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William Cooke Mitchell II

(1806-1911)

History of William Cooke Mitchell II

William Cooke Mitchell was born Jan. 14, 1806 at York, England, the son of Enoch and Mary Cooke Mitchell. He grew to be a man who was large of stature, a man who was quick of intellect, honest in his dealings, and firm in his religious convictions. It is quite commonly understood that he became a minister in one of the Protestant churches in his homeland. (no direct proof)

He married Eliza Ridsdale and to them were born two children: Eliza who was born Sept. 30, 1830 in Hull, Yorkshire, England, and William Cooke Jr., born 13th April in Liverpool, England. In the year of 1840 the family was visited by Elder John Taylor, who entered upon a discussion of religious doctrine with the father. This discussion lasted all of one night, but by morning Elder Taylor had converted William and his wife. They accepted the gospel of the L.D.S. faith and were baptized Feb. 10, 1840. The following is taken from a brief history written by William Cooke Jr. -----

Soon after my father's baptism, his greatest desire was to come to Zion, but he was called to preach the gospel on the Isle of Man. This call he accepted, taking his family with him. Upon their return to England, and after a short residence in Hull, England they set sail for America on the ship "Turean". They were in a company of 204 saints, under the direction of Joseph Fielding and eventually reached Nauvoo the last of Nov. 1841. Although the family was financially secure and had accrued considerable property in Nauvoo, they turned the key on the front door and left, leaving nearly all they had, never to return, when they with many other saints were driven from the city by the mob.

After crossing the Mississippi River and arriving at Council Bluffs in July 1846, the family started for the Rocky Mts. in Bishop George Miller's Co. After traveling 140 miles westward, because of the lateness of the season, and the fact that so many of the able bodied men of the group had left with the Mormon Battalion, this company was ordered by Pres. Young to return to Winter Quarters. On the return trip both William C. and his wife Eliza became ill (apparently with cholera) and the children were left to manage their four yoke of oxen. Shortly after their arrival at Winter Quarters, the father was called on a mission to the British Isles. Although he was just able to walk with a cane, he left his wife ill in bed, and taking his son with him, he set out for his homeland for the mission. They arrived in Liverpool on April 11, 1847 and just a few days later he received word that his wife and Mother had passed away at Winter Quarters.

According to the journal of the son William C. Jr., he and his father traveled over most of England and Wales, preaching the restored gospel and making many new acquaintances. It was on Jan. 29, 1849 that they left Liverpool for the return trip to America, leaving on the ship Zealand in company with many other saints. On the same ship were Louisa and Mary Moore, from Great Pontoon, Lincolnshire, England. After William C. Sr. arrived in America he married Louisa Moore in Janesville, Iowa in July 1849. William C. Sr. was unable to find any trace f his daughter Eliza, who had been sent to New York State with friends. He left his wife, Louisa, and son for the west and reached Salt Lake City Oct. 27, 1849. (Several years later he learned that Eliza had married a Winfield Scott Chapman in New York. She died there Oct. 9, 1865.

After about a year's residence in Salt Lake, William C. was called by Pres. Brigham Young, to go south and help settle the Little Salt Lake Valley. On Dec. 10, 1850, they went in Pres. George A. Smith's Company to what is now called Parowan, arriving there on January 13, 1851. William Cooke M. Sr. was active in helping to build the mud wall, the public buildings, and many homes in the new settlement, as well as fencing and working the fields.

In the fall of 1852 William C. Sr. married Mary Moore in the Endowment house in Salt Lake City. He later returned with his family to live in Parowan again.

In 1857, while getting out timber from the mountain, cutting and hauling timber from the first left-hand canyon, he was accidentally killed. A wagon load of logs tipped over, pinning him under it near what is know as Hogsback. He was killed on June 20, 1857 and buried in Parowan Cemetery.

Eliza Ridsdale Mitchell (Our Great Grandmother) was born Nov. 25, 1823 in Great Ponton, Near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. She died May 11, 1897 at Huntington, Utah.

Mary Moore Mitchell (her sister) was born Nov. 19, 1821 in Great Ponton, Lincolnshire, England. She died Aug. 18, 1907 in Escalante, Utah.

William Cooke Mitchell Sr. was the son of Enoch Mitchell and Mary Cooke. Enoch was the son of James and Mary Hauge. James was the son of Thomas and Jane (?). Enoch Mitchell's mother was the daughter of John and Ann Hague.

The ship Zealand sailed from Liverpool England with 358 saints bound for Utah U.S.A. in Orson Spencer's Co. arriving at New Orleans April 2, 1849. The emigrants came up the Missouri River arriving at Kanesville Iowa, May 17, 1849.

William Cooke Mitchell Sr. had one daughter, Mary Ellen Mitchell (Our Grandmother), by Louisa, and three boys and one daughter by Mary, whose names are Zetland, James, John, and Elizabeth Mitchell. Parents of Louisa and Mary Moore were William and Elizabeth Halvey Moore. Parents of Elizabeth Halvey were John Halvey and Elizabeth Hutchinson Halvey.

William Cooke Mitchell II or Jr. died May 22, 1911 in Parowan, Utah.

Eliza R. Mitchell Chapman (daughter of William Sr. & Eliza Ridsdale) had only one child "Fannie". She later came to Utah, joined the church and married John Pidding Jones and died at Enoch, Utah in 1937.