James Lewis Matthews Family

Biography # 183

Submitted by Hazel Kyle


The History of Panola County TX 1846 – 1978

Published by the Panola County Historical Commission 1979




James Lewis Matthews was the father from whom many East Texas Matthews descended.  He was born in Alabama in 1820.  Coming from Alabama, his father settled near Bethany, but on the Texas side in the territory near Mt. Zion Methodist Church.  Most of the land was owned by Richard G. Golden, the wealthiest man in the area.


James Lewis Matthews married Catherine Golden in 1842.  Her father gave them a large tract of land, as he did to his other daughters.  Lewis also had land of his own.


As was common of the families of that time, Catherine and James had a large family, mostly girls.  The children were Mary Elizabeth, Thomas, Henry B., James Pinckney, Lucy Caroline, Elvira, Martha, Irene, Isaac, Turner and Adelia.  They married into the Longshore, Midyett, Murray, Tiller, Westmoreland, Ditmore, Peacock and Waller families.  Most everyone in that are now are kin.


James Pinckney Matthews married Edna Katherine Murray in 1870.  They were the parents of 14 children.  The oldest was William Henry Matthews, born in 1871, near Mt. Zion.  After a few years, they moved to the Snap Community, west of Carthage.  Here other children were born.  He farmed and ran a cotton gin.  His son, Alfred “Al”, got a hand cut off in the gin.  Soon afterward he moved his family to Carthage.  Their children were William Henry, Joseph, Alfred, Ella Elizabeth, twins Robert and David, Booty, Alice, Mae, Frank, Mittie and Sam T.


Most of these descendants moved away from Panola County.  However, James Pinckney “Pink” Matthews was Sheriff of Panola County for two terms, then was the District Clerk for twenty-five years.  Tex Ritter was his grandson and he was very proud of Tex.


William Henry Matthews married Alice Bone.  One son was born to them, William Joseph “Willie”, who lived most of his adult life in Montgomery AL.  There he was treasurer of the Capitol Heights Methodist Church for thirty-five years, a Mason and an accountant.  He married Velma Phillips and they had one child, W.J. Matthews, Jr. who was killed during World War II.


After the death of his first wife, Henry married Virginia Anderson.  To them two daughters were born, Estelle and Hazel.  Estelle married Bernard Kyle, a landowner and a soldier in World War I.  To them were born twin daughters, Louise who died in infancy and Lourine who died in 1942.  Later, after Bernard’s death, Estelle married C.B. Mullins.  Hazel married Fred Kyle, a landowner and rancher


The Matthews, our family, have records of their family tree for thirty-two generations.  Many have been members, church officials and preachers in the Methodist Church since the Wesleys founded it.


Samuel Matthew, an ancestor, was governor of the Virginia Colony from 1622 to 1660.  Carter Braxton, son of George Braxton, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  He is a cousin on our family tree.