Robert Mathers

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

ROBERT MATHERS, who carries on general farming on section 34, Walnut Grove Township, is one of the most extensive landowners of Henderson County. He was born in Washington County, Pa., on the 19th of August, 1827, and is a son of Samuel and Jane (Green) Mathers. His parents were both natives of the Emerald Isle, but were married in New York, and removed to Washington County, Pa., where the father carried on farming on rented land until 1842, when he emigrated with his family to the West. He moved to Henderson County, Ill., where he spent his remaining days, passing away in August, 1859. Mrs. Mathers died on the 13th of February, 1891, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. In their family were ten children, four of whom are now living. Jo Mathers, the eldest surviving member, is now a resident of Biggsville. Robert is the next younger. Samuel follows farming in the same township with his brother; and George now makes his home in California.

In the usual manner of farmer lads Robert Mathers spent the days of his boyhood and youth. He made his home with his parents until his marriage, but for some time previous earned his own livelihood. When he started out for himself he had no capital, but, possessed of a resolute will and a determination to succeed, he has steadily worked his way upward. The first year he worked for John Peasley, and though he only received $122.50 for the entire year's work, he saved some money out of that. As the result of his industry and frugality he at length became the owner of a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres.

On the 12th of October, 1859, Mr. Mathers was united in marriage with Miss Alzoria Powell, daughter of Nathan and Mary Powell, who were numbered among the early settlers of Henderson County. Their union has been blessed with a family of seven children, five of whom are yet living: Eugene, at home; Dora, wife of John Irons, a prosperous and well-known fanner of Walnut Grove Township; James and Samuel N., who aid their father in the operation of the home farm; and Ethel, who completes the family. They also have with them a grandchild, a son of their deceased daughter. Their family is one of which they may well be proud, for all are doing well in life and are a credit to their parents.

In his political views, Mr. Mathers is a Republican and has served as Road Supervisor, but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking, preferring to give his entire time and attention to his business interests, in which he has met with signal success. As his financial resources have increased he has made judicious investments in farming lands, until his possessions now aggregate ten hundred and seventy acres, all in one township. This is certainly a creditable showing for a man who started out empty-handed. Step by step he has worked his way upward until he has reached a position of affluence. Upon his farm are good buildings, a good residence, barns and outbuildings (which are models of convenience), and all modern accessories. Among the self-made men of the community Robert Mathers well deserved to be numbered.