Review and Summary of Source Material for the Life of Rebecca Brown Mitchell with Annotated Bibliography

List of the major accounts of the life of Rebecca Mitchell
  1. Rebecca Mitchell, Glimpses of My Life, written sometime prior to 1908, published in the Idaho Falls Times, October 13, 1908, and also published in Snake River Echoes, Volume 3, #4, 1974, pp. 63-65. Rebecca Mitchell had several requests to write the story of her life, and eventually she reluctantly complied.  I’m not sure which specific request resulted in her writing Glimpses of My Life, or if there are other versions she wrote at other times which have been lost.  Perhaps the weightiest request came from a London publishing house in 1903.[117]  An earlier request, in 1899, came from some of her pupils after she shared stories of her work at a meeting just before departing on a trip to Los Angeles to visit her daughter.[19]  When she died in 1908, the Idaho Falls Times newspaper reported that she had written of her experiences at the request of her friends and that they were published in a book by the Times Publishing in 1905.[17]  Since her “Historical Sketches…” wasn’t published until 1906 and contains almost nothing about her own life, this 1905 book likely refers to something else that she wrote.  Her Glimpses of My Life is obviously the most authoritative and insightful of all the accounts written about her, and hence the one we have included in the main body of Jesus in Idaho Falls. In the Bibliography, this reference is #7.

  2. Edith Haroldsen Lovell, Captain Bonneville's County, Rebecca Mitchell Comes to Town; published by The Eastern Idaho Farmer, 1963, pp. 202-3.  Edith Lovell, 1913-2002, was a teacher in Shelton (later absorbed into Ririe), and later a historian and author of local history.  Most of her chapter on Rebecca Mitchell is taken directly from R. Mitchel’s Glimpses of My Life, and focuses on her arrival in Eagle Rock. In the Bibliography this is #1. Edith Lovell also wrote Rebecca Mitchell, Temperance Leader, which was published in Snake River Echoes, 1975, pp. 63-64. This article covers Rebecca Mitchell’s full time in Idaho, tries to correct what Edith sees as inaccuracies in other accounts, and focuses primarily on what we would now call lobbying, first for passage of a bill raising the age of consent for girls and then for the right of women to vote. The article extensively quotes R. Mitchell’s Glimpses of My Life, but does have a few details not found anywhere else. This article is #9 in the Bibliography

  3. James H. Hawley, History of Idaho, The Gem of the Mountains, Vol. 2, 1920, Rebecca Mitchell, pp. 774-775.  This book can be found on Internet Archive and also the full text of the article about Rebecca Mitchell is posted on her FindaGrave website profile.  Hawley credits a young friend of Rebecca’s, Miss Ruby Keefer (later Mrs. Ruby K. Brace), as the original author.  It mostly covers Rebecca Mitchell’s life in Idaho, and is one of the most complete accounts. The Find a Grave website on which this is posted also has photos of Rebecca Mitchell’s portrait, gravestone and memorial fountain at Rose Hill cemetery. In the Bibliography this is #2.

  4. Idaho Falls Times, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 1908, p. 1.  Published 6 days after her death, the subtitle of this nearly full page newspaper story is “Review of the Long and Useful Life of a Remarkable Woman.” The author is not mentioned, although the article itself reports that at Mrs. Mitchell’s funeral, Rev. A. B. Clark “gave a review of the life of Mrs. Mitchell and of the many things she had done for God and for humanity,” so perhaps he was the source of much of the information in the article.  While this account has a lot of information about her 26 years in Idaho, it has the most information of any of the accounts, except her own, of her earlier life in Illinois.  Published on the same page of the newspaper are tributes by two pastors, Dr. VanDusen and Henry Van Engelin.  This is #17 in the Bibliography.

  5. 1897 National Newspaper Stories: When Rebecca Mitchell became chaplain of the Idaho Legislature in early 1897, a multitude of newspapers across the country reported it.  But then later in that year, from June to September, a handful of newspapers carried more complete stories of her life. While one version of this story was published in multiple papers, several different versions appeared in others, and comparing these versions it’s hard to see how they all could have originated from a single source.  Samples of three of the versions are:

    1. Frostburg Mining Journal (Frostburg, Maryland); June 26, 1897, p.2; Rebecca Brown Mitchell [#16 in the Bibliography]

    2. Enterprise (Wellington, Ohio), Aug 3, 1897; Woman Chaplain – Rebecca Mitchell [#14 in the Bibliography]

    3. Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), Sep 19, 1897; Chaplain of a Legislature – Mrs. Rebecca Brown Mitchell. [#15 in the Bibliography] This article notes that it is based on a story in the magazine Harper’s Bazaar.

  6. Idaho Republican (Blackfoot), May 8, 1908 and Idaho Scimitar (Boise), May 23, 1908, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell.  This is a four-paragraph article by reporters who tried to interview her six months before her death, but because of the seriousness of her sickness, were unable to. [#20 in the Bibliography]

  7. Idaho Falls Daily Post, Feb 9, 1930. This newspaper issue contains three separate articles with information about Rebecca Mitchell: Woman Active Building City – Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell First to Teach School Here; Was Loyal Worker – one full column, based on a biography written by Ruby Keefer Brace; Churches Played Large Part in City History, 12 Denominations Here – Baptists First to Bring Religion Into Eagle Rock; Came in 1882; and Schools Show City’s Evolution – Eight Buildings and Modern System Develop from Old Wood House in 1882. [#24 in the Bibliography]

  8. The Idaho Statesman, May 18, 1930, Woman Responsible for Eagle Rock’s First School – Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell Organizes First School and Raises Funds for Church in What Is Now Idaho Falls; This is an essay by an unnamed high school student which won 2nd place in a contest sponsored by the State Chamber of Commerce asking for histories of Idaho counties.  The introduction mentions that it follows “the reminiscences of Dr. J. B. Vermillion, one of the early settlers in that region.”  The essay also includes material about the Anderson brothers and their bank in Eagle Rock. [#25 in the Bibliography]

  9. Idaho Falls Daily Post, March 8, 1931, p. 14; Mrs. Mitchell First Teacher – Early Day School House in Idaho Falls Was Log Cabin – 3 column article by Gunda Hammer, likely based on the biography of Rebecca Mitchell written by Ruby Keefer Brace, [#26 in the Bibliography]

  10. Idaho Statesman, Oct 21, 1934, “W.C.T.U. Eulogizes Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell.” Subtitled “Eagle Rock Missionary Pioneered in Temperance, Suffrage and Education as Well as Church Work,” this article is probably the most complete version of the one written by Ruby Keefer Brace, who it notes was a friend of Rebecca Mitchell.  It was read by Dr. W.W. Van Dusen at the 1934 state convention of the W.C.T.U. in a session devoted to the pioneers of the temperance movement in Idaho.  This was 26 years after Mrs. Mitchell’s death and happened to be 100 years after her birth.  [#27 in the Bibliography]

  11. Post Register, date unknown, Justice for All – Eagle Rock Pioneer Stood Up For Women by Padraic Durkin.  This is an article based on a history of Rebecca Mitchell by Deborah Merrill; the image of the article is posted as a reference on Rebecca Mitchell’s FamilySearch profile. [#29 in the Bibliography]

  12. Eagle Rock & Idaho Falls Histories with significant material about Rebecca Mitchell:

    1. Mary Jane Fritzen, compiler and editor, Idaho Falls, City of Destiny, Published by Bonneville County Historical Society, 1991; has material about Rebecca Mitchell in the chapters on Early Churches, Idaho Falls Public Library, and Schools, also a photo of the fountain erected in her honor in Rose Hill Cemetery [Reference #3 in Bibliography]

    2. Idaho Falls Register, June 28, 1907, Minnie Amelia Kiefer, “Early History of Idaho Falls, Idaho.” [Reference #21 in Bibliography]

    3. Idaho Falls Times, Feb 14, 1911, p. 3 & 6, Mrs. Ralph Edmonds, “A Sketch of the History of Idaho Falls. [Reference #22 in Bibliography]

  13. Secondary Sources

    1. Cheryl A. Cox, Second Stories Revisited, 2006; “Rebecca Mitchell,” pp. 29-31. [Reference #200 in Bibliography]

    2. Evan Filby, South Fork Companion blog, “Church Leader, Suffragette and Temperance Advocate Rebecca Mitchell,” Jan. 23, 2010. [Reference #201 in Bibliography]

    3. Molly Draben, Biographical Sketch of Rebecca Mitchell, Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920, https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1009656441 [mostly based on a Chicago Tribune article of July 4, 1897]. [Reference #203 in Bibliography]

    4. Jane Athay, A Walk Through Idaho Falls, 2006, This 4-page brochure has a biography of Rebecca Mitchell occupying most of one page, likely included because of her role in establishing the Idaho Falls Public Library in a building where the Museum of Eastern Idaho now is. [Reference #204 in Bibliography]

A number details in the above accounts do not agree.  Did Rebecca Mitchell hold the first Sunday school in Eagle Rock or not?  Did she found the first church in Eagle Rock or not and in what sense was she the founder?  Was the First Baptist Church, that she unquestionably led the effort to build, the first church building between Salt Lake City, Utah and Butte, Montana as many accounts claim, including her own?  Or was she and the authors just unaware of earlier church buildings in, for example, Blackfoot, which at the time was the county seat for the county that included Eagle Rock, or Dillon or Bannack, Montana? Was Rebecca Mitchell the first school teacher in Eagle Rock or not? Was she an ordained preacher, or did she fill pulpits because she was a Baptist missionary, an eloquent and capable speaker, an evangelist or State President of the W.C.T.U.? Was she widowed twice, as one of the accounts reports?  The various articles above come down on one side or the other of one or more of these questions, and I touch on most of them below.  But I don’t think the answers to these questions are nearly as important as the impact that Rebecca Mitchell had on Eagle Rock, Idaho Falls and the State of Idaho because of her faith in Jesus Christ.  So, while not wanting to take away in the least from her story as she wrote it, but wanting to use all available sources to reconstruct as accurately as possible the story of her life and the impact she had on Eagle Rock, Idaho Falls and the State of Idaho because of the faith, the following is my account.

Numbers in brackets below refer to references numbers in the Bibliography; letters in brackets are footnotes that contain explanations, references not included in the Bibliography and tangential information.

Introduction

Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the church, and the apostles and prophets are the foundation (Eph. 2:20).  But wherever we are, and whatever time period we live in, the men and women of faith who have gone before us in the place where we live, who have built Jesus’ church there by His Spirit, are not only worthy of our respect, but also I believe their stories of faith encourage us to greater acts of faith and obedience.  For us whom God has called to live in Idaho Falls, one whom God brought to this community in the early 1880’s is one of those people whose faith encourages us to greater love and good deeds.

Rebecca Mitchell was a self-supporting Baptist missionary who came to Eagle Rock, when Eagle Rock needed a missionary.

Rebecca Mitchell was a church planter in Eagle Rock, when Eagle Rock had no churches.[a]

Rebecca Mitchell has also been called:

an evangelist[89],

a church founder[177],

a dynamic lady preacher,[1] an ordained preacher,[181] a pioneer preacher[14],

an eloquent speaker,[89] a well-known lecturer[168],

           a philanthropist[167],

           and many other things…

               

During her 26 years in Eagle Rock and Idaho Falls, she lived out her missionary calling as all of the above plus being a Sunday school teacher, the first day-school teacher in Eagle Rock,[2] a local historian,[189] an author,[4,6,7] a candidate for presidential elector,[99,106,129] a W.C.T.U. State President,[10,54,67] the first woman chaplain of the State (or any state) Legislature,[14,64,75] the Idaho delegate to national W.C.T.U. conventions several years and the world convention one year,[2,34,77,171] a lobbyist of the state legislature[9,10,15] and even a special agent of the state[78, 79] to review the state’s system of paroling prisoners.

Calling

From her youth Rebecca Mitchell felt called by the Lord.  She had a desire to study theology,[16] but various circumstances forced that to be delayed until she was nearly 40.  Even when she did enroll in the Chicago Baptist Missionary Training School,[b] it was only for one winter (1881-2)[7, 17]  She seemed eager to get out to the field to do what God was calling her to do.

Different sources have different slants on Rebecca Mitchell’s calling to Eagle Rock and Idaho.  Some, like Fritzen,[3] and Durkin,[29] seem to imply she stayed here because she either ran out or ran low of money at some point along the way, whether Eagle Rock or Ogden, on a trip that otherwise would have taken her farther west. 

But in her own words:

…in June, 1882, I turned my face toward the Great Unknown West, not knowing the whereabouts of my final destination, but was led by God, and so I found myself in Idaho, in the town of Eagle Rock, now Idaho Falls, coming as a self-supporting missionary of the Baptist Church.[7]

 

Rev. Dwight Spencer, Superintendent of Baptist Missions in the West, echoes the above:

Leaving her home in Illinois, and directed by the Holy Spirit, she came to Eagle Rock, Idaho.[8]

I think these statements reflect that Rebecca Mitchell realized Eagle Rock was exactly where God had led and called her. Whether she came to that conclusion in Illinois, in Ogden, when she got to Eagle Rock or at some other place and time is unclear.

It is true that the prosperous mining town of Bellevue, Idaho had been recommended to her[3], and that when she arrived in Eagle Rock she was low on funds.[3,29].  Perhaps when she got to Ogden and learned the cost of stage tickets from there to different points in Idaho she made the decision to go to Eagle Rock rather than Bellevue.  This is what Reference 29 implies.  But the same source also states that Baptist leaders did not approve of her going out on the field as a missionary at all because of her status as a divorced woman.[c]  My sense from reading all sources is that she clearly had a calling from God, had both support and opposition to going on the field in the West from different leaders in her denomination, but being self-supporting,[d] she felt the freedom to give the greatest weight in both going on the field and where she went on the field to where she sensed the Lord was leading her, which was the unlikely and primitive settlement of Eagle Rock.  And once she got to Eagle Rock, if not before, she realized this was where God had called her and so she set her whole heart into doing the work He called her to do.

 

An 1884 newspaper article that reported on Rebecca Mitchell’s successful efforts to establish a church in Eagle Rock also stated, ”Eagle Rock is only one out of thirty thriving towns within an area 400 by 250 miles, in which there is a church of any denomination.”[30]  That statement may not have been completely true, but it reflects the thinking of the day that Idaho, which was a territory at the time and not yet a state, was indeed a mission field, and it is true that most if not all of the 30 towns mentioned did not have churches.

Faith

Rebecca Mitchell called her work “Providence Mission,” and often quoted her motto, “All things are possible to him that believeth.”[11] Her faith in action is seen immediately upon her arrival in Eagle Rock, as within five days she had visited every family in the community.[3]  After 16 months in Eagle Rock, remembering her motto she wrote, “I know that there are great possibilities here,”[11] and within another year and a half she had started a church, and not only raised the funds for a building but also completed construction of it.

Her faith got her through innumerable obstacles to her work.  One of her early students reminisced in a letter to Rebecca’s daughter years after her mother’s death, “Nothing stopped her – she left a trail of schools and Baptist churches throughout Idaho.”[12] By faith she successfully lobbied the Idaho State Legislature to pass several bills, and then was elected chaplain.  Perhaps the clearest testimony to the maturity of her faith came in the last several years of her life.  She was often sick from tuberculosis and so weak that she was confined to her bed, and yet many people and groups came to her house seeking her counsel and prayers. One testimony of a reporter, about seven months before her death, was the following:

Though confined to her room, and suffering much, Mrs. Mitchell does not lose her strong grip on all affairs relating to the welfare of her fellowmen.  She still prays and toils for the triumph of the right and the overthrow of evil, and she is not one who lives in vain.  Institutions and men which stand in the way of Rebecca Mitchell’s prayer and God will sooner or later come to grief.  They had better stand aside, for her God was the God of Moses and her faith is like that of Daniel.[155]

Background

             Rebecca Mitchell’s life before coming to Eagle Rock

Several things stand out in Rebecca Mitchell’s life that were part of God’s plan forming her character and preparing her for her calling and service in His kingdom. 

