Edward Mather, an early Kansas pioneer and veteran of the Civil War, was born August 11, 1838, and is a son of Joshue E. and Mariah (Frisbie) Mather, the father a native of Vermont and a son of John and Abigail Webster (Emery) Mather. Abigail Webster Emery was a near relative of Daniel Webster. John Mather was of English descent and his ancestors have been traced back to the fifteenth century. Among them are prominent lawyers, doctors, statesmen and soldiers. The Mather family was prominent in Colonial days, and several members served with distinction in the Revolutionary War, and Edward Mather has some of the early historic relics of the family. Joshue E. Mather was born in Rockingham, Vt., November 24, 1810, and died August 28, 1880. He married Mariah Frisbie, June 10, 1834, and to this union ten children were born, of whom Edward was the third. Joshue E. Mather was reared on a farm in New York where his father had settled in 1815, and in early life was a carpenter, and later followed blacksmithing. About 1844 he removed to Illinois, settling in Will county. Chicago was then only a small town. He bought a farm in Will county and remained one year, and in 1845 returned to New York, where he was engaged in the manufacture of charcoal iron five years. He was also in the lumber business until 1852, when he again went to Illinois and settled on his farm in Will county. Edward Mather attended school until he was about fourteen years of age, after which he worked on the farm with his father until 1859, when he made a trip to Kansas, and found some government land in Nemaha county, upon which he located, and bought 480 acres. He bought the land on which the town of Vliets, Kans., now stands, but sold it long before the town was laid out. After acquiring 640 acres of land in Kansas he returned to Illinois and about this time the Civil War broke out, and in August 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Fourth Regiment, Illinois Cavalry. He participated in the engagement at Ft. Donaldson, and numerous fights along the Mississippi River to Vicksburg, where he took part in the siege of that city. He was at the battle of Shiloh and many other hard fought battles and skirmishes of the war. For a time his company was General Grant's escort, and about the time Sherman's army started on the memorable march to the sea, Mr. Mather was transferred to the ordnance department, and was located at Vicksburg about a year when he rejoined his regiment, and they marched back to Springfield, Ill., where he was discharged November 4, 1864. Mr. Mather cast his first vote for Lincoln in 1860. In 1866 he engaged in farming for himself in Illinois until May, 1877, when he returned to Kansas, and located on the farm which he had purchased in 1859. This place is still in his possession, and his land patent was signed by President Buchanan. Upon arriving in Kansas, Mr. Mather built a small frame house on his farm and made some other improvements, his wife died in 1879, and he remained on the place but a short time. He went to Joliett, Ill., for the purpose of giving his children better school advantages. After remaining there about two years, he returned to Centralia, Kans., and engaged in the lumber business. He also built a large livery barn, which he conducted for a time in connection with his lumber business. He continued the lumber business until 1913, when he sold it. He was extensively engaged in farming and stock raising for a number of years, and for a time made a specialty of Durham cattle, but later raised the Polled-Angus. He also raised hogs extensively, and continued his farm and stock business until October, 1911, when he retired and removed to Centralia and built a fine modern home where he now resides. Mr. Mather was married November 21, 1866, to Miss Henrietta Theresa, daughter of Isaac and Hanna (Allen) Bellou, of Illinois. Hanna Allen was a descendant of Ethan Allen of Revolutionary fame. To Mr. and Mrs. Mather were born four children: Reuben Elbert, farmer, Nemaha county, Kansas married Estelle Haley, and they have five children, George E., Ray A., Ruth E., May M., and Clara W.; Alice, married Robert K. Miller, now deceased, and his widow resides at Centralia and has two children, Raymond Mather and Albert Royce; James I., farmer, Nemaha county, married Myrtle Wells, and they have five children, Edward, Roland Emery, James Israel, Glen Reuben and Myrtle Alice. Minerva Mather, the youngest of the family is now deceased. The wife and mother of these children died December 26, 1879. On October 1, 1884, Mr. Mather married Cordelia E. Royce, daughter of Calvin and Abigail (Webster) Royce. Calvin Royce was a native of Marlowe, N. H., born April 16, 1799, and Abigail Webster was born in Rockingham, Vt., January 5, 1806. The father died October 4, 1889, and the mother died April 3, 1896. Mrs. Mather is the youngest of six children, and was born in Essex county, New York, March 14, 1847. She attended the district school and later graduated from the high school at Essex, N. Y., and taught school one term. She is a member of the Congregational Church of Centralia, Kans., and active in the work of the congregation. Mr. Mather is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and commander of the Centralia post.Pages 135-136 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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