S: Mathers History: Pennsylvania to Missouri
BC: family photos from the private collection of Donna Jean Mathers Boyer | Research sites Ancestry.com Family Search.org Find a Grave.com Heritage Quest.com Missouri Digital Heritage Collection NorthWest Missouri Genealogical Society St. Joseph Public Library | family files from Marta Hurst Clara Smiley Ueland Shirleen Stanton Smiley Gartin Pat Shaw
FC: The Mathers Family | From Pennsylvania to Missouri | 1778 - 1954
1: Joseph Mathers | In Pennsylvania, Joseph married Mary McConnell, the daughter of Alexander McConnell and Martha Wilson. Mary's Presbyterian parents had come from Ireland also and, by 1750, were settled in Fulton County, Pennsylvania. Mary, the youngest of seven children, was born in Pennsylvania about 1778. | Joseph Mathers was born in Ireland around 1778. He and his parents probably immigrated to America during the Great Migration of Presbyterian "Scots Irish" from Ulster, Ireland to Pennsylvania in the mid to late 1700s Drought, famine and economic pressures influenced many to leave Ireland during that time.
2: Joseph and Mary's children were born in Pennsylvania. | But Joseph died during the early 1800s before the boys reached their mid-teens. His wife moved the family to Belmont County, Ohio where her father had been living and paying taxes since 1811. After moving to Ohio, she married Alexander McConnell Smiley on April 21, 1814. Their two children, Alexander McConnell Smiley (b.1816) and Mary Jane Smiley, were born in Ohio. Many years later, James Mathers lived with his half brother Alexander in Missouri. And when James died in 1885, he left half of his farm to Alexander McConnell Smiley's son Alexander and half to the children of his brother William. Mary McConnell Mathers Smiley probably died in Ohio prior to 1830. | William about 1798 James January 27, 1800
3: On March 26, 1819, five years after his mother's second marriage, Willam married Mary Gandy (Goudy?) who was born in Maryland in 1797. Their seven children were born between 1820 and 1841 while the couple was living in Belmont County, Wheeling Township, Ohio. William's brother James may have lived with them for a while in the early 1820s. The census for that year shows two males between the ages of 26 and 45 in William's household. This census also shows his mother, step-father and half siblings living nearby as was his step-grandfather Alexander McConnell. | Eleanore Mathers Jan. 11, 1820 - Sept. 2, 1893 Joseph Mathers Dec. 12, 1822 - April 1884 Margaret Jane Mathers Feb. 8 1825 - June 2, 1912 James Mathers Nov. 1827 - June 1904 Eliza Mathers May 28 1830 - April 10, 1898 William A. Mathers Nov. 31,1836 - Feb. 14, 1870 Sarah Elizabeth Mathers Jan. 13, 1838 - April 22, 1918 | Children of William and Mary Gandy/Goudy Mathers | Brother James waited until he was about 36 years old before marrying. He married Margaret Duff, whose Pennsylvania-born parents had been early settlers of Belmont County.
4: James' wife Margaret Duff was only 35 years old when she died in 1840, a year and a half after the birth of their daughter, Mary Emeline. Mary Emeline died in Missouri at age 16 in 1855. James never remarried and had no other children. | The McConnell, Duff and Mathers families lived near each other in Belmont County from 1830 to 1840. Tax records indicate that William may have also owned land in Harrison County. | Lake Eirie | Belmont County
5: Sometime during 1840, William and his oldest son, Joseph, visited Missouri. William returned to Ohio for several years then in 1843 moved his family to Buchanan County in the recently acquired Platte Purchase. William and Mary Gandy Mathers' oldest daughter Eleanore, stayed behind. She had married Dr. James Bethel in 1842 and moved to Harrison County. She remained in Ohio the rest of her life, raising eight children. The family probably traveled by boat down the Ohio River to St. Louis and then up the Missouri River to northwest Missouri. Alexander McConnell Smiley reported that he, his wife Sarah and his mother (probably his step-mother Nancy Bell) took that route in 1854. James Mathers and his young daughter Mary Emeline may have accompanied them since the Smileys helped raise Mary Emeline. Furthermore, James made his home with the Smileys when he first moved to Missouri.
