A Timeline of the Life of James Comey Mitchell

James Comey Mitchell (1810-1860) Florence Nebraska

There are assorted stories, tales, events and people that comprised the life of James Comey Mitchell. Mitchell is famously credited as the founder of Florence, Nebraska, which today is a neighborhood in North Omaha.

This is a timeline of the life of James Comey Mitchell. Its not all-inclusive, but includes many of the major events in his life with some information about his offspring.

James C. Mitchell Timeline

  • August 1809—James Comey Mitchell was born in Pangborn, PA
  • 1809—Eliza Jane Archdale Krosnic and her husband Mr. Krosnic gave birth to a daughter named Eliza Krosnic in Cape Good Hope, South Africa
  • 1824—Eliza Krosnic married Rev. John Vandenberg, an Episcopalian British Royal Navy chaplain
  • 1825—15-year-old James C. Mitchell left home and became a sailor
  • 1824—Eliza Krosnic-Vandenberg and Rev. John Vandenberg gave birth to their only child, Hannah Vandenberg
  • 1828—18-year-old James C. Mitchell started captaining ships for a firm called Grinnel, Minturn and Company between New York City and Liverpool, England
  • 1835—Rev. John Vandenberg was lost at sea and presumed dead
  • April 8, 1836—James Mitchell married Eliza Krosnic-Vandenberg in Liverpool, England. James adopts Eliza’s daughter Hannah Vandenberg
  • 1838—James and Eliza Mitchell moved to New England
  • 1840—James and Eliza Mitchell moved to Bellevue, IA
  • 1840—James and Eliza Mitchell opened a store in Bellevue, IA
  • 1840—James C. Mitchell became Indian Commissioner in Bellevue, IA
  • April 17, 1840—James C. Mitchell was indicted for manslaughter in the death of James Thompson during the so-called “Bellevue War”
  • June 19, 1840—James C. Mitchell was found not guilty of manslaughter of James Thompson
  • 1840—James and Eliza Mitchell adopted J. Ann Floyd, who was born in 1833 in Nova Scotia
  • October 6, 1841—James C. Mitchell became the president of the Belleuve, IA town council
  • 1846—Hannah Vandenberg married Nathaniel Kilborn, a flour miller from Missouri. The newlyweds lived with Hannah’s mother and step-father in Bellevue, IA
  • October 1849—James C. Mitchell and his family moved to Kanesville, IA. He and Eliza opened two stores in town. Hannah and Nathaniel Kilborn stay in Bellevue, IA
  • 1850—James and Eliza Mitchell open a store in Kanesville, IA
  • 1851—Hannah and Nathaniel Kilborn gave birth to their first child, daughter Florence Vandenberg Kilborn in Bellevue, IA
  • 1852—Hannah and Nathaniel Kilborn gave birth to their second child, son James Mitchell Kilborn in Bellevue, IA
  • 1853—James C. Mitchell formed the Winter Quarters Town Company with James Monroe Parker and others. They bought all the claims in the area, and platted present-day Florence
  • January 1854—James C. Mitchell plats the Winter Quarters township before the NT was opened for settlement
  • May 30, 1854—Kansas-Nebraska Act opened the Nebraska Territory, or NT, to settlement
  • June 1, 1854—James C. Mitchell and his family moved to Winter Quarters, NT
  • June 1, 1854—James C. Mitchell renames Winter Quarters in honor of his young step-granddaughter Florence Kilborn
  • October 21, 1854—James C. Mitchell was chosen to represent Washington County in the Nebraska Territorial Legislature
  • October 1854—James C. Mitchell served on the credentialing committee for the First Nebraska Territory Legislature
  • 1854—The 12-room James C. Mitchell House aka “The Cedars” was built at 8314 North 31st Street.
  • December 20, 1854—James C. Mitchell formed a partnership to buy the Council Bluffs and Nebraska Ferry Company (aka the Florence Ferry Corporation)
  • December 26, 1854—James C. Mitchell’s adopted daughter, J. Ann Floyd, died in a horse riding accident. Her burial site is unknown
