The Heritage of Daniel Haston


Spencer Mitchell Obituary

For the Banner of Peace
Petersburg, Tenn., April 30th 1849

Question: Who was the Petersburg, TN friend of Spencer Mitchell that wrote his obituary in 1849?  Petersburg is located in Lincoln County, TN, which is approximately 50 miles south of Murfreesboro, TN and over 100 miles from Sparta, TN.  There was a Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Petersburg, TN at that time.

DIED--At his residence in White County Tennessee on the 20th of March last, SPENCE MITCHELL, in the 74th year of his age.  The subject of this notice was born in the state of North Carolina, on the 4th of June 1775; married December 22nd 1796 and emigrated with his wife to Tennessee in the year 1804.  He settled in White County, on the farm where he died, in about two years after he came to this State.  (See his 1808 land grant survey.)

He professed religion upward of 46 years ago, and was first a member of the Presbyterian church but after he settled in Tennessee he joined the Cumberland Presbyterians, and was elected and ordained ruling Elder in Union congregation near where he lived.  In which congregation he lived a devoted member and an efficient elder until the great Head of the church, in His wise Providence, saw proper to call him from the church militant to the church Triumphant.  He was the subject of many afflictions through life but more especially in the latter part.  He was taken sick on the 1st day of March and suffered a great amount of pain until he died on the 20th.

The day after he was taken sick, he arranged his temporal business, and then remarked that he could die satisfied.  From that time he seemed to have a great desire to depart and be with Christ which is far better than to remain in this world.

His anxiety to depart was so great that he sometimes seemed to be very sorry that he lingered so long, and suffered so much, but yet he bore his affliction with christian fortitude and left strong evidence of his acceptance with God.

He has left an aged companion, eight sons, and one daughter an a long train of connections to mount for him.  In this dispensation of the wise Providence of God the church has lost one of its brightest ornaments, the bereaved widow an affectionate husband the children a kind father and the neighborhood one of its best members.  But we sorrow not as those who have no hope; for we believe that while friends weep on earth, that the aged father, who was the subject of so much affliction in life, is now free from sickness, sorrow, pain and death, and his immortal spirit enjoys the society of Angels and the spirits of just men made perfect.

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the spirit that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.  A word of exhortation to the relatives of the departed father He is dead.  He cannot come to you, but you may go to him.


Source:  Banner of Peace, Vol. 7, number 50.  11 May 1849, page 3

"Spence Mitchell's (unmarked) grave is by the [Old Union] church house, near the grave of Rufus White.  There's a rock sticking out of the ground there where he is buried."

Joe Wallace, Chairman of Union Cemetery Trust Fund
July 22, 2002 Conversation with Wayne Haston