By: : Jonesborough Genealogical Society
The following is taken from The Herald and Tribune, June 3, 1903: Ezekiel Salmon Mathes, a prominent citizen of this county died at his home near Washington College Sunday afternoon (May 31st). He was seventy two years old. He was buried in Old Salem cemetery at Washington College Monday, where lie the remains of his immediate ancestors for three generations. His great grandfather, Alexander Mathes, was the friend and companion of the celebrated Samuel Doak. He was one of the original elders of the Salem Church, the oldest in Tennessee. (Salem Church statement as to being the oldest is in error, Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church, located in northern part of the county, is now accepted by historians as the oldest).
No one family has, perhaps, done so much for the above mentioned college and Salem Church (Presbyterian) as had the Mathes was born October 13, 1831, at Greenville, SC. At about the age of two years he moved with his parents to Cocke County, TN, where they settled on the French Broad River, three miles above where old Newport stood. In November 1843 he came with his parents to Washington College, the scene of his life’s labors, with the exception of a few years during and after the war, during which time he served in the commissary department at Knoxville and depot agent at Jonesboro.
In November 1854, while a student at Washington College, he married Miss Mary Jane Bovell. To this union four children were born, all who grew to adulthood and married.
His eldest son, W. G. Mathes, is a prominent businessman in Joplin, MO. His only living daughter is Mrs. Carrie N. Wilcox, of Magnetic City, NC. The deceased was the last living brother of John S. Mathes, a prominent citizen of Jonesboro, TN.