  1. She had Christian parents, and was hence exposed at an early age to the gospel and teaching from the Word of God. “She had a devout nature from childhood, and had she met with encouragement would have studied theology.”[16][e]

  2. She grew up where she also could see and appreciate God’s work in nature around her.[7]

  3. She grew up on a farm, where there was always work to do.[15]

  4. Her mother died when she was 14, and many of the responsibilities of her mother as a farm wife, including being a mother to several younger children in the family fell to her. “Losing her mother at age 14, she left school and became the care-taker of the home, where spinning, weaving, and all the routine duties incident to the farm life of the 1840’s left but little time for the few books she had at her command.”[15]

  5. At age 19, she married John Rowan Mitchell,[17,196] a farmer who was the son of a preacher.[f]  She and John had two sons, but just four years after getting married, when her sons were ages 1 and 3, John died, leaving her a widow.  Because of the laws of the day regarding ownership and estates, at his death she lost everything she owned, excepting only her Bible and hymn book.[7]

  6. She thus spent the next 12 years as a single mother, raising her two sons.[7]

  7. “Most of her education was received after she became a widow, when she attended school with her children.”[17,27]

  8. In 1865, she remarried, a brother of her first husband, and with him had two daughters.[17, 198]  However, this marriage lasted less than five years.

  9. One of her daughters, who had been named after Rebecca’s mother, died at age 5.[17]

 

Thus Rebecca Brown Mitchell lost to death her mother when she 14, her first husband at age 23 after only 4 years of marriage, and a daughter at age 37 when her daughter was only 5 years old.  None of these tragedies seemed to diminish her faith or make her bitter.  But one of them – her husband’s death – and because she lost nearly all her possessions because of it, made her a strong advocate and campaigner for justice, the rights of the oppressed, and the rights of women in later years.

Notes: 

  1. Based on U.S. census data,[190] for a time after her first husband died, she and her two sons lived with the family of one of her sisters, Emily, and her husband Levi Mitchell.[g]  When her sons were older, they moved to and worked a farm adjacent to Levi and Emily’s property.[192]

  2. Some biographies report that Rebecca was widowed twice.  However her second husband did not die until 1907, thus “widowed” in this case meant “divorced.” Married to James Lewis Mitchell in 1865, the 1870[192] census[h] shows Rebecca living with her two sons and daughter; hence her marriage to James lasted at least 3 years (because of the date of birth of one of her daughters) but less than 5 years.

  3. I have not verified exactly how many brothers and sisters Rebecca had.  Her FamilySearch profile[199] shows 5 sisters and 4 brothers, although the date of birth of one brother is after her mother’s death.  Combined 1840 and 1850 census data account for only 4 sisters and 3 brothers.  Perhaps one or more of her siblings died young.  I found only one report of any of her siblings visiting her in Idaho, that of her sister Mary visiting her in 1908, just two months before Rebecca’s death.[163]  This report notes that this was the first time the sisters had seen each other in over 12 years, implying that there had been at least one previous visit.

           Eagle Rock in the 1880’s & 1890’s

In her Glimpses of My Life, Rebecca Mitchell vividly portrays the bleakness of Eagle Rock when she arrived in June, 1882:

Neither tree, nor grass, nor bird was to be seen on the streets, but sand, sand everywhere.  But when the sandstorms came, it was beyond description.[7]

In 1879 the construction of the Utah Northern Railroad from Salt Lake to Butte gave a new impetus to the growth of our city, as it was made a division point and the machine and car shops were located here.  Previous to this time there were but five families with permanent residences in the town.[21]

So when Rebecca Mitchell arrived in Eagle Rock, it was a railroad town, with a high percentage of the population single men who frequented the saloons.  The railroad company built 12 residences for officials of the shops, and 40 or 50 shacks for the workers.[22] The only sign of any government was the post office until the town incorporated in 1890 as a village, with the new name of Idaho Falls.[22]

The 1880 U.S. census[194] shows a population of 250 people in the “Eagle Rock and Willow Creek Districts” of the county.  Willow Creek was a farming settlement; Eagle Rock had the railroad shops and businesses catering to the shop workers. The first census of Eagle Rock, taken in 1885, indicates a population of 1,500,[22] so in Rebecca Mitchell’s early years in town, there was extremely rapid growth.  But the boom became a bust in 1887, when the railroad shops and many of the shacks for the workers were moved to Pocatello. The population plunged back down to less than 250.[22][i]

Before 1880, Eagle Rock had only one store and just a few houses.[5][j]  But by 1885, there were five general merchandise stores, two hotels, four restaurants, a dozen boarding houses, one drug store, two tailor shops, two newspapers, one brewery, one soda water manufacturer, one market, one harness shop, one book store, one music store, six saloons, two barber shops, two lumber yards, four lawyers, one doctor, and one church building.[j]

A few years after Eagle lost the railroad shops and workers, canals were dug and land promoters were very active and successful advertising the agricultural potential of the town.  But disaster came again with the Panic of 1893, leading to a serious economic depression that lasted through 1897.  One account of the history of Idaho Falls records that, “When the panic of 1893 struck the town, it was dead until 1898…”[22]

Yet in Rebecca Mitchell’s own Historical Sketch of Eagle Rock[18, Sept 26, 1905 issue] neither the loss of the railroad shops nor the Panic of 1893 are mentioned.  She does describe what she calls a tragedy in the early 1870’s in which two belligerent cowboys came to Anderson’s store, started shooting when confronted, and ended up both being killed themselves.  The rest of her sketch of Eagle Rock is about Indians, mostly friendly, various residents who contributed to the town, early churches and schools. 

Rebecca Mitchell, the Missionary

Rebecca Mitchell came from Illinois to Eagle Rock and stayed.  While newspapers report her frequent trips to places near and far in Idaho, from Blackfoot to northern Idaho, from Market Lake to Boise, and occasional trips to Montana, Washington state or Utah, and her attendance as a delegate to national W.C.T.U. conventions in St. Louis, Buffalo, and Chicago,[2] and one trip to California[19] to visit her daughter, absent is any report of a trip back to Illinois.  She came to Eagle Rock and became a resident of Idaho.  She sought the good of the community; she got to know people and families; she learned and wrote about the history of Eagle Rock and southeastern Idaho.  The people of Eagle Rock became her family and her only home.  She saw the needs of Eagle Rock and Idaho and addressing those needs was her mission. And the greatest need I believe that she saw was for the people of Eagle Rock to know the Savior, become part of His church and live according to His commands.

Support

Sometimes anyone who is financially supported by others to do ministry is thought of as a missionary, and they or their organization spend a lot of effort raising funds.  That was not the case for Rebecca Mitchell.  She was self-supporting, and looking back on her life from all available sources, there is scarce information showing exactly how she supported herself.  In her Glimpses of My Life, she shares a couple examples of times when God provided just what she needed when she had no money left.  She believed that God would provide for her and for what he called her to do. 

It’s likely that her principle source of income came through her teaching, but she reports that her primary purpose in teaching was to give her entrance into the families of Eagle Rock.  And while she did teach in Eagle Rock in her early years, once the railroad shops were moved out of Eagle Rock, her school closed.  After that she continued teaching in outlying settlements for a few years.  For a short time she was a “paid evangelist” for the W.C.T.U.[77]  For two sessions of the Idaho Legislature she was the chaplain,[64,92] and likely received a small salary for it.  Perhaps she received some gifts and honorariums for filling pulpits and giving lectures after her schools closed.        

 

Church Planter

A missionary plants churches where there are none, and that is what Rebecca Mitchell did in Eagle Rock.  She herself wrote that when she arrived in Eagle Rock in 1882, she “knew of no church or church organization on this line of (rail)road from Ogden, Utah to Butte, Montana…”[7] Many sources repeat or rephrase or even expand on that statement.[k]   

A few people in Eagle Rock had met in a home for worship in the fall of 1881 and eventually (in 1890) formed St. John’s Episcopal Church, although in the 1880’s their meetings were sporadic, and so low key that many people, like Rebecca Mitchell herself, were unaware of them. The same year that Rebecca Mitchell came to Eagle Rock, a Methodist pastor, Rev. Elder, came to Eagle Rock, but stayed only six months.[10]  The Methodist church in Eagle Rock was organized in the fall of 1883[l] and incorporated in 1886,[3] but when Rev. Hardman came to Idaho Falls in 1894 to pastor the church, he found only two members.[au]

In the region, were made in 1881 plans to build a church open to all denominations in what was then called Salmon City, now known just as Salmon.[m]  Also regular services of the Methodist Episcopal Church were being held in Blackfoot in 1881,[n] and it’s possible that they had started work on a building.[o] A church building had been built in Bannack, Montana in 1877.[p] There may well have been other churches forming or meeting in the region, but none in Eagle Rock, and so that is what Rebecca Mitchell set out to do.  Planting a church in Eagle Rock, and making a church building available to other religious and community groups, was clearly Rebecca Mitchell’s first passion. 

In her first week in Eagle Rock, Rebecca Mitchell visited every family in the community.[q]  Then on Sunday she started a Sunday school in her home, initially with 18 children attending, and Monday, a school, with 40 pupils.[5,25]   But both her Sunday school and day school were steps she had in mind for forming a church.[r]  And when the church did form, it met in her home until they were able to construct a church building.[13]

Insight into Rebecca’s early work as a missionary comes from a letter she wrote to the National Baptist (magazine) in December of 1883, which reads like a report of her work.[11]

She writes that she has 52 in attendance in her Sunday school. 

The interest in Sunday school is good; sowing is my work.  I am giving all of soul and body to it; for the result I am not responsible.  I hear the Savior saying, “Go tell;” as one of His little ones, I claim all of His promises as mine.  He has promised to be with me, and where He is, it is heaven. 

Her activities included the following:

Sabbath-school every Sabbath, 10 a.m.

Bible reading, for 10 months, 4 p.m.

Band of Hope,[s] 12 months, met most of the time once a week

Sewing school every Saturday, in connection of Band of Hope

Have held 28 prayer meetings

Day-school all the time, five weeks’ vacation in 16 months; have had up to this date 90 children and youths under my tuition, some for a short time only; four of them young men taking evening lessons

Have given out 3,000 religious and temperance papers, besides tracts, 82 picture books made from donated copies of Our Little Ones

I have been four miles out in the country, five times taught the regular Sabbath-school lessons, talked, sang and prayed with the children, 12 to 18 being present. 

Her report then goes into detail about giving out clothing, mittens and shoes to needy families which were sent to her in barrels from Massachusettes, Michigan and Illinois, and Bibles, singing books, other books and papers which she received from many sources.  In a postscript she adds that she has received a total of $43.75 in donations from eight sources.[11]

Marlys Whitman continues the story:[13]

Her own little shanty home, bounded on both sides by saloons, served to keep her group together and growing, but she resolved to establish her church in better surroundings and on firmer foundations as soon as possible. She wrote innumerable letters to philanthropic minded friends and to religious magazines in the East for financial aid.  She worked tirelessly at the self-appointed task and was so successful that within two years she herself was given the honor of throwing the first shovel of dirt for the foundation of the new church.  The actual magnitude of the task to which she had set herself can be understood more clearly when one realizes that at the beginning of the actual building program, here was a church organization less than a month old with only eight members, (which included) a pastor and his wife. 

Three people were baptized in the Snake River on the day that ground was broken for the church.[2] The building was completed in a mere three months, in November, 1884.[5,13]  “People from all denominations helped to establish this pioneer church, but in time withdrew to organize their own churches.”[5] About the time when the church was finished, Rebecca Mitchell had her furniture, still in Illinois, shipped to Eagle Rock and which included an organ that was put in the church building.[5][t]

Rebecca Mitchell had help forming and building the Baptist Church in Eagle Rock, notably from Rev. M.T. Lamb, who along with his wife were charter members of the church, and Rev. Dwight Spencer, who was in charge of Baptist Missions in the West.[2,13]  When the Eagle Rock church was being formed Rev. Dwight resided in New York, but shortly thereafter he relocated to Salt Lake.  Earlier in 1884 he had written about Rebecca Mitchell’s ministry in the Baptist Home Mission Monthly magazine:[8]

Two years ago a devoted sister, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, having read of the great destitution of the Rocky Mountain District, determined to “do what she could” to relieve it.  Leaving her home in Illinois, and directed by the Holy Spirit, she came to Eagle Rock, Idaho.  This is a town on the Utah and Northern Railroad, and the point where the repair shops and round-house are located.  It has a population varying from 600 to 800, with several outlying settlements.  It had neither church, Sunday school, nor day school.  Mrs. Mitchell decided to open a school, not only as a means of support, but also as a means of gaining access to the families.  The children came in – children both ignorant and depraved.  There were boys of 13 who had never heard of the Savior.  At the same time Mrs. Mitchell organized a Sunday school.  Thus for two years she toiled amid great privations, but never doubted; and now at last she has been permitted to see fruit gathered.  In August we organized a church of eleven members.  It was an eventful day for Eagle Rock.  Three willing candidates were led into the baptismal waters, and buried in the likeness of the Savior’s death.  In the evening, recognition services were held, the writer preaching the sermon; and the day closed with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.  A church edifice, costing about $1,800, is nearly completed. 

A little over $400 of the cost of the church building was raised in Eagle Rock, the rest outside.[17]  The church was located on the corner of Eastern Avenue and Ash Street; Rebecca Mitchell’s home was two blocks away on the corner of Elm Street and Waters Avenue.

The Baptist church in Eagle Rock, which in 1890 became Idaho Falls, had a series of pastors in its early years.  Rebecca Mitchell at times filled the pulpit when the pastor was out of town or sick.[40,45,102,112,138] While the available records are a bit unclear, it appears she continued teaching Sunday school at the Baptist church throughout her years in Idaho Falls until her health failed.[u]  She had her Sunday school classes put on programs to raise funds for church remodeling in 1901.[107, 110]  She attended and spoke at state Sunday school conventions as late as 1902[113] and 1906.[142]  While there’s no hint that she thought of planting additional churches in Idaho Falls or anywhere else, there’s ample evidence that she led the effort to organize the Baptist church in Eagle Rock, raised the funds for their building, and supported the church through filling the pulpit when needed, teaching Sunday school and other ways throughout her life.

            Teacher

The death of Rebecca Mitchell’s mother, as well as her calling and mission, delayed her own education.  After attending school with her sons, she taught school in Illinois “for some time.”[17] When her daughter attended grade school, Mrs. Mitchell, now in her 40’s, attended high school.[17]  Then during the winter of 1881-2, she attended the Missionary Training School in Chicago.[17]  But in 1887, after several years of teaching in Eagle Rock and her own school had likely closed, at age 53, she enrolled in a program leading to obtaining a teaching certificate.[28][v]  

As mentioned above, Rebecca Mitchell’s day school, openly a private, Baptist school that met in her home, began with 40 pupils in June, 1882.[25,48]  In 1883 the total number of children between the ages of 5 and 21 within an 8-mile radius of Eagle Rock was 186;[25] that same year Mrs. Mitchell reported that she had taught a total of 90.[11]  Thus Rebecca Mitchell had taught nearly 50% of the children in and near Eagle Rock.

