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Matthias "Mack" Fletcher


Born on April 25, 1847, in Henderson, North Carolina, Mack Fletcher stayed at home until he enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1864. His parents were John W. Fletcher (1821–1843) and Matilda Fletcher (1820–1872). Mack served as a private in the 1st Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company A, for a year or so. By 1870 he was living in Giles County, Tennessee, where (in 1867 or 1873) he married Hester Wilmoth Brannon (1848–1918).

 In 1880, Mack, Hester, a son, and two daughters were farming in Grayson County, Texas.

William K. Brannon (1851–1941) was a brother of Mack's wife Hester. He opened Brannon and Company, mattress manufacturers, at 607 West Main Street in Denison, in 1890. Operations were moved to the 800 block of West Main Street in 1893. Mack joined the company in 1891, living above the factory while Brannon and his family resided at 813 West Owings.
In 1891, William Brannon was forty years old. On Christmas Day, 1894, his wife, Emily Caroline White Brannon, died in Denison, leaving behind numerous children. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery. In 1900, the Census found William in a rural part of Grayson County near Sherman, farming. By 1910, he had moved to Maguire, Oklahoma. There, in 1920, he married a Norwegian woman, Pauline Leutchcke (1857–1921), who died the next year. In 1920 William was engaged in truck farming. He passed away at Tipton, Oklahoma, on June 25, 1941.

As William Brannon seems to have left Denison to farm after wife Emily's death in 1894, Mack Fletcher took control of the business. In 1894, Mack built a new building at 931 West Owings Street and South Chandler Avenue.

In 1896, the Denison City Directory reported that Mack Fletcher had a firm called M. Fletcher & Co. It owned Pioneer Custom Corn and Feed Mill Co., "dealers in hay, corn, chops, corn meal, and Graham flour." Pioneer also was called Pioneer Excelsior Mattress Works. In addition to mattresses, the company manufactured awnings and wove carpets. It was located at 512–520 West Chestnut Street.

Advertisement for Mack Fletcher & Company, Pioneer Custom Corn and Feed Mill Co., and Pioneer Excelsior Mattress Works,
all in Denison, Texas.
Source: Denison City Directory, 1896.

The 1900 Census listed Mack Fletcher and his son John A. as "mattress makers." Mack and his family were living at 913 West Owings, while John A. Fletcher and family lived next door at 917 West Owings.

931 West Owings Street.
Source: "Red River Mattress Works, Mack Fletcher, Manager." Robinson, Frank M., comp. Industrial Denison.
[N.p.]: Means-Moore Co., [ca. 1909]. Page 94.

A year later, in 1901, the City Directory reported that Mack Fletcher & Son (the son being John Alexander Fletcher) were proprietors of Red River Mattress Works, "manufacturers of mattresses, pillows, and bedding," at 931 West Owings Street. Matthias "Mack" Fletcher lived at 913 West Owings, while John lived next door at 915 West Owings. John's son, Albert Ralph Fletcher, listed as "mattress maker," was living with Mack.

The family now began to migrate to Oklahoma. Mack homesteaded in Tillman County in 1904. Oklahoma Statehood occurred on November 16, 1907. The 1910 Census found Mack and Hester, as well as her brother William Brannon and his seven dependents, living in Maguire, Tillman County, Oklahoma. Both men were farmers. Hester died and was buried in Memphis, Hall County, Texas, in 1918, the year of the great influenza epidemic. She had pneumonia and influenza.

By 1920, Mack was living in Painter, Comanche County, Oklahoma, with his daughter Minnie and her husband, Henry Walston, another farmer. Mack listed no occupation. Having become senile, he passed away on September 5, 1926, and was buried in Cache Cemetery in Cache, Comanche County.




Elaine Nall Bay