Mamaw and Papaw family history

'Mamaw' and 'Papaw' --
A Short Biography and Ancestry

[From research by Barbara Meacham Callaway]




In 1908-9 in Humphrey, Arkansas, Patrick Henly Mathews met, courted, and married Julia Lee Stokes who was 10 years his junior. At the time of their marriage in 1909, Patrick was employed as a clerk at the general store. Julia and Patrick moved into a house on Division Street where they had 7 children, each delivered at home by Doctor Fowler. In 1920 Patrick described himself as a merchant and owner of a feed store. In 1921 he was co-owner of Harlan Mathews Feed, Furniture, Hardware and Building Materials. During the depression, Patrick lost his business. He then worked as a bookkeeper at the cotton gin (1930) and later worked in Wabasekka. In 1927 the house was surrounded by the floodwaters from the Great Mississippi River Flood. In 1931, Julia ran for alderman on an all female ticket in Humphrey. All the females were defeated by write-in votes for men. John Mathews became mayor in that election. Although Patrick was baptized in the Catholic Church, he and Julia were ardent Methodists. Julia played piano on Sunday mornings and Patrick was superintendent of the children's Sunday school . Although they did not have much money, the family was always nicely dressed, and well fed. Patrick had a car for a short time.

When their oldest son Pat became prosperous as a lobbyist for the railroads, they had indoor plumbing installed and its first refrigerator. The telephone was a party line. "Miz Julia" was a great cook, accomplished seamstress, and tended both a vegetable and a flower garden, two cows and raised chickens. In later years, "Mr. P.H." was rarely seen without a cigar. Their house on Division Street had a front porch swing, a storage barn, a chicken coop and an outhouse. Inside there were six rooms. Three boys slept in the sun porch and 4 girls slept in the back bedroom. There was a storage room where jams, cobblers, and other preserves were kept. The street now adjacent to their house is named Julia Street in her honor. Patrick died in the Stuttgart Hospital on Aug. 17, 1958 at age 77. Julia moved from her house ca.1969 to live with her children. In her last years she suffered from dementia. She died on Oct. 21, 1978 at age 87 at McKendree manor, a Methodist elderly care facility in Nashville. Both are buried at Lone Tree cemetery in Stuttgart adjacent to two of their children: Harry Mathews (1915-1944) who was killed in an army training accident during WWII, and Joan Long (1924-2001). Julia was survived by sons Patrick (1910-1980) and Edward (1929- ); by daughters Hallie Beard (1912-1996), Alice Meacham (1916-2003), Margaret Bright (1918-2004), Joan Long and by 19 grandchildren.

Julia Lee Stokes was born on April 8, 1891, in Swan Lake Township, Arkansas, the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Stokes and Mary Ellen Smith. Thomas J. Stokes came from a family of 7 children who migrated from North Carolina to Tennessee and then on to Missouri. The Stokes family had likely come to America from England in the late 1600's. Thomas J. Stokes was born in Carroll county Tennessee in 1850. By the outbreak of the civil war the family was living in southern Missouri. Three of his brothers and his father fought with the rangers (Southern sympathizers) in Missouri and two brothers were killed by bushwhackers. After the war, Thomas was schooled as an engineer and by 1880 had moved to Arkansas where, widowed, he worked for the railway. In 1885 he married Mary Ellen Smith. Mary Ellen Smith was the daughter of either Robert B. Smith or his brother Stephen. The brothers came with their parents to Arkansas from Tennessee around 1842. Like the Stokes, the Smiths were not recent immigrants and likely originated from England. Stephen and Robert died when Mary Ellen was quite young and Mary Ellen was raised by Roberts wife, Martha Nicks, the daughter of a prosperous planter and the second of his 12 children. Mary Ellen married John Bingham, a widower with one daughter in 1882, but by 1884 was a childless widow. She and Thomas Stokes met and married in 1885 in Swan Lake, Arkansas and moved to Humphrey in 1887. She and Thomas built a two story house there in 1892 and, in an adjoining building, operated The Cedar Brook saloon (later Morris Crill's grocery). Thomas was Justice of the Peace, an inspector for the railroad, and a mason. They had 5 children. Mary Ellen died in 1902 when the youngest child was three years old. Ed became an attorney and insurance broker (also mayor in 1921). Nan married Creed Crill. Ellen married Wyatt Crum, Blanche married Fred Roebuck, a Methodist minister, and moved to Fort Smith. Julia married Patrick H. Mathews in 1909.

Patrick Henley Mathews was born in Topeka, Kansas on Jan. 14, 1882, the son of Patrick T. Mathews and Mary Hoar (pronounced "Har"). Patrick T. Mathews was born in Cumberland, Maryland to Patrick Mathews, an immigrant from Ireland, and Ellen Colvin, both of whom died when Patrick T. was a child. He went to live with an uncle and other relatives in New York City in an area near Central Park where many Irish squatters had built crude dwellings. His uncle Anthony was in the liquor business. Patrick T. and his uncle joined the Union cavalry late in the civil war. Patrick moved to St. Joseph, Misouri by 1870 and lived with his mother's sister there. By 1875 he had moved to Topeka Kansas where he worked as a bookkeeper. Mary Hoar was born in Lewis County, West Virginia to immigrants from county Roscommom Ireland. She was the second of 8 children. Her oldest sister Ellen moved to Topeka around 1870 and worked as a domestic there. Several years later, Mary joined her in Topeka where she met and married Patrick T. Mathews. They had 3 children -- Agnes, John, and Patrick -- who were baptized in the Church of the Assumption. Around 1881, at the time of the birth of their youngest child ie Papaw), Patrick T. died. By 1888 Mary Hoar Mathews was in Jonesboro, Arkansas. There she married Patrick Mulloy, another Irish immigrant. They had three children, Mamie, Ed, and Martin and moved to Humphrey, Arkansas probably around 1898.


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