For comparison, the public school enrollment in Eagle Rock in the fall of 1883 was 38.[25]  In May, 1886, the average daily attendance in the Eagle Rock primary school had grown to 46 (out of 66 enrolled) and 30 (out of 46 enrolled) in the “advanced” school.[w]

Besides running her own school, Rebecca Mitchell had her hand in the public school.  She assisted Rev.  Stewart, who had moved from being the pastor of the Baptist Church to the principle of the public school, in organizing a High School, and for a time it met in the church building.[13][x]

The event that may have precipitated Rebecca Mitchell seeking a teaching certificate was the move of the railroad shops and workers from Eagle Rock to Pocatello.  Apparently the loss of population reduced the number of students in her school to the point that it did not continue.  After obtaining her certificate, she opened a school in Egin Bench (near St. Anthony), and also taught in public schools in the early settlements of Poplar, Beaver Canyon and Medicine Lodge.[17]  In her Glimpses of My Life,[7] she writes that she “was free to drop the school work” in 1891 after (1) her daughter was married, (2) a pastor was located for the church, and (3) she was elected State organizer and Superintendent of Franchise for the W.C.T.U.[y]

While Rebecca Mitchell did not continue teach day school after 1891, she did not lose her heart for students and schools in Idaho Falls.  In 1895 she paid a visit to the High School that was significant enough to be reported in the local newspaper.[53] In 1902 she went to a city council meeting to suggest a caucus to nominate two school trustees.[113]  And it’s very likely that she continued to teach Sunday school when she could.[107, 113, 142]

The final item that needs to be mentioned here is Mrs. Mitchell’s work starting and maintaining the library in Eagle Rock.  She is credited by all local historians as starting the Idaho Falls library in the winter of 1884-5,[5] but histories don’t always report her purpose for doing it, which was to spread the gospel and make Christian literature available to townspeople. She kept the reading room supplied with Bibles and Christian materials, first in the basement of the Baptist church building, and then when the railroad shops were moved to Pocatello and patronage of the library plummeted, to her own home.[5][z] Mrs. Mitchell, sometimes assisted by the pastor of the Baptist Church, acted as librarian, without pay.[5] The city library was official organized in 1908, the year of Rebecca Mitchell’s death, but remained in the Baptist church building until 1916.

                Preacher and speaker

Though one news report[181] calls Rebecca Mitchell an ordained preacher, I do not believe she was ordained[aa] and I’ve found no evidence that she ever sought or held a position of pastor in any church.  One news report[160] says she accepted a call to fill the pulpit in Great Falls, Montana in 1898, but this was surely only a temporary position, as multiple sources put her in Eagle Rock most of that year, and travelling a good part of it as well.[ab]  She preached when asked in Eagle Rock and other places in Idaho, Montana, Utah and Washington, and she was often asked to lead in prayer in various services and meetings.  Often when she spoke in church, she would be billed as a lecturer or speaker, likely due to sensibilities of the time regarding women preachers.

But Rebecca Mitchell did do a lot of public speaking.  She was in high demand across the state, and reports unanimously praise her speaking abilities. She was reported to be a “very able public speaker, with a strong, beautiful voice, very witty and entertaining,”[2, 24, 27] “as a public speaker she was far above the ordinary and has often been compared with Susan B. Anthony,[17] “a pleasing and convincing speaker,”[65] and “an eloquent speaker.”[89] Reading a little between the lines, I think there were two primary reasons for this praise – she passionately believed in what she preached and spoke and lectured about, and secondly she had broad interests and knowledge and hence could relate well to any audience.

In 1904 she held revival meetings in Market Lake, Dubois and other points.[121]

In Eagle Rock/Idaho Falls, she spoke at various public as well as church events.  In 1899[ac] she was one of the speakers at a celebration of the return of soldiers from the Spanish-American war, a celebration that drew a crowd of 5,000.[95,201]  At the same event she made the presentation of medals to the soldiers.

In 1895, at the Independence Day celebration in Idaho Falls, “Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, in the absence of an orator who was to have been selected for the purpose, spoke briefly in her interesting and forceful way…”[55]  In 1898 she was on the executive committee that planned the Independence Day Celebration in Idaho Falls.[87]

In 1895, she was one of six speakers at a ceremony in Idaho Falls in which the cornerstone of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church was laid.[223]

Finally, while not an ordained pastor, there were times when she was asked to perform weddings and funerals, which she did.[220]

Concern for Native Americans

There is no direct evidence Rebecca Mitchell worked with Native Americans, but her writings about them and missionaries who were at Fort Hall show that she had a strong desire that they hear and be transformed by the gospel.  She was friends with Miss Frost who was the longest serving missionary at Fort Hall while Rebecca Mitchell was in Eagle Rock and Idaho Falls. The following is an excerpt from Rebecca Mitchell’s Historical Sketch – Work Among the Shoshone and Bannock Indians:[18, Jan. 2, 1906 issue]

…No romance could be more thrilling that some of Miss Frost’s experiences right here in Idaho, where multitudes rush backward and forward not realizing that a few miles from the railroad lives a missionary surrounded by a people who not only need Government protection but so much mothering besides to help them realize the benefits and blessings that might be theirs through civilization, joined to heart and hand training which would fit them to use what they have to better advantage.

Miss Frost enters into all their sorrows, in sickness and in health.  She is the White Mother who helps.  They have learned at last to depend on her and to some extent to yield to her judgment.  A part of the time she had a girl’s school but could only take a few for want of room.  She found these girls not only capable of understanding, but bright and earnest pupils. 

At first the Indians regarded her with suspicion. They could not understand her motives, so it took long years of patient service and kindly treatment, with much prayer, to disarm them of their opposition.  She found them bound up as it were in their superstitions and heathen way of living and in all things pertaining to the laws of nature they were as untrained as children, so it seemed next to impossible to bring them to see the simple gospel of love as found in the Bible….

Sometime in the 1890’s the Women’s National Association turned over the mission on the Fort Hall Reservation to the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Board retained Miss Frost as their missionary.  They secured another 160 acres of land for her mission farther out from the railroad where she has continued her work.  A company of Nez Perce Indians, with their pastor, Rev. Hays of the Presbyterian Church, came down for a summer to bring the gospel to their brothers.  Many believed and became followers of Christ.  A church was built where large numbers attend Sunday school and Christian Endeavor as well as the regular services.

Toiling seed sowing has been the experience of the devoted missionary.  Little by little Miss Frost has proved to them that the God and Bible of the white man belongs to the Indian as well, and so her heart doth rejoice that some men and women have stepped over the line to stand with her for Christ…

                Working for Christ and His Kingdom

At the Monday sunrise prayer meeting of the 1895 State Convention of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell spoke on “Working for Christ.”[57][ad]  Working for Christ and His Kingdom would be an apt title for Rebecca Mitchell’s 26 years in Idaho.  In 1907 when she was too sick to get out of bed, she concluded a brief note she wrote to the clubs that she had been so much apart of, “…You will pardon me if but one word I say, and that is – work – go forward, there is yet much territory to possess.”[149]

While initially the focus of that work was on planting a church in Eagle Rock and teaching Sunday school, her focus broadened in later years to include what she would call “justice and truth” at times or “righteousness” at other times.  She had no qualms about bringing her faith into political, community and social spheres. Her faith energized her and guided her for causes she saw as Biblical.  Her work travelling, speaking, lecturing, making personal contacts with legislators and forming and working through clubs made major contributions to:

  • increasing the age of consent for girls in Idaho from 10 to 18[ae]

  • securing the right of women to vote

  • reforming Idaho’s prison system and parole laws.

All references agree on the above and while some mention opposition she faced, all praise her efforts and acknowledge her contributions.  Her Glimpses of My Life covers these efforts far better than I could, so I only want to supplement she wrote with a few comments.

                                Rebecca Mitchell, the Intercessor

From all I can gather about Rebecca Mitchell, she was a woman of prayer and her “work” of lobbying for legislation was closely tied to those prayers.  While she was no doubt motivated by the injustice she had experienced herself and which see saw in the state’s laws, I believe a deeper motivation was the truth that she saw in Scripture.  Besides lobbying for the legislation noted above, she lobbied for the position of chaplain of the Idaho House of Representatives, and was elected to that position in both the Idaho 4th Legislative Session (1897) and 5th Session (1899).  From what I could find, her main role as chaplain was to pray, and that was exactly what she wanted to do, what she thought would be the most important thing to do, the most necessary thing to do.

Her report of her activities in late 1883 included “have held 28 prayer meetings,” and also, referring to outlying settlements “I have talked, sang and prayed with children.”[11]

One of her first pupils years later remembered the time “…with the unshakeable faith which was hers, (she) was praying for help which she never doubted would be given…”[12]

At an Ecclesiastical Council of the Baptist church convened in 1892 to consecrate the pastor, Rebecca Mitchell gave the ordaining prayer.[36]

At various other church and community meetings, she was the one who was asked to pray.[100, 137, 209]

She was the “woman who dared pray publicly for a state and its servants.”[20]

Her role as chaplain was somewhat of an acknowledgement of a role she had already assumed:  “In her journeying over the state, Mrs. Mitchell became acquainted with most of the men holding official positions and now, deeming it quite right and proper for a woman to do the praying for them, they have with one accord made her the chaplain for their legislature…”[15]

                                The Women’s Christian Temperance Union

Today most political action committees tend to focus on a single issue or have a narrow political philosophy, however, that was not the case with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  While they certainly did seek to influence legislation, the more I read about them, and the more I look into their history, the more I find that they were more of a Christian revival movement than a political action committee.

Prayer meetings and pledges characterized the post-Civil war "gospel" temperance movement;” they had their roots in the Great Awakening in the United States.[af]

Probably the major portion of the good deeds which they perform are never written or paraded in meetings, but are written on the hearts of men, women and children….”[ag]

 “WCTU members sought social reforms on the basis of a Biblical vision of social justice.”[ah]

 “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is giving its aid to practically every great movement of the hour for the betterment of the condition of men and women.  But one of its strongest departments devotes its energy to spreading the gospel of moral cleanliness.”[ai]

Based on II Corinthians 7:1 [Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God] the mission of the group, as expressed by its second president, Francis Willard, was “to organize Christian women for the peace and purity, the protection and exaltation of our homes.”[aj]

Rebecca Mitchell wrote in Glimpses of My Life[7] that in 1886 a “national organizer of the W.C.T.U. came to Eagle Rock and organized a local union of which I was president.”[ak]  While she attended the State WCTU Convention in Boise that same year, there are few references in Eagle Rock and Idaho Falls newspapers to the WCTU until the early 1890’s, after Mrs. Mitchell felt free to drop her school teaching and devote her energy to the Union. One of her first efforts was to organize a youth temperance organization, the Loyal Temperance Legion (LTL).[16, 38,54]  Programs put on by the LTL don’t look much different from programs her Sunday school or day-school children put on, with songs, recitations and class exercises.[38]  Likewise gospel temperance meetings she held for both children and adults were similar to revival prayer meetings and worship services.[al]

Another youth organization which she started in Eagle Rock was the “Band of Hope.”[11,23]  Her 1883 report[11] documents that her Band of Hope had been meeting for a year, but later references[23][am] connect it to her W.C.T.U. work. While the Band of Hope was clearly a music group,[23] initially it included weekly sewing lessons as well.[11]  Historically the Band of Hope was a temperance-related organization begun in England that predates the W.C.T.U. in the United States, but apparently later became associated with it.  Reference 16 credits Rebecca Mitchell with organizing the first children’s temperance society in Idaho, which was likely the Band of Hope.

By August, 1891 Rebecca Mitchell had been appointed “State Superintendent of Franchise for the W.C.T.U.”[7,33,216] which basically meant that she was responsible for starting Unions all over the state.  She put her heart into it, and it took a toll on her body.  At the semi-annual county W.C.T.U. convention in Blackfoot in November, 1891, she reported that she had travelled nearly 400 miles and held 12 meetings in the past month.[228]  Travel was by stage,[an] and roads were poor.

Six years later, an article reports:

… she has traveled by stage some thousands of miles, often over dangerous roads and through snow five feet deep, enduring hardships and privations, and later criticism and rebuffs, with the indomitable pluck and faith of a worthy soldier of the cross.[15]

A 1907 article “A Power for Civic Righteousness” about the W.C.T.U. provides a glimpse of the range of issues that the Union worked on during Rebecca Mitchell’s life, mentioning her, of course, as well as other Union leaders in Idaho:

There are a few statues written in Idaho which, when read, make the student of Idaho affairs think instinctively of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  One of these is woman’s suffrage. Another is the anti-gambling act; another the State parole system; then there is the age of consent law, the Sunday rest law, and the vital statistics and registration of births law.

A small sampling of Rebecca Mitchell’s W.C.T.U. activities and positions include:

1893

     Represented the W.C.T.U. in Boise to advocate for a bill protecting young girls[39]

     Organized an all-day meeting at the Baptist Church in Idaho Falls celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Crusade[219]

                Went on speaking tour in northern Idaho[41]

          1894

                Lectured on temperance in Weiser, in February and May[42,43,44]

                Held a Gospel Temperance meeting at the Presbyterian Church in Idaho Falls[233]

                Organized entertainment put on by LTL at the Idaho Falls Armory[46]

          1895

                Delivered a gospel temperance sermon at the First ME church in Boise[49]

                Assisted in worship services at the State penitentiary[50]

                Held gospel temperance services at Birch Creek school house[54]

                Led prayer meeting at WCTU state convention[57]

                Went on lecturing tour in Cassia County[58]

          1896

                Gave address at a gospel temperance meeting at the Baptist church in Idaho Falls[60]

                The Denver Rocky Mountain News reported that she was effective in speaking in support of woman’s suffrage[61]

                Honored at the National WTCU conference in St. Louis[62]

                Delivered lectures in Blackfoot[63,227,228] and Salmon City[237]

           1897

                Lectured on temperance in Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Parma, Weiser and northern Idaho[66]

     Preached Sunday morning and evening in the Baptist church in Pullman, Washington[67]

     Lectured several times over a two week period in Grangeville, Idaho to a “large and attentive audience”[68]

     Lectured on temperance in the M. E. Church in Cottonwood, Idaho[69]

     Lectured on temperance in Emmett [71]

     Lectured on temperance in Shoshone [74]

     At the state WCTU conference in Boise, she was appointed to do evangelistic work, also legislative and franchise work, and chosen as          the Idaho delegate to the national convention in Buffalo, New York[77]

         1898

               Managed and promoted the WTCU medal contest in Idaho Falls[80,82,86]

               Presented a paper at the Mother’s Meeting in the Baptist church;[83] organized a later Mother’s Meeting[86]

               Preached at the Baptist church in Anaconda, Montana[89] (and possibly Great Falls as well)[88]

               At local WCTU meeting elected to do evangelistic work, be on the Mothers Meeting committee, and a delegate to the State Convention[90]

         Positions

              The delegate from Idaho to the National Convention in 1892 in Denver, in 1893 in Chicago, in 1896 in St. Louis and in 1897 in Buffalo, and                 to the World Convention in Toronto in 1897

              Idaho State President of the W.C.T.U. in 1892, 1894, 1895 & 1897.[ao]

In 1906, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, along with Mrs. L. L. Knowles and Dr. J. H. Reesor put a “Challenge to Public Debate on the Liquor Question” in the Idaho Falls newspaper:

In the interest of the greatest good to our city and people, the united Temperance forces of Idaho Falls, acting through their representatives, issue the following challenge to the saloon keepers and others who favor the sale and use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage in our community, viz: that they appoint two or more representatives of the liquor interests to meet an equal number of representatives of the temperance forces for the purpose of arranging a public joint debate on the question: - “Resolved, that the open saloon as now conducted, is a menace to our moral and material prosperity.

While I could not find any report of saloon keepers accepting the challenge, I did find a report that “the first local victory won by the W.C.T.U. (in Idaho Falls) was when the Anderson Brothers store discontinued the sale of liquor.”[22]  It was common for members of the W.C.T.U. to enter saloons and sing and pray,[ap] although I did not find a source that reported that Rebecca Mitchell did that in Idaho Falls.

A 1907 article about the W.C.T.U in Idaho, after identifying Rebecca Mitchell along with three others as leaders in the movement, concluded:

They command universal respect wherever they go and in the respective communities where they live… No organization has opposed wrong more zealously nor striven harder for the right than this.  It has ever been at the head of the procession where sin and debauchery existed and has always kept pace with those who marched the fastest and the longest in the day, where the sunshine of purity and civic righteousness could be let in on the men and women of the state and the nation!.[aq]

Idaho House of Representative Chaplain & Prison Visitation

While her work with the W.C.T.U continued after 1898, her election to the position of chaplain of the House of Representatives for Idaho’s 4th and 5th legislative sessions consumed a fair amount of her time.  These sessions were from January 4th to March 8th, 1897 and January 2 to March 7, 1899.[ar]

In her journeyings over the state, Mrs. Mitchell became acquainted with most of the men holding official positions and now, deeming it quite right and proper for a woman to do the praying for them, they have with one accord made her the chaplain for their legislature.[15]

There are multiple reports, including her own account, that state that she wanted the position of chaplain and lobbied to get it.   Being so unusual for a woman to be chaplain of a legislative body, reportedly not just a first in the United States but in the world, it’s natural to ask why she pursued it, and why she obtained it.

