Father’s Day weekend took on special meaning for Liam Mitchell, 13, who made a special trip to Athens to make a donation to the Special Collections Library at University of Georgia Library to honor the legacy of his grandfather, former Rome City Commission Chairman Martin H. “Buddy” Mitchell.
Liam, whose father David Mitchell is a member of the Rome Area Heritage Foundation board of directors and founder of the M.H. Mitchell Foundation, took a ball and chain, used to restrain prisoners decades ago, to Athens for display in a special exhibit. The super-heavy ball and chain had previously been donated to the M. H. Mitchell Foundation, a not-for profit designed to promote a better understanding of the southeastern region through cultural, social and structural preservation.
The exhibit, “The New South and New Slavery: Convict Labor in Georgia” will be on display July 26 through December 11.
The teenager also carried a plastic bin full of material related to a distant relative, Jule Carnes Mitchell Jr. who was killed in action in the Pacific during WWII. David Mitchell said the material will become part of a new exhibit that he is working with the library to develop that will have a regional theme which he hopes will generate additional discussion related to various complexities of the South and the importance of public service.
“Jule never finished school, he was attending Auburn, and now materials named for him, by those who share his name, will be able to use his collection to finish school,” David Mitchell said. “Hopefully they will realize that his sacrifice should be used as a benchmark.”
The legacy of service to community and country was noted BY former Commission Chairman Buddy Mitchell in Memorial Day 1994 letter to the editor of the Rome News-Tribune. Jule Canes Mitchell Jr. was his uncle and the chairman wrote that he hopes future generations will have pause to remember, “the freedom we all enjoy, and the remember the price at which it was purchased.”