Alexander F. Mathews

Alexander F. Mathews
Personal details
Born November 13, 1838
Lewisburg, Virginia
Died December 17, 1906 (aged 68)
Lewisburg, West Virginia
Spouse(s) Laura Maud Gardner
Relations Mathews family
Alma mater University of Virginia
Profession lawyer, banker, financier
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Years of service 1861-1865
Rank Captain
Assistant Commissary of Subsistence
Inspector of Conscription for the 8th Congressional District of Virginia
Unit Virginia 59th Virginia Infantry 1861-1863

Alexander Ferdinand Mathews (November 13, 1838 - December 17, 1906) was an American businessman from Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia). He was a Confederate States Army officer during the American Civil War, serving as aide-de-camp to General Henry A. Wise, and afterward a member of the West Virginia University Board of Regents during that institution's early expansion, and a West Virginia banker.

Early life

Alexander F. Mathews born on November 13, 1838 in Frankford, Greenbrier County, Virginia to Eliza (née Reynolds) and Mason Mathews. He enrolled in the University of Virginia in 1854 at the age of fifteen, earning a Masters of Arts at the university in two years.[1] He was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.[2] He returned to the University of Virginia School of Law in 1857, and in the same year was admitted to the bar.

Civil War

Mathews volunteered for the Confederate States Army on the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. He was assigned to the 59th Virginia Infantry and received a commission of captain despite having no formal military training. Additionally, he served as aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Henry A. Wise during Wise's early campaigns. He was relieved from duty with the 59th Virginia Infantry on June 22, 1863 and was appointed Inspector of Conscription for the 8th Congressional District of Virginia for the remainder of the war.[1]


He was appointed to the West Virginia University Board of Regents during that institution's infancy, and served on the board from 1871-1881,[3] also opening a law firm with brother Henry M. Mathews.[4][5]

In 1871, with Adam C. Snydor and Homer A. Holt, he founded the first bank in Greenbrier County, the Bank of Lewisburg, which was until 1888 the only bank between Staunton, Virginia and Charleston, West Virginia. He served as either the president or director of the bank until his death in 1906.[6] He was also a founder the First National Bank of Ronceverte, when it was chartered by the State of West Virginia in 1888. He was president of the bank on its opening, and served in that capacity in the bank's first year.[7]

He died on December 16, 1906 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was buried at the Old Stone Church in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

West Virginia Governor William A. MacCorkle, in Recollections of Fifty Years of West Virginia (1928), said of him:

"He did not appear before the people, did not like jury practice, but he was powerful in a written argument... He was polite in that he used a rapier and not a butcher's knife, yet the skin was definitely taken off, leaving every quivering nerve exposed."

 — William A. MacCorkle, The Recollections of Fifty Years of West Virginia (1928) [8]

See also


  1. 1 2 Combs, James Thurl (1987). "Greenbrier, C.S.A. Wartime Letters of Mason Mathews to his son Captain Joseph William Mathews, C.S.A." The Journal of the Greenbrier Historical Society (Parsons, West Virginia: Greenbrier Historical Society) V (1): 5-44.
  2. Brown, James T. (1917). Catalogue of Beta theta pi. J. T. Brown, 1917 p798 Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  3. West Virginia University. Undergraduate catalog, Volume 1867-1869. Morgantown, WV : The University. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  4. Calohill, et al (1909). The Virginia Law Register, Volume 14. J.P. Bell, 1909, p 484 Retrieved April 26, 2013
  5. University of Virginia (1907). Alumni Bulletin of the University of Virginia, Volume 7. University of Virginia Press, 1907, p 318
  6. Greenbrier Historical Society (1938) Greenbrier Historical Society Historical Booklet, Greenbrier Co., 1938. Retrieved 2012-10-19
  7. First National Bank (2013). First National Bank: Celebrating 125 Years.
  8. MacCorkle, William Alexander (1928). "Recollections of Fifty Years of West Virginia." New York: J.P. Putnam's Sons: New York, 1928; p 172.
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