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James Thomas Mathis
(Reprinted from the History of Macon County, 1910)
Although neither a pioneer himself nor the son of one, James T. Mathis, whose farm of over 100 acres, located in Independence township, is one of the model country homes of Macon county, had noted pioneers among his ancestors on both sides of the house, and inherited their spirit of endurance, self-sacrificing industry, conquest and improvement. He has contributed essentially and substantially to the development and enrichment of the region in which he has his home, and through its advancement to the progress and aggrandizement of the whole state.
Mr. Mathis is a native of Macon county and was born on December 10, 1879. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Hall) Mathis, were also born and reared in this county, and here they passed the whole of their married life, the father ending his days in August, 1883, amid the scenes of his useful labors and rich in the esteem of the whole people. He was a farmer and a very active man in connection with everything in which the enduring welfare of the township and county were involved. His father was born and reared in North Carolina, and moved from that state to Kentucky in his early manhood. He was married to a Kentucky lady, whose family had been domesticated in the state for one or two generations before her birth. In 1890 she was married a second time.
James T. Mathis was the only child of his father, and grew to manhood on the parental homestead. He obtained his education in the country schools in the neighborhood of his liome, and as soon as he left school began farming, for a time with his father and afterward on his own account, continuing his operations in this line of activity until 1907, when he started the mercantile establishment of which he is still the proprietor and enterprising manager. He still owns his farm, however, and oversees its cultivation and also gives his personal attention to the thriving live-stock industry conducted on it. His store is located in the progressive village of Cottage, and is in keeping with the wideawake aud enterprising, people of that neighborhood who patronize it. Mr. Mathis holds high rank as a very energetic and thoroughly up-to-date merchant, keeping his stock at all times up to the full requirements of the community and conducting all his dealings with the utmost fairness and propriety.
The farm interests and the mercantile engagements which require the attention of Mr. Mathis are extensive and exacting, and he gives them all the most careful and intelligent attention, neglecting nothing in connection with them that good business management demands. But he does not allow them to wholly engross him, or put away from his view the interests of the community in a general way. Every undertaking in which the progress and elevation of the township and county are involved has his earnest, active and stimulating support, whether it be connected with the industrial, the moral, the mental or the civil and social life of the community. In politics he is a Democrat of firm convictions and is always zealous and effective in the service of his party. He is at this time (1910) its county committeeman for Independence township and his leadership in that section is recognized as wise and potential. As a member of the school board for over six years, and during most of that period its clerk, he rendered excellent and highly valued service to one of the most esteemed and useful public institutions the people have, the public school system. In fraternal life he is prominently connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. On December 24, 1899, he was married to Miss Morah Scott, a native of this county, where her mother also was born, the father being a native of Ohio. Two daughters have blessed the union. Hazel, who is now eight years old, and Daphne, who is six.
Elmer, Missouri - Early History