family. The old pioneer had made the long journey from Massachusetts on horseback, bringing all the earthly goods of the family in that manner, ina saddle-bag. Grandfather Albert Mitchell was only three years of age at that time. This country was then a vast forest through which roamed red men and various kinds of wild game. He built a cabin and began clearing the site for the splendid farm which he later developed. He was the possessor of many commendable qualities, stood for good citizenship and right living and he took a leading part in the affairs of his community. John Allen Mitchell, father of the subject, was a stonemason by trade, and he spent all of his active life in Mt. Vernon, with the exception of the years spent in the army during the Civil war, having enlisted in the Union army in April, 1861, in the Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in response to President Lincoln's call for seventy-five thousand troops. At the expiration of his term of service he re-enlisted in Company H, Eighty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in which he served until the close of the war. For meritorious service he was promoted to the rank of captain of his company. He saw hard service, being continuously in the Army of the Potomac. He participated in both the first and second battles of Bull Run, Chancellorsville and many others. On the first day of the balle of Gettysburg he was taken prisoner and was sent to Libby prison, where he had a long term of confinement, remaining there until the spring of 1865, not being released until after Lee's surrender. Prior to that battle he had also seen the inside of Confederate prisons in various parts of the South, having been taken prisoner long before the great conflict in Pennsylvania. He had many thrilling experiences. He is described by his comrades as a valiant soldier, always at his post, and he leaves an enviable record. After his career in the army he returned to Mt. Vernon and resumed his trade as a brickmason. His death occurred on May 6, 1892. He was a man of positive character and strong in his likes and dislikes, and he had many warm friends throughout the county.
"Charles A. Mitchell, of this review, has spent practically all his life in Mt. Vernon and he was educated in the public schools here. When eighteen years of age, in April, 1887, he secured employment as brakeman with the Cleveland, Akron & Columbus railroad, and he remained with this company until August, 1899, giving them high grade service, being advanced through the different stages until he became a conductor of freight. He suffered from a sever attack of rheumatism for several years, at times being compelled to use crutches, and one leg being seriously and permanently affected he is still compelled to use one crutch. In May, 1903, he entered the office of the auditor of Knox county as deputy auditor, which position he filled most satisfactorily until October, 1906, when he was appointed auditor to fill an unexpired term.
"Mr. Mitchell has always been an active Republican in politics and in the fall of 1908 he was the party's candidate for county auditor, but, Knox county being Democratic, he was defeated. He has always been prominent and active in the councils of the party and has been a frequent delegate to county, district and state conventions. In November, 1909, he was elected mayor of Mt. Vernon and his term expired January 1, 1912. His administration proved to be most satisfactory to all concerned, irrespective of party alignment, and he is doing much for the permanent good of the vicinity.
"Fraternally, Mr. Mitchell is a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 140, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Sons of Veterans.
"Mr. Mitchell was married on June 30, 1897, to Lucy Clark, daughter of John and Sarah (Johnson) Clark, of Mt. Vernon. This union has been without issue. The family home is at No. 111 East Front street, which property has been the Mitchell home for more than fifty years. Mr. Mitchell is fearless and outspoken when he knows he is right, a man of positive ideas, integrity and force of character, and as a public servant is faithful and conscientious, and is proving to be one of the most popular mayors the city of Mt. Vernon has ever had."