115 years after first car sold, Boonville man works to preserve family's company legacy

1 year 10 months 2 weeks ago Monday, January 01 2018 Jan 1, 2018 Monday, January 01, 2018 4:20:00 PM CST January 01, 2018 in News
By: Mackenzie Huck, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

BOONVILLE - 2018 is the 115th anniversary of the modern car.

115 years ago, Henry Ford sold his first car, the Model A. In the exact same year - 1903 - Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company also sold its first car. Now, 115 years later, Lewis Miller works to preserve the history of his family's company.

Miller owns and operates a Mitchell car museum in Boonville. He is a direct descendent of the original owners.

Museum tours must be made through the Boonville tourism department. Miller does not make money off tours, though his is the largest collection of Mitchell cars anywhere.

"I don't make any money and I don't want to make any money off this," Miller said. "This was my man cave until the city found out and asked me to open it to the public. All the money goes back to them. That's the way I want it. I feel like this is a small way I can give back to this community."

Katie Gibson, director of tourism in Boonville, said she had to beg Miller to open his museum.

"I saw this collection and was like, 'How cool is this? You need to show this off,' and Lewis is a perfectionist so he would try and tell me it wasn't ready or wasn't clean. It definitely was (ready)," Gibson said.

Miller's museum has been open for a little over two years, but Miller has spent more than 20 gathering artifacts from his family's company. There are cars, wagons, tools, photographs and newspaper clippings, all bearing the name Mitchell. 

"Basically, my family has been involved with anything related to transportation," Miller said. "It's a shame hardly anyone has heard of Mitchell. They only made cars for about 20 years, but there's all kinds of history there."

That history is something Gibson said is of interest to drivers of all ages.

"The history of the car is for everyone, even women," Gibson said. "They think it's just of interest for their husbands, but back in the 1900's, they made a car specifically for women."

From woman-specific cars to self-driving cars, Gibson said automobile technology has evolved rapidly in the past 115 years.

"It's cool to hear him tell you about the way they made their cars 100 years ago," Gibson said. "You know, we grow up in an age where technology is evolving quickly but to see how they were just tinkering and trying new things and maybe it will work, maybe it won't. It's cool to look at what has changed, but even cooler to see what has stayed the same in that long amount of time."

While collecting Mitchell cars is just a hobby for Miller right now, he said he hopes his son will take over the museum someday. 

"It's a shame Mitchell got sold out because the family died out, because there is so much here for people to learn," Miller said. "I'm proud of the things my great-great-grandpa created and I want my son to continue telling people the story of Mitchell cars."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA -- The Missouri Job Center will host a job fair on Wednesday at the Daniel Boone Regional Library. ... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 3:45:00 AM CST November 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Crews are investigating a fire that started in the front room of a house Tuesday evening. ... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 9:37:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Michael Demkowicz had tried everything to quit smoking. The patch. The pill. The gum. Nothing worked —... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 8:35:29 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - On Tuesday night the search committee to find the new Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity held... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 6:58:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A 911 dispatcher ordered all employees to evacuate the KOMU 8 News building on Highway 63 after a... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 6:26:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The trial for a man accused in a 2018 deadly New Year's Day Waffle House shooting got underway... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 4:26:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Cradle to Career Alliance unveiled its annual community report card at a luncheon Tuesday. The group... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 3:19:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
SWEET SPRINGS - For years, if someone needed emergency medical attention anywhere between Columbia and Kansas City, there's a good... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 3:10:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - A pedestrian was killed after being struck by a car while attempting to cross U.S. 54 Tuesday.... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 2:25:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Republican legislators and Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Tuesday laid out legislative priorities... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 1:25:55 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a Columbia man after a car chase in north Columbia Tuesday morning. The chase began... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 11:14:00 AM CST November 19, 2019 in News
LAKE OZARK - A former teacher in the School of the Osage district pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 10:27:00 AM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge ruled Monday that the University of Missouri's rule barring guns from its campuses is constitutional. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 8:23:00 AM CST November 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Randall Siddens, 34, passed away Monday afternoon from injuries sustained in a car crash on Grindstone Parkway in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 7:14:00 AM CST November 19, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two top national security aides who listened to President Donald Trump’s call with Ukraine are preparing to... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 5:36:46 AM CST November 19, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- UFC fighter Ben Askren, 35, announced his retirement Monday while on the ESPN podcast " Ariel Helwani's MMA... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 5:28:00 AM CST November 19, 2019 in Sports
NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot along with former... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 4:52:00 AM CST November 19, 2019 in Sports
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — Human remains discovered in a Nebraska stock trailer appear to be from one of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 4:14:25 AM CST November 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 60°
12pm 62°
1pm 64°
2pm 65°
3pm 66°