The answer to the second of these questions may be in part contained in the above quote, that she had earned respect through personal contacts with many of the members of the legislature, and in part, not unrelated, because of the following:

…in appreciation of her fortitude, her faithfulness to her mission and her excellence as a citizen she was chosen chaplain of Idaho’s legislature.[14]

No more popular man or woman could be found in Idaho, and the state’s appreciation of the brave woman-preacher-pioneer was shown in her appointment to the chaplainship of the House of Representatives.[220]

The answer to the first question is a matter of speculation, but I would wager that her faith in God’s providence, her faith that God answers prayer, caused her to believe that her prayers in the legislature could do as much or more good as any other work.

For the first time during the session, yesterday’s proceedings in the house were opened with prayer by the venerable chaplain, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell. She poured out a fervent appeal to the throne of grace that the divine blessing might be bestowed upon the house. [92]

When she was first elected to the position, being a first and so unusual, the story made headlines throughout the country. A sampling of 32 newspapers from across the nation which carried the announcement are shown as Reference #64, but there were many more. So she gained some national recognition. But then it’s interesting that while in Boise, she spent time with prisoners in the State Prison.[15, 50, 236]  I wonder if she actually spent more time with prisoners than with legislators?  One account of her life, referring to her chaplaincy, seems to imply as much, concluding, “She worked hard at the job (of chaplain), preaching to state prison inmates and securing a parole law.”  While her own sense of justice and injustice must have motivated her to work for the parole law, I suspect the time she spent with individual prisoners, listening to their stories and their family stories also motivated her to work for a parole law.

However, Rebecca Mitchell was not one to show favor to prisoners where it was not due.  She wrote a letter to newspapers in Denver and Boise protesting a report they published about women showing sympathy and giving flowers to man convicted of murdering a woman in Idaho Falls.[236] As she had been at the prison at the time and had visited most of the prisoners, she seriously doubted the accuracy of the article.  

In late 1897, Mrs. Mitchell was made a “special agent of the state to visit the penal and reformatory institutions of the country, with the special view of making an investigation of the grading and parole system.  The last legislature provided for the parole of Idaho convicts and Mrs. Mitchell’s trip is for the purpose of perfecting the system.”[78,79]

                                Community Improvement

Rebecca Mitchell was a charter member of the Village Improvement Society (VIS).[as]  While the WCTU was a national and international organization, and overtly Christian, the VIS was somewhat unique to Idaho Falls and did not claim to be Christian but rather was a civic improvement society, filling a need before the city government took up these responsibilities.  The group was launched in 1898 and its goal as stated in its constitution was the “encouragement and assistance in every practicable way of whatever may promote public convenience and health and render the town more desirable as a place of residence.”[83] Their first major effort was to clean up the town in order to “awaken civic pride,” cleaning “the streets, alleys and vacant lots of old iron and shoes, tin cans and broken dishes and keeping them clean,”[83] by providing garbage bins and making sure townspeople used them.[as] Later projects included cleaning up the cemetery,[21] planting trees along streets, dynamiting the hard-pan and planting trees in what is now Kate Curley Park and, in 1906, taking over the operation and the debts of the city hospital.[at][as]  Working with the Round Table Club, they restarted the city library in 1908, collecting books and providing staff.[as]

                Author

I would love to find and read Rebecca Mitchell’s History of the Development of Southeast Idaho.  The article which references it[221] uses it as source material for the forgotten town of Tilford City, and repeatedly refers to Mrs. Mitchell as “Historian Rebecca Mitchell.”                              

I believe I have the complete set of her Historical Sketches, published in the Idaho Falls Times from August 29, 1905 to January 9, 1906.  Many years ago I borrowed the booklet of these sketches from a pastor in Blackfoot, but he moved away and when I later contacted him, he could not locate it.

I’ve found two poems which she wrote, one a memorial to a friend who passed away.

Her Glimpses of My Life provides us with insight into her life and work and faith that no other source could.

Summary Reflections

In the epistle to the Romans, Paul wrote that he longed to see them so that they could be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith (Romans 1:12).  While we can only see Rebecca Mitchell by looking back over many years of time, I believe her example can be a great encouragement to our faith.

Naming her work Providence Mission, her life was full of examples of faith, and of working for righteousness and truth. She provides us with an example of a person of prayer, proving that prayer to the God of heaven is effective.

She was a great example of fulfilling God’s calling on her life, stepping out by faith and letting God lead her to Eagle Rock, and devoting her energy to it.  Her work was a good example of incarnational ministry, making Eagle Rock her home, learning the history of the place God called her, getting to know the needs of the people who lived here.

Her life was a tremendous example of faith that does not let apparent tragedies – the deaths of her mother, her husband and her daughter - stop her mission, but build her character.  When the town of Eagle Rock lost 80% of its inhabitants in 1887 and a few years later when a financial panic destroyed the economy of the town for another few years, Rebecca Mitchell steadfastly pursued her mission.  And in the last few years of her life when tuberculosis keep her in her home and much of the time in her bed, it seemed to have no effect on her spirit and her enthusiasm for the work God had called her to do. Our coronavirus crisis of 2020 pales in comparison to what she faced, and her message still applies – “work – go forward, there is yet much territory to possess.”

While at times she had opposition to the causes she worked for, even going out initially as a Baptist missionary, her life is an example of working in harmony with the body of Christ wherever she was.  Though there were times she alone sought God for His provision, or pioneered in efforts no one had done before, most of her work was through clubs, groups and churches. Her life provides us with an example of continually pursuing the kingdom of God, looking for new opportunities, and not being content with past achievements.

The Museum of Idaho plans to open an exhibit in late 2020[at] called “Way out West” that will “seek to tell the story of the area’s ruggedness, how difficult it was to settle…”[218]  One room will include the story of the life and work of Rebecca Mitchell.[218]  I will be curious to see how they tell her story, and what importance they give to her faith. When she died in 1908, memorial services were held in several communities in the state, with resolutions of remembrance and honor issued.[24, 26,202,218] As we read about the life of Rebecca Brown Mitchell, or see the exhibit about her at the Museum of Idaho, may we glimpse the greatness of her God and the results of her faith in that God and Savior.

Footnotes

a. While this is reported in many sources, and there is no question that through her efforts, the first church was officially formed and the first church building was built in Eagle Rock, there was an on-again, off-again group of people who had met for worship in a home starting about a year before Rebecca Mitchell came to Eagle Rock, but only officially organized as a church 9 years later (in 1890).[See Ref. 24, Churches Played Large Part in City History, p. 18].

b. The Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago opened in 1881, so Rebecca Mitchell was part of its first class.  The school trained women for both home and foreign missionary service.  The curriculum included “theology, Bible, medicine, Sunday school, parliamentary procedure and field work.” (from https://abhsarchives.org/hope-and-a-future-american-baptists-and-higher-education/).

c. The specific statement in Ref. 30 is “the church didn’t want her to go into the field because she was married.” Since she was not married but separated or divorced at the time, I take this to mean, “Baptist leaders, perhaps in Chicago at the Missionary Training School or perhaps in some other hierarchy of the church, did not approve of her going on the field because of her marital status.”  However from Rev. 8 and other sources, it was clear that Rev. Dwight Spencer, Superintendent of Baptist Missions in the West, was very supportive of her work in Eagle Rock.

d. Perhaps the reason she was self-supporting was due to whoever opposed her from going out on the field. 

e. This source quotes “Miss Willard,” someone who apparently knew Rebecca in her youth, as making this statement.

f. See Ref. 199, and go from Rebecca Brown’s profile on that webpage to that of her husband John Mitchell and then to his father Rev. James M. Mitchell.  Or go directly to https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/LRDV-LZC .

g. I have not found any relationship between Levi Mitchell and Rebecca’s husband John Mitchell, but there may be one.

h. The 1870 census lists her son Charles, 16, as head of the household, and shows Rebecca as age 26, ten years younger than she actually was.  Marital status is not shown in the 1870 census.  In the 1880 census, she is shown as a widow, and shows her correct age of 46.

i. Another source, Reference 5, reports that the population plunged from about 2000 to less than 400 when the railroad shops were moved in the spring of 1886, which is incorrect and should be 1887.

j. Also from Idaho Register, April 4, 1885, p. 10; Eastern Idaho and a Sketch of the Counties Comprising it. The railroad reached Eagle Rock in July 1879, precipitating rapid growth of the community, reached Butte December, 1881 and Garrison, Montana where the line ended in 1884.

k. Sources that state there was no church from Ogden to Butte include 2, 5, 13, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29.

l. http://tumcif.org/history-at-trinity/cook-book/1890s.html.

m. Blackfoot Register, Dec. 31, 1881, p. 3.

n. Blackfoot Register, Aug. 27, 1881, p. 3; the announcement reads, “Regular services of the M.E. Church will be renewed one week from tomorrow. Sabbath school at 10 a.m. and preaching at 7:30 p.m., T. W. Lincoln, pastor.

o. Blackfoot Register, April 2, 1881, p. 4: “Revs. F. A. Riggins of Montana, and T.W. Lincoln of Ogden, were in town on Sunday and Monday.  They called on the citizens (of Blackfoot) for subscriptions for building a church.  What success they met with we are unable to say…we think they were about a month too early.  During the coming summer we believe there will be no trouble in raising sufficient funds to erect a fine church here.” According to The Blackfoot Register, Dec 8, 1883, p. 3, the church building was close to completion then and it was hoped to be ready by Christmas of that year.

p. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bannack,_Montana.

q. Reference 24, p. 12 states the population of Eagle Rock in 1882 was 550.  Assuming half were single railroad workers, if there was an average of 4 people per family, Rebecca Mitchell would have needed to visit 14 families per day in her first week. Reference 21 gives the population of the town in 1882 as 670.

r. James Hawley’s[2] account has “All the time Mrs. Mitchell was working to build a church. As soon as she came she set to work to raise money for this purpose.”

s. The Band of Hope was a temperance organization for children, begun in England in 1847.  Members were enrolled from the age of 6 and took a pledge of total abstinence [https://spartacus-educational.com/REhope.htm].  They met weekly for various activities and usually had choirs.  One newspaper article [23] names the organist for Rebecca Mitchell’s Band of Hope.

t. Reference 5 notes that after her organ was put in the church, she “gave many entertainments for the young people,” implying that she played it.  However the same reference in the next sentence reports that Sarah Crow was the first musician in Eagle Rock and the first organist for the Baptist Church. Sarah later became a founding member and organist for the Methodist Church.

u. Also excepting of course periods of travel for the W.C.T.U., which could last for months, and her one winter in Boise.

v. Speculating, this may have been so that she would meet a requirement for teaching in public schools.

w. Report of T. M. Stewart, School Principal, Idaho Register, June 5, 1886, p. 5.

x. Like Rebecca Mitchell, Rev. Stewart came to Eagle Rock as a Baptist missionary, initially to pastor the church and teach in Rebecca’s school, but then he became principle of the Eagle Rock public school, and later became a lawyer in Blackfoot. See Ref.180, also Idaho Register, Aug 22, 1885, p. 4.

y. Filling in the logic, (1) her daughter’s marriage likely reduced her expenses and hence her need for income through teaching, (2) while there had been pastors of the Baptist church from even before the building was completed, none had stayed long so perhaps what she means is that the leadership was now stable and had less need of her help, and (3) the W.C.T.U. position demanded her full time as well as considerable travel throughout the state, making it impossible to continue teaching.

z. The library was intermittently in the Baptist Church basement until 1916, see Post Register, Oct 26, 1947, p. 3; I.F. Library Termed One of the Finest in the Northwest; Idaho Falls Daily Post, March 8, 1931, p. 2; Mrs. G. S. Samsel, V.I.S. Active in City Work – Women’s Club Instigator of Early Improvements Now Evident Here; and Post Register, Jan. 21, 1948, p. 3; Idaho Falls Library Marks 40th Birthday.

aa. Reference 220 states that she “made long stage trips…preaching in every town… but she is not an ordained minister,” although no source is given for this statement

ab. I found no evidence that she actually did go to Great Falls, thus perhaps the position fell through for some reason, or was just for a week or two.

ac. Reference 2 mistakenly puts this event in 1898, but newspaper accounts and historical sources in 1899.

ad. Titles of the messages for the sunrise prayer meetings the next two days were “All for Christ,” given by Rev. S. B. McClelland and “Following Christ,” given by Rev. Van Engelen.

ae. While several references report this change in the age of consent from 10 to 18 in one brief sentence, Reference 16 documents that it was done in two stages.  In 1893, “Mrs. Mitchell secured the passage of the bill which raised the age of consent from 10 to 14 years.  Two years (later) she was instrumental in securing an amendment of the constitution… (which) secured a further protection to the girls of the state by getting the age of consent raised to 18 years.”

af. See first paragraph of “Gospel temperance” on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperance_movement.

ag. Blackfoot Bingham County News, Dec 28, 1907.

ah. Dale E. Soden, “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the Pacific Northwest – The Battle for Cultural Control," Pacific Northwest Quarterly 94, no 4 (2003): 197-207.

ai. Idaho Republican, Feb 5, 1909, p. 3.

aj. https://www.wctu.org/history; according to Ruth Bordin in Frances Willard: A Biography. 1986, Frances Willard’s “activism stemmed from her belief that individuals should work for the implementation of God’s kingdom on earth.”

ak. The bio of Rebecca Mitchell written by her friend Ruby Keefer[2] credits Mrs. Mitchell as starting the W.C.T.U. in Eagle Rock, likely because of her major role in it in the early days.

al. See first paragraph of “Gospel temperance” on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperance_movement.

am. Post Register, April 8, 1941, Angelo Patri, “Our Children,” “Years ago …there was the bow of white ribbon for the temperance workers and the pin for the Band of Hope.  Those badges and the pledges behind them did a great deal of good in the lives of the boys and girls who belonged.”

am. On good roads, a stagecoach could travel 4.5 to 5 miles per hour (from various websites, such as https://truewestmagazine.com/how-fast-could-a-stagecoach-travel/).

ao. Not all sources agree on which years she was State W.C.T.U. president. 1894, 95 and 97 are undisputed but I could not definitely confirm 1892, 1893 or 1896.

ap. Soden, Dale E. "The Women's Christian Temperance Union in the Pacific Northwest: The Battle for Cultural Control." Pacific Northwest Quarterly Vol 94, no 4 (2003): 197-207.

aq. The Blackfoot Bingham County News, Dec 28, 1908 p.20 [also The Idaho Scimitar, same date, p. 12), A Power For Civic Righteousness.

ar. Idaho legislative session dates from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Idaho_state_legislatures. There were no legislative sessions in 1896 or 1898, thus some references that show Rebecca Mitchell as chaplain form 1896-1899 or show her as chaplain for the four years 1896, 1897, 1898 and 1899 are misleading.

as. Paul Menser, Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls, 2015, p. 28.

at. Idaho Falls Daily Post, March 8, 1931, p. 4, Improvement Society Sponsored Civic Betterment – V.I.S. Active in City Work. One effort involved purchasing 20,000 hardwood seedlings from Iowa and planting them along streets and in parks.

au. Idaho Falls Times, April 4, 1895, p. 5.

Annotated Bibliography 

Primary Sources

                Books

  1. Edith Haroldson Lovell, Captain Bonneville's County, "Rebecca Mitchell Comes to Town," Published by The Eastern Idaho Farmer, 1963, pp. 202-3. [as the title indicates, most of this concerns Rebecca Mitchell’s arrival in Eagle Rock, with 7 of the 10 paragraphs quoting from her “Glimpses of My Life”]

  2. James H. Hawley, History of Idaho, The Gem of the Mountains, Vol 2, 1920, “Rebecca Mitchell,” pp. 774-777; originally written by a friend of Rebecca’s, Miss Ruby Reefer, mostly covers her life in Idaho; https://archive.org/details/historyofidahoge02hawlrich/page/774/mode/2up; text also posted on https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8730811/r-mi.

