|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
A prominent agriculturist of Jackson township, John H. Mathews has not only attained success along that line but has also served with distinction in official positions, having for a number of years graced the bench as justice of the peace, receiving high commendation for his fairness and impartiality in conducting the office. Residing on one hundred acres of fertile fund on section 29, Jackson township, Livingston county, Mr. Mathews is a native son, being born here, near his present residence, on June 4, 1848, a son of Stephen and Mary (Trammel) Mathews. The father, one of the pioneers of this region, was a native of New York, settling in Livingston county in 1842, finding a home in the wilderness of the virgin forest. Having acquired title to about four hundred acres of land, he cleared eighty of that amount and became successful along agricultural lines. He was popular, well liked and highly esteemed for his many Christian qualities, and it is said of him that he never had an enemy. Politically he was a republican and also did service in the home guard during war times. Official recognition came to him in election to the position of trustee of the township. Well beloved by many, he died March 25, 1910, at the age of eighty-eight years, his wife having preceded him to the better land in 1890 at the age of sixty-five years, and they are buried side by side in Brassfield cemetery. The Mathews family is of English origin but for many years have made their home on this side of the Atlantic, the paternal grandfather of our subject having already participated in the sanguine straggle known as the Blackhawk war.
John H. Mathews was reared under the parental roof and in the acquirement of his education attended the public schools of the neighborhood, assisting his father in the work of the farm until twenty-one years of age, and under the latter's able guidance acquiring agricultural methods which have later stood him in good stead. After his marriage lie began to farm on his own account on thirty acres of land, but subsequently sold this tract and acquired forty acres, of which he also disposed and thereafter bought the old homestead, on which he has since pursued general farming and stock-raising, being successful along both lines. Forceful and aggressive, he follows modern methods in the cultivation of his farm and has attained highly satisfactory results, having instituted such equipment, implements and improvement as facilitate the labor and greatly crease the productivity of the soil.
On October 15, 1871, in Jackson township, Mr. Mathews was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Burns, an adopted daughter of Nicholas Walker, who died in September, 1877, and is buried in Brassfield cemetery. Mrs. Walker, foster mother of Mrs. Mathews, makes her home in Chillicothe, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Mathews have one living son, Nicholas Walker, who married Miss Eva Kilburn of Grundy county, Missouri, while two children died in infancy.
Politically Mr. Mathews is a republican and keeps well informed upon the issues of the day affecting the section, state or nation. His public spirit has been recognized in his election to the office of justice of the peace, in which capacity he has continuously served for the past eight years, his decisions being so strictly fair and impartial as to insure him the highest commendation. He also has been for a number of years clerk and a director of the local school board, manifesting in that capacity an interest in the cause of education that found expression in a number of improvements which were undertaken at his instigation. His religious afflictions are with the Baptist church, of which he is clerk and treasurer, taking part in all that pertains to the well-being of the institution and its allied societies. A worthy man of forceful character and high qualities, Mr. Mathews is greatly honored by all who know him and he and his wife receive the regard of all their friends and neighbors. While he has attained personally to a position of substantiality, he has been a constructive factor in this section not only in promoting agricultural development but in the upbuilding of the people, for through his official positions he has largely contributed to bring about the high conditions of civilization which are enjoyed by the present generation in this part of Livingston county.