W. J. Mathis, a prominent merchant and proprietor of a livery stable, was born April 29, 1837, in Charlotte, Tenn., being the eldest of five children born to the marriage of Wilson J. Mathis and Louisa Roberts. The father was born in 1808 in Montgomery County. He was a cabinet-maker and farmer. He is now living near Charlotte, one of the prominent old citizens of the county, having been sheriff of the county a number of terms, and in the State Legislature two terms. The mother was a native of Dickson County and died when our subject was quite young. The subject of this sketch was reared with his parents in Charlotte to the age of eighteen, when he engaged as clerk at Ashland Furnace for two years. He then went to Palmyra and clerked in a store for several years, and after a trip to Texas joined Company C, Eleventh Tennessee Volunteers, as first lieutenant, and upon the reorganization of the company was made adjutant of the Eleventh Regiment. He was wounded by a gun-shot in the wrist. Returning from the army he engaged as clerk for a number of years. Then he married and farmed one and a half years. In 1870 he was made deputy clerk of the county court. He then moved to Hill County, Tex., and farmed one year; thence to Waco, Tex., where he followed auctioneering. From there he returned to Dickson County, Tenn., and in a short time opened, on a very limited scale, a family grocery store. He now carries a complete line of general merchandise and manages a first-class livery. He was married, September 10, 1868, to Sarah E. Larkins. He was reared in the air of Democracy, and is now a firm member of that party. As a citizen he is well respected.