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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Hon. John Mathes

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 552 - 553

This worthy pioneer was for many years identified with the interests of Rhine Township, and therefore a sketch of him will be read with interest by many of his old friends and acquaintances. Mr. Mathes was born in Udenheim, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, November 11, 1811. In his native land he grew to manhood and received a liberal education. In 1835 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Miller, who was born in Niedersulzheim in 1812, being a native of the same province as her husband. Five years after the celebration of their marriage they sailed for the United States, and made their first location in Germantown, Washington County, Wis. In 1847 Mr. Mathes moved to Sheboygan County and purchased a tract of timbered land in the town of Rhine. The country was wild in the extreme; scarcely an improvement had been made, and the cabins of very few settlers were yet established in that part of the county. Mr. Mathes was a hard-working man and a good manager. By the untiring efforts of himself and his wife, valuable property was accumulated and left for their children to enjoy.

Mr. Mathes took a prominent part in the improvements of his community and in the organization of his town and county. In 1854 he was chosen as Representative to the State Legislature, where he discharged his duties in an able and satisfactory manner. In his political views, he was a life-long Democrat and took a lively interest in the triumph of the principles of his party. Both he and his wife were members of the Evangelical Church. In October, 1871, his faithful helpmate passed from among the living, and in September, 1875, he joined his wife in the spirit world. Of the eight children bora to this pioneer couple, but two survive: Peter and Marguerite.

Mr. Mathes was one of the prominent men of his township, was widely and popularly known, and it is to be regretted that a fuller account of his life cannot be obtained, as it is to such men that we owe, in a large measure, the progress in wealth, intelligence and good government this country has made.

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