Daily Journal masthead

Retired history teacher’s work chronicled over years


Follow Daily Journal:


Photos:

Marshall Mitchell, 78, was featured in an article in the Daily Journal's first edition in printed in 1963. The feature covered the trip he took through the Middle East. Mitchell is a lifelong resident of Franklin. He attended Franklin College where he earned a degree in history. He served in the army from 1959-1961. After the leaving the army he taught history in Edinburgh and Whiteland. Mike Wolanin / Daily Journal
Marshall Mitchell, 78, was featured in an article in the Daily Journal's first edition in printed in 1963. The feature covered the trip he took through the Middle East. Mitchell is a lifelong resident of Franklin. He attended Franklin College where he earned a degree in history. He served in the army from 1959-1961. After the leaving the army he taught history in Edinburgh and Whiteland. Mike Wolanin / Daily Journal


Among the boxes and files containing 78 years of photographs, newspaper clippings and other mementos, Marshall Mitchell keeps a yellow and faded laminated newspaper.

The small photograph shows Mitchell as a 27-year-old teacher in Edinburgh. The article describes his trip to Europe and the Middle East.

It ran in one of the Daily Journal’s earliest editions.

A Franklin native, Mitchell has been involved with the Daily Journal since it was first published more than 50 years ago. He subscribed to the paper starting on July 22, 1963, and for a summer he worked for the newspaper, soliciting subscriptions from people throughout Johnson County.

One of the lures he used to persuade people was that one lucky subscriber could win a trip to the 1964 World’s Fair, conducted that year in New York, he said.

He was featured in the article announcing his trip to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.

As the Daily Journal celebrates its new home in downtown Franklin, as well as 51 years serving the community, Mitchell reminisced about that article.

Travel has always been a major part of his life. He and his wife, Judy, have visited all 48 continental U.S. states and 35 foreign countries.

But up until 1963, he had not been overseas.

After four years at Franklin College, then being immediately drafted into the U.S. Army, Mitchell had never had a chance to travel. So he wanted to see exotic parts of the world.

The trip was organized by E. Robert Andre, head of the department of religion at Butler University. Mitchell and other Indiana educators would be touring major religious sites in Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.

Mitchell was preparing to start a new job as the history teacher at Clark High School, after having taught at Edinburgh for a year.

He flew from New York to Amsterdam. He followed a route through Belgium, France, Italy and Greece.

They visited mosques in Egypt. Jewish and Coptic temples offered stunning architecture and artwork. In Istanbul, the group stopped at the massive Hagia Sophia, a Greek Orthodox basilica that was transformed into a mosque.

“It was very interesting to see how another great world religion does their services and what they have inside their worship structures,” he said.

The story wasn’t the only time he was featured in the Daily Journal that year.

On July 23, 1963, the Daily Journal’s second issue included a story about the impressive fossil collection that Mitchell had amassed over the years. He started collecting fossils as a student at Franklin High School, searching local stream beds and creek banks for fossilized creatures.

The news story described his collection and how he was donating it to the Johnson County Museum of History.

Mitchell taught history in Edinburgh and Clark-Pleasant schools for 20 years before going to work for the National Parks Service.

The job took him to Lincoln’s Home in Springfield, Illinois, then to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and the Everglades in Florida. For a short time, he worked at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

But he always wanted to return to Franklin, which he did in 1998.

In his home, he has more than 50,000 slides of the places he’s seen in his life. And though he’s 78, he still hopes to make it to a few more locales — maybe Easter Island or the Galapagos Islands.

“There’s always someplace else you haven’t seen before,” he said.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.