Alexander Mitchell (1817-1887)
Alexander Mitchell, Railroad President & Congressman, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
He was born at Ellon in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and came to the United States aged-22 in 1839 as the young protégé of his cousin George 'Chicago' Smith who grew up in the same parish as the Mitchells. Smith placed him in Milwaukee as secretary of his new bank (in all but name), the Wisconsin Marine & Fire Insurance Company. That business became the Marine Bank of Wisconsin when Smith sold it to Mitchell. It had grown due to its stability in comparison to its competitors in the northwest, which financially speaking was still the 'wild west'. Not before long, local's referred to the bank as "Mitchell's Bank" and the notes it issued as "Mitchell's Money". From 1864 to his death in 1887, Mitchell was President of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway; and, from 1871 to 1875 he served two terms as Wisconsin's representative in Congress. Accruing a fortune of $20 million, he became the wealthiest man in Wisconsin. In 1841, he married Martha (sister of Florida's Governor Harrison Reed) and they were grandparents of Billy Mitchell who achieved prominence as a pioneer military aviator.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 29/01/2020 and last updated on 30/01/2020.