6: By 1850, only two of William amd Mary's children were still at home: 14 year old William A. and 11 year old Sarah. The others - Joseph, Margaret Jane, Eliza and James - were married and most were living close by in Crawford and Centre Townships near Agency and WillowBrook, Missouri. Eight years later, Nov. 8, 1858, Mary Gandy/Goudy?Mathers passed away. On Dec. 24, 1862, William married Phebe Henderson, a 40 year old widow with two young children. William died sometime between 1870 and 1880. | Sarah Mathers Gordon | Eliza Mathers Powers | from photos posted by Teri Patton Gregg at Find A Grave.com
7: 1850 | Crawford Township
8: Joseph Mathers, farmer and stock raiser, section 35, post office Willow Brook, is one of the early settlers of the township. Mathers and his brother-in-law, Onan Miller, were the first settlers to improve section 35, who settled there in 1842. He was born in Belmont county, Ohio, December 12, 1822, and resided there and in Harrison County till he was eighteen years of age, when he came to Missouri with a Dr. Townsend, who settled in Crawford Township, and for whom he sold goods about a year. | Excerpts from "History of Buchanan County, Missouri" Published 1881 | Then he returned to Ohio, and at the expiration of another year, in company with his father, again visited Missouri, settling in Crawford Township. At the beginning of the Mexican War he was employed in the government service, freighting stores to a line of forts then being established across the mountains in Oregon." | " | This 1877 map shows "Jos Mathews " with property near the Farris and Riley families. Joseph's son, John William, married Issac Farris' daughter, Theodocia, in 1891. Theodocia's mother was Louisa Anne Riley. | Onan Miller, who was from Indiana originally, married Joseph's sister Margaret J. Mathers in Buchanan County Missouri in 1845. In Dec. 1864, Joseph's brother James testified in the Provost Marshal's court that "some men searched the house of O. Miller for arms and not finding any, threatened to hang Miller and make him tell where they were but they left instead." | Missouri 's Union Provost Marshall Papers 1861-1866 Missouri State Archives
9: Mexican American War 1846 - 1848 The desire of the U.S. to expand across the North American continent to the Pacific Ocean caused conflict with all of its neighbors; from the British in Canada and Oregon to the Mexicans in the southwest. In both 1835 and 1845 the Mexican government refused the opportunity to sell half of its country to the United States. When the U.S. allowed the Republic of Texas to become a state in 1845, Mexico challenged the annexation of territory that they themselves claimed. At the war's end in 1848, Mexico agreed to give up about 55 percent of its territory and got $15 million in return. The History Guy.com Social Studies for Kids.com | Military forts were established to protect emigrants to the Oregon Territory and to discourage Mexico from establishing a military presence in the territory.
10: "On April 22, 1849, Joseph Mathers married Miss Sarah Underwood, daughter of William Underwood, a resident of Bloomington Township. In 1850, he visited Oregon and California, returning via Panama and New Orleans in 1852 to Buchanan County, Missouri,where he had a good farm." | biographical excerpts from "History of Buchanan County, Missouri" Published 1881 | A journey from California via Panama and New Orleans usually started in San Francisco where passage to Panama by sailing ship was around $125. Crossing the 50-mile Isthmus required pack mules, canoes and walking. However, by July 1852, a railroad covered part of the route so the trip could have taken about two days. Steamers transported the travelers to New Orleans where they could take the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers north. Reports of the length of time for the trip range from four to six weeks and up to three months, depending on weather and the availability of transportation.
