Samuel Mitchell was a Tampa merchant who settled in the area near Rye (near present day Rye Road East of I75) sometime in the 1870s. He had several children including Thomas Francis and Samuel Mitchell. Samuel built the first large store on the north bank of the river and had a dock to receive supplies. When setting up his venture, he had visions of a town growing in the area and planned a subdivision with ninety lots and five streets running north and south. The subdivision was named Mitchellville and, at its peak, twenty-five families lived there. He was an ambitious man, attempting and failing to have the Rye post office renamed after his community.
Mitchell became prosperous due to the cattle trade and profits from his store but suffered from routine bouts of ill health. In 1884, despite his declining health, he decided to make a trip to Georgia to buy supplies for his store. With no banks in existence nearby, he buried a hoard of gold coins and planted a tree over the site to conceal the spot. While on the trip, he became ill and passed away, never returning to claim his cache. Upon searching for his gold, his relatives discovered someone had already found and stolen it.
Left to Right :
Thomas Mitchell - Grave #1
Samuel Mitchell - Grave #2
All images taken by MVHP staff in 2022 unless otherwise noted.