Mitchell, Indiana

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Mitchell is a city in Lawrence County, Indiana, United States. The population was 4,567 as of the 2000 census.

It is the birthplace of astronaut Gus Grissom, who flew on Liberty Bell 7, Gemini 3, and died in a launch pad fire at Kennedy Space Center in 1967.



Mitchell was built as a railroad town in the mid-19th century. At this location in Lawrence County, the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railroad, better known by the shorter name of "the Monon", was built as a north-south line from New Albany to Chicago, passing through the area which became Mitchell in 1853. In 1857, the east-west Ohio and Mississippi Railway (later part of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad) was completed, as part of a link between Cincinnati and St. Louis.

At the intersection of the two rail lines, a new town was planned. As the O&M railroad was surveyed, the owners of the land arranged for one of the surveyors, Ormsby McKnight Mitchel (1810-1862), a West Point graduate and professor at the University of Cincinnati, to plat their new town in exchange for naming it for him. (The second "L" in Mitchell was added later[citation needed]). A native of Kentucky, Ormsby Mitchel grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, and was also an attorney and notable astronomer. He later became a Major General in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861-1865), and is best known for ordering the raid that became famous as the Great Locomotive Chase. He was known as "Old Stars". General Mitchel died of yellow fever while serving in Beaufort, South Carolina. [1]

The town was incorporated in 1864, becoming a city in 1907. Mitchell hosted a number of manufacturers, including (in 1919) the wagon, truck and bus body enterprises of Ralph H. Carpenter which became known as the Carpenter Body Company. School bus body production continued until 1995.[citation needed]

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