  3. Mary Jane Fritzen, compiler and editor, Idaho Falls, City of Destiny, Published by Bonneville County Historical Society, 1991: "Chapter 6, Early Churches, Baptist," pp. 49-50; Chapter 7, City of Idaho Falls, Idaho Falls Public Library, p. 59; photo of fountain of honor of Rebecca Mitchell in Rose Hill Cemetery, p. 78; Chapter 10, Schools, p. 97; Chronology By Decades, pp. 170-173; available online via Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/idahofallscityof00frit/mode/2up.

  4. Rebecca Mitchell, Pioneer Sketches, published by The Times Newspaper of Idaho Falls, January 1906 [also published in the Idaho Falls Times, August 29, 1905 to January 9, 1906; see #11].

  5. Eldora Shoemaker Keefer, Eagle Rock History, 1933.  This is a 13-page paper.  Eldora Keefer was the historian of the Eagle Rock Daughters of the American Revolution and one of the first residents of Eagle Rock, arriving in 1880.

  6. Rebecca Mitchell, History of the Development of Southeast Idaho, date unknown.  I have not found this publication, but it is referred to and quoted in an article in the Idaho State Journal, Dec. 7, 1969.

 

 Journal and web articles

  7. Rebecca Brown Mitchell, “Glimpses From My Life,” Idaho Falls Times, October 13, 1908; republished in Snake River Echoes, Volume 3, #4,               1974, pp. 63-65.

  8. The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, Vol 6, January 1884, p. 301, “Heathen America,” article by Rev. Dwight Spencer on Rebecca Mitchell and           the Baptist mission in Eagle Rock, available online via Google Books, https://books.google.com/books? id=K9vNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=Rebecca+Mitchell+Eagle+Rock&source=bl&ots=cBoeVpocJ-&sig=GIemyXR3JvPBgK9mty-WKeF8keQ&hl=en&ei=Hky9Tt_GOO3KiQLYidH0Ag&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result#v=onepage&q=Rebecca%20Mitchell%20Eagle%20Rock&f=false.

  9. Edith Haroldsen Lovell, Rebecca Mitchell, Temperance Leader, Snake River Echoes, 1975, pp. 63-64. Mostly taken from R. Mitchell’s Glimpses       of My Life.

  10. Sarah Rounsville, Women’s Suffrage and Temperance in Idaho, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/250 [This short article           mentions Rebecca Mitchell only as the 2nd president of the Idaho W.C.T.U, but provides context for her work with the Idaho legislature.]

 

                Letters and papers

  11. Mrs. R. Mitchell, Letter with Providence Mission letterhead written to the Editor of the National Baptist [magazine], undated, but letter states           it was written 16 months after her arrival in Eagle Rock, which would date it December, 1883, a report on her missionary work to date.

  12. Letter to Mrs. Mitchell’s daughter Bessie Mitchell Fortiner, from Frank Rearden, June 14, 1942, about memories of Eagle Rock and being                 Mrs. R. Mitchell’s first pupil in her school, copy on file at the Idaho Falls Public Library.

  13. Marlys Whitman, The First Baptist Church of Idaho Falls, May 31, 1946, 3-page document, copy in files of Idaho Falls Public Library.

 

                Major newspapers articles

  14. Enterprise (Wellington, Ohio), Aug 3, 1897; Woman Chaplain – Rebecca Mitchell; somewhat similar story of Rebecca Mitchell’s life to #15 & 16         but with numerous differences, both deletions and additions of information; nearly identical story in Daily Register-Gazette, Jul 22, 2897, p. 8         and Daily Illinois State Journal, Jul 6, 1897

  15. Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), Sep 19, 1897; Chaplain of a Legislature – Mrs. Rebecca Brown Mitchell – lengthy article covering           her childhood, education, marriages, early days in Idaho, and involvement in temperance, suffrage and prison issues, as well as becoming             chaplain of the State Legislature, includes portrait sketch

  16. Frostburg Mining Journal (Frostburg, Maryland); June 26, 1897, p.2; Rebecca Brown Mitchell – shorter article than #14 or #15, but significant         additions; clearly not just an edit and unlikely from a common source

[Reference 220 could be added to the series 14, 15 & 16, all four were published about the same time and are somewhat similar but each with differences.]

  17. Idaho Falls Times, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 1908, Idaho Falls, Idaho, page 1, “Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell Gone to Her Reward – Loved and Honored                       Pioneer Succumbs to Great White Plague – Funeral Was Held On Friday – Review of the Long and Useful Life of a Remarkable Woman - Her           Beneficial Influence on State Legislation Concerning Women,” This source has information about her two marriages; the long article also                 includes letters of tribute written by two pastors, both former Idaho Falls residents.

  18. Idaho Falls Times, Rebecca Mitchell’s Historical Sketches of Pioneer Characters and Conditions of Eastern Idaho:

  • Aug. 29, 1905, “Introduction,” “Soda Springs,” “Mrs. Emma Just,” “Albert Lyons and the Birch Creek Massacre

  • Sept. 12, 1905, “Mrs. Corbett,” “Beaver Dick,” “A Frontier Home in Lincoln Valley,” “Indian Wars and Depredations

  • Sept 26, 1905, “Eagle Rock, Now Idaho Falls

  • Oct. 24, 1905, “Mining,” “Livestock,” “Willow Creek

  • Oct. 31, 1905, “Willow Creek,” (repeated) “Nez Perce and Bannock Indian Wars

  • Nov. 14, 1905, “Story of an Old Soldier in the 1860’s,” “Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho,” “Mrs. Ida Shoemaker,” “Mrs. Finette E. Stevens

  • Jan. 2, 1906, “Egin Bench,” “Work Among the Shoshone and Bannock Indians

  • Jan. 9, 1906, “Schools,” “The Joe Hooker Post and Women’s Relief Corps

  19. Idaho Falls Times, Oct. 12, 1899, p. 4 [Story about a packed-out Baptist Church meeting to say farewell to Rebecca Mitchell as she departed           for Los Angeles, and in which she gave an address sharing stories of “many incidents of the struggles and privations she encountered in                 entering upon her work in this city in the early 1880’s.… The incidents related by Mrs. Mitchell were of intense interest and brought tears to             many eyes.  The pupils present, by unanimous vote, requested Mrs. Mrs. Mitchell to write for publication a history of her personal work in the         school, Sunday school, Church, W.C.T.U., etc. “]

  20. Idaho Scimitar (Boise) May 23, 1908, “Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell,” Also published in the Idaho Republican (Blackfoot), May 8, 1908, [Four                         paragraph report about Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell’s life by reporters from Boise who tried to interview her but could not due to her sickness.]

  21. Idaho Falls Register, June 28, 1907, Minnie Amelia Kiefer, “Early History of Idaho Falls, Idaho.”

  22. Idaho Falls Times, Feb 14, 1911, p. 3 & 6, Mrs. Ralph Edmonds, “A Sketch of the History of Idaho Falls.”

  23. Idaho Falls Times-Register, Aug 3, 1926, Early Days of Eagle Rock, Interesting History of Churches in the Earlier Days of Idaho Falls                         Reviewed by Barzilla W. Clark [mentions Mrs. Mitchell’s “Band of Hope”, that the first public Christmas tree was at the Baptist Church and               other facts not present in any other source]

  24. Idaho Falls Daily Post, Feb 9, 1930, p. 22; Woman Active Building City – Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell First to Teach School Here; Was Loyal Worker           – one full column, based on biography written by Ruby Keefer Brace, mentions “the history of Mrs. Mitchell was written by personal friends             of the missionary and most of the few copies which were made have been lost in the years since she lived and taught here…’; same paper on         page 18 has another article Churches Played Large Part in City History, 12 Denominations Here – Baptists First to Bring Religion Into Eagle             Rock; Came in 1882 which details Rebecca’s Mitchell’s contribution to establishing the Baptist Church; a third article in the same paper also           refers to Rebecca Mitchell – (page 12) Schools Show City’s Evolution – Eight Buildings and Modern System Develop from Old Wood House in          1882

  25. The Idaho Statesman, May 18, 1930, Woman Responsible for Eagle Rock’s First School – Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell Organizes First School and             Raises Funds for Church in What Is Now Idaho Falls [this essay won 2nd place in a contest sponsored by the State Chamber of Commerce             asking for histories of each county]

  26. Idaho Falls Daily Post, March 8, 1931, p. 14; Mrs. Mitchell First Teacher – Early Day School House in Idaho Falls Was Log Cabin – 3 column             article by Gunda Hammer, likely based on a biography of Rebecca Mitchell written by Ruby Keefer Brace; also published in the Idaho State             Historical Society Biennial Report of the Board of Trustees, 1934, pp. 49-51.

  27. Idaho Statesman, Oct 21, 1934, “W.C.T.U. Eulogizes Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell.” Subtitled “Eagle Rock Missionary Pioneered in Temperance,                  Suffrage and Education as Well as Church Work,” this article was written by Ruby Keefer, noted as a friend of Rebecca Mitchell’s, and read by         Dr. W.W. Van Dusen at the 1934 state convention of the W.C.T.U. in a session devoted to the pioneers in temperance work.  This was 26 years         after Mrs. Mitchell’s death and happened to be 100 years after her birth.

  28. Lewiston Tribune, Sep 13, 1936, p 13, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in Idaho – Reminiscences and Comment by C. E Arney – discusses               Rebecca Mitchell as a remarkable women in the early politics of Idaho; included discussion of Rebecca’s continuing education in Idaho,                   enrolling in 1887 in a program leading to a teaching certificate and then beginning a school in Egin Bench…

  29. Post Register, date unknown, Justice for All – Eagle Rock Pioneer Stood Up For Women by Padraic Durkin, based on a history of Rebecca               Mitchell by Deborah Merrill; an image of this can be found as a reference for Rebecca Brown’s FamilySearch profile, reference 198.

Newspapers, short news items

   30. Cleveland Leader (Ohio), Dec. 28, 1884; same article in Jersey Journal (Jersey City, New Jersey), Jan 24, 1885 [The Religious World –                        Denominational Matters of Interest Both at Home and Abroad – Among the Churches; Two years ago, Eagle Rock, Idaho, having a population          of 600 to 800, had neither church, Sunday-school, nor day school.  Through the influence of a good woman, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, who went          there hoping to do good, a day and Sunday-school were opened, and last August a church of eleven members was organized by Rev. Dwight          Spencer, and on the same day three candidates were baptized.  A church edifice costing about $1,800 is nearly completed.  But Eagle Rock            is the only one out of thirty thriving towns within an area 400 by 250 miles, in which there is a church of any denomination.]

   31. Idaho Register, Apr 4, 1886, p. 5 [short item about Mrs. Mitchell’s school and Sunday school in the Baptist Church]

   32. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 8, 1890, p 3 [report that Mrs. Mitchell returned from Egin]

   33. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 13 & Aug 20, 1891 [The Temperance meeting at the Baptist church last Tuesday evening was very interesting…The              paper by Mrs. Mitchell, State Superintendent of Franchise for the W.C.T.U. entitled “Why” was very interesting. The program included                        recitations and singing by the children, a duet and Mrs. Mitchell’s paper.]

   34. Idaho Falls Times, June 2, 1892 [Rebecca Mitchell elected as delegate to national Prohibition Convention]

   35. Idaho Register, June 10, 1892, p. 1 [Mrs. Mitchell’s program for the 10th anniversary celebration of her school]

   36. Idaho Register, Oct 7, 1892, p. 1 [Mrs. Mitchell leads ordaining prayer for ordination of Rev. W. C. Sawyer]

   37. Idaho Falls Times, Nov 24, 1892 p. 5 [Some of the ladies of the town, the most prominent of whom are Mrs. L. Ed Smith, Miss Lillie                            Tautphaus, Mrs. Samuel F. Taylor. Mrs. Joseph A. Clark, Miss Rosenburger, Miss Susie Clark and Mrs. R. Mitchell, have not forgotten the                  cause of the little ones, and are engaged in collecting a fund for a Christmas tree and musical entertainment to be held at Armory Hall on                Christmas Eve.  This is certainly commendable in the ladies…]

   38. Idaho Falls Times Dec. 8 & 15 1892 [Noticed placed in paper by Mrs. R. Mitchell, Supt.: The Loyal Temperance Legion of Idaho Falls will give            an entertainment at Armory Hall Driday, Dec. 16th, consisting of songs, recitations, and class exercises by the smaller children.  The country          Grandmothers, the fallen Kingdom and Prohibition Shoe by the elder ones.  Enjoyable and instructive. Come out and encourage the L.T.L.                Admission 25 cents.] [Similar announcement in Idaho Falls Times of Aug, 24, 1893 for similar evening entertainment at the Baptist Church              on August 29.]

   39. Idaho Statesman (Boise) Jan 6, 1893, p. 3 [Mrs. Mitchell represents Idaho Falls at the state W.C. T. U; also petitions legislators for passage of          a bill protecting young girls]

   40. Idaho Register, Feb 17, 1893 [Mrs. Mitchell will occupy the pulpit of the Baptist church next Sunday morning and evening]

   41. Idaho Falls Times, July 13, 1893, p. 5 [returned from the northern part of the state where she had been for some time furthering interests of          the W.C.T. U.]

   42. Weiser Signal, Feb 15, 1894 p. 3 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell arrived (in Salubria) on the east bound stage from Weiser Thursday night and has              since been lecturing on temperance and otherwise.  Her lectures are interesting and she always has a well-attended house.]

   43. Idaho Falls Times, Feb 22, 1894, p. 5 [arrived back in IF on the stage from Weiser where she had been lecturing on temperance and other              topics]

   44. Weiser (Idaho) Signal, May 17, 1894 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, president of the Idaho State W.C.T.U., will speak upon “Temperance Work” in the          Congregational Church Tuesday evening. May 22, all invited]

   45. Idaho Falls Times, July 12, 1894 [Mrs. R. Mitchell will fill the Baptist pulpit Sunday while Rev. Henry Van Engelen will hold services in St.                  Anthony…]

   46. Idaho Falls Times, July 26, 1894 [The Loyal Temperance Legion gave an entertainment at Armory hall Monday evening under the direction              of Mrs. R. Mitchell.  These entertainments are evidently of much benefit to the children participating.  On this occasion the Idaho Falls                      orchestra, for the first time in public, rended some fine music.]

   47. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 9, 1894 [Mrs. R. Mitchell who has been quite ill during the last week is now quite recovered]

   48. Salt Lake Herald, Nov 4, 1894 [Public Schools – The first school taught in Idaho Falls was by Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, a Baptist missionary                teacher from Hoopston, Ill., and opened June 12, 1882, with forty pupils.  This was a private school, and its efficiency was of an order that                required no public school save for a three month’s term in winter, until 1885, when the Rev. A. T. Steward [T. M. Stewart] taught an 8-                      months term with Mrs. R. D. Winter nee Murphy as assistant…]

   49. Idaho Statesman, Feb 12, 1896, p. 6 [delivered a gospel temperance sermon at the First M.E. church]

   50. Idaho Statesman, April 2, 1895, p. 6 [assisted in services at the penitentiary]

   51. Idaho Falls Times, May 23, 1895 [Mrs. R. Mitchell one of three on the executive committee for the Fourth of July Celebration for the city]

   52. Idaho Falls Times, May 9, 1995 [The anniversary meeting of the W.C.T.U. which was held in the Baptist church last Sunday comprised the                largest audience witnessed in Idaho Falls for some time.  The churches suspended their regular services and made this a union affair.  Mrs.          R. Mitchell, state organizer, presided over the meeting and also gave an interesting lecture on temperance.  The work of the Union here was          briefly reviewed.  Music was furnished by the Methodist and Presbyterian choirs.]

