Closely connected with the development of Hillsdale (1834) was Charles T. Mitchell who with John P. Cook, Chauncey Ferris and Henry Waldron raised enough money to lay out the line and extend the railroad to its new terminus in Hillsdale. He then erected the first warehouse along the track to serve as a "forwarding business." Hillsdale was the shipping point for three counties. Grain came by wagon from White Pigeon, Homer, La Grange, and Angola in Indiana. Often double lines of wagons would form on Howell St., the main street in Hillsdale, in order to wait to unload grain into the warehouses.
Mitchell was a partner with Waldron, Cook and Ferris in the creation of the first bank in Hillsdale.
Mitchell was also involved in national politics. He was appointed to the National Republican Convention in Baltimore where Lincoln was nominated for a second term.
At his death and that of his wife, his will directed that his large home on Manning St., constructed in 1868, be given to the city to be used as a public library. The public library outgrew the Mitchell Building which is now home to the Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of the Mitchell Research Center.