11: "During the civil war he served in the Union Army two years as Lieutenant in a company of Buchanan County Militia." | The 87th regiment had duty in the 7th Military District in NorthWest Missouri. The only action listed for this Union unit was a scouting expedition by a detachment to Taos, MO on July 19, 1864. This was a home guard regiment and was mustered out in March of 1865. | This regiment, stationed in Buchanan County. was ordered to disband "in consequence of an extraordinary reduction in numbers, from various causes, such as removals from the State, volunteering in the United States service, and payment of the commutation tax in lieu of military service." Missouri Adjutant-General's Office Nov. 1, 1863 | In the late summer and fall of 1861, every able-bodied man in Missouri was ordered to report immediately to the nearest military outpost to enroll and be sworn into the newly created state militia. The men were supposed to stay at home and come into service only when needed to fight rebel guerrillas and bushwackers in their local area. They supplied their own horses, guns, and ammunition and were encouraged to take their food and supplies from disloyal citizens. Participation was compulsory; however, southern sympathizers could pay a $10 tax and take a loyalty oath to avoid serving. | 25th Regiment Enrolled Militia | 87th Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia Company E | Buchanan County Missouri Militia Enrollment List 1865 | Joseph Mathers: age 43, 6' 2", dark hair, blue eyes, light skin, married, farmer William Mathers: age 25, 5' 11", light hair, blue eyes, light skin, single, farmer ( the two brothers are in Capt. N. McClain's Company)
12: "History of Buchanan County, Missouri" Published 1881 | Union Leagues were formed during the Civil War to promote loyalty to the Union and the policies of Abraham Lincoln. The members were usually upper middle class men who supported the Republican party. Some Union Leagues functioned as a volunteer, often secret, militia | "He was elected county assessor in 1866 and again in 1868. In politics he is a Republican, and during the war was a member of the Union League and of the G.A.R." | In 1866, Union veterans of the Civil War organized into the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Membership was limited to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or the Revenue Cutter Service who had served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865. | Personal Property in the estate of Joseph Mathers filed June 1883 Buchanan County Missouri
13: Children of Joseph and Sarah Underwood Mathers | James E. Mathers May 1850 ~ sometime after 1920 Mary Helen Mathers Coughlin May 11, 1853 ~Nov. 21, 1944 Emily J. Mathers Henderson March 3, 1855 ~sometime after 1880 Margaret Frances Mathers Dec. 27, 1856 ~May 1, 1862 John William Mathers April 26, 1858 ~ July 26, 1961 Franklin O. August 25, 1859 ~sometime after 1880 Alexander S.Mathers July 13, 1861 ~ unknown Elizabeth Alice Mathers Hays March 15, 1863 ~Oct. 5, 1936 Arthur Mathers October 4, 1869 ~sometime after 1900 | James moved to Kansas Mary Helen taught at Willow Brook Franklin O. had no children Alexander S. died in Montana Arthur moved to Oklahoma | John William Mathers
14: John William (Bill )Mathers was married twice. His first wife, Sarah Agnes Ritchie, died a few months before turning 21. They had been married only four years and had a three year old daughter, Cleota. | Agnes and William married in her home Jan. 2, 1884 | Original oil painting perhaps by Mary Helen Mathers | John William Mathers holding baby | cover of Mathers family Bible photo of certificate in the Bible
15: Joseph Mathers was an enumerator for the 1880 census William J is listed as a son and a farmer | His second marriage, to Theodocia E. Farris, lasted 70 years. Docia, as she was known, fell down a flight of stairs in April of 1959 and broke her hip at age 89. Her death certificate, dated Dec. 27, 1959, indicates that she also had cancer of the esophagus. | Theodocia Farris' autograph book. The entries range from 1884 to 1896. | flower stickers from the autograph book | Theodocia E. Farris Mathers
16: Bill and Docia were married May 25, 1891. Nine months later baby Roy Hadden Mathers was born. However the little boy lived less than a year and a half, dying at just 15 months old. Their only other child, son Don Sherlock Mathers, was born thirteen years later. | Children of John William Mathers and Theodocia Farris Mathers Roy Hadden Mathers Dec. 22, 1891 - Aug. 7, 1892 Don Sherlock Mathers March 18, 1905 - July 31, 1954 | John William was called "Pop" by his family and "Uncle Bill" by the folks around Agency and WillowBrook. He was also identified by his initials "J.W." | Don Mathers with his father John William Mathers and his grandfather Isaac Lankford Farris
17: Bill lived on the farm between Agency and Faucett where he was born and did his own farming until 1950 (when he was 92). After he sold the farm in October of 1950, he and Docia went to St. Joseph, MO to live with their son Don and daughter-in-law Rosemary. On the 1930 plat of Agency, MO a corner of section 31 is marked "JW Mathers." | Mom and Pop didn't have a car. They drove a horse and and buggy. | circa 1915 | circa 1938
