The subject has spent his entire life in this county and he has always
had deeply at heart the well-being and improvement of the county, using his
influence whenever possible for the promotion of enterprises calculated to
be of lasting benefit to his fellow men, besides taking a leading part in
all movements for the advancement of the community along social,
intellectual and moral lines.
Leander C. Matthews was born South of Salem, in the edge of Jefferson county, May 25, 1848, the son of Andrew J. and Hulda (Swafford) Matthews, natives of Tennessee and Illinois, respectively, and both representatives of honorable and well known families in their own communities.
Our subject remained under his parental roof until he reached man's estate and attended the district schools in his native community and in Centralia, where he applied himself in a careful manner and received a good education.
Mr. Matthews early decided to devote his life to a business career and he has bent every effort to this end with gratifying results.
He commenced a general business in 1883 at Fairman, Marion county, Illinois, where he remained ten years with much success attending his efforts. He is at this writing engaged in the hay, grain and implement business in Kinmundy, this county, and is conducting a thriving business, his trade extending to all parts of the county and penetrating to adjoining counties, in fact he is one of the best known dealers in these lines in this part of the state and the able manner in which he conducts his business and his courteous treatment with those with whom he deals insure him a liberal income from year to year.
Mr. Matthews was united in marriage October 8, 1873, to S. Elizabeth Lydick, who was born near Odin, this county, December 24, 1854, the refined and affable daughter of Isaac and Sarah (Sugg) Lydick, a well known family of that locality.
The following family has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Matthews: Lillian, Baby, Hallie, Hulda, Carl. They have all gone to their rest except Hulda, who is the wife of Albert C. Dunlap, of Champaign, Illinois.
In his fraternal relations Mr. Matthews is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Kinmundy, also of the Knights of Pythias of this place. In politics he is a loyal Democrat and takes a vital interest in his party's affairs, however, he has never aspired to positions of public trust. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian church, and our subject is regarded as one of the substantial church workers of Kinmundy, and he has long taken an active part in all religious affairs. He is a man of large public spirit and enterprise, and personally is of the genial and sunny type, pleasant to meet and makes friends readily. He likes a good story and enjoys a good joke, and because of these qualities of commendation and genuine worth Mr. Matthews has won a host of warm friends which he retains, being popular with all classes in his community where he maintains a home that is comfortable, substantial and pleasant in all its appointments and which is regarded as a place of generous hospitality and good cheer.
Extracted 10 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 148-149.