John E. Mitchell was born in New Bedford, Mass. on October 13, 1861, before the beginning of the Civil War. He was one of three children, he being the only boy, and two sisters.
Upon the Declaration of War his father, John L. Mitchell, sold his business and volunteered for military duty for the duration of the war which was expected to be less than six months. The family remained in Massachussetts. At the conclusion of the war, his health broken, he decided that by going south his recuperation might be more rapid. He finally landed in Galveston.
As a "Northern Damn Yankee", finding employment was impossible. During his early years he had been a 'seafaring man' and served as a steward on passenger vessels plying between American and foreign ports. This gave him the idea that if he put up a boarding house, he might be able to make a living and enable him to get his family back together again. This proved a success.
He passed away at the age of sixty-nine and from then on, his son John E. became the bread winner for the family. He became a real self made man. He became a building contractor and builder and finally became engaged in the cotton business. He operated the W.L. Moody Compress until his final illness.
Following the Great Storm of 1900, he became so impressed with the noble work of the Masonic Fraternity and the display of brotherly love and affection amongst them and toward others indistress that he decided to seek membership in the fraternity. He petitioned Harmony Lodge #6 in Galveston and upon receiving the degrees; he became so interested that he devoted all his spare time to it.
He recieved his Eatered Apprectice Degree on September 21, 1901,
His Fellowcraft Degree on October 28, 1901,
and became a Master Mason on November 25, 1901.
He became a widower in his early manhood and was left with one son. His mother and younger sister came to live in his home, she was a mother to all of them. Masonry helped to ease his sorrow and he became deeply entranced with the beauty and ennobling teaching of the Masonic work.
Br. Mitchell served through the various stations of both the "blue l;odge" and the Scottish Rite with such enthusiasm that he served as Worshipful Master of Harmony Lodge in 1905-06 and became a member and Past-Master of all four Scottish Rite Bodies. He was honored by the Supreme Council of The Scottish Rite by being coroneted with the Thirty-Third Degree in 1911 and was on the board of the Scottish Rite Temple Association. He also supervised the building of the Scottish Rite Temple in Galveston leading up to its dedication in 1929.
He was also a York Rite Mason and was a member of San Felipe de Austin R.A.M. and Commandry adn was a Knight Templar.
In addition Br. Mitchell was a member of the El Mina Shriners and supervised the remodeling of the present Shrine Temple at 24th and Broadway in Gaslveston.
John E. Mitchell passed away on September 9, 1933 in Galveston, TX.
Some years later on Februaruy 26, 1963, John Mitchell's widow Florence B. Mitchell donated the parcel of land to the group of men founding John Mitchell Lodge. Because of this generous gift and the legacy that Br. Mitchell left we named our lodge after him.
John Mitchell Lodge 1401
5626 Delaney Rd
Hitchchock, TX 77563
P.O. Box 821
Hitchcock, TX 77563
(409) 986- 9721