Glendale, California Biographies

Alexander Mitchell

        Alexander Mitchell, who recently completed eight years of service as United States Land Receiver in the Los Angeles district, is a native of Aberdeen, Scotland. He was born September 13, 1859, a son of George and Barbara Jane (Shives) Mitchell. He supplemented his public schooling by attending King’s College at Aberdeen. At the age of eighteen he came to America with his uncle, Alexander Mitchell, and, locating at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, secured a position as clerk with the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Bank, where he remained for three years. For four-years he was land agent for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company in Northwestern Iowa; later he was made traveling passenger agent for the same company with headquarters at Salt Lake City; and from 1890 to 1900, he was commercial agent in charge of all freight and passenger business in Utah, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. He was then transferred to Chicago where he remained for about one year before coming to Southern California.

        The immediate cause of his coming to Southern California was to benefit the health of his youngest son. He obtained a ninety-day leave of absence from the railway company, but on his own responsibility, continued that leave indefinitely and has since resided on a tract of land purchased in North Glendale. He engaged in the real estate business, in which he continued until July, 1914, when he was appointed land receiver of the Los Angeles district, the largest district in the country, with receipts of upward of $250,000.00 per year. He has always been active in the support of the Democratic party, and upon the expiration of the term of O. R. W. Robinson as land receiver, he was the choice of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee for appointment to that office with apparently no opposition, and on the basis of qualification and record he was reappointed June 19, 1918, and served until July 1, 1922.

        In 1896, while in Salt Lake City, he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Chicago, and took part in the Bryan campaign of that year. In 1908 he was President of the Bryan Club of Glendale, and has been a leader in every Democratic local and state campaign since, but never sought the honors or responsibilities of public office until he was chosen as land receiver. Fraternally, Mr. Mitchell is an Elk and was the first Exalted Ruler of Salt Lake City, Lodge No. 85, B. P. O. E., thereby becoming a life member of the Fraternal Brotherhood, and served as president of the Glendale Lodge for several years.

        On June 28, 1888, Mr. Mitchell married Jessie M. Pridham, of Chicago, Illinois. Their four children are: Lorraine, principal of Columbus Avenue School, Glendale; George A., deputy county surveyor, enlisted in the navy in 1917, and was advanced to the rank of Ensign; Barbara Isabelle, secretary for C. C. Julian of Los Angeles, was active during her school and college days, in amateur theatricals, in which she played leading parts; Gilbert, an engineer in the employ of E. M. Lynch. Mrs. Mitchell is a charter member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club. She was the first President of the Glendale Union High School Parent-Teacher Association, and is a Past President of the Columbus Avenue Parent-Teacher Association.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. Pg. 466-468. A photograph of Alex Mitchell appears on page 466.