The original owners of the Cottage were Russell and Nora Mitchell. Mitchell was an early day businessman and a part-owner of Mitchell Bros. Hdwe. and Furniture which, as the name implies, operated a hardware and furniture business. Russell, with his brother, Stanley, later became the first to operate a funeral home in Burwell. Russell retired from his businesses in the mid-1950s. He was a prosperous and civic-minded citizen, serving for many years as president of the Garfield County Frontier Fair Association which hosted Nebraska’s Big Rodeo. Russell died in 1974.
The house was built for the Mitchell’s in 1927 by Roy G. Verley. Verley was associated with the Cram Lumber Yard, which later became Spelt’s Lumber Company. In 2006, Verley’s son, Roger, and his wife Beverly purchased the home and were occasional visitors from their primary residence in Annandale, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. In 2019 the house was sold to the current owners.
Mitchell Bros. Hdwe. and Furniture about 1925
Mitchell house, early days.
Mitchell family Christmas, 1954
Mitchell family Sunday dinner, 1954
During his tenure as president of the Garfield County Frontier Fair Association, which was the governing body for Nebraska’s Big Rodeo at Burwell, Russell Mitchell made many friends in the Rodeo world. This 1964 picture shows Mitchell (second from right in the black hat) with Hall of Fame Bullfighter and Clown Buck LeGrand (on left) and The Big Swede on the right, Jerry Olsen of Bell Fourche, SD.