On this day in Milwaukee County History: Alexander Mitchell, banker, railroad financier and politician, dies on April 19th, 1887 at the age of 69.
Born in Ellon, Scotland on October 17th, 1817, Mitchell founded the Marine Bank of Wisconsin and served as president of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway after moving to the United States in 1839. He built the Milwaukee Road into one of the most profitable railroads in the county. Mitchell’s mansion still stands on Wisconsin Avenue and is now the location of the Wisconsin Club. The railroad magnate also served as a Congressman in the United States House of Representative, representing Wisconsin’s 1st and 4th districts.
His indelible mark can still be felt throughout Milwaukee and across the country. The Mitchell and Mackie Buildings, both of which still stand, were constructed by Mitchell as an investment property. He helped found the Milwaukee Curling Club and was a patron of the Grand National Curling Club. Mitchell Park and Mitchell Boulevard are both named in his honor, as well as Mitchell, South Dakota.
His son, John L. Mitchell also served as a United States Congressman and his grandson, Billy Mitchell, is considered the founder of the U.S. Air Force as well as the namesake of the General Mitchell International Airport.