   53. Idaho Register, May 24, 1895, p. 5 [paid the high school a visit]

   54. Idaho Falls Times, June 13, 1895 [The Loyal Temperance Legion met at 3 p.m. in Trinity M.E. church with and address made by Mrs. Mitchell,          State president of the W.C.T.U., Rev. Steele and Rev, Hardman, superintendent of the L.T.L.]; on a different page “On Sunday June 16, at the              Birch Creek school house, Mrs. R. Mitchell will hold Gospel Temperance services, morning at 10 o’clock, children’s meeting at noon and                  afternoon services at 3:30… and in a third announcement, “The ladies of the Baptist church will serve tea, pancakes and strawberry short                cake on Friday June 14th at the home of Mrs. R. Mitchell; there will be a written spelling match and prize…]

   55. Idaho Falls Times, June 13, 1895 [The Loyal Temperance Legion met at 3 pm ; address being made by Mrs. Mitchell, State president of the              W.C.T.U., Rev. Steele and Rev. R. M. Hardman, superintendent of the L.T.L.]

   56. Idaho Falls Times, July 4, 1895, p. 1 [replaced the planned speaker at the Independence Day celebration and “spoke briefly in her interesting         and forceful way”; also on p. 4 was an expression of thanks to the executive committee that planned the celebration, of which Mrs. R. Mitchell         was one of four]

   57. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 3, 1895 [Report on the State Convention of the W.C.T.U and Mrs. Mitchell’s activities as presidents, speaking on                     “Working for Christ” in the Monday sunrise prayer meeting, (Saturday’s prayer meeting topic led by Rev. S. B. McClelland was “All for Christ.”         “This was a deeply spiritual meeting.”  Sunday’s sunrise prayer meeting topic was “Following Christ” led by Rev. Van Engelen) Rebecca                    Mitchell was reelected to president for the following year]

   58. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 31, 1895 (Rebecca Mitchell will leave for Cassia County on a lecturing tour in the interests of the W.C.T.U.]

   59. Idaho Falls Times, June 11, 1896, p. 9 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell returned home after an absence of several months.  A reception was given her          at the Presbyterian Church by friends]

   60. Idaho Falls Times, July 23, 1896, p. 5 [A gospel temperance meeting will be held at the Baptist church Tuesday evening.  Addresses will be            made by Mrs. R. Mitchell and Rev. Baker…]

   61. Denver Rocky Mountain News (Colorado), Dec 13, 1896 [Idaho Suffrage Fight-…The women of the state who did efficient work speaking for              the amendment were Mrs. Helen Young, Mrs. Wright of Rathdrum, Mrs. C. A. Mann of Boise, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell of Idaho Falls, Mrs. S. B.              Turner of Hailey, Mrs. Dr. Smith of Caldwell and the president…]

   62. Blackfoot News, Nov 21, 1896 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell honored at the National Convention of the W.T.C.U. in St. Louis…]

   63. Blackfoot News, Dec. 19, 1896 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell delivered an interesting lecture before a small Blackfoot audience Tuesday evening.]

   64. Idaho Falls Times, Jan. 7, 1897 & Blackfoot News, Jan 9, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell has been elected Chaplain of the House, of the Idaho             Legislature.]  This story was reported across the country including: American Citizen, [Kansas City, Kansas] Feb 12 & 19, 1897, A Woman                 Made Chaplain; Wilkes-Barre (North Carolina) Times, Feb 10, 1897; Boston (MA) Journal, Feb 10, 1897, Female Chaplain Chosen; Plain Dealer         (Cleveland Ohio), Feb 3 & 10, 1897; Savannah (Georgia) Tribune, Feb 13, 1897; Kalamazoo (Michigan) Gazette, Feb. 10, 1897, Woman Elected           Chaplain, Trenton (New Jersey) Evening Times, Feb. 10, 1897; Beeville Bee (Texas), Feb. 26, 1897, Idaho’s Woman Chaplain; Riverside                       (California) Daily Press, Mar 3, 1897; Daily Independent (Elko, Nevada), April 22, 1897,Norfolk Virginian, Feb 24, 1897, Warren Sheaf (Warren,         Minnesota), Feb 18, 1897; Milwaukee Journal, Feb 17, 1897; Madison (South Dakota) Daily Leader, Feb. 10, 1987; Coldwater (Michigan) Feb             10, 1987; Jersey Journal (Jersey City, New Jjersey), Feb 9, 1897; Charleston (South Carolina) Evening Post, Feb 9, 1897; Freeland                             (Pennsylvania) Tribune, May 6, 1897; Citizen (Frederick, Maryland), April 16, 1897; Waterbury (Connecticut) Democrat, April 14, 1897; Daily               Illinois State Register (Springfield), April 4, 1897; Chronical-Star (Pascagoula, Mississippi), March 26, 1897; San Francisco Call Bulletin,                   March 18, 1897; Londonderry (Vermont) Sifter, March 12, 1897; Bay City (Michigan) Times, March 8, 1897; Iron County (Missouri) Register,               Feb 18, 1897; Forrest City (Arkansas) Times, Feb 12, 1897; Semi-Weekly Interior Journal (Stanford, Kentucky), Feb 12, 1897; Jamestown                 (North Dakota) Alert, Feb 11, 1897; Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), Feb 9, 1897; Santa Fe (New Mexico) Daily Mexican, Feb 9, 1897,                           Minneapolis Journal, Feb 9, 1897  and many others.

   65. Salt Lake Herald, Feb 22, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, chaplain of the Idaho House of Representatives, spoke last evening at the chapel at              Fort Douglas…Mrs. Mitchell is a pleasing and convincing speaker, and was listened to with close attention by a large audience.  Her theme              was “The Power of a Name,” and in the course of her remarks she referred to Washington and Lincoln.

   66. Idaho Falls Times, March 11, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell left yesterday afternoon for Meridian where she will lecture in the cause of                      temperance.  In the same interests she has made engagements for Nampa, Caldwell, Parma, Weiser and northern Idaho.]

   67. Pullman Herald, May 15, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, president of the W.C.T.U. of Idaho, will preach in the Baptist Church Sunday morning              and evening, May 18th]

   68. Idaho County Free Press (Grangeville), June 4, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell was greeted with a large and attentive audience Sunday                        evening.  She will give another lecture in two weeks.  We are always glad to see Mrs. Mitchell.]

   69. Cottonwood Report (Cottonwood, Idaho) June 4 & 11, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, temperance lecturer, will be here to lecture on June 19 &            20th at the M.E. Church]

   70. San Diego Union, Jun 19, 1897 p. 6; Calumet News (Calumet, Michigan, May 3, 1897; [The senate of Idaho, the latest brave state to decree                that women shall have full suffrage, has a woman as chaplain of its senate.  She is Mrs. Rebecca Brown Mitchell, president of the Idaho                  W.C.T.U.  Well, the bitterest opponent of woman suffrage must admit that a woman’s prayers will reach heaven as swiftly and surely as a                man’s.

   71. Emmett Index (Emmett, Idaho) June 25, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, president of the W.C.T.U. of Idaho, will be in Emmett on the 10,11 & 12            days of July and will lecture here on temperance on those dates.  Mrs. Mitchell is highly spoken of as a platform speaker…]

   72. Idaho Falls Times, July 29, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell arrived home this morning after an absence of seven months.]

   73. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 5, 1897, p. 5 [On Wednesday afternoon August 11th at 3 o’clock Mrs. R. Mitchell will give a lecture to women in the                Baptist church.  Subject, The Elder’s Wife.  All women invited.]

   74. Shoshone Journal, Sept 17, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, state president of the WCTU will lecture in the M.E. church Tuesday evening at 8                pm…]

   75. Wood County (Wisconsin) Reporter, Sep 30, 1897; also Milwaukee Journal, Sep 6, 1897 [Rebecca Brown Mitchell of Idaho is said to be the                only woman who has ever held the position of chaplain in the state legislature.  Mrs. Mitchell, who is an Illinoisan by birth, is 64 years old                and has lived in Idaho 15 years, during which time as a minister she has traveled many thousands of miles through the state by stage.]                  Same or similar report in Milwaukee Journal, Sept 6, 1897

   76. Shoshone Journal, Oct 1, 1897, p. 9 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, president of the Idaho W.C.T.U. lectured in the Toponis school house last                        Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Temperance was her theme.  On Thursday afternoon she talked to the school about the purity of mind              and body.]

   77. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 7, 1897 [Report on the State W.C.T.U Convention in Boise; Mrs. Mitchell was chosen delegate to the national                            convention which meets at Buffalo N.Y., also appointed to “evangelistic, legislative and franchise” work.  The state evangelistic work came              with a paid salary.]

   78. Elmore (Rocky Bar, Idaho) Bulletin, Oct 27, 1897 & Ketchum Keystone, April 30, 1897 & Salt Lake Herald, Oct. 22, 1897 and numerous other            Idaho newspapers [Governor Steuenberg has commissioned Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell of Idaho Falls, special agent of the state to visit the penal          and reformatory institutions of the country, with the special view of making an investigation of the grading and parole system.  The last                  legislature provided for the parole of Idaho convicts and Mrs. Mitchell’s trip is for the purpose of perfecting the system.  Mrs. Mitchell is the            leader of the W.C.T.U. of this state.]

   79. Red Lodge (Montana) Picket, Oct. 30, 1897 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell Will Investigate Idaho Institutions – Boise, Idaho, Oct. 23 – The governor of          Idaho has commissioned Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell as a special agent of the state to visit the penal and reformatory institutions of the country,            with the special view of making an investigation of the grading and parole system…]

   80. Idaho Falls Times, April 14, 1898 [Announcement Rebecca Mitchell put in the paper of “enjoyable elocutionary entertainment” at the                        Presbyterian Church April 25th, with medals and prizes…”Come early and be astonished at the talent hidden away in your own homes.  Good          singing and other exercises will also be on the program…”

   81. Idaho Falls Times, April 25, 1898 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell arrived home yesterday morning in excellent health.]

   82. Idaho Falls Times, May 5, 1898 [Report on the W.C.T.U. medal contest; … Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell was manager and promoter and justly                      deserved the success which attended her praiseworthy efforts.]

   83. Idaho Falls Times, May 12, 1898 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell presented a paper at the Mothers Meeting at the Baptist Church… Mrs. Mitchell and            Mrs. Clark had papers that emphasized the fact that home is the most sacred and holy of all institutions and that the future happiness of the          human race depends on the purity and goodness of the home…] [Just above this article is an article about the Village Improvement Society,            that while it does not mention Rebecca Mitchell, other sources list her name as an active member.]

   84. Idaho Falls Times, May 26, 1898 [At the annual meeting of the Teaches’ Association, Rebecca Mitchell made a presentation on “How to Make          School Grounds Attractive.”]

   85. Idaho Falls Times, May 26, 1898 [Rebecca Mitchell presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Janigan School District.]

   86. Idaho Falls Times, June 2, 1898 [R. Mitchell puts the following notice in the paper: A mothers meeting will be held in the Baptist church                    Wednesday June 8 at 2:30 p.m., subject, truth in the home and school.  The women are cordially invited to be present and contribute a                    thought or read an article on this interesting subject.]  

   87. Idaho Register, June 10, 1898 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell appointed to the committee planning and putting on the “grand 4th of July celebration            in Idaho Falls.”]

   88. Idaho Falls Times, July 14, 1898 [Estate notice, Rebecca Mitchell serving as the administratrix in the sale of properties, water rights etc. in              the estate of Geo. W. Ogden]

   89. Anaconda (Montana) Standard, Sep 18, 1898 [Rev. Rebecca Mitchell of Idaho will preach at the Baptist church in the evening…at the                          M.E.Church, Mrs. R. Mitchell, state evangelist from Idaho will conduct a gospel temperance meeting.  She is an eloquent speaker and a                    leading worker in the W.C.T.U.]

   90. Idaho Falls Times, Sept 28, 1898 [Report of the W.C.T.U. meeting, with Rebecca Mitchell elected to do evangelistic work, part of the Mothers            meeting committee, and delegate to the State convention]

   91. Idaho Falls Times, Jan 5, 1899, p. 4 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell has again been successful in obtaining the position of Chaplain of the lower                    House of the legislature.]

   92. Idaho Statesman (Boise), Friday Jan 6, 1899 p 6

         For the first time during the session, yesterday’s proceedings in the house was opened with prayer by the venerable chaplain, Mrs. Rebecca          Mitchell. She poured out a fervent appeal to the throne of grace that the divine blessing might be bestowed upon the house.  Moody, populist          of Shoshone, one of those who participated in the fight against the election of a chaplain on the previous day, exhibited his lack of interest in          the opening proceedings by fumbling the leaves of a pamphlet within a few feet of the gray-haired woman who included him in her appeal to          the great white throne….

   93. Idaho Falls Times, March 16, 1899 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell came in from Boise last week and has been lying seriously ill at her home since              her arrival.]

   94. Idaho Falls Times, May 25, 1899 [The W.C.T.U. of Idaho Falls will hold a parlor meeting at the residence of Rebecca Mitchell Wed. afternoon,            May 21st at 2:30.  Program will be short character sketches of Bible women…The mothers of the town are especially welcome.]

   95. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 31, 1899 & Idaho Register Friday Sept 1, 8, 15 & 22, 1899  [Stories about the parade and celebration in Idaho Falls of             the return of 445 enlisted men and 28 officers; 5,000 expected to attend; Rebecca Mitchell gave an address and presented medals]

   96. Idaho Register, Sept. 1, 1899, p. 8 [R. Mitchell will deliver discourses in the morning and evening services of the Baptist Church on Sunday              under the auspices of the Young Peoples Christian Endeavor.]

   97. Idaho Falls Times, Sept 21, 1899, p. 8 [Union services will be held at the Methodist church on Sunday evening Sept 24, the address will be              given by “Rebecca Mitchell and pastors”]

   98. Idaho Falls Times, April 19, 1900. p.8 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell returned from California in poor health]

   99. Montpelier Examiner, April 20, 1900 [Rebecca Mitchell is on the ballot for Presidential electors on the Prohibition ticket]

  100. Idaho Register Friday, May 18, 1900, p. 4 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell closed a missionary meeting at the Presbyterian Church in prayer; the                   meeting hosted Miss Frost who has been working among the Indians of Fort Hall]

  101. Idaho Falls Times, July 26, 1900, p. 1 [Report on the “silver medal contest.” “Much credit is due Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell for her efforts in                     training the young ladies…”]

  102. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 2, 1900 [On account of the absence of Rev. Pearce there will be no preaching services at the Baptist Church during             the month unless conducted by Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell.]

  103. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 9, 1900 [Rebecca Mitchell gave an address at a celebration of the Bingham LDS Stake honoring old folks]

  104. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 16, 1900 [ Notice put in the paper by Rebecca Mitchell - The Silver Medal Contest will be repeated by the class of                 New Sweden on Tuesday evening Aug. 21st in the Swedish Church by the kindness of Rev. Olin and his people…All are invited.]

  105. Idaho Register Friday Sept 14, 1900 p 8 [Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. Wm. Pierce will fill in for the pastor at the Baptist Church Sunday evening               while he is attending the East Idaho Association of Baptist Churches Conference]

  106. Idaho Register Nov 30, 1900 p 5 [Rebecca Mitchell received 25 votes for presidential elector, 7th out of 14 candidates; The Montpelier                     Examiner Dec 7, 1900 election results also showed that she was 7th out of 14, although it shows she received only 14 votes and the six                   above her all between 1052 and 1077 votes, while those below her between 4 and 14 votes]

  107. Idaho Register Friday March 8 & 15, 1901 p 8 [Mrs. Mitchell’s Sunday school class held a tea at the Baptist Church to raise money for the               building fund]

  108. Idaho Falls Times, April 11, 1901 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell was on a committee for devising ways and means for the establishing of a public                library and reading room]

  109. Idaho Falls Times, May 16, 1901 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell held a birthday party in her home in honor of  Misses Cory Shurtleff age 11 and                   Mattie Haskins age 11.

  110. Idaho Falls Times, May 23, 1901 [Invitation put in the paper by Rebecca Mitchell to attend the 19th anniversary of the Providence Mission               Sunday school and Eagle Rock Day School on June 11 at the Baptist Church…an 19 cent admission will be charged to help pay a class                     pledge to toward remodeling the church…”The old residents of the city and surrounding country are especially invited to be present and add           to the program any reminiscences that may occur to their minds concerning the school.”]

