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Mitchellville in Polk County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Universalist Church

1868

 
 
Universalist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, June 28, 2011
1. Universalist Church Marker
Inscription.  This church was built by Thomas Mitchell. Thomas Mitchell was born in New Hampshire in 1816. he came to Iowa Territory in 1840, and in 1844 became the first white settler of Polk County. He built cabins and later inns to feed and shelter the hundreds of people going west. He defended the American Indians and during the Civil War hid run-away slaves.

In 1856 Mr. Mitchell founded Mitchellville. He donated land for the wide streets, the city park, and the cemetery. Later he gave land and money for a seminary for young women so they could receive advanced education.

Mr. Mitchell gave the land and money for this church. He felt that education and religion had a calming influence on the frontier so he encouraged all denominations to meet here until their buildings could be built.

He was the first sheriff of Polk County; served six years as Polk County Commissioner, was elected to the General Assembly in 1875 and to the Iowa Senate in 1878.

Mr. Mitchell was so well respected and loved that when he died in 1894 a special train came from Des Moines and 1,000 people attended his funeral. He is buried in the
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cemetery that he gave to this town.

For Further Information call: 967-2935
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionEducationLaw EnforcementSettlements & SettlersWomen. In addition, it is included in the Unitarian Universalism (UUism) series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1816.
 
Location. 41° 40.265′ N, 93° 21.636′ W. Marker is in Mitchellville, Iowa, in Polk County. Marker is on 4th Street NW near Market Street NW, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mitchellville IA 50169, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Des Moines / Noted Des Moines Residents (approx. 1.7 miles away); Owen's Covered Bridge (approx. 13.7 miles away); Hastie Station (approx. 16.9 miles away).
 
Additional keywords. Unitarian Universalism
 
Universalist Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, June 28, 2011
2. Universalist Church
MItchellville Universalist Church Interior image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, June 28, 2011
3. MItchellville Universalist Church Interior
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 19, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 21, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 765 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 21, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 21, 2024