18: Some people just don’t show age. William Mathers is an example—eyesight and hearing good and a full head of hair that is only moderately gray. When the Apple Blossom parade was held earlier this month, he was a watcher as usual. Mr. Mathers is 97. On Jan. 2, 1884, William Mathers married Agnes Ritchie, who died June 4, 1888. He and Miss Theodocia Farris, the present Mrs. William Mathers, were married March 25, 1891. Mr. Mathers has outlived a child by the first marriage and two by the second. Mr. Mathers tells jokes and laughs a lot. Friends connect the laughter and his good health. One of his stories is grim. His father, a captain in the militia, skirmished with the bushwhackers in the closing days of the Civil War. One Sunday morning Quantrell’s gang rode to the farm looking for him. “They liked best of all to kill officers,” relates Uncle Bill. “The militia couldn’t stay home. It was too dangerous. My father was in St. Joseph or it would have been the end of him. The gang searched the house and took a shotgun. They looked for money. A quilt they threw out on the floor had $800 in one of the folds, but they didn’t see the money. | Had Many Scares “On the way to our house they killed a negro who hid in a shock of wheat. They ran their bayonets through the shock. And they stopped at my uncle’s house, but didn’t try to hurt him. After they left our house without finding my father they went back to my uncle’s. They wanted to kill somebody. My unce hid out. They had my aunt call him, but he didn’t answer. “We had a lot of scares after that whenever anyone came to the door at night, but no more bushwhackers. The gang was ambushed in a cornfield later and about 20 of them were killed. Quantrell and the James boys, the meanest ones, got away. “My sister, Helen Coughlan, lived next door to Jesse James when he was killed. She saw him every day, but didn’t know who he was.” Mr. Mathers is proud of his age. “I’ll soon be in the king row,” he says. “That is as far as I want to get.” | St. Joseph News Press May 29, 1955 | Excerpted from the original news story | One of the most famous men who fought as a bushwhacker was Jesse James, who began to fight in 1864. During months of often intense combat, he only battled fellow Missourians, ranging from Missouri regiments of U.S. Volunteer troops to state militia to unarmed Unionist civilians.
19: J. W. Mathers, 1905 North Second street, will celebrate his birthday Saturday. And if the brewers continue to concoct beer and the supply of peanut butter holds out, he figures on celebrating quite a few more “Never been sick two days in bed in my life,” he declared emphatically, waving a briar pipe loaded with crumbled long green leaf given to him by a friend in Faucett. His church? “I’m a Baptist,” he said. Lodge? “I was a charter member of the Woodmen of the World.” Politics? He half rose from his rocking chair as he declared, “I’m a Republican but not a crazy one. I vote for the candidate if I know him well before I vote party.” | To celebrate his 100th birthday, executives at the Goetz Brewery in St. Joseph invited JW to tour their facility. They provided lunch in their Stein Room and later sent him a case of beer. Since the brewery was founded in 1859, the year after he was born, he often joked that he had been drinking Goetz beer since he was a year old. | 100th Birthday of a Philosopher | excerpts from a story by Dick Jones in the St. Joseph News Press April 24, 1958 | How does he spend his time? “I like all kinds of sports. I read sports in the paper, listen to sports on the radio and watch the fights on TV. Baseball’s my favorite. Checkers is my favorite game and I’m pretty god at it. Had more experience than most folks,” he said, laughing. He uses glasses to read but “not if I can get out in bright sunlight.” Never Smoked a Cigaret Since he kept his pipe close at hand, he was asked about his smoking habits. “Never smoked a cigaret in my life. Used to chew when I was a farmer. Now I smoke a pipe. Smoke this long green and when I get hold of it, switch to Granger or mix the two.” Like most pipe smokers, he spent a lot of time lighting his pipe, depositing the burned matches in several different ash trays standing about his chair. What a Centenarian Eats What about food? Mr. Mathers laughed. “Peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of beer. Nothing better.” “Isn’t just a peanut butter sandwich kind of dry? Don’t you put jelly or something else with it?” “Don’t need any thing,”he declared: “The beer takes her down.” | Goetz Brewery circa 1859 | Agency, Mo circa 1956
20: During his 103 year life span, J.W. Mathers went from the horse and buggy days to the beginning of space exploration. His son, Don Sherlock Mathers, was an aviation pioneer, traveling by horseback and Interurban train to Kansas City for flying lessons. Don's pilot's license was signed personally by Orville Wright. | On May 25, 1928 Don Sherlock Mathers married Rosemary McIntyre. They flew to Alma, Michigan on their honeymoon in a plane piloted by Don. | digital reconstruction of original wedding certificate | Don Sherlock Mathers 1918 | Rosemary and Don
21: circa 1927 | In the late 20s, Don was a test pilot for the American Eagle aircraft factory in Fairfax, MO. A little later, Don flew a Stinson Detroiter out of Wichita for Yellow Cab Airways. About 1930, he flew it to Kansas City for some engine work. After the repair, he had to fly it for an hour to test it. He decided to fly it up to Faucett and back. He had his wife with him, and he was flying a little low in the area, when he encountered a downdraft. He wasn’t able to fly out of it and crashed. | Neither he nor his wife were hurt very badly and they climbed out of the plane. The first thing Don did was cut the Airways logo off the tail to avoid bad publicity. The next day, he was at the scene with a Band-Aid on his head. A member of the media said to him, “If you’d have been in that plane when it crashed, you be a lot worse off than that!” Don never said a word. | from an article written by Don Mathers' cousin Edwin Farris "Young at Heart" supplement to the St. Joseph News Press | Don Mathers gradated from Faucett High School in 1924
22: After renting houses and apartments in Kansas City and St. Joseph throughout WW II, Don bought the three bedroom brick house at 1905 North Second in 1949 and converted the second story into an apartment for his aging parents. The large house accommodated several generations. Rosemary's sister, Ethel Beatrice Kyle (Aunt Bea) had joined the family soon after the death of her husband Fred in a one-vehicle truck accident at Platte City in 1945 | original ink, charcoal and conte crayon drawing by Donna Jean Mathers Boyer 1969 | The Great Depression wiped out the Yellow Cab airplane company Don was flying for but he eventually found work as a long-distance truck driver. For a while during the late 1930s, he and Rosemary and their young daughter Norma Bea lived with his parents on the farm long held by the Mathers family. | 1905 North Second Street
23: The purchase of a new tractor trailer rig prompted Don to take the family on vacation. He and his best friend Woolsey Hubble Garrett (Buck) put beds, chairs, tables and an ice box in the trailer, took off the side and back doors, loaded up his parents, his wife and her sister and the two daughters still at home and took off for Arkansas one year and Tennessee another. Because he had to stop at weigh stations and identify his load when he crossed state lines, he would tell officials that he was hauling cattle. | children of Don Sherlock Mathers and Rosemary McIntyre Mathers | Norma Bea Mathers Slibowski October 1, 1931 Donna Jean Mathers Boyer August 11, 1941 Dorothy Mathers Townsend Tietz September 9, 1947 | Rosemary McIntyre Mathers 1946 | Don Sherlock Mathers circa 1954 | circa 1951
24: Joseph Mathers 1778 ~1812 | William Mathers 1798* - 1879* | 1820 Elenore 1893 Joseph 1825 Margaret 1912 1830 Eliza 1898 1827 James 1904 1836 William A 1870 1838 Sarah 1918 | James Mathers Jan. 27, 1800 - May 5, 1884 | Mary Ann McConnell 1778 ~about 1826 | *Joseph Mathers' birth and death estimates based on his children's birth dates,census records and date of wife's second marriage | *Mary Ann McConnell's birth date is estimated at various sources as 1764, 1765, 1774 and 1778 | 2. Phebe Henderson Feb, 28, 1821 - April 9, 1895 | 1. Mary Gandy/Goudy 1797 - Nov. 8, 1858 | married March 26, 1819 | *1850 census shows William as 52 years old. and 1880 census records show Phebe Mathers as a widow. | married Dec. 24, 1862 | .......
25: Joseph Mathers Dec. 12, 1822 - April 1884 married April 22, 1849 Sarah Underwood Aug. 5, 1826 - Feb. 27, 1900 | John William Mathers 1858~1961 married May 25, 1891 Theodocia E. Farris 1876~1959 | Roy Hadden Mathers 1891 ~1892 Don Sherlock Mathers 1905 ~1954 | Don Sherlock Mathers 1916 | James E 1850 ~after 1920 Mary H. 1853~1944 Emily J.1855~after 1880 Margaret 1856~1862 Franklin O.1859~after 1880 Alexander S. 1861~unknown Elizabeth (Lizzie) E.1863~1936 Arthur 1869~after 1900 | .......
26: Since his children were all females, the Mathers family name in this line ended with his death July 31, 1954 | Don Sherlock Mathers died of a heart attack while attempting to restart the motor of his Chris Craft boat in the middle of Lake Contrary south of St. Joseph, MO. His daughter Donna Jean was with him. The motor had stalled while he was "cutting didoes" as he called driving his boat in circles to create waves. He yanked the pull rope once unsuccessfully. "That about did me in," he said and then collapsed. A friend who was cruising nearby saw that he was in trouble, pulled up beside the boat and crawled in to help, but Don was already unconscious. By the time his craft was towed back to the dock, Don had passed away. He was 47 years old. | Norma Bea Donna Jean and Dorothy Louise Mathers 1948
27: August 2011