James Mitchell was born in Garrafine, Co. Galway to Thomas and Catherine(Carty) Mitchell. He worked as a sales person for Grierson, Oldham & Adams, a Dublin Wine Merchant, covering the west of Ireland.
In the course of his travels he met and married Teresa Gillespie of King Street Ballina.
He developed their small shop into a bigger business, under the name "James E. Michell &Co. Ltd" adding a pub, bakery and bonded warehouse, and a fertiliser business and small mill.
He died of heart disease in 1928 leaving his widow with three young girls. Teresa(Tess) continued the business after selling off the Gouldings agency.