Eli C. MITCHELL, 1810 - 1889
By Everett Waller

Eli C. MITCHELL was born in Warren County, near McMinnville, TN in 1810.  The year 1831, he
married Sarah A. LIVELY of McMinnville, TN.  It has been said that one of the men around in the
Jefferson area was in McMinnville and talked to MITCHELL about work on a house near Jefferson
- was perhaps Mr. RIDLEY or DILLON, as he did work for both men.

Eli was a woodworkman by trade, later helping to build a wagon and moved to Jefferson,
Rutherford County, being the County Seat from 1804-1811.  He later bought a place, only 4 acres,
that joined the Judge Brum RIDLEY place.  Eli helped to build the RIDLEY house and also worked
on the RIDLEY Mill nearby.  He helped build houses for DAVIS, KEEBLE, CREECH,
THOMPSON, GOOCH, NELSON, DILLON, BUCK to name a few.  He remodeled the old
WALLER house in 1875, at Jefferson.  The winding stairway in the DILLON house, later being the
John TUCKER house about 1860 in Smyrna.

He built a shop in the corner of the yard and had a wood turn lathe driven by a mule.  Later Eli found
himself making furniture and caskets and many things of wood.  He made the casket he was buried
in, of walnut.  There are many pieces of furniture that he made before the Civil War.  One being a
bed in the KING-JOHNS home today, that was made by him.

The MITCHELL family and the LIVELY family were all real close.  Eli MITCHELL married Sarah
A. LIVELY and Sam LIVELY married Sudie MITCHELL.  There were children, Sam LIVELY
and William LIVELY.  Sam, like Uncle Eli-a woodworkman, and followed that trade all his life.
William liked picture-making.  He learned the trade, went to photography school in Nashville and
later ran a photography school himself in McMinnville.  While he was in school in Nashville, he met
A. J. THUS, a photographer.  They were friends always.  William had a boy, Lee LIVELY, who
lived in Murfreesboro and was a photographer for years.  He was located on East Main Street, in
front of Old Tennessee College.

Eli and Sarah MITCHELL had 6 children born to them:
 Edward
 Arthur
 Tom
 Mary Frances
 Bettie
 Nannie Sue (perhaps “Sudie”)

NOTE:  Eli MITCHELL’s daughter, Mary Frances, married Ephriam WALLER, 7 Nov 1867 in
Jefferson, where they raised 7 children:  Sallie B.; Bettie Sue; Henry Posey; Emma Jane; Claiborne;
Robert Sidney; and Ollie Mai.