After graduating from Texas A&M in 1915 and serving as an officer in France during World War I, George W. Mitchell knew a thing or two about fortitude.
George used these strengths in 1921, leaving his job as a superintendent at Southern Steel to form his own construction company. G.W. Mitchell General Contractor started out small, building family homes in the Southside with the odd apartment complex and commercial project.
As time went on, the company grew its reputation by building homes for several prestigious San Antonio families, including a home for Judge Winchester Kelso’s son, which later came to house the famous La Fonda restaurant, and the Atkins Family Estate, what we all know as the McNay Art Museum. Around the same time, George’s company took a step beyond the residential market when it built its first school in Floresville, Texas.
The Great Depression hit George’s business like everyone else’s. After almost decade of growth, housing and construction slowed. Scrounging for repair and housing work as far as West Texas, George fought hard to keep his business and family alive. To stay above water, he took on more commercial jobs. A large project with Hoffmann & Hayman Coffee Co. in 1932, hard work, and close relationships kept G.W. Mitchell afloat during the Second World War.
It was a close relationship with famous architect O’Neil Ford that kept G.W. Mitchell busy in the residential construction market from 1937 through the 70s. This collaboration yielded dozens of homes in Olmos Park and Terrell Hills.
George passed his knowledge and enduring spirit on to his three sons (George, Bob and Melvin) in the late 1940s when the firm was incorporated into G.W. Mitchell & Sons Inc. Together, George and his sons thrived through the 1950s to 1970s, taking on bigger and more prestigious projects such as La Villita Assembly Building and UT Health Science Center.
The spirit of hard work and endurance that George brought to his company has left a lasting legacy, helping his children and grandchildren to survive economic hardships in the 1980s, the 2008 crash, and recent competitive entries into the San Antonio market. This persistent presence in the construction industry can be seen all over San Antonio from the Alamo and Hemisfair Arena to Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University and the UIW Mabee Library.
Today, a third generation manages the tradition of providing high-quality construction services with Melvin serving as Chairman of the Board, Bill Mitchell as President, Lane Mitchell as Vice President, Andy Mitchell as CFO. In the summer of 2012, a fourth generation Mitchell joined the team. Erin Mitchell Clementson is Director of Business Development, keeping the family tradition alive.
Strong community relationships, a powerful sense of optimism, and the undeniable fortitude George W. passed down to his family is what has kept G.W. Mitchell at the forefront of the construction industry for 95 years, making them key players in the development of Alamo City landscape.