Biography - Robert Mathis

ROBERT D. MATHIS, Justice of the Peace of Bloomfield Township, and one of its prosperous farmers, has borne an honorable part in local public affairs, and is a highly respected citizen. He was born in Trigg County, Ky., January 18, 1836. His father, William Mathis, was a native of the same county, and was a son of John Mathis, who was, it is thought, born in Virginia, where his father, whose name was the same as his own, spent his entire life so far as known. His wife was married a second time to a man by the name of Ellison, and she died in Trigg County, Ky.
The grandfather of our subject located in Kentucky in an early day, and was one of the pioneers of Trigg County, where he improved a good farm. In 1846 he disposed of his property there, and coming to Illinois, bought a farm in Randolph County, and resided there until his death, his wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Brown, also dying in that county.
The father of our subject grew to manhood and was married in Kentucky. In 1849, he emigrated to this county with his wife and four children, coming with an ox-team, bringing his household goods and camping by the way at night. A six days' journey brought the family to their destination in Bloomfield Township, where the father bought a tract of Government land. He first erected a log cabin for a dwelling and then commenced at once the hard pioneer labor of clearing and developing his land. November 22, 1860, he died, and the township lost a useful and much-esteemed citizen. His wife survived him until June, 1888, and then passed away at a venerable age. Her maiden name was Cynthia Scott, and she was a native of Trigg County, Ky., and a daughter of William and Mary (Moore) Scott. She and her husband were the parents of five children: Robert D., Elizabeth E., John B., Margaret A. and James P.
Our subject was thirteen years old when the family came to Illinois to found a new home in the wilds of this county, which was still in the hands of the pioneers, and he has witnessed much of its growth to its present condition. Deer, wild turkeys and other game were plentiful in this then sparsely settled region, and there were but few public improvements. There were no railways, and Metropolis was the principal market and depot for supplies for all the country around for many miles.
Mr. Mathis continued to live with his parents until his marriage, and he then farmed on rented land for six years. At the end of that time he bought forty acres of land on section 21, Bloomfield Township, to which he has added by further purchase, and he now has a good farm of one hundred and forty acres that is under excellent cultivation and is well improved.
The marriage of our subject with Miss Lucinda, daughter of Robert and Mahala (Buchanan) Fairless, and a native of Gallatin County, was celebrated in 1858, and has been a union of true happiness. To them have been born four children: John R., George W., Alonzo F. and Lilian V.
Mr. Mathis represents the interests of law and order in his township as Justice of the Peace, in which office he is now serving his tenth year, having given universal satisfaction in the performance of his duties. He was a Collector of Taxes two years, and for a period of ten years was Township School Treasurer. In politics, he is allied with the Republicans, and in his religious views, he is of the Methodist Episcopal faith and a consistent member of the church of that denomination.

Extracted 21 Sep 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 282-283

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