Frank Mitchell, Historical Page For Paul Findley, Dies

By Benjamin Cox on January 4, 2020 at 4:20pm

Mitchell in front of the Capitol Dome in Washington D.C. on April 14, 1965—the centennial of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Mitchell historically became a page at the height of the Civil Rights movement after being selected by Rep. Paul Findley. (Image Courtesy of the History Archives of the U.S. House of Representatives.)

Frank Mitchell, the first African-American page in the U.S. House since Reconstruction who worked for Paul Findley, died on Christmas Eve in Houston, Texas at the age of 70. He had suffered from ill health for some time.

Mitchell, a native of Springfield, served in Findley’s office in 1965. After serving for a year in Washington D.C. at the height of the Civil Rights era, Mitchell returned to Springfield and became a reporter for the State Journal Register after graduating high school. He then joined WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, and later started his own public relations firm. Among other jobs, he worked with the Illinois Attorney General, Ameritech, and Cook County’s Stroger Hospital. He is a former executive director of the Illinois Fatherhood initiative, according to an article in State Journal Register.

Craig Findley, son of the late Paul Findley, told the Journal Register that Mitchell and his father remained friends and Mitchell attended his father’s funeral in August. Craig said that his father viewed having Mitchell as a page as one of the great accomplishments of his career.

Mitchell’s funeral service was held today in Springfield at Ruby Funeral Services and Chapel. Mitchell, who was born in Detroit, is survived by five children and 13 grandchildren.