  • February 1855—James C. Mitchell incorporates the Florence Bridge Company for the first time with James M. Parker, Peter Sarpy and others
  • March 17, 1855—James C. Mitchell served as the sole commissioner responsible for identifying the site of the new Nebraska Territory Capitol and selected Capitol Square
  • March 10, 1855—James C. Mitchell became the primary owner of the Council Bluffs and Nebraska Ferry Company
  • May 5, 1855—James C. Mitchell re-forms the Winter Quarters Town Company as the Florence Town Company and sold property for the company
  • March 15, 1855The Town of Florence is incorporated by an act of the NT Legislature
  • 1855—Hannah and Nathaniel Kilborn gave birth to their third child, Pearl Kilborn in Bellevue, IA. She died young and was buried in Bellevue, IA
  • 1855—James C. Mitchell took ownership of the Florence Mill
  • January 1856—James C. Mitchell became a trustee of Washington College in Cuming City
  • March 12, 1856—James C. Mitchell starts publishing the Florence Courier
  • July 14, 1856—James C. Mitchell became a director and secretary of both of the Elkhorn and Loup Fork Bridge and Ferry Company and the Columbus Town Company in NT
  • October 22, 1856—James C. Mitchell became a director on the board of the Sulphur Springs Land Company, formed to sell land in the town of Saratoga, incorporated by the NT Legislature
  • 1856—James C. Mitchell joined the board of the Florence Bank
  • 1856—James C. Mitchell starts operating Steam Ferry Boat Nebraska No. 2 on trips from Florence to St. Louis and points in between
  • 1856—Hannah and Nathaniel Kilborn gave birth to their fourth child, Hannah Kilborn in Bellevue, IA
  • 1856 James C. Mitchell opened the first hotel in
  • 1857—James C. Mitchell and the Florence Bridge Company got a bridge charter that allowed them to collect money for construction
  • 1857—James C. Mitchell traveled to Washington DC to lobby for the Florence Bridge Company for a railroad bridge to be built in Florence. He was unsuccessful
  • 1858—A photographic portrait is taken of Eliza Mitchell and her granddaughter Florence Kilborn
  • April 7, 1860—James C. Mitchell ordered all of his land titles from the Florence Land Company to retire permanently from the business
  • August 6, 1860—James C. Mitchell died in Florence and was buried by Eliza in a glass-door casket in a mausoleum behind their house
  • James C. Mitchell was buried in the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery
  • 1862—An oil portrait of Florence Kilborn is painted and has been in the family for several generations
  • April 18, 1866—Florence Kilborn died and was buried in the First Presbyterian Cemetery in Bellevue, IA
  • 1868—Hannah and Nathaniel Kilborn gave birth to their fifth child, Nathaniel Kilborn in Bellevue, IA
  • November 3, 1881—Eliza Krosnic-Vandenberg Mitchell died and was buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery
  • 1896—James Mitchell Kilborn died and was buried in Bellevue, IA
  • 1933—The James C. Mitchell House was surveyed for its historical integrity by the Historic American Buildings Survey and determined to be of significant historical value
  • 1964—The James C. Mitchell House was demolished by the Florence Presbyterian Church

Special thanks to John Lemen for his contributions to this article!

You Might Like…

Public Places: Florence Ferry | Florence High School | The Mormon Tree | Florence Water Works | Mormon Bridge | Florence Boulevard | River Drive | J.J. Pershing Drive and Monument | Potter’s Field
Businesses: Vennelyst Park | Bank of Florence | Florence Mill | Florence Depot
Houses: Parker Mansion | Brandeis Country Home | Lantry-Thompson Mansion | Mitchell House
People: James M. Parker | James Comey Mitchell | Florence Kilborn
Neighborhoods: Winter Quarters | Florence Field | Wyman Heights

Elsewhere Online

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