Sophia Mitchell was the first African-American woman to serve as a mayor in Ohio.
In 1976, Mitchell was appointed as mayor of Rendville, Ohio, which is located in Perry County. Rendville was a mining town established in the late nineteenth century. Unlike most other mining communities in Ohio, Rendville included large numbers of African Americans. Traditionally, white miners had refused to allow companies to hire African-American miners, but William P. Rend, the founder of Rendville and owner of a mine in this community, hired large numbers of African Americans as well as Europeans.
Rendville also was the first community to have an African-American male serve as mayor. In 1888, Isaiah Tuppins won election as Rendville's mayor. Mitchell's life illustrates the gradual increase in opportunities for people of all races in Ohio.