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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 885~


John H. Mattocks

Although a young man, John H. Mattocks is considered one of Illyria township's most progressive and substantial citizens, having demonstrated what perseverance, rightly-applied energy and good principles can accomplish if properly directed. He is the scion of an old and highly honored family, the good name of which he has ever sought to keep untarnished, therefore, he enjoys the confidence and respect of all who know him. He was born in Illyria township, Fayette county, Iowa, January 31, 1870, and was educated in the public schools of his native community. He is the son of Wilder M. and Anna E. (Hendersen) Mattocks, the former born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, May 24, 1834, and the latter in the state of New Jersey. Mr. Mattocks came from Marion county, Iowa, with his parents about 1848. After remaining here a year, they returned to Pennsylvania , but about 1852 or 1853 came back to Iowa and located in Fayette county. They made the three trips overland in old-time covered wagons. They owned a horse that made the three trips. Upon their second trip they purchased a farm in Pleasant Valley township, later buying a farm in Illyria township, where they spent the remaining years of their lives. Wilder M. Mattocks made his home on the farm with his parents until he married Anna E. Hendersen, just previous to the commencement of the Civil War, about 1860. In 1862, he proved his patriotism by enlisting in Company H, Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry. He had two brothers and three brothers-in-law, who served throughout the war, all enlisting from Fayette county, but not in the same regiment. They all lived to return home after the war; only one of them was wounded, W.B. Warner, of Clermont, at the battle of Fort Donelson. The eldest Mattocks bought a farm during or just previous to the Civil War in Illyria township. After returning from the Army, he lived on this farm until 1872, when he sold out and bought a farm near Hawkeye, where Mrs. Mattocks died in March, 1873, leaving four children, one having died in infancy. About 1875 he sold out and moved to his mother's farm in Illyria township, which he bought at the death of his mother and on which he spent the rest of his life. This farm, consisting of eighty acres in section 11, was one of the best improved in this locality. Upon the death of the elder Mattocks, his sons, W.D. and John H., purchased the place, which they managed successfully until the summer of 1902 when they sold it.
Wilder M. Mattocks was a member of West Union Post of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was not a public man, but took much interest in the welfare of the community. His death occurred in 1899. To Mr. and Mrs. Wilder M. Mattocks the following children were born: Elvira is the wife of J.C. Curtis, of Jennings, Oklahoma; Allie E. is the wife of John Johnson, of near Gunder, Clayton county, Iowa; John H., of this review; William D. lives on a farm near Wadena, Iowa.
The parents of Wilder M. Mattocks, Daniel G. and Elizabeth (Hahn) Mattocks, were both natives of Pennsylvania, the former dying about 1872, the latter surviving until about 1882. Of the nine children born to them, five are still living, namely: Mrs. Adelia Warner, of Clermont, Iowa: Mrs. Aurelia Payne, of Wall Lake, Iowa; Mrs. Elmina Babcock, of Idaho; Jason lives in Portland, Oregon; Ross lives at Jennings, Oklahoma.
John H. Mattocks, of this sketch, made his home with his father until he was fifteen years of age, at which time he began life for himself as a farm hand, working out part of the time and for his father part of the time until the age of twenty years, when he began work for himself. The first land he or his brothers owned was the home farm of eighty acres, which they bought in 1900. They sold out in 1902 and in 1903 they bought one hundred and ninety-seven acres in sections 26 and 27, Illyria township. In 1909 John H. sold his interest to his brother and bought one hundred and thirty-eight acres, known as the Gibson farm, fifty-six in section 6, Illyria township, the balance in section 31, Pleasant Valley township. He is a very painstaking farmer and keeps his place well improved and he deserves to rank among the leading agriculturists of the county, for he is always fully abreast of the times.

Politically, Mr. Mattocks is a Republican, but in county politics he votes independently. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 723, of Wadena, also the Modern Woodmen of America.
On February 24, 1909, he married Ida A. Rothlisberger, who was born October 15, 1871, in this township. She is the daughter of Simon and Elizabeth (Neuenschwander) Rothlisberger, natives of Switzerland. Mr. and Mrs. Mattocks have no children.

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Steve Boeding


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