Sorry I'm a little late with this one - I was at the National Genealogical Society's annual meeting in Grand Rapids most of last week. What a whirlwind! I hope to post more about that, soon.
For this week's post I am zooming in on my great-great-grandfather, Zadock (Zadok or Zadoc - spellings vary) Conrad Mitchell. He was the elderly man seated in the photo below. His wife, Louisa Winegar Mitchell, was seated to his left, and they were surrounded by their children, including my great-grandfather, Vernon Claude Mitchell, seated on the right.
I've viewed this photo several times through my life, so I recognized it when I found this copy on FamilySearch a few years ago. Zadock was the son of Benjamin Mitchell and Caroline Conrad. Benjamin was a stone cutter and early Utah pioneer - I hope to write a post about him at some point. He was also a polygamist, with several wives and over fifty children. However, Zadock had only one full sibling, Amanda Elizabeth Mitchell Harman. His mother, Caroline, passed away less than four months after his birth. I believe he was given his unusual name after Zadock Knapp Judd, the brother of one of his father's other wives, Lois Judd Mitchell.
Zadock was a stonecutter himself - he and his father both worked on the construction of the Salt Lake Temple and other significant buildings in Salt Lake City. Like many people of his time, he contracted tuberculosis, and died at the age of 65. I don't know if his work as a stonecutter also weakened his lungs, but I'm sure all the dust and debris flying through the air around him didn't help his condition.
I don't have many photos of him, so I was looking for more on FamilySearch last year, which is where I found this close up of him from the photo I posted above:
I must have looked at this image several times before I realized that Zadock was missing his left eye, or, if it was still intact, it was badly damaged. I also found other earlier photos of him, which show him with both eyes intact. I've never heard anything about his missing an eye from other family members. My grandmother was born about a month prior to his death, so she had no memories of him. I can only imagine that his eye was injured while he was cutting stone.
I did search through some newspapers to see if an accident was reported in the press (and was interested to find that he was involved in local politics, and also called as a witness during a polygamy trial in 1886), without success. I'll be sharing this post with my family - perhaps one of my many distant cousins will know more? I'll certainly post an update if I find more information.
1. "Zadoc C. Mitchell, Native of City, Dies," Salt Lake Tribune (Utah), Tuesday, 27 February 1917, page 5; online database with images, Utah Digital Newspapers (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu : accessed 7 May 2018).
2. "Utah, Death and Military Death Certificates, 1904-1961," database with images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 May 2018), entry for Zadock Conrad Mitchell, 26 February 1917, Salt Lake County; citing "Death Certificates, 1904-1961," Series Number 81448, Utah State Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.
5/11/2018 11:19:58 pm
Just tonight, I found a newspaper clipping of Zadok 's obituary in a box of genealogy that I inherited. Strange coincidence. Love you blog.
5/12/2018 06:26:46 pm
Oh wow, Jennifer - gotta love those genealogical coincidences! Thanks for letting me know. :)
Linda MITCHELL Jenkins
1/4/2020 08:33:50 pm
My grandfather was Zadock Conrad MItchell, named after his father and he was the older brother of your grandfather. Family history indicated Zadock Sr had his eye put out chipping stone for the SL temple. Benjamin’s stone cutter’s tools have been on exhibit in Lagoon’s Pioneer Village. I don’t know if they still are.
1/5/2020 01:05:46 pm
So nice to hear from you, Linda. Thanks for sharing this information. I should include Lagoon in my plans the next time we are in Utah!
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I'm Ginger Ogilvie, and I am absolutely, hopelessly hooked on genealogy!
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