Marshall A. Mitchell is the gentleman in Redding, California, in whose hands the good order of the city rests. He it is who sits as the receiver of city taxes and has the care of the streets and highways. His duties are onerous, but he goes about them from morning till night with a smiling face; all one to him whether he has a noisy and quarrelsome drunkard to arrest and put in the city cooler, or whether he takes the shining gold from the hands of the many wealthy residents of Redding in payment of their taxes. These duties he has faithfully performed for the past six years to the complete satisfaction of all concerned. Few city marshals could fill the office so faithfully and with so little friction - Marshall by name and Marshal by virtue of office. He is a large, fine-looking man; asks what he wants in a quiet, good-natured way and usually has the power and backbone to make it known that he means what he says. Consequently he has as little trouble as any man could have holding the office he does.
Mr. Mitchell is a native of Illinois, born in Boone County, October 19, 1848. He comes of one of the old Pennsylvania families. His father, a native of the Keystone State, married Esther Alexander, who was born in Virginia, a descendant of one of the old Virginia families. It is believed that the ancestors of her family came from Scotland and Ireland and settled in America in the colonial days, and that later there was a Dutch mixture. Suffice it to say that both his paternal and maternal ancestors were sober, industrious and influential people-high spirited and too proud to do a mean act. Of a family of seven children, two only are living - Isaac Mitchell, who resides in Plymouth County, Oregon, and Marshall Mitchell, the subject of this sketch. The latter came to Shasta County, California, in 1859, when eleven years of age, and has been reared and educated in the county. His father was a saw-mill and lumberman here until 1865, when his death occurred.
Marshall Mitchell began business in this county for himself as a farmer. He purchased 320 acres of land on Cow Creek, which he cultivated three years. Soon after the town of Redding was laid out he began the mercantile business in it, in partnership with Mr. Williams. In 1874 they built a store on California street between Butte and Yuba, and the firm of Williams & Mitchell did a good business until 1875, when they were burned out and sustained heavy losses. They opened again and continued in business five years longer, when a second fire destroyed their store. Neither of these fires originated in their place of business. Mr. Mitchell then engaged in the forwarding business, which he continued for several years. In 1885 he was elected Marshal of the city, and has since filled that office with satisfaction to all concerned.
He has purchased town lots and built a residence on Pine, between Butte and Tehama streets. Mr. Mitchell was married, in 1883, to Miss Annie Watt, a native of Oregon. He is a Master and Royal Arch Mason. In politics, he is a Republican.
Source: Memorial and Biographical History of Northern
California, Lewis Publishing Co., 1891 page 775
Transcribed by: Melody Landon Gregory August 2004