  111. Blackfoot News, Oct 9, 1901 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, ex-president of the W.C.T.U. of the State, will deliver a lecture on Temperance in the                 Baptist Church, Blackfoot, Thursday evening, Oct. 10, to which the public is invited.  A special address will be delivered to ladies at 3 o’clock           in the afternoon of the same day at the church]

  112. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 18, 1901 [Regular services at the Baptist church on Sunday next, conducted by Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell. Morning                     subject “The Great Physician,” evening “Count One.”]

  113. Idaho Register, Friday May 2, 1902, p 8 [Rebecca Mitchell included in list of attendees at the three day District Sunday School convention in             Blackfoot. (The May 9th paper reports that she gave the “address of welcome” in the evening session the first day.)]

  114. Idaho Register, Friday August 29, 1902, p 5 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell suggests a caucus at the city hall on Saturday evening to nominate two             school trustees.]

  115. Idaho Register, Friday Oct 10, 1902, p 5 [The Round Table Club will meet at the home of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell on Wednesday, Oct 15. The               topic for the month is “The Commonwealth.”]

  116. Caldwell Tribune, Jan. 17, 1903 [ Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell of Idaho Falls was in Caldwell last week and gave a lecture in the Baptist Church                 which was a splendid effort and deserved a larger hearing.  Mrs. Mitchell is 69 years of age, and has been engaged in philanthropic work               for a number of years.  Her voice has always been on the side of the oppressed, the down trodden and broken-hearted.  Her work is written           in the hearts of many friends.]

  117. Idaho Falls Times, May 29, 1903 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell recently received a communication from a London publishing house, asking that                 she write a short autobiography of her life for publication.  Mrs. Mitchell was somewhat reluctant in complying with the request, but by the             persuasion of friends she mailed her memoirs to the publishers a few days ago. She has the distinction of being the only lady in the country           who has ever presided as chaplain over a legislative body, and it was partly for this purpose that the sketch was requested.]

  118. Idaho Register Friday, Sept 6, 1903, p. 2 [On Wednesday afternoon the W.C.T.U. held a very interesting and profitable meeting with Rebecca           Mitchell.  The devotional exercises were in line with the subject, “What Owest Thou?”]

  119. Idaho Register Friday, Sept 11, 1903, p. 5 [The Round Table club will meet at the home of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell Wednesday afternoon Sept.           17th. Study topic will be the First Chapter of Fisk’s Civil Government, led by Mrs. Mitchell]

  120. Idaho Falls Times, Dec 4, 1903 [Announcement of the W.C.T.U. meeting at Rebecca Mitchell’s home with a program of historical sketches of           pioneer temperance workers in the U.S.]

  121. Idaho Falls Times, Feb 5, 1904, p. 7 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell has been holding revival meetings at Market Lake, Dubois and other points,                   arriving home last week]

  122. Idaho Register, March 11, 1904 p. 1 [Rebecca Mitchell posts a notice about a meeting of the women of the Third Ward of Idaho Falls, with               women of other wards welcome, for the discussion of municipal conditions and needs, and who we will support for officials, without                       reference to party affiliations, at the coming election]

  123. Idaho Falls Times, March 18, 1904 p 5 & March 25, p. 7 [Ad: I would like to secure work by the day with families of this city; washing,                       ironing, etc. Inquire of Mistress Miles at the residence of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, opposite Methodist church.]

  124. Idaho Falls Times, April 8, 1904, p. 5 [A missionary tea was given by the ladies of the Baptist church Thursday, at the home of Rebecca                   Mitchell.]

  125. Idaho Falls Times, June 17, 1904 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell will exchange pulpits with Rev. W, Remington of Blackfoot next Sunday, both                       morning and evening.]

  126. Idaho Register, Aug 5, 1904 p 4 [Rebecca Mitchell’s daughter and her children arrived from California to spend a month with their mother]

  127. Idaho Falls Times, Sept 9, 1904 [The Round Table Club will meet with Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell Monday afternoon, September 12.  The study of           Shakespeare was decided upon for the afternoon meetings.  The topic for discussion at this session will be Julius Caesar; in the same                     paper program of the  State Baptist Association Sept 3-11 in Idaho Falls given, with Rebecca Mitchell giving the welcome the first day,                     speaking on ‘Through the Pulpit” the second day, part of a 3-part series on “How the Church May Best Promote the Cause of Temperance”]

  128. Parma Herald, Oct 8, 1904, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell of the state W.C.T.U. lectured to a large and appreciative audience at the Presbyterian                  church Sunday evening

  129. Elmore Bulletin (Rocky Bar, Idaho), Oct 13, 1904 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell addressed an attentive audience at the Baptist Church Tuesday                   evening on the temperance question.  Mrs. Mitchell is a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and enjoys the distinction of             being the nominee of the state Prohibition Party for presidential elector.  She is a pioneer in Idaho in temperance work and was organizer of           the first Baptist church in Idaho Falls, as well as the first Sunday school there, that town being her home.]

  130. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 21, 1904, p. 4 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell addressed an attentive audience at the Baptist church Tuesday evening on the             temperance question…]

  131. Idaho Republican, Oct 21, 1904 [Rebecca Mitchell will speak at the Baptist Church (in Blackfoot) Wednesday evening]

  132. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 28, 1904 [Mrs. Mitchell will be home again this week and will conduct services at the Baptist church Sunday morning            and evening.]

  133. Idaho Register, Nov 25, 1904 [Rebecca Mitchell was on the ballot as an presidential elector, and received 22 votes, placing 10th out of 15                 candidates]

  134. Idaho Falls Times, March 21, 1905 [Mr. Mitchell and daughter from Chester were down Wednesday last week to visit with the young lady’s             grandmother, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell.]

  135. Idaho Falls Times, April 28, 1905 p 10 [At the Round Table meeting on “Criminal Jurisprudence… The paper by Rebecca Mitchell touched                 largely upon the inheritance of crime, and the propagation of it, not only in large cities but in our own state as well, … also the query of a                 legal and moral remedy…]

  136. Idaho Register, May 12, 1905 p. 10 [Rebecca Mitchell’s property of Block 36, Lot 6 in the Original Townsite is assessed $66.82 for Local                   Sewerage Improvement (same list shows assessments for 6 churches in IF at the time)]

  137. Idaho Register, Sept 29, 1905, p. 3 [Rebecca Mitchell gave the invocation at the District Federation of Women’s Clubs Last Week]

  138. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 24, 1905 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell occupied the Baptist pulpit Sunday, October 15, the regular pastor being ill]

  139. Idaho Falls Times, Jan 2, 1906, p. 7 [A portion of the pamphlets containing the historical sketches of Idaho that were written by Mrs.                         Rebecca Mitchell and have been appearing in the Times are now completed and the Times will be glad to furnish them, complete and                       mailed to any address at 25c a copy which just about pays the expense of publication.]

  140. Idaho Falls Times, April 17, 1906, p. 5 [The Soda Springs Chieftain is now running “Historical Sketches” of this part of Idaho, written by Mrs.           Rebecca Mitchell, as a serial.  It is certainly a production of more interest to the reading public than anything else they can get…]

  141. Idaho Falls Times, May 1, 1906 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, author of “Historical Sketches,” met with an unfortunate accident at her home                       Monday morning.  In some way she tripped and fell heavily, receiving injuries from which it will take her some time to recover.]

  142. Idaho Falls Times, May 22, 1906 [Rebecca Mitchell is scheduled to speak on Temperance Teaching in Sunday school at the state Sunday                 school convention]

  143. Idaho Falls Times, June 5, 1906 [Rebecca Mitchell, a member of the Ladies’ Relief Corps, helped make a silk flag presented to the Joe                     Hooker Post at the Methodist Church on Memorial Day]

  144. Idaho Falls Times, June 5, 1906, p. 2 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell chaired the Gospel Temperance Meeting at the Presbyterian Church…]

  145. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 23, 1906, p. 2 [Mrs. Mitchell is one of a committee of three, acting for the Temperance Union forces of Idaho Falls,                 which issues a challenge to the saloon keepers and others who favor the sale and use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage in our                             community to a public joint debate on the question: - “Resolved that the open saloon as now conducted, is a menace to our moral and                     material prosperity.”]

  146. Idaho Falls Times, Nov 27, 1906, p. 3 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, owing to her continued feebleness, has gone to St. Anthony and will live with               her son until her health improves]

  147. Idaho Falls Times, July 2, 1907; also Idaho Statesman of June 23, p. 10 [Merit is Recognized - …Bowed with the weight of years, Mrs.                       Rebecca Mitchell has given generously of her time and strength in collecting and compiling historical data for this state.  In grateful                         recognition of her services she is made an honorary member of the historical committee…]

  148. Idaho Falls Times, July 7, 1908, p. 3 [E. L. Mitchell and son of St. Anthony spent the third and fourth in this city visiting Mr. Mitchell’s mother,           Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell] [same as 213]

  149. Idaho Falls Times, July 23, 1907, p. 6 [report of a visit to Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell by Mrs. Byrd Trego, for the Federated Club Notes…She is                 very interesting, her eyes being bright and quick; she is as keenly alert to club work as ever, in conversation she is as ready to give you of               her rich experience or listen attentively to what you have to say.  While feeble in body, she is faithfully cared for by her loyal daughter-in-               law…includes brief message from Mrs. Mitchell to the club members… From beneath the shade of my sunshine poplars, shut in from the                 activity of life, my heart goes out to you with longing desire, that you may achieve great things, proving our worth and right to be.  But you               will pardon me if but one word I say, and that is - work – go forward; there is yet much territory to possess.

  150. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 6, 1907 [10 ladies of the W.C.T.U met with Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell…]

  151. Blackfoot-Bingham County News, Dec. 28, 1897  “A Power for Civic Righteousness.”  see image – article about the W.C.T.U. in Idaho…The                 Women’s Christian organization is composed of women of blood and action.  They believe in their mission. They trust in inevitable                             righteousness for the accomplishment of a correct solution of the cause they espouse.  They do not utter the words. ‘Tor God, Home and                 Native Land” in an idle tone.  They utter it reflective of a genuine belief in a sober, temperament in all things, domestic, material and                         political…]

  152. Idaho Falls Times, Jan 14, 1908 [Rebecca Mitchell listed as Honorary Chairman of the Historical Committee of the First District Federation             of Women’s Clubs]

  153. Idaho Republican (Blackfoot), Jan 17, 1908 [The W.C.T.U. will meet with Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell Wednesday Jan 15 at 2 pm, topic “A Shower             of Blessings.  A good attendance is confidently expected and all will be made welcome…]

  154. Idaho Republican (Blackfoot), Feb 7, 1908 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, our beloved chairman of The Historical Committee (of the First District                 Federation of Idaho), is so feeble that the active work of her place has been assigned to Dr. Minnie Howard of Pocatello…]

  155. Idaho Falls Times, Feb 11, 1908, p. 2 [Report of the W.T.C.U. meeting held in Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell’s room… Though confined to her room,               and suffering much, Mrs. Mitchell does not lose her strong grip on all affairs relating to the welfare of her fellowmen.  She still prays and               toils for the triumph of the right and the overthrow of evil, and she is not one who lives in vain.  Institutions and men which stand in the way           of Rebecca Mitchell’s prayer and God will sooner or later come to grief.  They had better stand aside, for her God was (sic) the God of Moses           and her faith is like that of Daniel.]

  156. Idaho Falls Times, Dec 2, 1897, p 5; Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell arrived home from the east Friday morning

  157. Idaho Republican (Blackfoot), Feb 21, 1908 [The club women of the entire state will be pained to know that Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell is very                 feeble. She is as active in spirit as usual, but her failing strength will neither permit a conversation of any length or writing of letters…Mrs.             Mary H. Mitchell, her daughter in law is taking care of her…]

  158. Idaho Falls Times, March 17, 1908, p. 2 [Another report of a W.C.T.U at Rebecca Mitchell’s house…includes “Two of the pastors and several             of the prominent club women of the city were present and took part in the discussion]

  159. Idaho Republican, March 20, 1908 [A brief message from Rebecca Mitchell was read (at the Idaho Falls V.I.S. meeting) on the importance of           historical study]

  160. Idaho Falls Times, June 9, 1908, p. 3 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell was quite ill last week.]

  161. Idaho Falls Times, July 11, 1918 [republishing an item of 20 years ago - Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell of this place will soon go to Great Falls,                     Mont., where she has accepted a call to fill the pulpit of the Baptist church.]

  162. Idaho Republican, July 10, 1908 [E. L. Mitchell and son visited his mother Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, during the Fourth]

  163. Idaho Falls Times, Aug. 4, 1908, p. 3 [Mrs. M. B. Tolle arrived in this city Thursday morning from Kansas and will visit with her sister Mrs.               Rebecca Mitchell for a few weeks.  This is the first time these sisters have seen each other for over twelve years.] (Mrs. Tolle was                             Rebecca’s  sister Mary, 2 years younger than Rebecca)

  164. Idaho Republican, Aug 28, 1908 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell is very ill again.]

  165. Idaho Falls Times, Sept 8, 1908 [Mrs. Bessie Dooley arrived in this city Tuesday evening and will visit with her mother, Mrs. Rebecca                       Mitchell, who is very ill.]

  166. Idaho Republican (Blackfoot), Sept 11, 1908 [(1) First District Federation resolves to extend their appreciation to Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell for               the influence of her life and work in Idaho and to recommend that a biographical sketch of her life be deposited with the State Historical                 Society (2) Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell is very low at her home in Idaho Falls.  The greeting she sent to the First District was almost whispered               and is perhaps the last the club women will ever receive from her lips…]

  167. Idaho Falls Times, Sept 29, 1908 p 5 [E. L Mitchell of St. Anthony spent last week in this city on account of the severe illness of his mother,             Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell.]

  168. Idaho Republican (Blackfoot), Oct 2, 1908 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell of Idaho Falls died Wednesday afternoon and will be buried today, Friday.             She is a well-known lecturer and philanthropist, who came to Idaho Falls about twenty-five years ago, and whose work has often been                   spoken of in these columns.]

  169. Idaho Statesman (Boise) Oct 6, 1908 [Notable Woman Dead – one paragraph summary of R. Mitchell’s life]

  170. Idaho Republican, Oct 9, 1908 [One paragraph about Rebecca Mitchell’s life, mentions that her last message, which they requested from                 her, was published in their paper a few weeks ago]

  171. Daily Illinois State Register (Springfield, Illinois), Oct. 6 & 15, 1908 [Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell – Word has been received in this city of the death             of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, which occurred in Idaho Falls, Idaho on Sept. 30. Mrs. Mitchell was formerly a resident of this city, and is well                   known by the older residents.  She was a prominent W.C.T.U. worker and was a delegate from Idaho to the St. Louis convention a few years           ago.  She was well known throughout the state of Idaho, being chaplain in the State Legislature, a position never before held by any woman           in the United States.]

  172. Idaho Falls Times, October 13, 1908 p. 2 [The Rebecca Mitchell property on the corner of Water Avenue and Elm street has been sold to I. W.           Pepper of Ammon.]

  173. Idaho Falls Times, October 13, 1908 p. 7 [The extended review of the life, character and accomplishments of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell                           published in the preceding issue of the Times has been the occasion of many appreciative comments.  It was written by Mr. Hupp of the                   Times, and this paper is under obligation to W. H. B. Crow for much of the general information.  It is an indication of the place Mrs. Mitchell             had in the hearts of the people of Idaho Falls that between 125 and 150 extra copies of that paper have been sold.]

  174. Idaho Falls Times, October 20, 1908, p. 5 [E. L. Mitchell departed for his home in St. Anthony Friday morning after spending some time in               the city attending to the affairs of the estate of his mother, the late Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell.]

