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Peter and Christina (Close) Mathia (Matthia) Family Record

Material submitted to the Mathia/Matthia Family Organization July 2008 by Duane Davis. Used with permission.

The following was taken from land records as recorded in Book I, page 457 on June 30, 1874 of the Johnson County Kansas Recorder of Deeds:

Peter Mathia purchased 60 acres from Mary McDougal and Francis McDougal (minor), sole heirs of Lewis McDougal (deceased), for $300.00. Two chiefs, Graham Rogers and Charles Tucker, all Shawnee Indians were witnesses for the sellers. The land was located in the southwest corner of Johnson County Kansas, McCamish Township, Section 11, Township 14, south of Range 21, SW 1/4. Sale of land was recorded on September 17, 1869 by R.L. Roberts, U.S. Indian Agent, and witnessed by Jonahan Grove and Charles Bluejacket, U.S. Interpreter.

According to Gertie (Mathia) Steele, Peter Mathia settled on this farm until the children were grown. He then moved to a farm near the Hart Post Office, McDonald County Missouri; then to a farm near Seneca, Missouri; then to a farm near Joplin, Missouri. There a neighbor shot and killed him over a fence dispute. Christina did not move to Missouri, but remained in Kansas during this time.

The following was taken from the Joplin Daily Globe dated August 2, 1906 and August 3, 1906 (the name Mathia was spelled Martha in the paper):

"Well known Joplin truck farmer and fruit grower meets death at hands of C.M. Parnell on Mathia’s farm west of city, slayer alleging that he committed deed in self defense." ..........

"Peter Mathia, a German truck farmer and fruit grower, was yesterday morning shot and killed by C.M. Parnell, the affair occurring on the land owned by Mathia, several hundred feet south of the west line of Fairview Cemetery. Deceased was 75 years of age. His slayer is about 50. The latter arrested soon after the shooting." ..........

"The death of Mathia grew out of a dispute over a boundary line, it is alleged"..........

"Mathia was shot shortly before 6 o'clock in the morning. He remained unconscious until 12:40 o'clock, when he died without having explained how the shooting occurred. Small buckshot in the heart cavity was the cause of death; hemorrhage having resulted from the wound. Several other bullets penetrated the body, a shotgun having been used by Parnell." ..........

"Mathia is owner of three acres of land, a portion of which is planted is grapes, tomatoes and vegetables. He has been in possession of the property 16 years and has resided on the ground during that time. About a year ago he leased almost half of his land to Parnell and the latter with his wife and family moved into a small house on the northern portion of the premises." ..........

"Neighbors allege that Mathia has had considerable trouble with Parnell and his family.

Teddy Lavery, who has been residing with Mathia, stated to a Globe reporter that Mathia has been greatly annoyed by the members of Parnell's family, alleging that the latter insisted on damaging the fruit trees and injuring his vegetables. Recently Mathia placed a fence along the north boundary of his land on the advice of Attorney Wolfe.

Attorney Wolfe asserted that Parnell maintained that this fence was not on the proper boundary line, but that it was over too far on the land rented to him by Mathia.

Yesterday morning Mathia, armed with a shotgun, arose early and went into his garden. It is alleged by Lavery that he found the fence torn down. He immediately replaced it.

Lavery says that he heard Mathia exchanging hot words with someone, but paid no attention to it until he heard a shot fired. He rushed from the room and saw Mathia staggering towards the house. He walked about ten feet after being shot, falling in a clump of gooseberry bushes when within about 100 feet of his own home, the shot having been fired while Mathia was walking away from the house occupied by Parnell, it is alleged by Lavery." ..........

"Circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly in favor of the deceased. There being no testimony introduced to show that Parnell shot in self-defense, as he alleges - story of eye witness.

THE VERDICT. We, the coroner's jury, after being sworn over the dead body of Peter Mathia and after hearing all the testimony taken at the inquest of the said Peter Mathia, find that he, said Peter Mathia, came to his death from the effects of gun shot wounds, said shot being feloniously fired from a shotgun held in the hands and fired by one C.M. Parnell." ..........

"SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF PETER MARTHIA. Peter Mathia was born in Germany seventy-five years ago. He received his early boyhood education in France and came to the United States thirty years ago, settling in Kansas. He secured many valuable pieces of property in Kansas and at the time of his death was the owner of several large farms, on one of which resided his wife, from whom he separated fifteen years ago. He leaves two daughters and three sons, all of who reside on farms in Kansas and the Indian Territory.

Mathia came to Joplin sixteen years ago and settled on the land where he was killed." ..........

"Parnell Is Held For First Degree Murder. Body of Peter Mathia to be forwarded to Old Home at Eudora, Kan. - Relatives in the city."

.......... "Name Mathia, not Martha. The name of the deceased in the case now occupying the public attention was Peter Mathia, not Peter Martha, as it has appeared in the columns of the press." ..........

"Remains To Be Shipped to Kansas. Several relatives of the deceased arrived in Joplin yesterday, among them being William Kinney and Heine Lybarger, sons-in-law, and Henry Mathia, a son, all residing near Olathe, Kan.

While all arrangements have not yet been made for the funeral, the remains will be forwarded to the old home of the deceased at Eudora, Kan., over the Frisco this morning."

Mathia1.doc by Duane Davis

Owner/SourceDuane Davis
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Linked toClose Christina, Matthia or Mathia Peter

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