Pulaski County

Biography - Robert Mathis

ROBERT D. MATHIS, cashier of the First National Bank of Mound City, Illinois, is a young man who has by his industry and sturdy application succeeded in establishing himself firmly in the ranks of the more conservative business men of his city. Mr. Mathis was born at America, Illinois, on March 14, 1877, and is the son of Dr. J. B. Mathis, a practicing physician of Mound City, and who has been a resident of Pulaski county for many years.

Dr. Mathis was born in Trigg county, Kentucky. January 5, 1840, he being a son of W. Mathis, who came to Illinois in 1849, settling two miles north of Vienna, where he resided until his death, in 1860, at the early age of forty-seven years. He also was a native of Trigg county, Kentucky, and a son of John Mathis, who came to Kentucky from Virginia as a young man. The latter named was born in Virginia, in 1790, and passed the best years of his life as a planter in his native state. He came to Illinois during the war of 1861-5 and died in Randolph county. His wife was one Margaret Brown, of Virginia, and they were the parents of nine children, as follows: William, James, Leonard, Thomas, Preston, Elizabeth, who became the wife of James Hester; Matilda, who died unmarried; Eleanor, the wife of William Izell at the time of her demise; and Malinda, who married an Izell, a brother of her sister's husband.

Mr. Mathis pursued the vocation of his father, in which he had been wisely trained. He married Miss Cynthia Scott, a resident of his county and a daughter of William Scott. Mrs. Mathis died in 1888, leaving children to mourn her loss. They were the parents of Robert D., who died in Johnson county, Illinois; Elizabeth E., who became the wife of James Pippins and resides in Dallas, Texas; Dr. J. B., of Pulaski county, Illinois; Margaret A., who married Jacob Rebman and died in Johnson county, Illinois; and James Preston Mathis, who left a family in the same county when he died in 1903.

The early training of Dr. Mathis was received in the rural schools of the district in which he was reared. He later was graduated from the Eclectic School of Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio, after which he established himself as a physician in America, Illinois, now more than forty years ago. In 1899 he removed to Mound City, where he has lived a quiet, industrious life, absorbed in the manifold duties of his chosen profession, and content to end his days in the unpretentious manner peculiar to his whole life. He was married in Johnson county, Illinois, to Mary S. Mason, a daughter of James Mason, who, like Dr. Mathis, was a native of Trigg county, Kentucky, where Mrs. Mathis was born in 1846. The issue of this union are J. W. Mathis, of America, Illinois; Dr. John B. Mathis, of Ullin, Illinois; Maurice P. Mathis, an attorney of Konowa, Oklahoma; Robert D. Mathis, the subject of this sketch; Archie M. Mathis, of Tamaroa, Illinois; and Mrs. H. P. Neadstine, of Mound City.

Robert D. Mathis was educated in the public schools of his home town and in the Dixon Business College at Dixon, Illinois. After his graduation he taught school for two terms in the district schools of Pulaski county, but abandoned the work early in search of employment more lucrative and more suited to his inclinations. He went from there to Texas, where he became a bookkeeper for the Texas Coal & Fuel Company, at Rock Creek. Texas, a coal town in the vicinity of Mineral Wells. He occupied that berth for five years and in 1904 returned to Illinois and took employment with the Wisconsin Chair Company, of Mound City, as a bookkeeper. Following that he engaged in the drug business for a year, when he sold out and went into the railroad service as agent, serving principally at Mounds, Illinois, until the year 1910, in which year he was appointed cashier of the First National Bank of Mound City, his present position.

On May 27, 1906, Mr. Mathis was married in Fort Worth, Texas, to Miss May Roberson, a daughter of J. A. Roberson of Ardmore, Oklahoma. They are the parents of three promising young sons: Robert D., Jr., Curtis Reagan and John B. Mr. Mathis is a member of several fraternal societies, among them being the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Improved Order of Red Men.

Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 2, page 798-799

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