  175. Idaho Register, June 3, 1913, p. 1 [V. I. S. Pays Beautiful Tribute to Woman Who Did Much for City of Idaho Falls – dedication of a memorial             fountain at Rose Hill Cemetery in honor of the memory of Rebecca Mitchell… Mayor Clark, who was a pupil in the public schools with                       Rebecca Mitchell, paid a beautiful tribute to a good woman, telling what she had done for the city in the early days, not only in the schools,             where she was one of the first teachers, but in civic affairs generally, devoting years of her life to the uplift of the people among whom she             made her home and whom she loved.]

  176. Idaho Falls Times, Jan 11, 1917 [In speaking of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell as the first school teacher, Mrs. DeCraene was one of her pupils.  Mrs.           Mitchell kept Sunday school at the home of Casper Sauer at times.]

  177. Times-Register, April 29, 1929, p. 2 [Story about the upcoming 38th anniversary celebration of the First Baptist Church, and includes “The               memory of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, the founder of the church, will have special observation….(in a program that includes) an appreciation of             Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell…”

  178. Idaho Falls Times, Jan 24 & 25, 1924 Interesting Local History Mr. W.W. Keefer, pioneer resident of Idaho Falls, has loaned to the Times-                 Register a copy of the publication “historical Sketches,” written by Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, one of the best known women of the early days of           Idaho Falls.  The publication was issued from the press of the Times in 1905 and is replete with sketches of early day conditions in Idaho                 Falls and of individuals.  Mr. Keefer has consented to the Times-Register reprinting a number of the most interesting chapters of the book,             which publication will be begun soon.

  179. Idaho Falls Times-Register, Jan 20, 1925, p. 8 [The first bonds issued here were for a school house, and amounted to $1,000.  The building             was 24 by 48 feet, and the bond issue carried by a majority of one vote….Previous to building this school house, school had been taught by             Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, in her own home.  Mrs. Mitchell also organized the first Sunday school – afterwards affiliated with the Baptist church            – in her home - June 11, 1882; day school opened the following day.  She was for many years active in civic and religious affairs, and was             the organizer of the W.C.T. U.  When one considers the life and work of a woman like Mrs. Mitchell, one questions whether the present                     governor of our state has a right to speak critically of the W.C.T.U.]

  180. Times Register, Feb 13, 1923 [30 yrs ago – Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell occupied the pulpit of the Baptist Church, where a temperance lecture                 was given]

  181. Lewiston Tribune, July 2, 1939, p. 16 [This is a story about T.M. Stewart by C. E. Arney, an early preacher of the Baptist Church in Eagle                   Rock.  Written by a man who went to the church to succeed him, it mentions that “It was a missionary church, having been built by Rebecca           Mitchell, an ordained preacher…”   In regard to T. M. Stewart, the author states that “As a teacher and minister, he was a failure,” but then               goes on to describe his successful career as a lawyer in Blackfoot.

  182. Post-Register, May 9, 1940 [BPW Will Recommend Rebecca Mitchell for Statewide Honors – Idaho Falls Pioneer Cited for Community                       Building – The name of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell will be submitted by the local Business and Professional woman’s club as the woman to                     have contributed the most to the building up of this community when delegates go to the state convention in Boise being held May 19-21…             has 3 paragraph summary of her life and accomplishments]

  183. Lewiston Tribune, May 26, 1940 [We are pleased to call attention to some other women who have signally contributed to the splendid                     history of Idaho.  Among them are Rebecca Mitchell of Eagle Rock, now Idaho Falls, a Baptist missionary, later a school teacher, then the                 first president of the Idaho Temperance Union, later the first woman to serve as chaplain of the Idaho Legislature or of any state                               legislature…]

  184. Post-Register, Jun 12, 1942, [Notice of the 60th anniversary of the First Baptist Church Sunday school, mentioning that it was founded June           11, 1882 by Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, and that “Harriett Ferguson will give a reading from the pen of Rebecca Mitchell.”]; p. 7 of the Post                       Register of June 14, 1942 discusses the 60th Anniversary of the Baptist Church and besides mentioning Rebecca Mitchell as establishing               the first school in Eagle Rock, reports that “Highlighting the program will be the talk by Mrs. Bessie Fortiner of South Gate, Calif.  Mrs.                     Fortiner, a daughter of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell who founded the Sunday school in 1882, will tell of early experiences in Idaho Falls.”]

  185. Twin Falls Times News, March 8, 1963 [A copy of the 1941-42 Idaho State Historical Report was given to the Twin Falls public library by                 Mrs. Dorine Goertzen, Twin Falls county historian…the report includes a biography of Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell…]

  186. Post-Register, Oct 23, 1947, p. 5 [Women Study Local History …Mrs. Backstrom reviewed the part played by Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell, a Baptist           free missionary, in the development of the community.”

  187. Post Register, Oct 11, 1950, p. 13 [Brief story about the start of schools in Eagle Rock, acknowledging that the first school was in the home             of Rebecca Mitchell.]

  188. Idaho State Journal, Oct. 15, 1963, p. 42 [WCTU to Hold State Meeting in City This Coming August -….The WCTU was organized in Idaho Falls           and Pocatello in 1892 by Rebecca Mitchell of Illinois.  She came to Idaho as a church and Sunday school organizer and immediately started           promoting the WCTU.  ….WCTU purposes…

  189.  Idaho State Journal, Dec. 7, 1969, Historical Town, Long Forgotten [Full page story about Tillford City in Bingham County, with many quotes           from “Historian Rebecca Mitchell.”  Most of the article credits the chapter “Trail Blazer” in her “History of the Development of Southeastern             Idaho”

 

Genealogy-related

  190. 1840 U.S. Census, Macoupin, Illinois [in the 1840 census, names of spouses and children are not shown but listed only by sex and age                    groupings, Rebecca is shown as one of two females in the 5-10 age group]

  191. 1850 U.S. Census, (Oct 16), Macoupin County, Illinois, Rebecca Brown, 16, shown as the daughter of Samuel and Matilda Brown, with                      sisters Emily, 18, Mary, 14, and Louisa, 4, and brothers David, 12 and Alexander, 7.

  192. 1860 U.S. Census, (July 6), Township 9, Range 7, Macoupin, Illinois, Rebecca Mitchell, age 26, living on a farm with her two sons, Edward, 4            and Charles, 6 in the family of Levi and Emily Mitchell [Note: Emily Mitchell is Rebecca’s sister; the relationship if any between Levi                        Mitchell and Rebecca’s husbands John Mitchell and James Mitchell has not been determined]

  193. 1870 U.S. Census, (July 26),  Township 9, Range 7, Macoupin, Illinois, shows Rebecca Mitchell, age 36 [census incorrectly shows 26], on                  separate farm with her two sons Charles, 16, and Edward, 14, and her daughter Leona, 1; their farm is next to that of Levi and Emily                      Mitchell.

  194. 1880 U.S. Census, (June 3), Grant, Vermilion County, Illinois, Rebecca “Mitchel,” 46, widowed, living with daughter Elizabeth, 11.

  195. 1900 U.S. Census, Idaho Falls city Ward 1-3, Bingham County, Idaho, Rebecca Mitchell, 66, divorced, mother of 4 children, 3 living; living by            herself

  196. Illinois Marriages, 1815-1935, John R. Mitchell and Rebecca Brown, Macoupin County, Illinois, June 27, 1853.

  197. Illinois County Marriages, 1810-1940, James L. Mitchell and Rebecca Mitchell, Macoupin County, Illinois May 30, 1865.

  198. Bonneville County, Idaho, Rose Hill Cemetery Records for Rebecca Mitchell, b. Jan 23, 1834, d. Sep. 30, 1908.

  199. FamilySearch Genealogical profile for Rebecca Brown, showing her parents, siblings, marriages and children, along with 23 sources,                    https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/L2DQ-6P7

  200. Find A Grave record of Rebecca Mitchell, Memorial 8730811; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8730811/r-mi

 

Secondary Sources

  201. Cheryl A. Cox, Second Stories Revisited, 2006; “Rebecca Mitchell,” pp. 29-31; available online at internet archive,                                                          https://archive.org/details/secondstoriesrev00coxc/page/n35/mode/2up

  202. Evan Filby, South Fork Companion blog, “Church Leader, Suffragette and Temperance Advocate Rebecca Mitchell,” Jan. 23, 2010; online at           http://sfcompanion.blogspot.com/search?q=Rebecca+Mitchell

  203. Idaho Falls Public Library Web page about their history on their 100th anniversary, no longer accessible (as of April 2020).

  204. Molly Draben, Biographical Sketch of Rebecca Mitchell, Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920,                                                      https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1009656441 [mostly based on Chicago Tribune article of July 4, 1897]

  205. Jane Athay, A Walk Through Idaho Falls, 2006; 4-page brochure with bio of Rebecca Mitchell occupying most of one page, likely included              because of her role in establishing the IF Public Library in the building where the Museum of Eastern Idaho now is.

  206. William Hathaway, Images of Idaho Falls, 2006, p. 61.

  207. Cheryl Cox, Idaho Falls Magazine, July 2012 Issue, Ghost of an Old Town [most information about Rebecca Mitchell in this story is from                 Cheryl Cox’s Second Stories Revisited, #1 above]

  208. Museum of Idaho Facebook Post, Feb 5, 2019 [Short summary of Rebecca Mitchell’s accomplishments and photos of a dress and other                  clothing of hers donated to the Museum of Idaho by the First Baptist Church]

  209. Paul Menser, Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls, 2005, p. 27 in Chapter One, Saloon Keepers and Sunday School Teachers; 1 page about                   Rebecca Mitchell with photos of her and the Baptist Church building.

 

Late Additions

  210. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 2, 1903; Program of Federation [Mrs. Mitchell to give invocation at the Fourth Annual Meeting of Women’s Clubs]

  211. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 2, 1903 [Mrs. Peck of Butte visited this week with Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell.]

  212. Idaho Falls Times, Feb 13, 1904 [W.C.T.U. entertainment program commemorating Miss Francis Willards’s 6th heavenly birthday; Rebecca            Mitchell giving introductory remarks

  213. Idaho Falls Times, Sept 23, 1904 [Information about the Local Federated Women’s Clubs, Rebecca Mitchell listed as one of 12 women                    leaders]

  214. Blackfoot Republican, July 10, 1907 [E. L. Mitchell and son from St. Anthony visit his mother over the 3rd & 4th]

  215. Idaho Falls Times, May 25, 1909 [Ladies of the Baptist church cleaned up and replanted with grass the lot in which Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell              is buried, during a cleanup of the whole cemetery involving about 100 people]

  216. Idaho Yesterdays, Volume 16-18, p. 8 [Rebecca Mitchell was W.C.T.U.’s franchise department superintendent, “with expenses (allowance?)            of $300 a year”]

  217. Miranda Marquit, 2020 Women’s March in IF still looks back to Rebecca Mitchell, January 23, 2020                                                                   

https://bonndemocrats.org/womens-march-marks-century-of-sufferage/

  218. Museum of Idaho, display of local history including the story of Rebecca Mitchell and display of two of her dresses (display ready in late                2020); https://www.postregister.com/news/local/westmark-gives-museum-of-idaho-500k-for-local-history-exhibit/article_603ff420-      0ec8-5101-9f0c-85c70c113df7.html

  219. Idaho Falls Times, Dec 21, 1893. p. 5. Friday Dec 22d, the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Crusade will be observed by the W.C.T.U. of                  Idaho Falls in the Baptist church from 10 am to 4 pm.  Good things on the program, all are cordially invited, Sunday afternoon 3 o’clock                children’s crusade mass meeting, parents and children invited, also in the evening at 7:30, the closing crusade services will be held in the            Baptist church.   R. Mitchell   

  220. Post Register, August 5, 2015; Rebecca Mitchell: Woman with a cause [This is a secondary source, quoting several others listed above]

  221. Idaho State Journal, Dec 7, 1969; Historical Town…Long Forgotten; by Lena Anken Sexton.  This is a long article about Tilford City, and                    several times references “Historian Rebecca Mitchell’s book (writing) History of the Development of Southeastern Idaho.”

  222. Daily Illinois State Journal, Jul 6, 1897; First of Her Sex – Mrs. Rebecca Brown Mitchell Chaplain of Idaho State Legislature (somewhat                    similar to References 14, 15, & 16 but with a few differences)

  223. Idaho Falls Times, Sept 5 & 12, 1895. Mrs. R. Mitchell was one of six speakers at the ceremony laying the cornerstone for Trinity Methodist           Episcopal church in Idaho Falls.

  224. Idaho News (Blackfoot), Oct 4, 1890; R. Mitchell appointed to the finance committee of the W.T.C.U. at the 4th annual state convention, she              also gave the prayer in a Thursday evening meeting and Saturday morning meeting, and gave “an interesting object lesson” in a Saturday            afternoon children’s mass meeting.

  225. Blackfoot News, Sept 30, 1893; at 7th annual state W.C.T.U. meeting in Pocatello R. Mitchell was State Organizer; she gave a “response” to           an address in one session, led the Saturday memorial service, presided over the children’s mass meeting on Sunday afternoon and in the           evening “addressed an overflowing crowd in the church with admonitions and earnest words.” On Monday morning she was elected State           President.

  226. Blackfoot News, June 23, 1894; R. Mitchell state president of the W.C.T.U. will speak at the Rose school Wednesday evening June 27.

  227. Blackfoot News, Dec 30, 1893; Mrs. R. Mitchell, state president of the W.C.T.U. will speak at Fairview school house Dec 31 at 2 p.m.

  228. Blackfoot News, Nov 14, 1891; In the semi-annual W.C.T.U convention Mrs. Mitchell, State Organizer reported that in the last month she                 had traveled nearly 400 miles and held 12 meetings, “doing much missionary work.”

  229. Blackfoot News, Sep 19, 1896; Mrs. R. Mitchell of Idaho Falls will speak at the West Side (school) next Sunday at 4 pm; on the same page             is an announcement signed by President R. Mitchell inviting everyone to the 10 annual convention of the Woman’s Christian Temperance             Union Oct 2-5 at the Baptist Church in Pocatello.

  230. Blackfoot News, June 6, 1896; Mrs. R. Mitchell, State President, will speak at a Union temperance meeting at the Methodist church Sunday           evening at 8 pm.

  231. Idaho Falls Times, July 2, 1896.  Mrs. R. Mitchell returned after visiting her son Edward at Fall River

  232. Idaho Falls Times, July 12, 1894, p.5. The ladies of the W.C.T.U. gave a grand reception to Mrs. R. Mitchell upon her return home, about 30             couples were present; she “intends to leave Idaho Falls again the latter part of July and go where duty calls… we know that wherever she             goes, good are the seed she sows.”

  233. Idaho Falls Times, Oct. 4, 1894, p. 5 There will be held a Gospel Temperance meeting at the Presbyterian church next Tuesday evening.                 Short talks will be given by all the pastors in town and Mrs. R. Mitchell. Music will be furnished by the Presbyterian choir.

  234. Idaho Falls Times, Dec 9, 1897, p. 5; Mrs. R. Mitchell will give a graphic account of the world’s convention of the W.C.T.U. recently held at               Toronto at a gospel temperance meeting at the Baptist church Monday night.  She will also conduct morning and evening services at the               Baptist Church on the 12th.

  235. Idaho Falls Times, Dec 3, 1897. Rebecca Mitchell participated in discussions at the meeting of the Teachers Institute Friday.

  236. Idaho Falls Times, July 1, 1897, p. 8; open letter from Rebecca Mitchell to the Denver Free Press taking issue with a report of women                     showing favors to a prisoner in the Idaho penitentiary who murdered a woman in Idaho Falls

  237. Idaho Falls Times, Oct 21, 1896, Mrs. R. Mitchell returned Monday from Salmon City

  238. Idaho Falls Times, July 9, 1896; Miss Lottie Dee of Idaho Falls recited a poem “The Day We Celebrate,” a very creditable poem written by               Mrs. R. Mitchell at the equal suffrage convention

  239. Idaho Falls Times, Aug 10, 1893, p. 5; tribute with poem by Rebecca Mitchell to a companion May Payne.

  240. Idaho Falls Times, Nov 12, 1891, p. 5. Mrs. Mitchell, State organizer for the W.C.T.U. is attending the county convention now in session at               Blackfoot