DELMER C. MATHER has probably had as extensive business relations with the people of Rawlins County as any other citizen. He has lived there over thirty years and in that time has come to know practically every family that has made a home in that section of Kansas, and his business is handling lumber at the yard of the Foster Lumber Company at Atwood.
Mr. Mather was born in Winneshiek County, Iowa, March 3, 1859. His paternal ancestors were Scotch-Irish who came to New York in colonial times. His grandfather was a native of New York, was a farmer and lived also in Ohio and Iowa and died in Clayton County of the latter state before Delmer C. Mather was born. The latter's father, Darius C. Mather, was born in Ohio in 1830 and soon after his marriage moved to Clayton County, Iowa. He was a carpenter by trade and in 1861, enlisted in Company E of the Twenty-Seventh Iowa Infantry. He was in some of the early campaigns of the Mississippi Valley and finally at the siege of Vicksburg. He fell a victim not to an enemy's bullet but to the disease which ravaged the northern armies in the swamps and bayous of the Mississippi and died at Vicksburg in 1863, soon after that Confederate stronghold fell. He was a whig in politics and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Darius C. Mather married Amanda H. Mather, a distant relative. She was born in Ohio in 1830 and died in Clayton County, Iowa, in 1875. There were three children: Florence R., wife of W. T. Willoughby, a farmer in North Dakota, Delmer C. and Abbie who died at Iroquois, South Dakota, in 1917, where her husband, M. M. Rounds, is still a farmer.
Delmer C. Mather attended the public schools of Clayton County, Iowa. He was only four years old when his father died. He lived at home to the age of seventeen, acquiring a fair education in the rural schools. He worked out as a farm hand and at other employment, and acquired only a nominal capital through a varied experience before he came to Kansas.
In 1885 Mr. Mather located in Rawlins County and in 1886, took a pre-emption on 160 acres. He sold this pre-emption and in 1887 began work for the Central Granaries at Herndon. He was with that grain corporation for fifteen years and manager of the Herndon plant until March 2, 1902. The day after he left this service he began work for the Foster Lumber Company as manager of the yards at Atwood, from which point the company supplied lumber and building material for almost the entire county. He left the company after eight years to become a farmer, but, three years later, in 1910, was elected register of deeds of Rawlins County and by re-election in 1912 served four years.
During 1915 Mr. Mather represented the Kansas City Life Insurance Company, but in 1916 he returned to his old post as manager of the Foster Lumber Company, which has one of its most complete yards at Atwood.
Mr. Mather while a resident of Herndon Township served as constable, justice of the peace, township clerk, and was also postmaster of the town. He has always been a republican voter and worker and is a member of Atwood Lodge No. 164, Ancient Free and and Accepted Masons. Atwood Chapter No. 84, Royal Arch Masons, Atwood Commandery No. 54, Knights Templar, and for twenty years was a member of Ancient Order of United Workmen.
June 11, 1880, in Clayton County, Iowa, Mr. Mather married Miss Ella M. Wiltse, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Wiltse, who were Iowa farmers, both now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Mather's children are nine in number: Jesse J., the oldest, a graduate of the Rawlins County High School, has a farm adjoining Atwood. Elmer O., also a graduate of the County High School, is a traveling drygoods salesman and lives in San Diego, California. Clarence, a graduate of the County High School, is a merchant at Arapahoe, Nebraska. George W. is connected with the Gas Company at Bloomington, Illinois. Gertrude E., who, after graduating from the County High School, taught five years, is a resident of Atwood and widow of Floyd Hacker, who died as county treasurer of Rawlins County in December, 1918. Guy H., of Atwood, a graduate of the County High School, travels for the Armour Packing Company. Ernest L. is a member of the U. S. Marines, stationed at Mare Island, California. Gladys is a senior in the County High School and Mildred is in the first year of high school.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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