Charles X. Mathews
Charles X. Mathews, editor of the Shelby Republican, is a
native of the Old Dominion State, having been born in Wythe
County, Va., December 26, 185 1. His father was Alexander S. Mathews,
who was at one time a noted writer on agricultural subjects and one of the leading importers and breeders of live stock in
Virginia, to which State he was the first to introduce the famous breed
of Shorthorn cattle. His grandfather, Gen. Alexander Smythe, was
an eminent lawyer in his time, a general in the War of 181 2, and
for many years a member of Congress from the Old Staunton district in Virginia.
The ancestors of Mr. Mathews were people of
more than ordinary ability, and were among the first in a State that
contained many families of prominence. He attended school for several years at Georgetown College in the District of Columbia and
afterward graduated at the University of Virginia. Not long after his
graduation he came to Shelby County and at once began his career
as a successful newspaper man and editorial writer. In June, 1878,
at the founding of the Shelby Democrat, he was editorially connected with that paper, a position he occupied for more than two
years. On severing his connection with the Democrat he became
the Indianapolis correspondent of the Cincinnati Enquirer, a place
that is of more than ordinary importance, owing to the large circulation of that paper throughout Indiana.
In February, 1882, Mr.
Mathews returned to Shelbyville and took charge of the Volunteer,
a paper that had been revived. In politics it was an independent
Democratic sheet and opposed the ticket nominated by the regular
Democratic organization for the county offices. The course of the
paper, which was maintained with much ability and vigor, created
a bitter factional fight in the Democratic ranks and caused the overwhelming defeat of that party in the county.
columns of the Volunteer he advocated temperance legislation, reform of the civil service and independent political action as the
method of remedying abuses of the old parties. In June, 1884, a
stock company purchased the Shelby Republican, refitted the office
and offered editorial control of the paper to Mr. Mathews. He
accepted the offer and has since become one of the principal stockholders.
Under his management the Republican has been placed
among the leading and most ably edited papers in Indiana. His
fearlessness of expression and his scholarly attainments have contributed very much toward this end.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Brant & Fuller, 1887,
"Shelbyville Sketches," page 510-11.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming