DR. JOHN B. MATHIS is an example of the man who devotes himself entirely to the pursuit of his profession, feeling that to be a faithful practitioner one's outside interests must not be such as to absorb any of the time which should be given to others. Not that he is not interested in the civic life of his community, or in public enterprises affecting the welfare of its citizens, for he has held office more than once, but in business enterprises he takes no interest.
The birth of Dr. Mathis occurred in Vienna, Illinois, on the 24th of September, 1871. His father is Dr. John B. Mathis, of Mound City, whose personal and geneological record appears briefly elsewhere in this work. Dr. Mathis was brought up at America, in Pulaski county, and received his early education in the district schools of that county. His first college work was done in Christian College, at Eureka, and later he attended the Southern Illinois Normal at Carbondale. When he was eighteen, since it was necessary for him to have funds if he wished to go into medical work, he gave up his life as a student and went into the teaching profession. He gained much experience in the schools of Pulaski county, learning the sympathy and patience that were afterwards of so great value to him. After five years spent thus he took up his preparation for the practice of medicine. He did his preliminary work in his father's office, and went to Barnes Medical College in St. Louis with as fine a preparation as could have been obtained anywhere. He graduated from the above mentioned college, which is now a part of Barnes University, in 1900, and established himself in Ullin, Illinois.
His absorption in his books and laboratory and patients has been such as to prevent much outside work, but feeling in his own profession the lack of a telephone system he was actively interested in the promotion of a scheme to form a local telephone company, and it is of much satisfaction to him to know that in case of a sudden illness his patient does not run the risk of dying for lack of a speedy way of reaching him. In his service as president of the school board of Ullin he has been of inestimable worth in insisting upon the best of sanitation and modern equipment for the schools. As president of the village board of trustees he has shown his interest in the uplift of the community, both economically and sociologically speaking.
Dr. Mathis is actively interested in the fraternal orders, being a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, in which organization he has served as clerk since the establishment of a camp in Ullin. He is also an Odd Fellow and a member of the Knights of Pythias. His religious affiliations are with the Christian church.
In the month of August, 1900, Dr. Mathis married Miss Nellie Lentz, a daughter of Daniel W. Lentz, who is at present living in Orange, California. Mrs. Lentz was Miss Maria E. Keen, and Mrs. Mathis is one of three children. The marriage took place in Cairo, Illinois, and Mrs. Mathis came as a bride to Ullin. The children of Dr. and Mrs. Mathis are Delbert, Russell and Gwendolin.
Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 2, page 887-888