DAVID B. MATNEY. - The life history of David B. Matney is certainly worthy of commendation and of emulation, for along honorable and straightforward lines he has won the success which crowns his efforts and makes him one of the substantial residents of Shawnee township, in Wyandotte county, Kansas. During the greater portion of his active career Mr. Matney has been identified with agricultural pursuits and he is now the owner of a farm of one hundred and seventy-three acres of most arable land, eligibly located two miles from Argentine.
A native of the fine old Dominion commonwealth, David B. Matney was born on the 3rd of August, 1836, and he is a son of Charles and Abigail (Brown) Matney, the former of whom passed to the life eternal on the 6th of October, 1891, and the latter of whom died in November, 1865, aged fifty-eight years. The Matney family first located in Jackson county, Missouri, but came to Wyandotte county, Kansas, in the year 1844, and here Charles Matney purchased land and remained during the residue of his life. David B. Matney was reared in this county and educated in the schools of the locality and period and on January 26, 1860, was solemnized his marriage to Miss Emily Puckett. In 1867 he and his wife settled on a tract of forty acres of land in Shawnee township, this county, coming to the place where he now lives in 1865, and after clearing the same they have added to it until they now own one hundred and seventy three acres of finely improved land. Mr. Matney was at Shawnee during the border times when the town was burned and he has a distinct recollection of the troublous Civil war times. Mr. Matney was twice arrested by the Confederacy as a Rebel and a third time, when he started across the plains, he was followed, arrested and taken to Fort Leavenworth where all his belongings were taken from him and he was given his release.
In 1863 his house was burned at Shawnee during the raid and he then established the family home at Westport for a time. When war was ended and peace again established throughout the country Mr. Matney returned with his family to the farm in Shawnee township and here has resided during the long intervening years to the present time. He has devoted his attention to diversified agriculture and the raising of high grade stock during most of his life time but is now living virtually retired, the old homestead being operated by his sons. Some of the land is set out to fruit trees and the beautiful buildings in the midst of well cultivated fields well indicate the thrift and industry of the practical owner.
On the 26th of January, 1860, at West Port, Mr. Matney was united in marriage to Miss Emily Puckett, who was born in Virginia, on the 5th of July, 1842, and who is a daughter of John and Mary (Carl) Puckett. The Puckett family came west in 1851, at which time Mrs. Matney was a child of nine years of age. Settlement was made in an old warehouse in Wyandotte county in 1850 and Mrs. Matney was educated in the district school in the vicinity of the present site of Kansas City. Her childhood was one of great interest and excitement and her reminiscences of pioneer days are unusually vivid. Mr. and Mrs. Matney became the parents of five children, whose names are here entered in respective order of birth: John, George, Joseph, Elisha and Earl. The four older children are married and live on the old home place and the youngest son, Earl, remains at home with his aged parents.
Mr. Matney is a stalwart Democrat in his political proclivities and he has served for a number of years as a member of the local school board. In early days he and his family were devout members of the Baptist church but in 1900 transferred their allegiance to the Methodist church, in which he is a Sunday School teacher and a member of the board of deacons. Mr. Matney was made a Mason in Shawnee some forty years ago but he is now a member of Argentine Lodge, No. 332, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. He is a man of sterling integrity and fine moral fiber. Although he has attained to the venerable age of seventy-eight years, he is still erect and retains in much of their pristine vigor the splendid physical and mental qualities of his youth. He and his wife are held in high esteem throughout this community, where their exemplary lives and innate kindliness of spirit have won them the lasting friendship of all with whom they have come in contact.
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