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Mitchell, Walter J., Judge



  • Existence: March 16, 1871- March 10, 1955

First elected as a Democrat to the Maryland Senate in 1917, Walter Jenifer Mitchell served as Senate President from 1931 to 1933. He served three terms on the Senate overall. While in office, Mitchell worked to pass a bill authorizing the building of several county high schools. Before this bill passed, there were no high schools in Charles County. After the bill's passage, Glasva, Nanjemoy, Pomonkey and La Plata high schools were built. Mitchell was born on March 16, 1871, at his family's farm on what is now Mitchell Road. As a boy, Mitchell worked on the farm and received an education from the Charlotte Hall Military Academy. He worked to pay his own way through the University of Maryland Law School in Baltimore. He graduated in 1894 and returned to La Plata where he bought the two county newspapers, The Port Tobacco Times and The La Plata Crescent. Mitchell combined them to make the Times-Crescent in 1897. In 1899, Mitchell married Florence Jenifer from Baltimore County. Together, they raised three boys and two girls. One of his sons, James C. Mitchell, took over as editor of the Times-Crescent in 1934, and Walter Mitchell went on to help start County Trust Company, now part of Bank of America, in La Plata. He became bank president and served as director until his death. Because of Mitchell's accomplishments, Maryland Governer Albert Ritchie appointed him Judge of the 7th Judicial District and Associate Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest state court. In 1941, Mitchell retired and returned to La Plata where he continued practicing law until his death in March 1955.

Walter J. Mitchell MSA SC 3520-1607 Maryland State Senator, 1918-1933 Chief Judge, 7th Judicial Circuit, Court of Appeals, 1934-41

Born: March 16, 1871 at "Thainston," Charles County Died: March 10, 19552 Father: William H. Mitchell Mother: Emily E. Mitchell Education: Charlotte Hall School, St. Mary's County; L.L.B., University of Maryland Law School, 18945 Marriage: January 18, 1899 to Florence Campbell Jenifer Children: Mary Emily Mitchell, H. Maxwell Mitchell, Walter Jenifer Mitchell, Jr., Mrs. Rudy Schmick Religious Affiliation: unknown Christian denomination Occupations: Practicing attorney and editor Contributing organizer, County Trust Company of Maryland, 1908; Member, Board of Directors, 1908-1955 Head, Maryland Shellfish Commission, 1908- Owner and editor, Times-Crescent newspaper, 1897-19349 Political Affliation: Democrat Maryland Politics: Member of Senate, 1918-33. Senate President, 1931-33. Chief Judge, 7th Judicial Circuit, Court of Appeals, 1934-41 (retired March 16, 1941)